Peter Morici | Why America’s unemployment rate remains so high

In the weakest recovery since the Great Depression, most of the reduction in  unemployment from its 10.0 percent peak in October 2009 has been accomplished  through a significant drop in the percentage of adults working or looking for  work. Were adult labor-force participation the same today, the unemployment rate  would be 9.7 percent.

Adding in part time workers who would prefer full employment but can’t find  it, the unemployment rate becomes 14.4 percent. It rose above 14 percent in the  wake of the financial crisis and remains stuck there.

Convincing millions of Americans they don’t want a job or compelling  desperate workers to settle for part time work has been the Obama  administration’s most effective jobs program.


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