PHOENIX, December 13, 2011 — Florida representative and Democratic National Committee chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has again embarrassed herself with a ridiculous statement.
On Monday, Fox News host Gretchen Carlson told Representative Schultz (D-Fla), “Unemployment has gone up precipitously since he [Obama] took office.” Schultz responded, “That is simply not true. In fact, unemployment has now dropped below 9%. It’s continuing to drop.”
Unfortunately for Schultz, reality is uglier than that.
The official unemployment rate fell from 9% to 8.6% last month, but when Obama took office, the official rate was 7.8%. He promised to to keep unemployment under 8% when he took office, but only three years into his administration has it finally dropped below 9%. It would have fallen eventually anyway, and it seems more like he’s waited out the worst of it rather than actively made things better.
The total unemployment rate is worse. The number of employed Americans in January 2009 was 133,563,000. The number is currently 131,708,000. Civilian labor force participation rate has fallen two points since January 2009, from almost 66% to 64%.
Rep. Schultz fails to realize that the declining number of jobs and the declining labor force participation mean that the total unemployment rate, which includes people who have given up looking for jobs, who are now sitting at home with no hope of finding a job, and who aren’t counted as unemployed, is now over 15%. “Only” 9% of Americans are unemployed, but about one in six of those who would like to be working isn’t. Throw in part-time workers who would like to work full-time, and the picture is even worse.
Sticking to the official unemployment rate, even the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has stated that the unemployment rate “under current laws,” will remain at 9% through 2012.
Wasserman Schultz’s statement is so far from reality, you’d think the Democrat party would chose a different chairperson.
To reduce unemployment to just 8% by Election Day 2012, the economy will have to create roughly 270,000 jobs a month between now and then. That isn’t likely to happen.
In November, 120,000 net jobs were added, and many of those are seasonal. Historically, no president has won re-election with unemployment over 7.2% since 1948.
History and facts are against President Obama and Rep. Wasserman Schultz.
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