Unemployment, by the numbers
The jobs numbers could hardly have been worse. NOT ONLY DID THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE RISE TO 9.2 PERCENT, AND THE ECONOMY CREATE ONLY 18,000 JOBS, BUT THE PERCENT OF AMERICANS CHOOSING TO PARTICIPATE IN THE LABOR FORCE DECLINED TO 64.1 PERCENT, the same level as in March, 1984. Over 44 percent of the unemployed have been out of work for six months or longer, making their reentry into employment even more difficult.
But one surprise is that some sectors of the workforce are doing better—those with the lowest and the highest skills. ADULT WOMEN, WHOSE UNEMPLOYMENT RATES DID NOT DECLINE, ARE ALSO DOING BETTER THAN MEN. Their unemployment rate is 8 percent, compared with 9.1 percent for men.
UNEMPLOYMENT RATES FOR ADULTS WITHOUT A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA DECLINED FROM 14.7 PERCENT TO 14.3 percent, and their employment rose by 11,000. Hispanic employment, traditionally low-skill, increased by 139,000, and Hispanic unemployment declined by three tenths of a percentage point….
When unemployment goes up despite people dropping out of the labor market it is not a good sign for the administration.
What was the point of that Rose Garden speech?
Following the release of the dreadful jobs numbers, President Obama appeared in the Rose Garden this morning. However, it was entirely unclear why he was there or what his plan is for digging the economy out of the deep hole in which we find ourselves.
THE SPEECH, IF YOU CAN CALL IT THAT, SEEMED TO BE A DISCONNECTED COLLAGE OF ONE-LINERS AND EXCUSES. He started off by explaining that “the debate here in Washington has been dominated by issues of debt limit, but what matters most to Americans, and what matters most to me as President, in the wake of the WORST DOWNTURN IN OUR LIFETIMES, is getting OUR ECONOMY ON A SOUNDER FOOTING MORE BROADLY SO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CAN HAVE THE SECURITY THEY DESERVE.” Is he saying he’s working on something the public doesn’t care about? Not clear. Later he tied the two together, adopting the GOP position that the failure to address the debt in impairing growth. (“The problems in Greece and in Europe, along with uncertainty over whether the debt limit here in the United States will be raised, have also made businesses hesitant to invest more aggressively.”)
And throughout HIS TONE ALTERNATED BETWEEN DISMISSIVENESS (“We’ve always known that we’d have ups and downs on our way back from this recession”) TO HECTORING (“There are bills and trade agreements before Congress right now that could get all these ideas moving. All of them have bipartisan support. All of them could pass immediately. And I urge Congress not to wait”). DESPITE A BOATLOAD OF EVIDENCE THAT GOVERNMENT SPENDING IS NOT THE WAY FORWARD, HE STILL INSISTS THAT MORE “INVESTMENT” IS NEEDED: “We’ve got to rein in our deficits and get the government to live within its means, while still making the investments that help put people to work right now and make us more competitive in the future.”
This speech either tells us that BHO thinks we are stupid, or is stupid himself. But it is not surprising he made it since most people in a crisis will revert to what got them to where they are in their life. Obama thinks he knows how to make speeches and is surprised they aren’t making everyone rally around him.
Obama boast blasted
Time is running out on President Obama’s self-imposed deadline to rescue the nation’s slumping economy by his third year in office or risk losing re-election — a cavalier pronouncement punctuated yesterday by dismal jobless figures that prompted even Democrats to second-guess the president’s audacious 2009 assertion.
OBAMA TOLD TV TITAN MATT LAUER DURING A FEB. 1, 2009, MSNBC INTERVIEW THAT HE WOULD BE “HELD ACCOUNTABLE” TO IMPROVE THE ECONOMY BY THE AMERICAN PUBLIC AND, “IF I DON’T HAVE THIS DONE IN THREE YEARS, THEN THERE’S GOING TO BE A ONE-TERM PROPOSITION.”
“He said it. He can’t go back and un-say it,” declared Washington, D.C.-based Democratic consultant Tom Ochs. “(The Obama campaign is) going to have to fight to the death on the economy, and I think they know that.”…
Don’t you think we need to hold Obama at his word?
Editorial: A Jobs Report That Defies Description
THE POLITICAL CLASS HAS ALREADY EXHAUSTED THE ADJECTIVES DESCRIBING TODAY’S BLEAK/HORRIBLE/AWFUL/GOD-AWFUL/DISMAL/TERRIBLE/ABSOLUTELY FLAT OUT TERRIBLE JOBS REPORT. The new data showed, among other things, the unemployment rate increasing to 9.2 percent from 9.1 percent even as the labor force got smaller (by more than a quarter-of-a-million people). That is an amazing and alarming phenomenon, since it demonstrates that unemployment has gone up even as the pool of workers shrinks.
