Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Disappearing Workforce

The pathetic pawns in the media have been hailing the turnaround in unemployment numbers. The unemployment rate is currently 8.3%, down significantly over the last few months. The jobs numbers haven't been enough to explain the unexpected good news. The numbers have been good in as much as there is a dwindling workforce. We haven't seen this low of a labor participation rate since the early eighties. The low participation rate in the early eighties is attributable to a recession but more importantly to a time when less households had multiple breadwinners. Throughout the nineties and the turn of the century many households had dual incomes to make ends meet. In fact having dual income earners became almost a necessity just to get by. Yet the numbers on the participation rate keep getting worse. Where has the workforce gone?

The answer is partially revealed in a New York Post Column today. It seems the unemployed are waiting for their extended unemployment checks and benefits to run out and then they file for disability. The number of people on disability is 10.5 million people or 5.3% of the population between 25 and 64. This is an 18% increase since the recession and many of these people will continue on disability even after jobs return. After all why work when there is free money to be had. The justification is mental illness probably associated with stress because of joblessness. Mental stress is understandable, but where are the pathetic pawns highlighting the failure of this administration to address joblessness and the economy? After all Obama through a trillion dollars at the problem and then ignored it for almost three years. Now because its election year Obama is busy blaming the Republicans.

We are failing as a country and offering free benefits is going to become an issue as people find there is no other way out. Instead of welfare as we used to know it, now we welfare in the form of disability insurance that will crush the economy just as the other entitlement programs the government runs. Want to find the missing labor force? Just go to the local Social Security Administration office and watch the disability claims come in for curious claims of mental stress. Some of the claims are likely necessary. However, it is a shame the pathetic pawns continue carrying Obama's water while the workforce continues to decline and disability claims continue to rise.

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