Don’t we look foolish now? All this time, we thought the private sector wasn’t doing fine. Thankfully, President Obama is here to let us know otherwise.
UPDATE: For those of you who didn’t catch my sarcasm, the private sector isn’t doing fine.
Here’s James Pethokoukis on Obama’s statement:
But is it really? Is the private sector “doing fine?”
1. Private-sector jobs have increased by an average of just 105,000 over the past three months and by just 89,000 a month during the entire Obama Recovery.
In 1983 and 1984, during the supply-side Reagan Boom, private sector jobs increased by an average of 292,000 a month. Adjusted for population, that number is more like 375,000 private-sector jobs a month.
2. If the labor force participation rate for May had just stayed where it was in April, the unemployment rate would have risen to 8.4%. As it is, the U.S. economy is suffering its longest sustained bout of 8% unemployment or higher since the Great Depression.
3. Private-sector GDP rose just 2.6% in the first quarter, after rising a measly 1.2% last year.
By contrast, private-sector GDP rose 3.8% in 1983 and 6.5% in 1984 during the supply-side Reagan Recovery.
4. The U.S. stock market is down 7% since early April.
5. Real take-home pay is down over the past year.
6. That first-quarter GDP report also showed that after-tax corporate profits dropped for the first time in three years. Major red flag.
No, Mr. President, the private-sector isn’t doing fine at all.
UPDATE II: Karen Tumulty has this to say: “It would be hard to imagine a more devastating sound bite than the six-word sentence that he handed the Republicans: ‘The private sector is doing fine.’”