President Obama and many in the media are touting the June jobs report showing 288,000 jobs created and a drop in the unemployment rate to 6.1 percent. That these figures would be cause for celebration reveals how far our expectations have fallen after six years of sickly employment data, and how desperate we are to delude ourselves that the job market is making significant strides.
Hyping the above numbers is akin to an eighth-grader hoping his C in phys.ed. and D+ in shop will distract his parents from noticing the Fs in English, history, and geometry. The Obama administration hopes the adults aren’t paying attention.
The number of people not in the labor force increased by 111,000 in June to a record 92,120,000. The labor-force participation rate remained at a 36-year low of 62.8 percent – down from 63.5 percent a year ago. In the Obama economy this, apparently, is cause for optimism. There are 2.4 million more people not working in America today than a year ago.
The bulk of the new June jobs were part-time and/or in low-wage job sectors. As recently as six years ago, only “good” jobs at “good” wages counted as far as the media were concerned.
A record number of Americans aren’t working. Unless the Obama administration ends its War on Jobs, we’re looking at more of the same for the foreseeable future.