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Section A: General News


Editorial: Are job numbers good news or bad news for Americans?




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About politics and other things
October 10, 2012 | 1,158 views | Post a comment

We are supposed to be celebrating a plummeting unemployment rate -- in the words of one enthusiastic Obama-supporting politician -- of 7.8 percent for the month of September.

This drop represents a whopping three-tenths of 1 percent from August’s rate of 8.1 percent.

There is more good news, though. Supporters of President Barack Obama point to the Department of Labor report that 114,000 jobs have been added to the private sector in September. Typical liberal spin says that these 114,000 jobs represent “a significant improvement” when compared to the 750,000 jobs the economy had been losing monthly back in the Bush days.

Try as they might, they just can’t get past the “blame Bush” mentality. These numbers are supposed to show that Americans are gaining confidence in the economy, but the numbers in the unemployment survey show only a partial picture. They do not measure the thousands who have given up seeking employment, nor do they measure all those who have accepted part-time employment or jobs at lower salaries than they previously held.

Also not measured are the new entrants into the job force -- all those who have come of age and, particularly, recent college graduates who cannot find employment. Many are forced to accept menial jobs instead of filling positions for which they are qualified. Not to worry, though, because this administration has made it acceptable -- and perhaps even preferable -- for them to stay home with mom and dad. They can remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26, at which time they will, hopefully, be able to find employment at something other than waiting tables.

But the eternally optimistic White House predicts that this .3 percent “jolt” to the economy will begin a ripple effect, creating even more jobs and boosting consumer confidence and spending. Not likely, however, because as millions became employed, great numbers also lost jobs. Add to that those just entering the job market and you don’t have a gain in the number of employed. Rather, after nearly four years, you have a flat economy and perhaps even a net loss in the jobs market.

Some even claim that, in order to come up with the 7.8 percent unemployed, the administration or its supporters actually “cooked the books” in order to come up with a favorable number. Arguments continue about whether or not the numbers are real.

Even if we accept them as real, that hardly represents victory. What the headlines are saying, and the administration is so jubilant about is that, after almost four years, they have accomplished ... what? At best, they are maintaining the unemployment rate that Bush left behind. After allowing unemployment to rise, this administration has finally gotten unemployment back down to what it was when Bush left his inheritance to Obama.

This three-year low, even if real, is far from the 5.8 percent that candidate Obama had predicted for himself after his first term in office. In fact, he strongly suggested that if he could not achieve such a reduction that he would not deserve a second term in office.

So, after struggling almost four years and spending trillions of dollars, there are fewer people working than when the economy bottomed out. As some have said, this represents severe economic stagnation, and at worst, this is the new normal for Americans.

Will you be voting for this new normal in November? It is the choice Americans will have to make.
 

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