The unemployment number you don’t hear about

By Tom Quiner

We know the unemployment rate remains high under the Obama economy.

We know the unemployment rate is actually much higher due to folks who have just given up looking for a job in the Obama economy.

We know the unemployment rate for black teenagers is astronomical in the Obama economy.

What isn’t reported so much is how long American workers remain unemployed. Back in the early years of the Reagan administration, the average number of weeks someone remained unemployed was about 22 weeks. That was the worst America had seen post World War II. Of course, Mr. Reagan was undoing the stagflation he inherited from Jimmy Carter and the Democratically-controlled Congress.

President Obama also inherited a bad economy. When he was inaugurated, the average length of unemployment was a substantial 18.8 weeks.

He set out to do something about it.

He pushed through a new entitlement, Obamacare.

He ratcheted up government regulations, beginning with Dodd-Frank.

He spent trillions on stimulus spending to create new jobs.

He scolded the productive and successful, reminding them that they didn’t build their businesses themselves. Government deserved the credit.

The Reagan approach of tax reductions, government deregulation, and a tight money policy by the Fed cut the length of time folks remained unemployed in half by the time he left office.

The Obama approach has more than doubled the rate to a previously unimaginable 42 weeks. Just look at the chart above for the detail.

The president tells us he needs another term to finish the job.

I’m concerned that another term of his kind of policies will finish us off.


  1. illero on August 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    We are fighting multiple influences on this number. On the one hand, we are fighting the job market itself. On the other hand, we are fighting the bureacracy that is making it more “comfortable” to be on the government dole, providing less incentive to take those $7.25 to $10.00-an-hour jobs that really ARE out there. The extension of this is not comfortable to contemplate.