President Barack Obama will let his jobs council expire this week without renewing its charter, winding down one source of input from the business community even as unemployment remains stubbornly high.
When Obama in January 2011 formed his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, unemployment was hovering above 9 percent. Two years later, more than 12 million people in the U.S. are out of work. The unemployment rate has improved to 7.8 percent, but both parties agree that's still too high.
A provision in Obama's executive order establishing the council says it sunsets on Thursday. A White House official said the president does not plan to extend it.
The January 2011 unemployment rate of 9% was based on a labor force participation rate of 64.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The current labor force participation rate is 63.6%. So the lower unemployment rate is, for the most part, a lie... they just aren't counting a million or so people being in the labor force anymore. And that's after years of declining labor force participation before his jobs council was created. To wit: in November 2007, there were nearly 122 million Americans employed full-time. In November 2012 there are only about 116 million. Here's the money graph from the BLS:
But the Jobs Council's work is apparently done.
And, hey, why seek input from the business community about how to create jobs anyway? Obama creates a lot of jobs by himself.