To be fair to DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, her argument here isn’t as blatantly absurd and fallacious as it initially sounds. She doesn’t seem to be saying the unemployment rate hasn’t increased at all under Obama – that would be impossible to argue – just that numbers haven’t consistently gone up. After all, they dropped back down below 9 percent in November.
That claim is still faulty, because it doesn’t take into account the millions who have dropped out of the job market altogether since Obama took office. The dwindling pool of job-seekers has been the real source of the decreasing unemployment rate during the past few months, not anything the White House has done:
That said, Wasserman Schultz’s argument is incredibly misleading. Ed Morrissey rounds up the numbers:
- Jobless rate in January 2009: 7.8%. Jobless rate in November 2011: 8.6%.
- Number of employed in January 2009, in thousands: 133,563. In November 2011: 131,708
- Civilian participation rate in January 2009: 65.7%. In November 2011: 64.0%
- Unemployment level in January 2009, in thousands: 11,984. In November 2011: 13,303
- Number of people not in labor force, January 2009, in thousands: 80,554. In November 2011: 86,558
The White House’s messaging on job-creation has been all over the place recently. Back in the early fall, Obama was bashing Republicans in Congress for failing to tackle the unemployment problem by passing his critically necessary jobs bill. Now DSW is basically arguing that the unemployment situation really isn’t that bad, and it’s in the process of resolving itself anyway. No jobs bill necessary.