Tuesday, October 22, 2013

More Americans Unemployed Today than in 2009

  • From December 2007 to June 2009 the Great Recession initially accounted for 8.7 million lost jobs.

  • 4 years ago the New York Times reported that 15.7 million were unemployed and that the unemployment rate was 10.2%.

  • Yesterday the Secretary of Labor just said that 7.6 million new private-sector jobs were created over the last 43 months, and that the unemployment rate dropped again to 7.2%.

  • But during that same period of time, 12 million people also graduated from high school (averaging 3 million a year).
8.7 million Lost jobs from December 2007 to June 2009 (+ jobs lost since June 2009)
+ 18.0 million High school grads (3 million a year for 6 years --- for the years '08,'09,'10,'11,'12 and 2013
= 26.7 million Total jobs needed to be where we were in December 2007
7.6 million Jobs created from June 2009 to September 2013
= 19.1 million Possibly unemployed, but the government says only 11.3 million
* *
11.3 million Currently reported unemployed
+ 6.3 million Discouraged workers that Labor Department says "persons who currently want a job"
= 17.6 million Total unemployed, but some people say 19.93 million want full-time work
Conclusion: So 4 years ago 15.7 million Americans were counted as unemployed and today over 17.6 million are out of work --- for a difference of 1.9 million more people unemployed today than there were 4 years ago, but yet, the unemployment rate went down 3 percentage points since then (because the labor participation rate is much lower?)
As an aside: The Republican Governor of Maine said that 47 percent of able-bodied Maine residents do not work. (So the State of Maine has a 47% unemployment rate.)


  1. Dean Baker:

    "The reality is that the economy needs more spending and there is no plausible story where the additional spending is going to come from the private sector in the immediate future. If the government is not prepared to boost spending, then we will continue to see an economy that is down close to 9 million jobs from its trend level."


  2. Robert Reich:

    "If the same percentage of Americans were in the workforce today as when Barack Obama took office, today's unemployment rate would be 10.8 percent."


  3. Dean Baker:

    "The unemployment rate is now down by 2.8 percentage points from its 10.0 percent peak in October of 2009."


  4. The Economic Populist:

    "Overall job growth was barely enough to keep up with the growing population...The United States is now down -1.72 million jobs from December 2007."