It’s the first Friday of the month — the day that the government releases the newest unemployment figures. And, as usual, Project 21 member Derryck Green provides his analysis of the jobless numbers and the overall state of the economy during these tough times:
Can President Obama really take the blame for May’s increased jobless numbers?
After all, the number and severity of scandals plaguing the White House must obviously prevent the commander-in-chief from being able to focus on improving the breadth and quality of the alleged recovery he’s been overseeing for the past few years.
Well, it’s not like Obama seemed all that focused on the economy before allegations of corruption, mismanagement and lapsed ethics engulfing his administration. Golf calls!
According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the official jobless rate rose to 7.6 percent — that’s a slight 0.1 percent increase. Only 175,000 jobs were created in May.
But the “U-6” rate — the more all-encompassing rate that includes the jobless, the underemployed and those who are able but too discouraged and have essentially dropped out of the workforce — fell only slightly to 13.8 percent. This is a true indicator of how the Obama economic agenda is doing.
These newly-released unemployment numbers, while showing a continued reduction in the rate of unemployment, however, still doesn’t offer peace of mind. The numbers of Americans leaving the workforce continues to escalate.
Gallup says the workforce participation rate, based on their polling, is 68.4 percent. That’s virtually unchanged since the previous month.
Regardless of the number of jobs the government claims were created — and any and all private sector jobs created under the Obama Administration should be celebrated — ultimate success and recovery lies in the kinds of jobs being produced by the Obama recovery. Details show that more part-time jobs are being created than full-time jobs. This means that the average length of the workweek is also diminished — which doesn’t do much to stem the numbers of Americans who are unemployed. Actually, it adds to the numbers who are considered to be under-employed.
There are many reasons for the decrease of good, high-paying full-time jobs. One reason seems to be quite clear: that there’s no confidence among business leaders to create or expand their operations in the Obama recovery. This means that the American economy, as evidenced from a recent study out of UCLA, will simply not grow at the rate needed to reverse economic stagnation.
But the pre-eminent reason behind the diminished numbers of full-time jobs is that businesses, both large and small, are actively seeking ways to reduce their financial obligations to their deserving employees. It’s not that these owners are heartless. They are doing what they feel they must do to survive as America moves toward the full implementation of Obamacare.
Combining the teeming masses of underemployed, and still more who are receiving food stamps and other welfare, it’s not a pretty picture in America these days. There are now almost 11 million people receiving federal disability that — if counted as a population — would become the nation’s eighth largest state.
Just last month, the food stamp rolls counted more recipients than people living in Spain.
If these aren’t enough indicators of how bad the economy continues to be, over 72 million people were registered for Medicaid for at least one month during the past year. That number is far larger than all of the people who currently reside in the United Kingdom — which already has its own lackluster public health care system.
Further stymying any real economic recovery is the additional fact that federal regulations hit an all-time high in 2012, with close to 79,000 pages of new rules costing close to an estimated $2 billion dollars. This is calculated to average close to $15,000 per American household.
All of this inertia from overregulation, underemployment and a growing reliance on government assistance negatively affected the “happiness index.” According to a recent Harris Poll, the attitudes of minorities, recent college graduates and the disabled are less happy now than they were years ago.
But there may be some bright light for people who love stimulus spending or can muster up a good sense of humor for how their taxes are spent:
- Middle school-aged Latinas are allegedly better able to resist sexual advances from their peers at a cost of $434,000.
- It’s now known that, because of the psychological stress associated with fatherhood, gay fathers have less time for sex. This discovery cost the taxpaying public $431,000. No jobs were created, but this information makes for great party conversation.
- By next year, it should be revealed what’s behind the “freshman 15” college weight gain at a cost of $150,000.
- By this year’s end, the most effective way to reduce smoking in the LBGTQ community will allegedly be found at a cost of $536,000.
The fact that the President’s administration appears to be in a moral free-fall with regard to Benghazi, the impropriety of the IRS’s targeting of conservatives and conservative organizations and what may someday be determined to be outright spying on reporters in particular and the American people in general should come as no surprise to many Americans.
Obama has demonstrated the same arrogantly detached, fungible leadership during these scandals as he has with the economy over the long run.
Sadly, Americans have three-and-a-half more years of slow-to-no economic growth and lack of executive accountability.
bottom photo credit: iStockphoto