Nancy Pelosi stepped in front of the cameras to defend Barack Obama and the Democrats' record on job creation and the economy recently. The former Speaker of the House said the President had been "a job creator from day one." As if that statement alone didn't sufficiently prove her detachment from reality, she added that "if President Obama and House Congressional Democrats had not acted, we would be at 15 percent unemployment." (video here)
Nancy should have left the numbers to somebody who actually understands them, because a little analysis of the real tragic situation in the workforce reveals that the total number of unemployed in America is much closer to 15 percent than the former Speaker apparently realizes, and there is plenty more bad news, too.
It is true that according to the Labor Department's October 2011 report, 13.9 million Americans are unemployed by definition. However, that definition and calculation does not include the 6.57 million who have given up even trying to find a job, and are not considered as part of the total labor force. When both groups are included, a more accurate unemployment rate of about 13 percent results.
As the following chart demonstrates, the size of the working age population has increased almost 6.5 million since Obama took office. However, the total labor force has remained essentially unchanged.
In addition, for all the talk of jobs saved-or-created by Obama and the Democrats, the numbers tell a different story; nearly 2 million fewer people even have a job than when the President took office, and again, the available workforce is larger by 6.5 million.
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