President Obama has spun the latest jobs report in a desperate effort to keep his own job, stressing to voters that August saw modest job growth in the private sector. What the president won’t say is that the growth is measured only against the previous month’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and that 86,000 fewer jobs exist in America today than when he took office in January 2009. Moreover, whatever modest jobs growth the president can claim in recent months is dwarfed by the increase of the work-force population.
During the Obama administration, the jobs deficit has doubled — that is, the gap between the actual number of jobs and the number we would expect in a historically “normal” economy with the current size of the U.S. population.
Forget “forward.” Obamanomics has resulted in an economy that has been sliding downhill fast.
As the accompanying table based on Labor Department statistics indicates, the total age-eligible work-force population has increased by more than 8.8 million people since January 2009. Typically two-thirds of the age-eligible population enters the work force, so the increase in the work-force population for this period would normally be about 5.9 million. Obama likes to take credit for “creating” 4.5 million jobs since the economy hit bottom in late 2009 — a figure too low for the expanding age-eligible population and also deceptive, as the number of jobs created during the Obama administration has fallen short of the number of jobs lost.
The real measure for any president leading an economic recovery is how quickly the economy returns to “normal” — how long it takes for the jobs deficit to be eliminated. The table clearly shows that, far from filling the jobs-deficit hole, Obama’s policies have only deepened it.
When Obama took office in January 2009, the jobs deficit was 5.5 million. The jobs deficit then worsened dramatically through the summer of 2011, eventually exceeding 11.2 million. The economy showed some life in late 2011 and early 2012 but then started sliding backward again with a series of dismal monthly economic reports. The disappointing September report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the jobs deficit has climbed again to 11.2 million — twice the deficit Obama inherited.