White House economic report hides sharp drop in number of working Americans

Neil Munro
The Daily Caller

White House officials are trying to downplay the growing political damage caused by a shrinking federal statistic: the percentage of working-age Americans who actually have jobs.

The increasingly visible statistic shows that roughly 11 million working-age Americans are being excluded from the nation’s formal tally of 13.75 million unemployed Americans.

Today’s 2012 Economic Report of the President attempts to bury the statistic in a 448-page blizzard of statistics, jargon and reassuring comparisons. “In the last 23 months, businesses have created 3.7 million jobs,” says the upbeat report, released at 4 p.m. on a Friday afternoon by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Democrats are touting downward ticks of the formal unemployment rate to 8.3 percent, but Republicans are making an increased effort to highlight the painfully low employment participation rate.

A new chart produced by the Republican Study Committee shows the downward jumps of that job-participation rate, even after President Barack Obama deployed his trillion-dollar stimulus in February 2009, and after Obama declared the summer of 2010 a “Recovery Summer.”

“I expect you will be seeing this chart on the House floor during debates, it will be shown at town hall meetings and in district events,” committee spokesman Brian Straessle told The Daily Caller.

Amid the optimistic text in today’s economic report, the detailed tables reveal a sharp statistical decline…

…By excluding those non-working Americans, the White House can claim that the formal unemployment rate has fallen to 8.3 percent in January 2012, down from a peak of 10 percent in 2009.

But that 8.3 percent rate only include unemployed Americans who have looked for a job in the four weeks before a sample is taken. It does not include the more than 11 million Americans who have given up looking for jobs or who have quit the workforce entirely…

The complete article is at The Daily Caller.

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