Gardner: Labor stats don’t support rosy portrait of Obama years (letter) |

Gardner: Labor stats don’t support rosy portrait of Obama years (letter)

This is in response to “Fear-mongering and deception” by Mark Kromholz. Mr. Krombolz did not provide his data source for the labor statistics that he quoted in his article but they seem to conflict with the official numbers reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

All of the labor statistics contained in my letter can be found on the BLS website. Mr. Kromholz appears to overstate his labor statistics. In 2008, when Mr. Obama took office, the civilian labor force totaled 154.4 million workers and today the BLS reported that number is 157.1 million. The increase of 2.7 million during Mr. Obama’s term in office differs significantly from Mr. Kromholz claim of 12.8 million jobs created. Also when Mr. Obama took office, the BLS reported an unemployment rate of 7.8%, not 9%. Today the BLS reported an unemployment rate of 5.1% (down from 5.3% in July), not Mr. Kromholz’s 5.5% rate.

In 2001, when Mr. Bush took office, the civilian labor force totaled 142.6 million. That’s an increase of 11.8 million over Mr. Bush’s term in office to the start of Mr. Obama’s term. Since Mr. Bush had about 16 more months in office than Mr. Obama has so far, it is not fair to compare Mr. Obama’s 2.7 million increase to Mr. Bush’s 11.8 million but it seems unrealistic that the civilian labor force will increase by over 9 million in the next 16 months. Seems like Mr. Bush’s term will trump (small ‘t’ pun intended) Mr. Obama’s term.

Maybe Mr. Kromholz should have mentioned a promise made by the Obama administration in early 2009 in order to obtain approval for spending $825 billion of your tax dollars, also know as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The promise was that the unemployment rate would not reach 8%. Not only did the unemployment rate top out at 10% but it also reached or exceeded the 8% threshold for 43 consecutive months or more than 3.5 years. He also didn’t mention that the participation rate has decreased 3.4% under Mr. Obama as a result of 14.5 million more people dropping out of the labor force. This is important because these people are not included in the 5.1% unemployment rate but if they were the rate would be nearly 9%.

I wrote this letter so the Summit Daily readers would get fair and balanced (and accurate) labor statistics as reported by the BLS.

Charles Gardner


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