"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Jobs Numbers

The national debt went over $16 trillion on the first day of the Democratic convention.   Today the August jobs numbers were released.   On the surface, it looked like good news for the President:  the unemployment rate dropped from 8.3% to 8.1%, still a bad number, but a significant uptick.  But looking behind the numbers, the report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is very bad news for the country, and very bad news for Obama.   Consider this:  the labor-force participation rate dropped from 63.7% to 63.5%, and the civilian labor force dropped by 368,000.  That's 368,000 people who dropped out of the labor force, either from retirement or, more likely, from discouragement.    If the labor-force participation rate were what it was in January 2009 when Obama took office -- it was at 65.7% -- there would be more than 5 million more people looking for work.   Thus, arguably the "true" unemployment rate is something closer to 11.5%.  

I've said this before and I'll say it again:   the only data to look at that makes sense, that isn't artificial to some degree, is the employment-population ratio, because it measures the most basic data point -- how many of us are actually working.   Here's what that graph looks like:

Obama's economic policies have kept us flat for the past three years, when we ought to have been recovering from the recession.    He's failed, and he's got to go.  

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