THE REAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE INCREASED AS WELL, FROM 15.8 PERCENT TO 16.2 PERCENT. There are now more than 14 million Americans out of work, with 6.3 million out of work for 27 weeks or longer. The unemployment rate has been above 8 percent during every month Obama has been president. Only 18,000 jobs were created in June. THE GOVERNMENT REVISED APRIL AND MAY’S PAYROLLS DOWNWARD BY 44,000. AVERAGE HOURLY EARNINGS WENT DOWN WHILE THE AVERAGE TIME IT TAKES TO FIND A JOB WENT UP.
There was not a single bit of good news in the Bureau of Labor report. And watching President Obama this morning try to explain this mess and offer solutions to our predicament was painful. HE WAS REDUCED TO LISTING AS ONE OF HIS POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS STREAMLINING THE PATENT PROCESS. THAT UNDERSCORES JUST HOW INTELLECTUALLY EXHAUSTED THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY IS. THEY HAVE NO MORE ARROWS LEFT IN THEIR PUBLIC POLICY QUIVER….
It says it well. Obama is doomed.
This would seem to sum it up nicely
In a conference call with reporters, [Energy Secretary Steven] Chu said the more-efficient bulbs required would save consumers money over the life of the product, even if the up-front price is higher.
“WE ARE TAKING AWAY A CHOICE THAT CONTINUES TO LET PEOPLE WASTE THEIR OWN MONEY,” he said.
This is a political gaffe which is defined as when a politician tells the truth. This quote sums up what progressivism is all about and what they intend to do. The irony is that while progressives won’t continue to let people waste their own money, they are excellent at wasting other people’s money.
We have a spending problem
….But what about World War II, anyway? COMING IN AT 25.3 PERCENT OF GDP, FEDERAL SPENDING IS HIGHER TODAY THAN IT HAS BEEN IN ANY YEAR SINCE 1945. WHAT DID WE DO AT THE END OF WORLD WAR II? WE CUT SPENDING — RADICALLY. IN 1944, FEDERAL SPENDING WAS 43.6 PERCENT OF GDP. BY 1948 IT WAS DOWN TO 11.6 PERCENT OF GDP. It edged up after that, but from 1948–60, federal spending averaged less than 17 percent of GDP. (Those were not the worst years in the history of the republic.)
What that means is that IF FEDERAL SPENDING AS A SHARE OF GDP WERE REDUCED TO THAT POSTWAR AVERAGE FROM 2012–16, WE COULD BALANCE THE BUDGET, START PAYING DOWN THE NATIONAL DEBT, AND CUT TAXES BY $1 TRILLION OVER THOSE FIVE YEARS. Grover Norquist could get his tax cuts, I could get my balanced budget, and Barack Obama still would preside over a government considerably bigger than FDR’s New Deal regime. Not my ideal outcome, but a decent compromise.
Inescapable conclusion: Spending is what is out of whack….
It’s pretty simple to understand. We are spending too much. How you want to cut spending is worth having a debate about, but claiming we have a tax problem is simply denying the obvious.
Justice under Holder looks to repeat the elements that led to the economic meltdown
IN WHAT COULD BE A REPEAT OF THE EASY-LENDING CYCLE THAT LED TO THE HOUSING CRISIS, THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT HAS ASKED SEVERAL BANKS TO RELAX THEIR MORTGAGE UNDERWRITING STANDARDS AND APPROVE LOANS FOR MINORITIES WITH POOR CREDIT AS PART OF A NEW CRACKDOWN ON ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION, according to court documents reviewed by IBD.
Prosecutions have already generated more than $20 million in loan set-asides and other subsidies from banks that have settled out of court rather than battle the federal government and risk being branded racist. AN ADDITIONAL 60 BANKS ARE UNDER INVESTIGATION, A DOJ SPOKESWOMAN SAYS.
No Job, No Problem
Settlements include setting aside prime-rate mortgages for low-income blacks and Hispanics with blemished credit and even counting "public assistance" as valid income in mortgage applications.
In several cases, the government has ordered bank defendants to post in all their branches and marketing materials a notice informing minority customers that they cannot be turned down for credit because they receive public aid, such as unemployment benefits, welfare payments or food stamps.
Among other remedies: favorable interest rates and down-payment assistance for minority borrowers with weak credit.
This is criminal. I hope Holder doesn’t expect to get a free pass after Obama is beaten in 2012.