Because of the huge numbers of people who have left the labor force since January 2000 and especially since this recession began, the usual unemployment rate is quite meaningless. It is presently 8.08%, though it is the seasonally adjusted rate which is usually given. The BLS tells us that is 7.7% now. The Wall St. Journal gives that nonsense the headline treatment. But in January 2000, 64.49% of the working age non-institutionalized population over 16 was employed. In January 2013, only 57.88% were employed. Jobs have been created over the last four years despite Obama messing the economy up, but the population has also grown. As a result, the number of missing jobs needed to return employment to 64.47% of the working age population for any month of the last year when compared to that same month one, two, three, or four years earlier is unchanged. The missing job plot is shown below:
Comparing February 2013 with February 2010 or February 2012, we see that the number of missing jobs is very slightly higher. It is very slightly lower compared to February 2011. But overall, it is remarkably constant. About the only month that is exceptional is October 2012, which is slightly better than any of the prior three October missing jobs numbers. This might be due to an intentional effort on the part of the government to improve the job situation immediately before the 2012 election in November.
The complete job situation is spelled out in the table below:
It is interesting to examine the BLS chart on the number of non-farm employed persons.
Despite the passage of 5 years since the employment peak before the recession, we are not even close to having as many people employed now as then. What is worse, the working age population has grown by about 11.2 million people since the peak in employment. Many more people would be employed now than were in December 2007 were it not for a terrible combination of governmental incompetence and a willful determination to harm businesses. Government has to work very hard to create a situation as effective in thwarting the desire and the ability of American businessmen to grow their businesses and the economy. The federal government alone is extracting 25% of the GDP for its spending, which is up from an excessive 20% under Bush and Clinton. In addition, Obama has laid many new operating expenses upon businesses with mandates, new expensive regulations, higher taxes, and ObamaCare. These and his constant anti-business, collectivist rhetoric have made it unreasonable for many businesses to invest in added production and in hiring new employees.
It is very obvious that Obama and his backers do not care about the welfare of the American people. When many cannot find decent jobs, they become more vulnerable to long-term unemployment, to under-employment, to addictions and health problems, and to lacking the means to retire in their old age. The con artist is effective in pretending to care about some Americans, but you have to look at the result of his actions. It is important not to allow him to misdirect our attention with his magic tricks.
There is at least one good piece of employment news as a result of the Obama Depression. The number of government workers across the country has been falling. That is fewer people creating bollixing laws and regulations and demanding very high salaries, rich working benefits, and unbelievable retirement benefits. The two sharp upward spikes are due to the hiring of census workers for the 2000 and 2010 censuses.
In looking this data up, I came across myriad articles construing this data as that for only federal employees. Therefore there were many claims that Obama was decreasing the size of the federal government or of public employment. These included an article in Forbes magazine, a claim by Paul Krugman, and one by Media Matters. Unbelievably, they either thought that there were 22 million federal employees or they were trying to give Obama credit for restraining the growth of local and state government employment in a most deceptive way. I shudder to think how much damage 22 million federal employees would do.
The federal government actually takes years to release the information on the number of its employees. It does not want us to know. But I did find that in 2011, the total number of federal employees, including the armed forces, was 4.403 million, of whom about 2.76 million were civilian employees. It is perfectly clear that the above charted data from the BLS surveys is for all government employees, most of whom are either local or state government employees. The reduction in government workers seen here is due to the reduction of local and state employees as their tax revenues fell off. Unlike the federal government, they cannot simply print money to pay their employees.