On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 18,000 jobs had been created in June and the unemployment rate had inched back up to 9.2 percent.
A deeper look at the numbers includes some even scarier facts.
The jobs survey was exceptionally bleak even in its details. Job growth in April and May was revised downward by a combined 44,000 positions. Temporary employers, often a leading indicator of future activity in the labor market, cut 12,000 jobs. And roughly 272,000 Americans dropped out of the labor force, perhaps out of frustration with their job prospects. The unemployment rate would have risen even higher had they continued their job hunts.
A broader measure of unemployment — including those who have given up looking for jobs out of frustration and those with part-time work who want a full-time job — rose to 16.2 percent from 15.8 percent.
What’s (or who’s) to blame for the lack of jobs? If you believed President Obama it was failure to act on trade agreements (that have been held up for more than two years by Obama), debate over the debt limit hike (I haven’t heard any economist seriously argue that this is even a minor contributor to the dearth of hiring), Greece’s economic turmoil (yeah, right), among others.
The reality-based community might suspect that the specter of tax hikes, the uncertainty over future health care costs and runaway regulators might have something to do with the weakest economic recovery since World War II.
What was Democrats’ big job-creation plan? Obamacare. Check out this blast from the not-so-distant past.
How’d that work out exactly?
And the latest news is the grand bargain to allow raising the debt ceiling has hit a snag over Democrat demands to raise taxes—despite the fact that Obama himself has said it doesn’t make sense to raise taxes in this sort of economic environment.
Over the past couple of months I’d been of the opinion that the economy would continue to get better—certainly slower than it normally would with a more hands-off administration—over the next year or so and that we’d probably be at about 8.2 percent unemployment at the time of the November 2012 election. Not anymore.
There’s absolutely no acknowledgement that the stimulus was a failure (I don’t expect them to verbally admit it failed, but a tacit admission through a change in policy would be advisable.) Instead, they continue to double-down on everything that’s failed.
Obama owns this economy and nothing he’s proposing will make it better.
As Glenn Reynolds has said: Jimmy Carter’s second term is now the best case scenario.