This morning, the Department of Labor released the long awaited unemployment statistic for the country. Today we found out that the unemployment rate actually rose again from last month and that the unemployment rate is higher today than when Barack Obama took office four years ago.
The unemployment rate is now 7.9% and when Barack Obama took office it was 7.8%. Of course the unemployment number does not count those who have simply given up looking for work or those who are employed just part-time when they actually want full time work. This jobs report shows that America’s economy is stagnating rather than improving.
The harsh reality of the unemployment number is that too many Americans are struggling to provide for their kids, save for college, save for retirement, or just plain create a better life for themselves. These times are hard for too many Americans as incomes have actually gone down every year for the last four years.
Here is Mitt Romney’s statement on the jobs report this morning:
The jobless rate is higher than it was when President Obama took office, and there are still 23 million Americans struggling for work. On Tuesday, America will make a choice between stagnation and prosperity. For four years, President Obama’s policies have crushed America’s middle class. For four years, President Obama has told us that things are getting better and that we’re making progress. For too many American families, those words ring hollow.
Economists at the Wall Street Journal had this to say about today’s job numbers: “the recovery remains disappointing compared to prior economic recoveries”
and “the bottom line is that the labor market remains unusually weak.”
Today’s disheartening unemployment increase is another reminder of the failure of President Obama’s economic policies. We are in the third year of unemployment above 8%. This figure is not just a statistic – 20 million Americans are out of work, underemployed, or have stopped looking for work. The cost of the President’s inexperience and failed liberal policies is borne by families across the country. To get people back to work will take experienced economic leadership, a commitment to rein in government, and a credible plan to make America the best place in the world for growth and jobs.
Despite floundering GDP numbers of 1.8% and mounting inflation (many of you know what I’m talking about; that ‘pump panic’ when the car needs to be filled with gas or the ‘drum roll’ feeling while waiting for the cashier to ring up the total on a cart of groceries!) 244,000 jobs were added in April. But… unemployment still rose:
Hiring in the service sector drove the gains, with sizable jumps in retail trade (up 57,000), professional and business services (up 51,000), leisure and hospitality (up 46,000), and health care (up 37,000). Goods-producing sectors showed less of a bump, and construction job levels didn’t budge, a reflection of how depressed the housing market continues to be.
Payroll jobs numbers and the unemployment rate are calculated from two separate surveys, which helps explain the conflicting readings of faster job growth and higher unemployment. The precise reason for the discrepancy isn’t yet clear[...]
Although Friday’s numbers certainly mark an improvement over previous reports, it will take another two and a half years before the economy reaches prerecession employment levels. How long after that it will need to add enough jobs to compensate for population growth will depend on how many people rejoin the labor force. Without question, it would be many more months.
There are some other reasons for caution, says Heather Boushey, a senior economist at the left-leaning Center for American Progress. Average hours of work didn’t increase, and wages, while up nominally, didn’t really rise once adjusted for inflation. “This does give me pause,” she said, adding that “we really need to be seeing job growth above 300,000 to be getting the unemployment rate down
Others estimate that even if 250,000 jobs were added per month it would still take as high as four years before we get back to the job level lost over the last few years.
Here’s Charles Payne’s (FOX Business’ Varney) lightning round with Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) today on the unemployment report (unemployment comment ends @:30, gasoline price comment begins @1:12):
A couple of nuggets… The U-6 job rate (the real unemployment rate), rose to a head-shaking, disgraceful 15.9%. And, wages increased by a whopping…………… 3 cents.
Another measure of unemployment rose as well: the so-called “real” unemployment rate, which rose to 15.9 percent, up two-tenths from the prior month. The government calls the rate the U-6, and it measures not just those looking for work and unable to find jobs but also those “marginally” attached to the labor force and those who are working part-time but who want full-time work.
But the average workweek, considered a key barometer of economic activity, also did not move, staying stagnant at 34.3 hours. At the same time, wages actually edged higher, up three cents, or 0.1 percent, to $22.95.
In case you haven’t heard, the housing market is officially in a double dip.
This is what Obama’s $826 BILLION stimulus bill has done for us.
UPDATE: Remember when Joe Biden said in April 2010 that the Obama economy would see an increase of 200,000 new U.S. jobs next month (meaning May 2010) with a rise to 250,000 to 500,000 jobs per month soon afterward?
America, it’s time to sign Governor Romney’s Obama Misery Index petition here.