Wow this graph really says it all.
The Labor Force Participation Rate shows what percentage of people are working, looking for a job and not looking for a job. It is a better yardstick to measure the workforce in America than is the usually cited "unemployment rate" which doesn't count people who are so frustrated they stopped looking for a job.
The graph shows a huge upswing in labor participation through the Reagan years. George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush kept the numbers up in Reagan territory. Since Obama has taken over, he has wiped out the entirety of the Reagan gains.
Hat tip to www.ZeroHedge.com for the graph.
They also have an excellent piece on why the unemployment rate right now is really 11.6%, not the 8.1% the administration is claiming. Read it here.