If you’re of the perspective that the Obama administration has lousy economic policies, and that the “recovery” we’re experiencing is so sluggish and lousy that it really stretches the definition of “recovery,” and that the sooner the failure of these policies is vividly illustrated, the better off the country will be, then today’s jobs report is a mixed bag.
Essentially, the headline is the best news for the administration: Unemployment was 9.7 percent in May and was 9.5 percent in June.
However, the manner in which this was achieved is not, as many would expect, driven by large numbers of people going back to work. It’s driven by massive numbers of the officially unemployed ceasing their job searches and flipping into the category of “discouraged.” I illustrated how this works last year:
Technically, this gives the Obama administration a figure to cite when arguing that their policies are working, but an expansion of the number of “discouraged workers” does not actually make Americans feel any better about their economic prospects.
Midweek, Obama painted the economic situation he inherited as dire, noting, “When I was sworn in, we were losing 750,000 jobs a month.” Well, this month’s jump in discouraged workers — 652,000 — is on par with the worst months of job losses for the recession.