Obama Unemployment Reality: Number Of Americans Not Working At Record High

The Obama unemployment rate is at 4.7 percent as of the end of December 2016, which is a few points below the rate he started with in 2009 of over seven percent and much lower than the all-time high during his presidency of 10 percent.

The Obama unemployment rate, by most accounts, paints the picture of a president who was successful at improving the job market, but this picture leaves out a few key factors that, if included in the final Obama unemployment calculation, would bump the 4.7 percent way up.

CNS News reports that despite the current Obama unemployment percentage, in reality, it’s much higher because of what is left out of the calculations that yield the final number.

Obama unemployment rate calculations
[Image by Vodopyanov Vyacheslav/Shutterstock]

The Obama unemployment rate that has been reported to Americans during the last several years does not factor in the number of people who have left the workforce and no longer seeking employment, and that number, according to CNS News, recently hit a record high.

“Barack Obama’s presidency began with a record number of Americans not in the labor force, and it’s ending the same way.”

More than 14.5 million Americans have stopped working for good since Obama took office, which indicates an unemployment growth of just over 18 percent from then until now.

The Obama unemployment percentage of 4.7 is what you get when leaving out the 95,102,000 unemployed Americans who have given up looking for work. This number was already growing before Obama was elected, and he wasn’t able to stop it.

The month of November 2016 was also record-setting as the number of unemployed in the U.S. had just surpassed 95 million. In December, that record was again shattered.

The official Obama unemployment rates being reported to the people make it look as if records are being broken in Obama’s favor, and that there are more people employed in the country than ever before. Reports say only 7.5 million are out of work, but when a significant portion of the population (over 95 million) does get counted in the unemployment tally, obviously that 7.5 million is deceiving.

“People over age 16 who are no longer working or even looking for work, for whatever reason (retirement, school, personal preference, or gave up), are counted as not participating in the labor force.”

Add these people in, the Obama unemployment rate suddenly skyrockets.

According to Quartz, in order to be considered “employed” by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which is the organization that measures the U.S. unemployment rate, one has only had to have worked one hour in a week’s time. Also, if one hasn’t looked for work for four consecutive weeks, they’re kicked out of the final unemployment rate tally.

In November 2016, statistics indicated that upwards of 5.5 million Americans were not working at this time but desired to be doing so. If this statistic was allowed to have been counted as significant, the Obama unemployment rate for this past November would have been 8.2 percent, almost four points higher than the actual percentage of 4.6.

It’s not that BLS or even the Obama administration are purposely lying to Americans when it comes to Obama unemployment statistics, according to Quartz, but rather the numerical data being used (as well as not being used) to yield the unemployment rate is flawed because it doesn’t accurately reflect the actual amount of out-of-work Americans.

“Among the group of people that the BLS considers out of the labor force, there is too much variety in their ‘labor force attachment’ (the economic term for the likelihood a person will return to the labor market) to simply disregard them.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics building
Picture of Bureau of Labor Statistics headquarters in Washington D.C. on November 12, 2015. [Image by Mark Van Scyoc/Shutterstock]

It was pointed out by Nobel Peace Prize winner James Heckman over 30 years ago that unemployment rates should not be tallied as a numerical value but rather be ranked to a degree.

Recently, a small group of economic experts came together to figure out a more accurate way to measure unemployment. Utilizing statistics from 2010, they successfully formulated an approach they called the “nonemployment index.”

Unlike the Obama unemployment rate, the nonemployment index takes into consideration people who aren’t working but wish to by categorizing them into groups and giving each a specific value based on those groups.

When the nonemployment index is compared to the Obama unemployment rate of the last several years, the former is consistently higher, though still lower than if the aforementioned record 95.1 million Americans were part of the equation.

If you believe the Obama unemployment rate does not seem to be accurately reflective of the U.S.’s current economic status, now you know why. Should the method of calculation for unemployment be changed? Let us know in the comments below.

[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]