In describing the economic hardships under President Obama’s stewardship, Mitt Romney asserted that 23 million people are out of work or have stopped looking for work. But that’s stretching the truth.
To get at that figure, Romney lumped together three groups of people: the unemployed; those working part-time jobs who want full-time work; and people who are out of work and have stopped looking for jobs for various reasons.
Here’s how the Bureau of Labor Statistics broke down those numbers for August, the most recent month available:
There were 12.5 million people officially unemployed, and this is the figure that is used to make up the jobless figure, most recently 8.1%.
There were also about 8 million people who were working part-time in August, although not by their own choice. Some said they couldn’t find full-time work, but most said they were working part-time because of weak business conditions. These workers may be looking for other jobs, or they may be waiting for business to get better and for their employers to give them more hours.