June 15, 2011
Twenty-eight months after Congress passed President Obama’s signature economic stimulus law, and nearly one year after he declared the summer of 2010 to be “Recovery Summer,” 1.9 million fewer people are employed.
In February 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 141.7 million people were employed. By the end of May 2011 – the last month for which data are available – that number had fallen to 139.8 million, a difference of 1.9 million.
While the number of people with jobs has increased slightly from its low point during the recession – 137.9 million in December 2009 – those 1.9 million jobs have been lost despite $800 billion in stimulus spending.
This does not mean that the economy is not creating jobs, but rather that it is not creating jobs fast enough to keep up with a combination of layoffs and people entering the job market for the first time.