Early in the second presidential debate at Hofstra University, Obama answered a question from a young voter seeking reassurance that he will be able to find a job after he graduates. Obama responded, “And what I want to do is build on the 5 million jobs that we’ve created over the last 30 months in the private sector alone.”
Was Obama telling the truth? Well, not really.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2007 on the eve of the recession, there were 146.6 million Americans working. Today, there are 145.8 million Americans in jobs. So nearly 7 years later, we are still 800,000 jobs below the previous peak. That’s some jobs recovery.
But the missing jobs in this economic recovery are much higher than that. A new analysis of the labor force numbers by Heritage Foundation economists places the real jobs deficit in America closer to 5.5 million, even after accounting for changes in population and demographics.
“Materially misleading” is what occurs when you leave out important details, such as the number of jobs that were lost against those gained. While those 5 million “new jobs” were being created (it’s actually only 3.6 million, but who’s counting) the labor force was contracting, severely it turns out.