Luetkemeyer Column- The Shocking Truth About Jobs


By:  Blaine Luetkemeyer
Date: Oct. 19, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

The one evident truth about our economy is that too many people are hurting because too many people are out of work. When I hear from folks who just want an opportunity to work, it affects me in the most profound way. These very personal stories of struggle have motivated me to support over 30 bills that would not only help put people back to work but would help all Americans improve their quality of life. You can find out more about these bills at

With this in mind, I have become increasingly angry over the abject failure of the president and the unwarranted refusal of the Democratic Senate to support these bills. It is time for the Senate and the administration to face the reality of what American families are facing on a daily basis. It is time to choose progress over politics. Too many promises have been made and, as most of you know, very little has been accomplished despite our best efforts in the House of Representatives.

In January 2009, the administration forecasted there would be 137.6 million jobs in December 2010. Instead there were 130.3 million jobs in December 2010. Even 21 months later in September 2012, there are just 133.5 million jobs -- 4.1 million fewer than the administration's forecast for late 2010.

Since January 2009, the number of full-time employees has fallen over 600,000 while part-time employment has grown by almost 1.4 million. This means part-time workers account for all of the net employment growth since Obama took office -- the opposite of what the administration predicted when they said their stimulus plan was "likely to move many workers from part-time to full-time work."

Let's also remember that September's 7.8 percent unemployment rate remains far above the 5.5 percent rate the administration predicted in their January 2009 report on the projected effects of stimulus. Three years ago, the president predicted unemployment would be at 7.8 percent in September 2009.

If the unemployment rate included the discouraged workers who dropped out or never joined the workforce, the September 2012 unemployment rate would be 10.9 percent. That same month, there were 4.8 million folks who were unemployed for more than six months, which is two million more than when President Obama took office in January 2009.

These are not encouraging facts, but they are facts nonetheless. There are several of us in Congress who go home each weekend from Washington, D.C. and hear face-to-face from those of you want to know what we're doing to put the failures of the past behind us. People don't want to depend on a government check or some other federal hand-out.

Americans still believe that this is the land of opportunity and an opportunity is all they are asking for. In the months ahead, I will fight for that opportunity by continuing to fight for policies that create jobs and expand our economy. It's not too late, but the clock is ticking.

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