When President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness last gathered in January, he boasted, “This has not been a show council. This has been a work council. I have been tracking implementation of [the council‘s] recommendations. And we’ve seen substantial progress across the board.”
Substantial progress? Six months after that meeting, unemployment remains stuck at 8.2 percent. The reality is even worse than this number suggests: Labor Department statistics only count those who have actively sought work in the preceding four weeks. If you’ve been unemployed for so long that you have decided to drop out of the labor force altogether and, say, (1) retire early, (2) move into your parent’s basement, or (3) go back to school, the government does not count you as unemployed, though you do not, in fact, have a job (you gotta love government accounting).
As Mort Zuckerman notes for US News & World Report, “If we include, as we should, people who have applied for a job in the last 12 months, and those employed part-time who want full-time work, the real unemployment number is closer to 15 percent.”