Dismal Jobs Figures Don’t Increase Official Unemployment Rate, As Job-Seekers Give Up, Or Go On Disability

by Hans Bader on April 5, 2013

in Deregulate to Stimulate, Economy, Employment

The stock market has fallen this morning in response to the dismal March jobs report released this morning, which showed that a meager 88,000 jobs were added, which didn’t even keep up with America’s population growth or increases in its working-age population. Ed Morrissey notes at Hot Air, “The jobs added fall far short of the 125K-150K needed just to keep up with population growth.”

Nevertheless, the official “unemployment rate fell another tick, from 7.7 percent to 7.6 percent,” notes Howard Portnoy. Why? “According to the report some 496,000 Americans stopped working or looking for work.” Why did they stop looking for work? One reason is that many able-bodied unemployed people, with the encouragement of the Obama administration and many state governments, are going on Social Security Disability, citing vague maladies like depression, or personality disorders. Once they go on Social Security Disability, they virtually never go off before reaching retirement age. And they are no longer counted as unemployed in the official unemployment rate. The cost of Social Security Disability payments and government healthcare for its recipients now costs taxpayers “around $200 billion per year — more than the budgets of the Departments of Commerce, Energy, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, and State combined.”

Some employers have stopped hiring due to Obamacare, and others are cutting full-time workers and replacing them with part-time workers to avoid Obamacare mandates that apply to full-time employees, note the Huffington Post and Fox News. Obamacare caused layoffs in the medical device industry. Liberal Minnesota Senator Al Franken conceded that the medical-device tax contained in Obamacare will reduce employment. Last year, Franken called it a “job-killing tax” that will “impair American competitiveness in the medical device field.” Obamacare will cut employment by an additional 800,000 because of work disincentives and bizarre income-cliffs.

 

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