Big news of today is the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent for January. That’s the lowest it’s been in three years and the White House, of course, is heralding this boost.
“Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to heal from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression,” said Alan Krueger, President Obama’s top economic adviser.
And this, from the president himself, in a public chide to Congress: “Don’t muck it up,” he said. “Do not slow down the recovery.”
Else what? He won’t be re-elected? What a travesty … but what’s even more of a travesty, is the back-slapping that’s going ‘round about these job numbers. Here’s why: While 8.3 percent is better economic news, the fact is the percent of Americans who are not actually in the labor market jumped to a 30-year high, at 63.7 percent.
This guy at Zero Hedge says it best: “A month ago, we joked when we said that for Obama to get the unemployment rate to negative by election time, all he as to do is to crush the labor force participation rate to about 55 percent. Looks like the good folks at the BLS heard us: it appears that the people not in the labor force exploded by an unprecedented record 1.2 million.”
If would-be workers stop looking for work, they’re not technically counted as unemployed. Good trick. At the same time, the numbers of part-timers – those who work 35 hours per week or less -- in the work force continues to grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of part-time workers between Dec. 2011 and Jan. 2012 increased by nearly 700,000. That’s a heck of a jump. And surely, no sane individual, to include politicians, could claim a healthy economy can sustain itself with a thriving part-time labor force.
Is this what Obama’s calling on Congress to preserve – to not “muck up?”
See more reasons not to elect Obama, here: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf