This Chart on Labor Force ‘Growth’ Will Shock You

The Senate Budget Committee Republican staff under Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) on Monday released the following chart illustrating that, since January 2009, for every one person added to the labor force, 10 have been added to those not in the labor force:

As the chart clearly indicates, since taking office in January 2009, the labor force under President Barack Obama has grown by a mere 827,000 while 8,208,000 have been added to the “not in the labor force” category.

“The numbers represented in the chart are a measure of growth from January 2009 through September 2012,” the senator’s office explains. “The data is sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey, a sample of 60,000 households conducted by personal and telephone interviews. Basic labor force data are gathered monthly.”

“The labor force consists of all people aged 16 and over either employed or actively seeking work. It does not include discouraged workers, people who have retired, or those on welfare or disability who are no longer looking for work. The ‘not in the labor force’ group is defined as the total civilian non-institutional population minus the labor force,” they add.

And as the Alabama senator himself stresses, this chart isn’t meant to set one party against another — it’s to make the American people aware that our country as a whole is “on the wrong track” and that we have serious economic issues that need addressing.

“The essential point of this chart is not simply how many people are employed or unemployed, but to illustrate that more and more people are simply not part of the U.S. labor force. This confirms that we are on the wrong track. It is unsustainable to have such a large and growing number of people who are not part of the productive economy,” explains Sen. Sessions, according the Weekly Standard.

“This is not a political argument, but a description of the underlying instability in our economy that has so many Americans worried about the future. The question is what can we do to reverse these trends and start moving in the right direction,” he adds.

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This story has been updated.