Two More Studies Show U.S. Labor Force Destruction Under Obama

Two More Studies Show U.S. Labor Force Destruction Under Obama

March 22, 2014 • 3:50PM

Studies published by the Brookings Institution and by Princeton University economists give new pictures of the United States’ labor force crumbling in mass unemployment under Barack Obama (and George W. Bush).

The study directed by Princeton economist Alan Krueger, who is a former head of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, shows the situation of Americans unemployed more than six months since the 2007-08 crash, to be even worse than previously reported. The economists followed people in 28 states who reached the six-months-of-unemployment mark sometime between 2008 and 2012. They found that 15 months later — including up to the present in many cases — only one-third of those people had found employment, a third were “officially unemployed”, and a third had dropped out of the labor force. Because the number of more-than-six-months unemployed is again rising and up to 3.8 million in February 2014, this represents more than 1.25 million workers dropped out.

The study further found that only one-third of those who were working (i.e., just 11% of all the long-term unemployed) had found full-time employment.

55% of these long-term unemployed are men, workers in their 50s are overrepresented, and so are black workers, who make up 22% of those unemployed over six months.

The Brookings study is entitled “The Plunging Labor Market Fortunes of Teens and Young Adults.” It considers, appropriately, precisely the period of the three terms of two disastrous Presidents, 2000-2012. Instead of conflicting and often fraudulent unemployment rates, it looks at rates of employment of the total work-eligible populations of different age groups in America over that period.

The study finds that the younger the cohort of Americans, the worse the collapse in employment under George W. Bush and Obama. For teenagers, the employment rate has fallen nearly by half, to 26%. For those 20-24, it has fallen by a fifth, to 60%. For those 25-34, it is down by one-ninth, to 72%; for those 35-54, by one-tenth, to 75%. Ironically, the only increase for any age cohort is among those 65-74 years old, 25% of them working well past the previously attainable retirement age.

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