The White House will no doubt ramp up its rah-rah talk about the unemployment rate dropping to 7.4%, the lowest it’s been since December 2008, but what they fail to mention is that the rate dropped because nearly a quarter of a million people got discouraged and stopped looking for jobs. As Business Week concisely stated:
The July report is actually packed with fairly cruddy news. The previous two months’ job gains were revised down by a total of 26,000 jobs. Wages fell. The workweek got shorter for just about everyone. And the labor force participation rate declined. Not exactly going in the right direction.
In addition, the number of people working part time is now at record levels. From Entrepreneur.com:
While some view the unemployment rate as a sign of the health of the economy, it is really just a simple equation involving those who are actively participating in the workforce and those who are employed. Because of this, one typically sees the unemployment rate rise as more payrolls are added, since the number of people looking for work rises as jobs become more available. In recoveries, the unemployment rate almost always ticks higher before starting a steady decline.
That is not happening here. If anything, the unemployment rate is dropping not because more people are finding work – after all, the 162,000 last month is nowhere near enough to keep up with population growth – but because more people have stopped looking for work. If you are not looking for a job over a certain period of time, the Labor Department drops you from its unemployment calculation.
The total number of people considered in the labor force decreased by 37,000, to 155.8 million. The total number of people not counted in the labor force in total in July rose 240,000 to close to 90 million.
Also, as the piece notes:
The jobs people have right now aren’t great. Average hourly earnings fell 0.1 percent to $23.98. Economists expected that figure to rise. The average work week fell to 34.4 hours, from 34.5 hours – again another sign of an increase in part-time help.
So the job market is soft, and people just aren’t ready to look for work since the pool of jobs isn’t all that great.
So, the bottom line is that Obama’s economy still stinks. People are discouraged, stuck in low paying part-time jobs, and many becoming conditioned to being dependent on government, which of course is the One’s dream come true.
What’s that slogan? “Growing from the middle out?” I think his previous slogan “Winning The Future,” or “WTF” is more fitting for the havoc his policies are wreaking on this country.