Stimulus spending effects

President Barack Obama likes to boast that trillions of dollars in “stimulus” spending of various types has put more Americans back to work.

It has not.

Unemployment rates are down slightly only because fewer people are looking for work. The civilian labor force participation rate – the percentage of people 16 and older in the work force who have jobs or are looking for them – is at its lowest rate since mid-1978. Fewer than two-thirds of Americans in the work force are on payrolls or seeking jobs.

In November 2008, when Obama was elected president largely on the strength of promises to provide more jobs, 144,100,000 Americans were working, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Last month, total employment was just 70,000 higher, also according to the BLS.

In other words, the economy has been treading water for the past five years – but you wouldn’t know that from listening to the Obama administration.