LAMBRO: Jobless numbers hide the reality

Millions of ‘washed-up workers’ foretell a new bubble is at hand

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Among those Americans the bureau calls the “major workers groups,” the jobless numbers are truly shocking: Among teenagers between the ages of 17 and 19, who are often among the breadwinners in their family, 25.1 percent; blacks, 13.8 percent; and Hispanics, 9.6 percent.

These are among the poorest and the most vulnerable people in our country, who have suffered the most from Mr. Obama’s failed economic policies over the past four years.

If all of those discouraged workers who have dropped out of the workforce were still counted as actively looking for a job, the real unemployment rate would jump to 10.9 percent.

“Add part-time workers who would prefer full employment but can’t find it, and the unemployment rate becomes 14.2 percent,” Mr. Morici says.

Though these monthly job creation numbers get a lot of hype from the White House, they should be taken with a large grain of salt. What doesn’t get much media attention is that the numbers are all too often revised downward in follow-up reports that go unreported or are buried in the news accounts.

“Revisions subtracted a total of 15,000 jobs to the employment count in December and January,” reports Bloomberg News. There may be further revisions to come.

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama and his White House mouthpieces continue to boast about the dubious decline in the jobless rate, and they never miss an opportunity to take credit for the stock market’s meteoric rise as one of their economic achievements.

The pro-growth economic analysts at the Zero Hedge website that closely track the economy know duplicitous subterfuge when they see it.

“The current de facto policy of inflating asset bubbles to spark a ‘wealth effect’ is no substitute for policies that make it less burdensome to start new enterprises and hire employees,” they observed last week. “If we scrape away this ceaseless perception management, we find legitimate broad-based prosperity is always based on rising employment and increased purchasing power of wages.”

“How are we doing as a nation?” the website asks. “Unfortunately, the answer is ‘terrible.’ “

Full-time employment as a percentage of the population is down. Just 36 percent of our population has a full-time job, and incomes have barely risen.

In 2012, when Mr. Obama boasted that the economy was “moving forward,” New York Times economic columnist Paul Krugman, one of his earliest supporters, said, “This is still a terrible economy.”

For millions of unemployed and underemployed people, and small businesses, it’s just as terrible now, no matter what the stock market or the president says.

Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and contributor to The Washington Times.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

About the Author
Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is the chief political correspondent for The Washington Times, the author of five books and a nationally syndicated columnist. His twice-weekly United Feature Syndicate column appears in newspapers across the country, including The Washington Times. He received the Warren Brookes Award For Excellence In Journalism in 1995 and in that same year was the host and co-writer of ...

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