The bad news from the Veterans Affairs scandal, the tepid commencement speech at West Point- which was coldly received, and the extremely questionable decision to trade five high-level terrorists from Gitmo for “missing” soldier Bowe Bergdahl, in addition to several other presidential missteps has been a distraction from the ongoing bad news regarding the economy. But it won’t change the reality that a country dependent on liberal policies for wealth creation and economic growth, won’t create wealth and won’t grow.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, we are now into the sixth year of a supposed economic recovery. But the economy resembles anything but recovered.
The jobless rate remained at 6.3% in May. ADP says that 179k private sector jobs were added in May, compared to 217,000 jobs the BLS says were created, which was down from April. May was yet another month in which job creation didn’t keep up with population growth.
The labor force participation rate also remained unchanged at 62.8%, the third time the participation rate has been this low during the Obama presidency. If the current labor force participation rate was the same as it was at the start of this recovery in June 2009, (65.7%), the unemployment rate would be above 10%.
The number of “unemployed” people tallies 9.5 million people. The average length of unemployment is 34.5 weeks (almost six months). Thirty-five percent of unemployed people have been jobless for 27+ weeks. A third of the jobs created are in the low wage sector. The 2.1% wage increase doesn’t offset inflation. We just recovered all of the jobs lost prior to the recession (’07), but we’ve added an additional 10-plus million people to the labor force. And over 92 million people aren’t in the labor force, 11.5 million more than when Obama took office.
As it pertains to Hispanics and blacks, their jobless numbers were 7.7% and 11.5%, respectively. Black unemployment has a history of being roughly twice the national rate. Unfortunately, the black employment rate hasn’t “rallied” nearly as quickly as it has for the country overall. The reason- blacks have continued to diligently look for work longer than the national prospecting average, which means they’re counted as being part of the labor force for a longer period of time. The extended duration of prospecting is partially responsible for the perpetually a high unemployment rate including, the disparity between the black/white unemployment rates.
This stellar job picture is in addition to news that the GDP’s first quarter growth was downgraded from .1% to -1%. This means the economy contracted last quarter. This is the second such economic contraction in three years, the other being the first quarter of 2011 was when the economy “grew” at -1.3%. Earlier this month when addressing the current economic contraction before the Joint Economic Committee, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen told lawmakers that she viewed the contraction as a “pause” in growth.” Pause in growth. A ‘pause’ would be zero growth; -1% isn’t a pause. Only a progressive can walk backwards while claiming s/he is moving forward.
In addition to the economic contraction, the Wall Street Journal reported that worker productivity also plunged 3.2% in the first quarter. Economists continue to blame the ‘harsh winter’ for the drop in worker productivity and the contraction of the GDP, but drops like these, are due to much more than the weather.
The sixth year of President Obama’s prosaic economic recovery also sees stagnant wages (2.1% increase over the last twelve months) and increased school loan debt, which now totals over a trillion dollars. People having increased debt are partially responsible for the low volume of mortgage applications. Many of those who can’t afford to purchase homes are the often-cited Millenials. With increasing school debt, less-than-perfect credit, tougher qualifications for lending approval- combined with the inability to find work, Millenials are being prevented from participating and contributing to the economy. That’s why a third of Millenials are currently living with their parents. The present situation affecting Millenials doesn’t inspire much optimism for the future of our economy.
But it’s not just Millenials who are having a rough go at finding work. According to the Labor Department’s own statistics, more than 10 million men aren’t in the labor force- which means they’re not working nor looking for work. This is a record high. Additionally, there are 3 million men who’re counted as in the labor force but who aren’t employed: these are men would work if they could find a job. That’s 13 million men negatively affected by the recovery who would otherwise be participating and contributing to the economy. “War on women?”
Nope. “Economic Recovery.”
To give more insight into how bad the national apathy is regarding our current economic picture, a recent poll showed that 47% of unemployed people have completely given up the hope of finding a job. In another poll, 60% said that their version of the American Dream was unachievable.
And if you think that Obama may do something advantageous for the country to spur the economic engine, if only for optics, forget it. Obama’s new, congressionally circumventing EPA regulations that claim to reduce carbon emissions over the next fifteen years, will actually reduce the presence of the coal industry. It will also wipe out over 200,000 jobs, cost the economy upwards of $50 billion dollars a year and, increase electricity rates- that fulfills Obama’s promise that “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”
This isn’t an “economic recovery” by any stretch of the progressive’s imagination.
The past six years have demonstrated a clear, unadulterated truth. From the moment Obama sat down in the Oval Office-, the economy wasn’t a priority of his domestic agenda. Instead, Obama eagerly sought to implement as much of his expensive ideology as he could. From the “stimulus bill,” to “investing in ‘green energy,’” to increasing taxes and nurturing class warfare; to increasing entitlements and government dependency, to his financial reform bill, to adding endless pages of EPA regulations, etc., the president never intended to resurrect the economy.
Don’t expect him to start now.