Friday, September 7, 2012

U.S. Labor Market Still In 'Deep Depression'

September 7, 2012 - Obama wants four more years to continue his failed economic policies. His campaign has said that his policies have succeeded. They have not, however. They have failed miserably. Sure, you may have heard today that the national average unemployment rate has "gone down" to 8.1% but the bad news is that the reduction is due in no small part to people just giving up and, as a result, no longer being counted officially in the unemployment numbers.

Click graph to enlarge it. Source: CalculatedRiskBlog
Obama has had nearly four years for his "hope and change" to work. It has not worked. The change has been catastrophic, and has caused hundreds of thousands of people to give up hope.

Like a demonic sadist, Obama now commands us to beg for more punishment. Whether or not he wins re-election in November will depend upon how many masochists go to the polls to vote for him.

"While the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1% from 8.3% in July, it was due to a big drop in the labor force participation rate (the share of Americans with a job or looking for one)," notes the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) today.  "If fewer Americans hadn’t given up looking for work, the unemployment rate would have risen."

The Guardian, a respected British newspaper, reports today that "The US economy added just 96,000 new jobs in August, far below economists' expectations and dealing a crushing blow to President Barack Obama after the close of the Democratic national convention."

That number - 96,000 - is pitiful indeed. That's an average of a mere 1,920 per state and it does not tell the story of jobs that were lost during the same time period, nor does that raw number tell anything about the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have just given up trying to find work in a horrifically bad economic environment. CNN Money noted today that, "The unemployment rate fell largely because 368,000 people stopped looking for work, many of them young people. Just 63.5% of the working-age population was either employed or actively looking for work -- a 30-year low."

In addition, says The Guardian, the increase of 96,000 jobs "is below population growth." To make matters even worse, "the figures for July and June were revised downwards." 

You can read the full depressing report at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.