Since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, the number of employed Americans increased by 9.9 million, but there were 14.6 million more who left the labor force, according to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
From January 2009 through December 2016, there were 9,959,000 more Americans 16 years and over who became employed. In that same time frame, there were 14,573,000 more Americans 16 years and over who were not in the labor force, which means they did not have a job or look for one in the past four weeks.
The labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of the population that participated in the labor force by either having a job or looking for one, declined for all Americans during Obama’s time in office from 65.7 percent to 62.7 percent. In September 2015, the participation dipped to 62.4 percent—the lowest level seen in recent times since 1977.