01.06.2012 1

Obama’s lost labor force

ObamaBy Bill Wilson — Since Barack Obama assumed office, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total population over age 16 has grown by 5.845 million to 240.5 million, and yet, since then, the civilian labor force has actually shrunk by 349,000 — from about 154.2 million to 153.8 million.

This is a startling contradiction, and it is at the heart of why the unemployment rate is much higher than the 8.5 percent being reported.

The problem is that the measured civilian labor force participation rate has fallen from 65.7 percent to 64 percent since Jan. 2009, reflecting people who have lost hope and simply stopped looking for work.  If those people were still counted, the actual civilian labor force would be 4.176 million higher than is reported at about 158 million.

Based on this analysis, the number of unemployed is actually closer to 17 million instead of the 13 million reported jobless.  That is simply astounding.

Instead of 8.5 percent, the effective unemployment rate should be closer to 10.9 percent, and the underemployed closer to 17.4 percent, or 27.3 million.  This is what we mean when we say that the unemployment rate is no longer a valid economic indicator.

Propaganda is not going to get the real unemployed into jobs.  It’s not going to help families keep their homes.  It’s not going to help college graduates to enter the work force.  We’re nowhere near where we should be, and it’s Obama’s fault.

It’s his regulatory burdens that are being imposed through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) carbon endangerment finding and through Obamacare.  It is he who is insisting on raising taxes on job creators, and playing class warfare to cobble together a constituency that wants to apparently take from their employers’ purses.  It is Obama who has refused to get the nation’s crushing debt load under control, where the $15.2 trillion national debt is nearly larger than the entire economy.

To get the economy moving again, the government needs to slash corporate tax rates, which are the highest in the world of advanced economies.  It is imperative that the regulatory overkill come to an end.  The dollar needs to be strengthened to lower costs and stabilize energy and food costs.  The debt needs to be paid down and retired, and the budget balanced. Onerous federal securities laws and state-by-state blue sky laws need to be repealed that make it cost-ineffective for new businesses to raise capital.

In short, it must become competitive to do business here in America again.  And that will probably not happen so long as Obama is in office.  It is clear the nation needs new leadership that is intent on actually creating jobs and restoring hope, instead of ignoring the despair of Obama’s lost labor force.

Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government. You can follow Bill on Twitter at @BillWilsonALG.

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