Right on Cue: “Unemployment Drops Below 8%” Headlines

We’ve all been predicting this headline would appear before November 6 because, allegedly, “8%” is a magic number for would-be two-term presidents. Supposedly “no president can be re-elected if the unemployment rate is above 8%, Of course, that’s not really true, but it’s been repeated so many times, that many believe it, and if the Obama campaign is about anything, it’s about what people believe, not what is actually true. Today we learn–Shazam!–the unemployment rate is 7.8%! How convenient.

I am sure that I will be accused by liberals of cheerleading for a bad economy. I am not. The stagnant, Euro-style growth we’ve seen over the last 3.5 years sickens me, and I know it won’t change until we get rid of the guy whose policies have created it, Barack Hussein Obama (MMM …MMM …MMM …). This new job number doesn’t signal that our anemic growth rate has suddenly improved. We’re all living in this economy, no matter the Regime’s Propaganda Ministry says. Personal, anecdotal experience aside, some of these numbers released this morning make no sense. From one of the house organs of that afore-mentioned Propaganda Ministry, the Washington Post:

Employers reported creating 114,000 jobs in September, almost identical to analysts’ forecasts, but revisions to data from July and August brought improvement of that measure of the job market as well.

That number, along with the 7.8%, is certainly no cause for celebration. The fact that some are doing the Happy Dance over it demonstrates how successful the Obama campaign has been at executing one of the most important strategies in its playbook, lowering expectations. While we don’t exactly how many new jobs need to be created to keep up with population growth, it’s probably at least 125,000 per month, and that would be to keep up with the current, rotten high unemployment.

Having said that, later in that same WaPo story, there’s this:

Some 873,000 more Americans reported having jobs in the survey of households, and 456,000 fewer reported not having a job but wanting one.

Say what? Somebody help me out here. New jobs created: 114,000. Increase in the number of people who reported having jobs: 873,000.

Perhaps we could reconcile these number that don’t add up with some additional information. From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes

referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose from 8.0 million in August

to 8.6 million in September. These individuals were working part time because

their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time

job. (See table A-8.)

Ah, so many of that 873,000 who now have jobs want full-time jobs, but have to settle for part time work.

In September, 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force,

essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally

adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were

available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months.

They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work

in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

So 2.5 million discouraged people aren’t counted because they are so discouraged that they stopped looking for work four weeks ago, but sometime in the last year they tried to find jobs, but couldn’t. Oh yeah–let’s pop those champagne corks!

In addition, BLS report contains this sad paragraph:

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for

27 weeks or more) was little changed at 4.8 million and accounted for 40.1

percent of the unemployed. (See table A-12.)

In addition, the labor participation rate, the number of people working is 4% lower than when the recession began. Also consider these statistics:

While few people today look back on 2007 as “The Good Old Days,” the October 2007 unemployment rate with a 68% participation rate was 4.7% and GDP growth including the onset of the recession was more than double today’s level.

The current labor participation rate is at a thirty-year low.

It should be clear by now to everyone except the low-information cohort that continues to worship Barack Obama, that given the choice between a dynamic economy with robust growth and income inequality, and his vision of a “fair” economy, one with anemic growth and everyone, other than the political class, scraping by with basically the same standard of living, Barack Obama would prefer the latter. He does not believe in American exceptionalism. In fact, he despises it because for him it represents the “economic imperialism” that his mentors from Frank Marshall Davis to Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright taught him to abhor. As long as he and his ilk are in office, Americans will be encouraged to celebrate mediocrity, which is not the country I grew up in.


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