How Many Americans Are Really Out of Work? How 14.5% Underemployment Will Crush Obama

Welcome back Carter.

With every passing month, our economy and job market slides further and further back towards the dismal numbers of the Carter administration.

While it’s true that the official unemployment rate is falling, that doesn’t include the millions of nonworking adults who aren’t even looking for a job anymore.

The official unemployment rate is 8.1% — the so-called U-3 — but everybody understands by now that that number excludes millions who have either dropped out of the labor force altogether, or can’t find full-time work. A broader measure which accounts for these points, the U-6, is at 14.5%.

The labor force participation rate, which measures the share of working-age people currently working, has sunk to 64.3% — the lowest since 1981, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That means 86 million people are invisible unemployed, according to the Labor Department.

This caused S&P to end the week as its worst yet in 2012.

This is precisely what catapulted Ronald Reagan into the White House in 1980. The country was still suffering the effects of a crippling recession, with any hope of an economic recovery crushed by an over-controlling federal government and uncertainty over our future. Jimmy Carter blamed the American people for being soft and lazy instead of looking at his own misguided economic faith in big government solutions and redistribution of wealth policies. But Reagan firmly believed in free market economic solutions and understood what most Americans want: opportunity, freedom, and a belief that tomorrow will be better than today.

The Obama administration will now have to abandon any hopes of Reaganesque economic recovery for the same reasons Carter did – big government spending policies only lead to economic stagnation.

On top of that, the federal debt has now eclipsed our entire GDP, leading to a first ever credit rating downgrade, rising inflation, and social safety nets going completely broke within the next 20 years.

There’s no way the Obama 2012 campaign staff in Chicago can spin this. It’s bad any way you look at it.

So what will they use to distract voters from the bad news? Contraceptives, dogs, the Buffet Rule, whatever it takes.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

John Giokaris

John Giokaris has been contributing to PolicyMic since February 2011. Born and raised in Chicago, John graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a double major in Journalism and Political Science and is currently earning his J.D. at The John Marshall Law School. John believes in free market principles, private sector solutions, transparency, school choice, constitutionally limited government, and being a good steward of taxpayer dollars. His goals are to empower/create opportunity for citizens to use the tools at their disposal to succeed in America, which does more to grow the middle class and alleviate those in poverty than keeping a permanent underclass dependent on government sustenance indefinitely. Sitting on the Board of Directors for both the center-right Chicago Young Republicans and libertarian America's Future Foundation-Chicago, he is also a member of the free market think tank Illinois Policy Institute's Leadership Coalition team along with other leaders of the Illinois business, political, and media communities. John has seven years experience working in writing/publishing, having previously worked at Law Bulletin Publishing, the Tribune Company, and Reboot Illinois. His works have been published in the Chicago Tribune, U.S. News & World Report, Crain's Chicago Business, Reboot Illinois, Townhall, the Law Bulletin, and the RedEye. He's also made appearances on CBS News, PBS, and Al Jazeera America.

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