c More than 1.1 million of these dropouts were classified as “discouraged workers in January,” and so they were not counted among the unemployed. “The remaining 1.7 million had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding.”
c In January, there was a total of 7.3 million job losers and persons who had completed temporary jobs but with no new employment in sight.
c The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) stood at 5.5 million and accounted for 42.9 percent of the unemployed.
c The number of persons working only part time for economic reasons remained relatively unchanged at 8.2 million. They were working part time “because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.”
The Gallup Poll, much to its credit, believes that the government’s 8.3 percent jobless rate does not reflect a complete picture of unemployment in America today. So it offers and regularly publishes its “underemployment rate,” based on its national surveys. Their underemployment rate stood at 19.1 percent on Thursday.
Congress was preparing to vote on a compromise but significantly slimmed-down version of the president’s big-spending jobs plan - slashing it from $425 billion to $150 billion. But there is nothing in this bill that will create many jobs.
Its chief provisions include a 10-month extension of the Social Security payroll-tax cut for workers, and extending unemployment benefits until the end of the year.
The payroll-tax holiday cut the tax on wages from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent for workers, but there’s little or no evidence this is producing many jobs. That will require tax cuts for businesses, especially small businesses, and the president’s campaign agenda calls for raising taxes on the very people who create or expand businesses.
Extending unemployment benefits, as welcome as it is for the unemployed, is a safety-net program that does not create any new jobs.
As Mr. Obama limps into the fourth year of his presidency, his record on the economy has been a dismal one that has given us anemic, subpar growth and untold human misery for millions of jobless workers and struggling businesses.
As for the faint signs of modest recovery we are seeing, we can thank the ingenuity, ambition, resilience and spirit of enterprise in the American business community.
The only thing holding us back now is Mr. Obama.
Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and former chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.