February 3, 2012
Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 243,000 jobs were added in the month of January. While the announcement of these new jobs is welcomed news, other aspects of today’s report demonstrate that Americans continue to suffer through a painfully tepid recovery made even slower by the president’s policies. For instance, the labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of able Americans working or looking for work, fell to a 30-year low in January. If the percentage of Americans in the work force were as high today as at the beginning of this recession, unemployment would actually be 11.4 percent. In addition, the number of discouraged people who stopped looking for work because they believed there were no jobs available grew by 70,000. And unemployment is once again above 8 percent, now for the 36th month in a row, further extending the worst unemployment crisis since the Great Depression.
- 36: The number of consecutive months the unemployment rate has been at or above 8 percent. Unemployment was above 9 percent for 28 of those months. Three years ago, the Obama Administration said that unemployment would never reach 8 percent if the “stimulus” was approved. Prior to the enactment of the “stimulus,” unemployment had not been above 8 percent for 36 consecutive months since the Great Depression.
- 8.3%: The unemployment rate for the month of January. From March 2009 (the month after the failed $1.2 trillion “stimulus” was enacted) through January 2012, unemployment has averaged 9.3 percent.
- 6%: The level at which the Obama Administration claimed unemployment would be today if the “stimulus” was signed into law.
- 63.7%: The labor force participation rate in January, which is the lowest it has been in almost three decades. Much of the recent decline in the unemployment rate can be attributed to the historic drop in labor force participation.
- 11.4%: Where the unemployment rate would be today if the labor force participation rate were at the same level it was before the recession started. If such a large portion of the population had not stopped looking for work, unemployment would be much higher than 8.3 percent today.
- 15.4%: The rate of “underemployment” or “real unemployment,” including the unemployed, those who want work but have stopped searching in this economy, and those who are forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment.
- 12,758,000: The number of unemployed Americans looking for work in the month of January.
- 8,230,000: The number of Americans who worked only part-time in January because they could not find full-time employment, up 132,000 from December. The number of people working part-time for economic reasons reached 8 million for the first time in history in January 2009 and has remained above 8 million for 36 consecutive months.
- 2,809,000: The number of people who are available to work and have looked for a job at some point in the last year but are not counted as unemployed because they gave up their search. The number of marginally attached workers is up 236,000 since December.
- 1,059,000: The number of discouraged people who stopped looking for work because they believed there were no jobs available, an increase of 70,000 from December.
- 23,797,000: The total number of “underemployed” Americans, including those unemployed (12.7 million), those who are no longer looking for work (2.8 million), and those who are working part-time because no other work is available (8.2 million).
- 40.1: The average number of weeks it takes for job seekers to find a job. The average time it takes for people to find a job is up from 19.9 weeks in January 2009 when President Obama took office.
- 5,518,000: The number of Americans unemployed and searching for work for more than 27 weeks in the month of January. Since President Obama took office in January 2009, the number of people unemployed for more than 27 weeks has increased by 110 percent.
- 1,152,000: The number of net jobs the economy has shed from February 2009—when the Democrats’ “stimulus” was signed into law—through January 2011.
- 15.1%: The official poverty rate in 2010 according to the Census Bureau—up from 14.3 percent in 2009. This was the third consecutive annual increase in the poverty rate and the highest poverty rate since 1993.
- 46,200,000: The number of Americans who were in poverty in 2010, up from 43.6 million in 2009—the fourth consecutive annual increase in the number of people in poverty. The number of Americans in poverty in 2010 is the largest number in the 52 years in which poverty estimates have been published by the Census Bureau.
- $3,378: The amount by which median household incomes dropped in 2010, falling to its lowest level since 1996. Household income has fallen by 6.4 percent since 2007.
- 46,133,767: The number of Americans receiving food stamps as of November 2011, the third most in any month in history, only surpassed only by September and October. Today, 15 percent of Americans receive food stamps, an increase of 40 percent since President Obama took office.
- 1,253,000: The number of first time job seekers that are unemployed. The number of new workers who cannot find a job has been above 1 million for 32 months.
- 23.2%: The unemployment rate among job seekers between the ages of 16 and 19. Youth unemployment has been above 23 percent for 32 months, the longest streak since the Great Depression.
- 13.6%: The unemployment rate among African Americans in January.
- 10.5%: The unemployment rate among Hispanics and Latinos.
- 13.1%: The unemployment rate among Americans without high school diplomas.
- $1,172,000,000,000: The total cost of the Democrats’ “stimulus.” CBO estimates the cost of the bill will reach $825 billion and interest on the debt for the bill will be at least $347 billion.
For additional information, contact:
The House Republican Conference Policy Office