Where Are The Jobs?

As the Obama administration and its surrogates crow about a drop in the national unemployment rate measured in the fractions of a percentage point, critics such as myself have been quick to point out that any progress in the unemployment rate is due more to a shrinking labor force than economic growth.

Now the Republican Study Committee has released this chart showing the collapse in the labor participation rate (the number of working-age Americans participating in the labor market) down to a thirty-year low:

There is no more fundamental economic indicator than the number of working-age Americans with jobs. Per these numbers, a much smaller percentage of working-age Americans have jobs than before Obama was elected. But the unemployment rate goes down because many of these workers have been out of work for so long they’ve given up working.

What this chart tells us is that Obama’s economic policies do not work.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Gern Blanston

    That graph was made by Republicans.  Of course they’re gonna make it trend downward.

  • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

    The job creators are failures at creating jobs.

    Not everyone in America is hurting during this economic downturn. In
    fact, the wealthiest Americans are doing just fine. At a time when
    millions of Americans are losing their jobs and their homes, the folks
    at the top end of the income scale are actually seeing their incomes go
    up. In 2009, the number of millionaires in the United States rose 16
    percent to 7.8 million at a time when tens of millions of other
    Americans were experiencing gut-wrenching economic despair. The truth is
    that the statistics and the data do not lie. Wealth and income are
    increasingly becoming concentrated in the hands of the wealthiest
    Americans. So just what in the world is going on?

    http://articles.businessinsider.com/2010-03-22/news/29968959_1_american-dream-wealth-income-tax
    Call me when the trickle down starts, or when gop calls for more tax breaks for our wealthies.

    • mikemc1970

      The lefts trickle up poverty program started a along time ago.

    • Jerry

      ” The job creators are failures at creating jobs”
      .
      You finally got something right, booooob. Obama’s theft of $1.2 trillion of tax payer money to create jobs was a failure.
      You dope.

    • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bikebubba

      OK, Reality Challenged one, puzzle me this; if business owners are all about money and greed, why on earth would they be be passing up money by refusing to hire people? 

      My take is that if I concede the greed of the rich, it makes no sense for them to refuse to hire people when the business climate allows it.  Rather, the more likely thing is that businessmen know that they have a President who does not flinch at overriding two studies by the State Department to shut down an oil pipeline project for the benefit of his environmentalist buddies.

      In other words, businessmen know that Democrats will use whatever power they have for their own buddies, which is bad for business.

      • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

        Please tell us, Mr. bubba, that you are aware of the direction corporate profits have taken since the bush/gop great recession ended.

        For bonus points, tell us about how much poorer the wealthies have gotten, say in the last 10 years, compared to how much richer the poors have gotten in that same time span.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Should we be surprised that businesses would, in times of economic uncertainty, cut costs and concentrate on maximizing revenues as opposed to making investments in new hiring or building that might prove risky?

          You act as though these business owners were sitting on their money because they’re greedy and hate the poor or something, but as Bubba already pointed out, were the economic conditions right I’m sure these businesses would rather be growing.

          The question is why they feel they can’t grow.  The answer for that lays with expansive, intrusive, interventionist government.

          • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

            Taxes haven’t been this low since the 50’s, profits are soaring, the income gap is widening and you’re whining about a 3% tax increase and rules that stop pollution and protect worker safety? Thank a god, you represent a minority.

          • Jerry

             Right again, boooob. Tax revenues have never been this low. When there’s a president whose job killing, economy killing policies bring on the destruction of America, there’s a price to pay.

          • mickey_moussaoui

            Forget it Rob. You cannot educate someone who refuses to
            be educated. Folks like booby are stuck on stupid and will never accept
            responsibility. They live for and expect entitlement. They expect someone to
            create the environment where they get a constant, uninterrupted flow of
            security regardless of what it costs society. They have no faith in others because they have no faith in themselves. Afterall, how could one trust a wealthy man when you yourself are a selfish, untrustworthy bastard?
             Like Groucho Marx ( the other Marx ) said: “I would never join any club that would accept me as a member”
            That’s liberalism.

        • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bikebubba

          But of course. During the Pelosi-Reid-Obama recesssion that started when Democrats took control of Congress, corporate profits have skyrocketed as Comrade Obama diverted eight hundred billion dollars of taxpayer (and Chinese) money to big corporations.

          Now why a liberal like you brings this up, I don’t know, but that’s the facts.  I just don’t get why the Democrats apparently hate poor people so much, they’re making it nearly impossible to hire people with layers of regulations, an almost infinite approval cycle for big projects like pipelines, and such. 

      • Bat One

        BB,  It’s like this:  Liberals, who mostly don’t believe in good and evil, believe that profits are evil, unless those profits are applied to “social justice” causes. They also believe that businessmen who pursue profits, as is their legally binding fiduciary responsibility, are greedy, and greed is also evil… unless you’re talking about unions.  Unions and union bosses are granted a waiver from being labeled greedy or evil, despite their chosen profession.  Understand?

        • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bikebubba

          It’s going to take more than a few drinks to “understand” that one.  :^)

          Seriously, the left really needs to answer this one.  If corporate types are so evil and greedy, why are they passing up the guaranteed profits Comrade Obama is promising them if they’ll only hire some people here, especially if they’re union?

    • HG

      Job creators don’t exist without successful businesses.  A healthy bottom line can disappear with too many employees. 

      Do you really think businesses exist to create jobs, or do they exist to create wealth?

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Maybe we should cut taxes, and deregulate, and give these rich Americans a reason to invest their wealth in the markets.

      • Bat One

        Its not just rich Americans who should be encouraged to invest in the US.  Ever since the Euro started to crumble, wealth has been pouring out of Europe.

        Of course, the best way to start creating private sector, wealth-creating jobs here in the US is to reverse the government policies that are encouraging job creators to sit on the sidelines.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Exactly right.

    • Greg

      So I guess all the high taxes that were paid during the Clinton years did not make any difference in the bottom 20% either.  Show me when the trickle up worked.

    • Jfisher17

      “More tax breaks for our wealthies.” Poor Bob, you already know the tax breaks weren’t just for the wealthy, every bracket saw a cut. You’re fooling no one. “Call me when the trickle down starts..” Ok, I’m calling you- I believe it’s started. The bottom 49.5% now pay no income tax- the most in our history.  It’s more than a trickle- I think it’s a steady rain.

    • Jfisher17

      “In 2009, the number of millionairs rose 16%….” This was under Obama, correct? Then he’s a bad, bad Liberal and must go.  “Other Americans were experiencing gut-wrenching economic despair…. What in the world is going on?”  Well, maybe, just maybe, Obama’s policies suck.

  • Neiman

    Sadly, the chances are very, very high that the voters will not appreciate the “no longer looking for work” data and only see dropping unemployment and credit Barry.

  • Daryn Rabbe

    I thought the stimulus was this administrations’ “trickle down” method of creating “shovel ready” jobs. Apparently, it didn’t trickle far enough past the public unions, foreign & domestic banks, multinational corporations and select financial instutions to quite reach the shovels.

    Ah well. Maybe Obama will receive enough political contributions from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, GE, IBM, Morgan Stanley, UAW and other friends to give it another whirl.

  • ec99

    The fact is there are millions of jobs, just not enough people with the technological training to fill them.  If the US put out as many of them as majors in race and gender studies, there’d be a good deal more employed people.

