Free Markets, Free People
Here are a few fast facts (from BankruptingAmerica.org) to put today’s absurd announcement into persepctive:
- The real unemployment rate stayed at 14.7%. This includes the underemployed and those who have given up looking for work.
- 23 million Americans are still looking for work. In January 2009, that figure was 22 million.
- Of the 12.1 million Americans unemployed, more than one third (4.8 million) have been looking for work for over six months.
- 802,000 Americans have stopped looking for work
- In January 2009, the average amount of time spent unemployed was 19.8 weeks. Today, the amount of time has doubled, rising to 39.8 weeks.
- Nearly one in six Americans are living in poverty, the highest number in two decades.
- Manufacturing employment edged down in September by -16,000 jobs.
If you’re wondering why the drop, it simply means another massive group of Americans have come to the end of their extended unemployment benefits and are no longer counted.
In reality, the only numbers that count are listed above. The labor participation rate essentially remains unchanged. Those who are celebrating 7.8% are only fooling themselves. Those who are unemployed certainly know who they are and when it comes time to enter the voting booth and pull the lever aren’t going to be thinking about this “improved number”. They’re going to be dealing with the fact they don’t have a job.
Wonder who they’ll blame?
Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:
The Monster Employment Index fell three points in September to 153, indicating a slowdown in inline recruitment.
The Employment Situation report indicates that 114,000 net new jobs were created in September. The unemployment rate fell 0.3% to 7.8%. Average hourly earnings rose 0.3%, while the average workweek increased by 0.1 hours to 34.5 hours. The drop in the unemployment rate is statistically questionable, as it indicates that 873,000 people found jobs in a month when only 114,000 net new jobs were created. That just didn’t happen. We’d have noticed if a million people went back to work in a single month. Finally, payrolls for the last two months were revised upwards substantially, with last month’s payroll jobs revised from 96,000 to 141,000, and July revised up to 181,000 from 141,000. So, the last month before the election, we get a seemingly improved employment report, but expect a massive revision to today’s report next month, as this month’s household survey is clearly a statistical outlier. The U-6 unemployment rate—the broadest measure of unemployment and underemployment—stayed steady at 14.7%.
Ye olde “a picture is worth 1,000 words”:
IBD has the article. One of my favorite myths is the Bush “tax cuts” (tax rate) and deregulation cause the recession. Yeah, not so much:
It’s a standard Obama talking point. But it’s not true. Bush’s tax cuts did not cause the last recession.
In fact, once they were fully in effect in 2003, they sparked stronger growth — generating more than 8 million new jobs over the next four years, and GDP growth averaging close to 3%.
Those tax cuts didn’t explode the deficit, either, as Obama frequently claims. Deficits steadily declined after 2003, until the recession hit.
Nor was Bush a deregulator. Conservative Heritage Foundation’s regulation expert James Gattuso concluded, after reviewing Bush’s record, that “regulation grew substantially during the Bush years.”
Even the Washington Post’s fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, gave Obama’s claim three out of four “Pinocchios,” saying “it is time for the Obama campaign to retire this talking point, no matter how much it seems to resonate with voters.”
What did cause it? What we’ve been saying since it happened, that’s what:
The housing bubble. And that, in turn, was the result of a determined federal effort to boost homeownership by, among other things, pressuring banks to lower lending standards.
So while the rest of the surrogate media “fact checks” Romney, here’s a basic fact check on Obama. And yes, if you’re still wondering … he’s full of it.