August Unemployment by the Numbers

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that the unemployment rate in August was 8.1 percent, marking the 43rd consecutive month that unemployment has been at or above 8 percent under President Obama. With only 96,000 jobs added in the month of August, it is obvious Americans continue to suffer through a painfully tepid recovery made even slower by the president’s failed policies. In addition, the labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of able Americans working or looking for work, fell to a 30-year low in August.  If the percentage of Americans in the work force were as high today as at the beginning of this recession, unemployment would actually be 11.6 percent.


·         43: The unemployment rate has been at or above 8 percent for 43 consecutive months—three and a half years.  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.


·         8.1 percent: The unemployment rate for the month of August was 8.1 percent.  Since the president’s failed $1.2 trillion “stimulus” was enacted in February 2009 unemployment has averaged 9.1 percent.


·         Less than 5.5%: The Obama administration claimed unemployment would be less than 5.5 percent today if the “stimulus” was signed into law.


·         63.5%: The labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of able Americans working or looking for work, fell to a level not seen in more than 30 years—63.5 percent—in August, the lowest level since September 1981.  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 36.5 percent of able-bodied, non-elderly Americans are not even looking for a job in the Obama economy.


·         11.6%: If the labor force participation rate were at the same level it was before the recession started the unemployment rate would be 11.6 percent today. 


·         14.7%: 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 14.7 percent.


·         12,544,000: There were 12.5 million unemployed Americans looking for work in the month of August. There have been at least 12 million unemployed Americans every month that President Obama has been in office.


·         8,031,000: The number of Americans forced to work only part-time in August because they could not find full-time employment was 8.0 million.


·         2,529,000: 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 2.5 million, up by 46,000 from June and the fourth consecutive monthly increase this year.


·         844,000: The number of discouraged people who stopped looking for work because they believed there were no jobs available is now 844,000.


  • 23,104,000: The total number of “underemployed” Americans is 23.1 million, including those unemployed (12.5 million), those who are no longer looking for work (2.5 million), and those who are working part-time because no other work is available (8.0 million).


·         39.2: The average number of weeks it takes for job seekers to find a job rose to 39.2 weeks in August.  The average time it takes for people to find a job is almost twice as long as than the 19.8 weeks average in January 2009 when President Obama took office.


·         5,033,000: The long-term unemployed, measured by the number of Americans unemployed and searching for work for more than 27 weeks, was 5.0 million in the month of August.  Since President Obama took office in January 2009, the number of people unemployed for more than 27 weeks has increased by 87 percent.


·         261,000: The economy has shed 261,000 net jobs from February 2009—when the Democrats’ “stimulus” was signed into law—through August 2012.


·         41,000: The job growth for the months of June and July 2012 was revised downward by a combined 41,000 jobs.  In August, employment for June was revised from 64,000 to 45,000, and the change for July was revised from 163,000 to 141,000.


·         15.7 percent?: The official poverty rate in 2010 according to the Census Bureau was 15.1 percent, up from 14.3 percent in 2009.  According to the Associated Press, economists are now predicting that figure will rise to its highest level since 1965 when the 2011 figures are released.


·         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.


·         $4,019: Since January 2009, the month President Obama was inaugurated, median household income has declined by $4,019


·         46,670,373: The number of Americans receiving food stamps as of June 2012 was 46.6 million.  Today, 15 percent of Americans receive food stamps, an increase of 45 percent since President Obama took office.


·         13th: Where the U.S. ranks in ease of starting a business in the world according to a World Bank report.  In 2007, the U.S. ranked 3rd.


·         1,277,000: 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 39 months.


·         24.6%: The unemployment rate among job seekers between the ages of 16 and 19 was almost 25 percent in August.  Youth unemployment has been above 23 percent for 40 months, the longest streak since the Great Depression.


·         14.1%: The unemployment rate among African Americans in August was 14.1 percent.


·         10.2%: The unemployment rate among Hispanics and Latinos in August was 10.3 percent.


·         8.8%: The unemployment rate among Americans with only high school diplomas was 8.8 percent in August, up from 8.4 percent in June.


·         $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.