The recent job report was disappointing on several different levels. The new jobs number was appalling. The number of new jobs, 74,000 doesn’t even keep up with population growth. In fact, if it were doubled, it would still be short of keeping pace with population growth. Simply stated, it means we are moving backwards.
But it gets worse — a shockingly large and growing group of Americans are chronically jobless and have evidently given up hope of finding a job because they are completely outside of the workforce. Another 347,000 Americans left the workforce.
If you do the math, that means for every new job created, 5 Americans left the workforce. This gives us the lowest participation rate in more than a generation. More than 91 million Americans are no longer in the workforce — a new and sad record.
When you add to this that the current unemployment rate is a bit lower than it was 18 months ago, not because we’re growing the economy or creating jobs. The unemployment rate has fallen slight simply because so many Americans have lost hope and stopped looking for work and thus are no longer considered unemployed in the monthly report. But that is a silly measure of progress. It is not progress when people have been unemployed so long that the lose hope and stop looking. Yet when the unemployment rate has fallen for this reason, the Administration tells us that we’re going in the right direction. This is mindless blather.
The president’s plan extending unemployment benefits and of establishing “promise zones” simply is not a serious plan to create a strong and vibrant economy with job growth, which would also drive income growth. Americans want jobs. Americans want opportunity. Obama is offering more government handouts, and a never-ending list of laws and regulations that stifle economic growth and job creation. This is the wrong approach. Obama has been spending trillions hoping that government could spend, borrow and regulate its way to property. He’s been doing the same thing for five years now. It hasn’t worked. Now he simply wants to do more of the same. It is time to try something new.