Jobs: Are Obama’s Policies “Working?” (2)

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued a written statement commenting on the Labor Department’s latest employment report published March 4.  She said in part:

“Our nation’s labor market improved notably in the month of February. Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 192,000, and the unemployment rate decreased to 8.9 percent [down from 9.0% in January] exceeding the consensus forecast and adding 60,000 workers to the labor market. Today’s numbers highlight steady, sustained and widespread job growth. The bottom line: The policies and programs of this administration are working…I feel very good about where we’re heading.

Someone in the media should ask her: what does “working” mean?  As the table shows the administration’s signature policy, the stimulus that spent more than $800 billion extra, over and above the government’s already bloated budget, did not come close to “working” as promised.

The current unemployment rate would be 9.7% except that from last May through January 1.3 million people who wanted jobs became too discouraged to look for a job and are thus no longer counted as unemployed or as part of the official “labor force” or labor market.   Ms. Solis bragged that 60 thousand, or about 5% of them came back into the labor market in February.

More from her statement to the media:

In his State of the Union address, President Obama discussed the need to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build our global competitors in order to win the future.

This was packaging to justify more spending increases!  His own budget office already projects 2011 spending at 10.5% more than 2010 and a whopping 28% more than in 2008.  But he demands even more to “invest” in new government programs.

While the employment situation is clearly improving, my mission remains the same: to create good and safe jobs for everyone.

In reality the Secretary of Labor is nearly powerless to create jobs.  Jobs are created by business, not government.  The most effective things government can do  are the very things so-called “progressives” like Obama refuse to do: Reduce government’s intervention in the market, lower taxes and deregulate.

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