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It’s Not Just Unemployment

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On the unemployment front, here are some interesting facts: (as of January, 2012)

  • 88 million working-age Americans don’t have a job and aren’t trying to find one
  • The percentage of people participating in the labor market dropped to 63.7 percent in January, 2012, the lowest level since May, 1983 (that drop is how the BLS got the 8.3 percent figure)
  • While the jobless rate fell to 8.3 percent in January, 2012, that rate doesn’t account for people who aren’t trying to find a job, so the 8.3 percent rate didn’t account for 88 million unemployed people

And what does the future hold? While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will release its next jobs report on March 9, 2012, Gallup, which uses the same methodology and timing as the BLS, predicted that BLS would find an increase in unemployment in February, 2012, somewhere around 9 percent (U-3, but not seasonally adjusted). Can we expect more BLS data massaging? Only time will tell.

People unemployed for over 52 weeks has risen from 13 percent of people unemployed in 2009 to 32 percent in mid-2011. The Bureau of Labor Statistics considers anyone unemployed for over 26 weeks as long-term unemployed. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, testifying on Thursday, March 1, 2012, before the Senate Banking Committee, said he did worry that more than 40 percent of America’s unemployed have been out of work for more than six months. He said that if the problem persists, more of the long-term unemployed will lose job skills and struggle to regain them.

During the 1992 presidential campaign, AlGore (that’s not a typo) said, “Everything that should be up is down, and everything that should be down is up.” So with that quote in mind, let’s look at the current economy:

Category Inauguration Day Today (28 Feb 12) Change
Unemployment 12.05 million 12.76 million up .71 million
Total Jobs 133.6 million 132.4 million down 1.2 million
Unemployment Rate 7.8 percent 8.3 percent up 6.4 percent
Gasoline Price/gallon $1.85 $3.70 up 100 percent
Americans in Poverty 39.8 million 46.2 million up 16.1 percent
Food Stamp Recipients 36 million 42 million up 45 percent
Federal Debt $10.6 trillion $15.4 trillion up 45 percent
Debt per Person $34,731 $49,301 up 42 percent
US in World Competitiveness 1st 5th down 4

Table source

We don’t hear much, for some reason, from AlGore about today’s economy. He must be too busy with his global warming shtick.

The Council of Economic Advisors (CEA), all three Obama appointees (so we know how objective they are) predicts 2 million new jobs in 2012. But the same CNN (hardly a bastion of conservatism) source said that the economy still needs to add about 5.6 million jobs to get back to 2008 employment levels, and that’s without accounting for population growth. What about the other 3.6 million jobs (assuming the CEA forecast is correct)? Are we supposed to just forget about them?

US exports have risen over the last two years, but Obama often fails to mention the rise in imports too. More incomplete economic news? Since Obama announced his intention to double exports, they have risen 33.5 percent, but imports have grown even faster, up 36 percent.

But that’s just my opinion.

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  • Glenn Contrarian

    Warren –

    Do you know why they call it a ship of state? Because steering a big ship is a sloppy, imprecise matter – I know, because I’ve steered an aircraft carrier before.

    But let me use a different metaphor. You’re in a jetliner and it’s nosediving out of the sky. You take over and pull up on the stick…and does the plane get back up to altitude right away? Of course not. The plane keeps going DOWN, just not quite so quickly. You’re eventually able to get it to level out…and THEN before you take it back up to altitude, you have to find out just what the heck caused the nosedive and fix it. AND when some idiot passenger comes up and says, “Why ain’t we back up at altitude yet”, you smack him silly, and for good reason.

    That’s the problem with you and so many other conservatives – you expect that fixing the economy should have taken weeks, or only a few months…but even the barest knowledge of the Depression should have taught you that something like this takes YEARS. Our economy shrank NINE PERCENT while the Great Recession was raging (and the stimulus was insufficient even for the four percent we thought we had dropped at the time).

    AND that doesn’t take into account that YOUR BOYS did everything they could to stop Obama from accomplishing anything…and sir, this retired military man tells you that what your boys did was to put party politics over country.

    Yes, that’s precisely what the GOP did.

    But I still don’t feel too badly – y’all have painted yourselves into a corner by trying to “fix the economy” with “family values” bills like having state-mandated transvaginal ultrasounds, and state-mandated urinalysis tests – except for state legislators, that is. Your boys have gotten so…stupid that (unless something truly bad happens) this November – while it won’t be the converse of Nixon/McGovern – may very well be a replay of 1996.

    Go, Santorum, Go!

  • troll, if the economy and/or Obama policies added 227,000 new jobs in February, how did the (U-3) unemployment rate of 8.3% remain constant?

  • Oh, priceless.

    Not only does Warren post his response on the wrong thread, he also takes troll’s bait hook, line and sinker.

    Love it.