Everywhere I have turned in the last few days; I have heard and reheard President Obama’s assertion that “he” created over 11 million new jobs in the last 5 years. While it might be true that businesses have created 11 million jobs (not Obama), what President Obama fails to mention is that he has been in office 6 years and during his first year in office the economy lost over 4 million jobs. Even with the new jobs created, at best, the economy has created a net amount of 7 million private sector jobs. However, due to the fact that there has also been a loss in government jobs, under President Obama there has been a creation of, at most, 6.4 million jobs during his time in office.
What President Obama and most media outlets also failed to mention is that in order to keep up with population growth, the economy needs to create at least 125,000 jobs per month or 9,000,000 jobs in the 72 months since President Obama took office. To put it another way, for President Obama to match the health of the jobs market when he took office, the economy would have needed to create an additional 2,600,000 jobs.
If you still think President Obama’s assertion that he has restored the United States economic health is true, here are just a few of the statistics regarding the economy and labor force that may change your mind:
- The current labor force participation rate is 62.7%, which matches the lowest rate on record. The lowest rate on record was set in September 2014.
- Since the beginning of the Great Recession (2008), only 943,000 more people are employed, but the number of individuals over the age of 16 has grown by 14,159,000.
- Worker’s wages have stayed stagnated. In constant dollars (dollars adjusted for inflation), worker’s wages have actually decreased.
- The Consumer Price Index has increased by 11.2% since President Obama took office, even with the price of energy dropping by more than half in the last few months.
The statistic that shocked me the most was the fact that since the beginning of the Great Recession (beginning of 2008), only 943,000 more people are employed. If you compare the average employment rate for 2008 to the average employment rate for 2014, you find that in 2008 there were 145,362,000 individuals employed. In 2014, there were just 146,305,000 individuals employed or 943,000 more than 2008, even though the population of individuals over the age of the 16 has grown by more than 14 million.
The way President Obama made it sound in his SOTU address, the United States is in the midst of economic recovery, everyone who needs a job has one, and it is all due to his leadership and policies. The truth of the matter is that we have endured the worst economic recovery on record and much of it is due to President Obama’s policies. Even with the millions of new jobs that have been created and the fact that people’s confidence in the economy is increasing, we still have a long way to go to reach pre-recession economic levels and if President Obama keeps pushing his big government policies, we may never get there.