Sen. Thune: Unemployment Rate Would Be 10% with Pre-Obama Workforce Participation

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | August 1, 2014 | 3:06 PM EDT

Sen. John Thune (R-SD) says the unemployment rate would be about ten percent if so many Americans hadn't given up looking for jobs.

In a Senate speech on Wednesday, Sen. Thune refuted a recent claim by Pres. Obama that, "By almost every measure, we are better off than when I took office." After citing declining household income and rising prices, Thune explained how the current unemployment rate is misleading:

"In 2009, president's advisors predicted the unemployment rate would fall below six percent in 2012. Two years later, unemployment still hasn't fallen below six percent.

"And, the only reason the unemployment rate is as low as it is, is because so many Americans have given up looking for work and dropped out of the labor force altogether. If the labor force participation rate were as high today as it was when the president took office, our unemployment rate would be about ten percent."

Today, reported that 11.4 million Americans have left the workforce since President Obama took office in January 2009, according to data released today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

A quick scan of the news also appears to contradict the president's claim: