Obama’s Deceptive Jobs Numbers

UPDATE: The jobs report for October shows the labor force participation rate unchanged at 62.4%.

The Labor Department’s September jobs report shows that private sector employers added 118,000 jobs in September.  Government added 24,000 for a total of 142,000.  The unemployment rate, at 5.1% was unchanged from August.

President Obama immediately claimed victory during his hastily called press conference that day:

little-obama-prayer-bkfstWe learned today that our businesses created another 118 new jobs in September which means we now have had 67 straight months of job creation, 13.2 million jobs in all. And an unemployment rate that has fallen from a high of 10% down to 5.1%.

The President hopes 13.2 million (private sector) jobs sounds like a big number to busy people who don’t have the time to verify the data behind everything he says.  But is it?

67-months-tableAs the table to the right shows, the past 67 months  have not been at all remarkable.  In fact, despite Obama’s attempt to regale us with statistics, it turns out we’re living through a period of sub-par job creation.  The record of the past 67 months ranks 33 out of all 67 month periods since the end of World War II.

What about the President’s boast that the unemployment rate has declined from a high of 10% to 5.1%?  It turns out that under the policies of the Obama era – for the first time ever – a falling unemployment rate is a symptom of economic deterioration.  How can this be?  This chart tells the story.ark-of-participation-oct-15

The labor force participation rate is the percentage of the working age population that is “in the labor force” either by holding a job or qualifying to be classified as “unemployed” by actively seeking a job every week.  As the chart above shows the participation rate has fallen precipitously since the end of the recession.

The official unemployment rate is the percentage of the labor force that is unemployed.  When people are unemployed for a long time they tend to become discouraged and don’t look for work often enough to be counted as “unemployed.”  They are then reclassified from “unemployed” to “out of the labor force.”  The unemployment rate peaked at 10% in October 2009. 

  • If today’s labor force participation rate were the same as October 2009 the current unemployment rate would be 8.9%.
  • If today’s labor force participation rate were the same as June 2009, the last month of the recession, the current unemployment rate would be 9.9%.
  • If today’s labor force participation rate were the same as January 2009, President Obama’s first month, the current unemployment rate would be 9.9%.
  • If today’s labor force participation rate were the same as in January 2008, the month before the recession began, the current unemployment rate would be 10.6%

Obama’s declining unemployment rate is due ENTIRELY to reclassifying jobless people from “unemployed” to “not in the labor force.”

This decline in labor force participation, due to workers becoming discouraged after long term unemployment, is unprecedented.  Nothing like this has ever happened since 1939 when the government began reporting these monthly statistics.

Why is this happening now? The short answer is big government:

  • Explosive growth in regulations,
  • the highest taxes on businesses in the developed world, and,
  • the Obamacare mandates that impose new costs on employers, punishing them financially for hiring more people.

The quadrennial Presidential election campaign is a season when people who usually ignore politics pay at least some attention.  It is imperative that our fellow voting citizens understand this jobs crisis and it’s causes.  Republicans must nominate a candidate who is NOT comfortable with the big government status quo, who is driven to scale back government intervention in the economy, and who can explain, in soaring Churchillian speeches why America is in decline and what it will take to turn our situation around.

 

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