    • mickey_moussaoui

      Baloney.
      There are millions of college educated white collar workers unemployed right
      now. Granted, there is a shortage of advanced computer skilled manufacturing workers,
      but there are not “millions” of jobs available in technical fields.
      That number of yours is a gross exaggeration and not a fact. There is no
      shortage of IT based technology grads in this country. We do not have a major
      shortage of engineers either. More would be better but it is still a popular
      degree for many students today. We do have way too many lawyers and political
      science grads which would explain why this country is so phucked up today. It
      is good news that manufacturing is coming back in America because we do make a
      superior product to China. The cold hard “fact” is that business and
      industry is sitting on huge piles of cash right now because they do not want to
      risk investing in growth until the obama regime is gone and the government gets
      the hell out of the way. We have an administration that believes all business
      is the enemy of the state and should be punished for it. What we have is
      millions of good qualified workers who want a job that isn’t beneath their
      value.

      • ec99

        So, you are saying the the CEOs of companies like Cummins, MMM, CAT, and the like are lying when they say they can’t find qualified people to fill vacancies?

        • mickey_moussaoui

          No I do not.

          They only represent a part of the economy, not the entire
          economy. YOU claimed there were “millions” of jobs and no
          qualified applicants and I called BullShit on you. I agreed that there IS a shortage
          of high skilled manufacturing applicants, I did not dispute that. I’m just
          pointing out your exaggerated assessment of the job situation as a whole. Cummins, MMM, CAT do not even have a million employees between them.
          There are MILLIONS of well educated white collar workers out there who are OVER QUALIFIED for many of the scant jobs that are open. There are also MILLIONS of workers who are UNDER employed in low paying, low skilled jobs. But one thing there is NOT is MILLIONS of jobs without qualified people to fill them. If there were, they would of been filled with MILLIONS of qualified people from around the world who are also looking for work in this global recession.

  • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

    Not counting jobs that no longer exist or people who’ve given up looking for work in the “unemployment rate” is like not counting people who’ve died of starvation in the “hunger rate.”

    Totally bogus statistic.  Figures lie and lairs figure. 

    Rest assured, a month before election you’ll hear the rate is under 8% no matter what the reality.

  • borborygmi

    I have seen in Fargo quite a few for hire signs in restaurants and convienence stores.

    • ec99

      And I have seen guys in front of the Red Lobster in Grand Forks panhandling.

      • mickey_moussaoui

        Neither of those types of work require any post HS level education. You kind of killed your own argument there

  • http://www.facebook.com/ardis.till.jackson Ardis Till Jackson

    Okay, if companies can not find qualified help, why on earth don’t they have apprentiship programs to train and educate workers?

  • mickey_moussaoui

    There are 7 applicants for every job right now. Tech
    schools and engineering colleges are cranking out graduates at a steady pace.
    If anything, companies are trying to hire on the cheap and they are having a
    tough time. I’ve seen plenty of job openings for persons with a master’s degree
    required and the pay scale is a joke. Experienced workers with 20 plus years of
    on the job are getting let go because they have accrued too much
    benefits and salary. The companies are hiring young inexperienced grads for
    half the salary and offering reduced benefits. The experienced workers are
    getting passed over for bargain basement labor. There is no shortage of labor
    right now. There is a shortage of good jobs. There is plenty of $9-$15 dollar
    an hour BS jobs, well below a living wage. This is all because Obama has scared American companies out of hiring because he will sock them with all kinds of healthcare and tax penalties if and when they decide to reinvest in growth

  • mickey_moussaoui

    I remember when the economy was booming and McDonalds was paying $13.00 to flip burgers. And they couldn’t fill the positions. If they paid that much today they would get 300 applications in a day

  • mtvphil

    With unemployment in the construction industry (in Ohio) still above 15%, companies have very few openings and those that do are paying less in some cases than they were five years ago. I saw an ad several months ago offering $13.00/hour for a skilled carpenter with truck and significant tool requirements included. Unreal.

  • Tots4Masses

    Sadly a lot of people pass up the jobs that are available because they can make more money on unemployment than from the jobs that are available.  I know this from direct feedback from unemployed friends.

    I’m thankful to still have a job, the market sucks regardless of what is being spun.

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