The Campaign Spot

Lowering the Unemployment Rate, One Discouraged Worker at a Time

The unemployment rate dropping from 9.8 percent to 9.4 percent is great news for the Obama administration, or at least represents a great headline.

But the deeper numbers aren’t nearly so cheery. The 104,000 jobs created is actually well below the 130,000 to 150,000 to 200,000 (depends on who you ask) needed per month to keep pace with population growth and new workers entering the workforce.

So how did it drop so low? Do you remember my video about “Discouraged Workers”?

From the latest report: “Among the marginally attached, there were 1.3 million discouraged workers in December, an increase of 389,000 from December 2009.” While it’s not the only factor, our economy includes a lot more discouraged workers than it used to, even compared to the first year of the recession. In July 2008, there were 461,000 discouraged workers; by July 2009, there were 796,000 discouraged workers.

Has there been some job creation? Sure. But nowhere near what is needed to generate a serious recovery.

Eric Cantor distributed his response quickly:

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) today released the following statement after the Department of Labor issued the December Unemployment report. 

“Today’s jobs report shows unemployment hovering around 9% for the 20th consecutive month, and while the slight drop from last month is encouraging, we need to do more to make sure people can get back to work. That will start by empowering employers across the country to grow. 

“The new Republican Majority is already working to cut government spending and the overreaching regulations put in place by the last Democrat-led majority so that the private sector economy can grow. First and foremost, we will repeal ObamaCare — the massive government takeover of health care that was rammed through Congress despite strong public opposition. With the repeal of this job-killing legislation, businesses will be able to breathe a sigh of relief and know they won’t be strapped with needless new mandates and taxes that will curb their ability to grow and be successful.

“The new Republican Majority is committed to a ‘cut-and-grow’ agenda which will signal to the private sector that we are ready and able to provide a pro-growth environment where businesses small and large can do what they do best — innovate, compete and lead. To that end, you will see the ‘cut and grow’ playbook begin to take hold over the next 3 weeks leading up to the President’s State of the Union Address. We must deliver results so that we can return this country to the land of responsibility, opportunity and success.”

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