"The truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over the decades," Obama said in his speech at the Democrat National Convention last night. However, the increasing number of people not looking for work (and not counted as "unemployed,") is not a decades-old problem.
|Labor Force Participation Rate|
However, this horrible participation rate has occurred before, in our lifetimes. The last time the participation rate was this low was in September 1981, as Reagan brought America out of the Carter recession. At that time the participation rate was on its way up. Today, it's on its way down. Four years of Barack Obama's policies have moved more and more people out of the workforce.