Worst Labor Force Since Jimmy Carter’s Presidency


The White House tells us it is on a roll. The economy is picking up, more people are working, more jobs are being created – almost 300,000.


Except that it isn’t quite true, and The White House figures are not the same as those coming out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

So is The White House just making up numbers now?

In February, 92,898,000 Americans did not participate in the nation’s labor force. That’s almost 93 million, and it is up from 80,529,000 when Barack Obama moved into the oval office. So if your math is any good, you can see that 12+ million more people are no longer in the workforce now than were not in the workforce the day he walked into the White House.

Hope and Change, what a great thing that is!

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, “The civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, changed little in February and has remained within the narrow range of 62.7 to 62.9 percent since April 2014.”

The Sunday news shows should have been all over those numbers.

… Silence …

The Bureau also said that for 13 out of the past 17 months since October 2013, the workforce participation rate has been 62.9 percent or less. You can probably guess that the last time numbers were this bad was when there was another lacklustre Democrat in the White House. In March 1978, Jimmy Carter presided over a participation rate of 62.8 percent.

Richard D. Wolff, Professor of Economics at New School, New York said, “It is better than it has been, but it is a long way short of what a functioning economy should do.” Hear more about that in the video below.

We already know there are people in part time work who really want to be employed fulltime, but now we know there are 6.6 million of them. There are two possible reasons for this, and both could be related to the Obamacare rules. Their hours may have been been cut, or they were unable to find a full-time job.

Thinking back to 1978, Jimmy Carter said there was a “malaise” in the economy. That malaise is back, with a vengeance. In addition, 2.2 million people are classified at “marginally attached to the labor force,” whatever that means. Apparently “marginally attached” could include running a lemonade stand as a business when you really want to work.

Then there are the people who have completely given up looking for a job, because they have become so discouraged, and think there are no jobs available for them. In February the Bureau says there were 732,000 such “discouraged workers.”

Great, but that doesn’t faze the White House, they just keep on generating labor force spin.


Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. His BS in journalism from University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.

Dwight has 30 years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. A native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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