Vacation is over — it’s time for the President to get back to work.
And it’s all uphill for President Obama. Abroad, he openly revealed he has no strategy on dealing with the growing problem of ISIS (but didn’t he announce the terrorists were on their heels back in 2012?) and he seems powerless to stop Putin’s march on Ukraine. At home, he is beset by scandal, a “humanitarian situation” along our southern border and an economy that he just can’t seem to turn around.
Today’s jobs report news doesn’t help. The official unemployment rate fell slightly to 6.1 percent, but only 142,000 jobs were reportedly created. Experts were deflated, as they were looking for at least 75,000 more jobs to be created. And the total unemployment rate — the one that includes the underemployed and disengaged — was still almost double the rate that gets the headlines at 12 percent.
To follow is this month’s installment of Derryck Green’s “About Those Jobs Numbers” as reported for August of 2014:
Listening to the President’s speech at the Milwaukee Laborfest earlier this week, it’s clear that he would have the nation believe the economy is booming — or, at the very least, it is strong enough to give Americans more confidence in his stewardship.
Among other things, Obama bragged that his administration created around ten million jobs and that the country is stronger because Americans now have “quality, affordable health insurance that [we] can count on.” He also claimed that, because of his economic policies, the American economy is stronger now than when he took office back in 2009.
But, also according to Obama, the main reason more people don’t realize how well the economy is doing is because of the media. The media! Yes, he’s talking about the same media that has effectively defended his poor economic policies and appears to have willingly spun the jobs report for him month in and month out no matter how gloomy the details past the official unemployment rate have been over the years. It is now apparently at fault, however, for not spinning more economic news in his favor.
Unfortunately for the President, the actual jobs numbers and other economic indicators paint a much different and less optimistic picture of the economy under his leadership — regardless of good or bad media input.
The initial estimate of the second-quarter GDP growth rate of four percent was revised upwards to 4.2 percent. Now that does seem like good news considering that the first quarter contracted by 2.1 percent. But, when averaged with the first quarter, the economy has grown slightly – to above one percent.
As for jobs numbers, payroll processor ADP estimated 204,000 jobs were added in August. Though down from the previous month’s job additions, August was the seventh month that private job creation exceeded 200,000. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the President’s job-counter, says there were a scant 145,000 jobs created last month. So much for that streak. Digging deeper into their report, the number of people stuck in part-time employment is 7.3 million (down 200,000), while those Americans out of the labor force altogether rose from 741,000 to 775,000.
In August, the national unemployment rate did go down ever so slightly to 6.1 percent. That is the official unemployment rate — the rate that’s reported by the allegedly biased media. The U-6 rate, the more accurate indicator of unemployment — which includes discouraged workers, workers marginally attached to the labor force and those working part-time but prefer full-time work — is 12 percent. This is yet another month in which the U-6 rate has been at or above 12 percent.
Then there are the broken dreams of the President’s core constituencies.
The unemployment rate for blacks remained steady at 11.4 percent, while black teenage unemployment was extremely high at 32.8 percent. The unemployment rate for the coveted Latino demographic fell slightly to 7.5 percent.
The labor force participation rate for all Americans went slightly further down (and that’s not a good decline) to 62.8 percent.
But that’s not all the recent news.
Other economic indicators show:
- Every month for the last 36 months, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, at least 45 million Americans have been enrolled to receive food stamps (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). In May 2014, the last month in which the data is known, more than 46 million people received food stamps.
- The Bureau of the Fiscal Service’s Monthly Treasury Report, 2013 saw over $2 trillion in benefits and entitlements paid out by the federal government. Almost 70 percent of this amount was paid out in non-means tested programs. This is program eligibility that isn’t tied to income.
- According to Census Bureau data, more than a third of Americans are receiving some form of government assistance.
- Data recently released by Sentier Research shows that the median household income is more than three percent lower now than it was when the recession was declared over in June 2009. It is almost five percent lower than it was in December, 2007.
- The Pew Charitable Trust shows that no state in America could claim employment gains between 2007 and 2014.
- The Congressional Budget Office recently revised an April 2014 report on the potential effects of ObamaCare on the economy over the next ten years. Not only does the CBO project a smaller labor force participation rate than pre-recession levels, but it expects the labor force participation rate to be further reduced because ObamaCare subsidies are tied to income. After a certain level (400 percent of the federal poverty level), the higher the income means the fewer subsidies that are available for increasing premiums — a clear incentive not to work.
With statistics like these, it’s no wonder why the majority of Americans — 54 percent — are disappointed in the job President Obama is doing on the economy. Then again, he is “doing a job” on the economy! It’s also no surprise that almost half of Americans — 49 percent — think the economy is still in recession.
But, according to Obama, this isn’t the real news to pay attention to. This is just stuff brought up by a media that doesn’t have his best interest, or the best interest of the nation in mind.