UPDATE 2: Wait, wait, the employment rate is not 8.3%. It's 8.254%, according to Obama's economic advisor Alan Krueger. Oh. Well, in that case, we feel so much better. Or not.
UPDATE 1: CBS News called this Economic Recovery "the worst economic recovery America has ever had." Ouch.
This morning, the July jobs numbers were released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To nobody’s surprise, the numbers told a story of a worsening economy. The unemployment rate creeped up to 8.3%. Employers added 163,000 jobs, but the labor pool contracted again by 150,000 people. And, as usual, the previous month’s jobs numbers were revised downward from 80,000 jobs added to just 64,000 jobs added.
As a side note, we can’t wait to see how many jobs weren’t actually added in July in the August jobs numbers.
The press release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that “the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 8.3 percent”. We would encourage the Obama Administration to ask the 150,000 workers who are no longer employed about how “unchanged” things are.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “a further worrying sign came in the count of persons counted as employed, which fell 195,000 last month.” The article also explained the U-6, or broader unemployment rate:
“…the broader unemployment rate, known as the “U-6″ for its data classification by the Labor Department, was up to 15% in July. The U-6 figure includes everyone in the official rate plus “marginally attached workers” — those who are neither working nor looking for work, but say they want a job and have looked for work recently; and people who are employed part-time for economic reasons, meaning they want full-time work but took a part-time schedule instead because that’s all they could find.”
Of course, these numbers must also be disappointing for President Obama, who predicted a 5.6% unemployment rate in July 2012 with his stimulus, and just 6% without it. At that time, we had an 8.3% unemployment rate. We still have an 8.3% unemployment rate. The stimulus has made no difference.
Is this finally the death knell for Keynesian economics? And, is this the funeral dirge for the Obama presidency, since he said in 2008 that failure to fix the economy would make his presidency a “one-term proposition”? The War on Jobs is certainly his legacy.