The Corner

Obama: ‘Private Sector Is Doing Fine’

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.’”


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