I have revised this entry because I just found the statistics going back to 1940. I’m only going back to 1947, however, because between 1940 and 1947, the Bureau of Labor Statistics counts civilian, non-institutionalized population 14 and over, rather then 16 and over. (In 1947, they counted both ways.)
Also, there will be a benchmark adjustment applied in next month’s statistics that is expected to make the employment picture look considerably worse than it does right now.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers released Friday, of all these years, 2009 was the worst. There are over 6.4 million fewer employed people at the beginning of 2010 than there were at the beginning of 2009. That drop is about half again as bad as any previous year. There are nearly three million more people excluded from the labor force. And in that time, the civilian non-institutionalized population grew by about three million.
In essence, employment has gone off a cliff since the recession began in December 2007. And claims that we are bottoming out are speculative at best.
But Barack Obama, who rushed to aid the banks, who is continuing exorbitant spending on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and who is widening those wars to ever more countries, said of job creation, “We all know there are limits to what government can and should do even during such difficult times.”
John B. Judis, writing for the New Republic, has offered an admiring comparison: Barack Obama is the new Herbert Hoover.