June 1, 2012
Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that only 69,000 jobs were added in the month of May, far below market expectations and well short of the 150,000 jobs that BLS says are needed every month just to keep pace with population growth. While the announcement of any new jobs is welcomed, May marks the fourth straight month of slowing job growth and demonstrates that Americans continue to suffer through a painfully tepid recovery made even slower by the president’s failed policies. The unemployment rate in May also increased to 8.2 percent, marking an inauspicious milestone—the 40th consecutive month that unemployment has been at or above 8 percent under President Obama. In addition, the labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of able Americans working or looking for work, was near a 30-year low in May. If the percentage of Americans in the work force were as high today as at the beginning of this recession, unemployment would actually be 11.7 percent.
- 40: The unemployment rate has been at or above 8 percent for 40 consecutive months. Before President Obama took office, unemployment had not been above 8 percent for this long since the Great Depression. Over three years ago, the Obama Administration said that unemployment would never reach 8 percent if the “stimulus” was approved.
- 8.2%: The unemployment rate for the month of May was 8.2 percent, up from 8.1 percent in April. May marked the first month that the unemployment rate has increased since June 2011. Since the president’s failed $1.2 trillion “stimulus” was enacted in February 2009 unemployment has averaged 9.1 percent.
- Less than 6%: The level at which the Obama Administration claimed unemployment would be today if the “stimulus” was signed into law was below 6 percent.
- 63.8%: The labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of able Americans working or looking for work, was near a 30-year low of 63.8 percent in May. Much of the recent decline in the unemployment rate (from September 2011 – April 2012) can be attributed to the historic drop in labor force participation as more and more American give up on finding a job. That means that 36.2 percent of able-bodied, non-elderly Americans are not even looking for a job in the Obama economy.
- 11.7%: If the labor force participation rate were at the same level it was before the recession started the unemployment rate would be 11.7 percent today.
- 14.8%: 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 is 14.8 percent.
- 12,720,000: There were 12.72 million unemployed Americans looking for work in the month of May, an increase of 220,000 from April. There have been more than 12 million unemployed Americans every month that President Obama has been in office.
- 8,098,000: The number of Americans forced to work only part-time in May because they could not find full-time employment was 8.1 million, an increase of 245,000 from April.
- 2,423,000: The number of people who have looked for a job at some point in the last year but are not counted as unemployed because they gave up their search is now 2.4 million, up by 60,000 from April.
- 830,000: The number of discouraged people who stopped looking for work because they believed there were no jobs available is now 830,000.
- 23,241,000: The total number of “underemployed” Americans is 23.2 million, including those unemployed (12.7 million), those who are no longer looking for work (2.4 million), and those who are working part-time because no other work is available (8.1 million).
- 39.7: The average number of weeks it takes for job seekers to find a job grew to 39.7 weeks in May, up from 39.1 weeks in April. The average time it takes for people to find a job is up from 19.8 weeks in January 2009 when President Obama took office.
- 5,411,000: The long-term unemployed, measured by the number of Americans unemployed and searching for work for more than 27 weeks, was 5.4 million in the month of May, up from 5.1 million in April. Since President Obama took office in January 2009, the number of people unemployed for more than 27 weeks has increased by 90 percent.
- 552,000: The economy has shed 552,000 net jobs from February 2009—when the Democrats’ “stimulus” was signed into law—through May 2012.
- 49,000: The job growth for the months of March and April 2012 was revised downward by a combined 49,000 jobs. In May, employment for March was revised from 154,000 to 143,000, and the change for April was revised from 115,000 to 77,000.
- 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.
- $1,154: Since 2008, the year President Obama was elected, median family income has declined by $1,154, falling to its lowest level since 1996.
- 46,405,204: The number of Americans receiving food stamps as of March 2012 was 46.4 million, the third most in any month in history and up 80,000 from February. Today, 15 percent of Americans receive food stamps, an increase of 45 percent since President Obama took office.
- 1,367,000: The number of new job seekers that are unemployed is now 1.3 million. The number of new workers who cannot find a job has been above 1 million for 36 months.
- 24.6%: The unemployment rate among job seekers between the ages of 16 and 19 was 25 percent in May. Youth unemployment has been above 23 percent for 35 months, the longest streak since the Great Depression.
- 13.6%: The unemployment rate among African Americans in May was 13 percent, up from 13 percent in April.
- 11%: The unemployment rate among Hispanics and Latinos was 10.3 percent, up from 10.3 percent in April.
- 13%: The unemployment rate among Americans without high school diplomas was 13 percent in May, up from 12.5 percent in April.
- $1,178,000,000,000: The total cost of the Democrats’ “stimulus.” CBO estimates the cost of the bill will reach $831 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