creators.com opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Daily Editorials
31 Mar 2015
Give College Loans Serious Thought

President Barack Obama last week unveiled his four-article "Student Aid Bill of Rights," in which he calls on … Read More.

31 Mar 2015
Going Halfway in Reining in the Payday Predators

Last week the federal government took some modest, long-overdue steps toward regulating the payday loan industry.… Read More.

30 Mar 2015
Innovation Changes the Climate Game

There's a new Al Gore in town. No, he hasn't reconsidered his departure from hardball politics. He won't be … Read More.

Can More Jobs Save Obama's Job?

Comment

The jobs situation nationally is slowly improving, but is the pace fast enough to reward President Barack Obama with reelection?

The administration says January saw a net gain of 243,000 jobs, and 351,000 newly laid-off workers sought unemployment benefits last week, the fewest since March 2008. These encouraging signs come as the number of people receiving unemployment benefits fell to 7.5 million in the week ending Feb. 4, the latest numbers available, down from 7.7 million the week before.

But there's a flip side. Unemployment still is 8.3 percent, meaning 12.8 million Americans who want to work don't have jobs. Nearly half are "long-term" unemployed, meaning they have been out of work at least 27 weeks.

The president promised three years ago that unemployment would not rise above 8 percent if his trillion-dollar stimulus were approved, but it has hovered above 8 percent every month since the stimulus became law in February 2009. The president predicted unemployment would be only 6 percent today.

Even if employers add 265,000 net jobs per month — more than were added in January — unemployment won't return to its "natural" 5.2 percent rate until December 2014, the Heritage Foundation calculates. At the rate seen the past five months, it will be 2018 before 5.2 percent is reached.

The jobs picture figures to be near, if not at, the top of voters' concerns.

Republican candidates press the issue, as does the president. Some cynics question the convenience of improving jobless numbers as the election nears. This administration probably wouldn't be the first to tweak data to put it in the best light during a campaign.

But even if the job situation is improving at its apparent rate, how many people are swayed by numbers that don't match their personal experience? Obama's happy face on an employment rate 4 percent lower than when the recession began 49 months ago runs into inconvenient reality. Those participating in the labor force have declined to 63.7 percent of working-age Americans, compared with more than 67 percent in 2001, and 66 percent at the beginning of the recession.

That means 36.3 percent of working-age Americans don't have jobs, and are not looking. These include many people "sitting on the sidelines, not looking for work because they believe no jobs are available," writes Mike Brownfield at the Heritage Foundation.

Job-related numbers are only marginally improving, and still are a long way from reassuring. Many Americans, some of whom may vote, probably measure their comfort level more from personal experience than by government assurances. Meanwhile, we are one day closer to casting ballots.

REPRINTED FROM THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM



Comments

0 Comments | Post Comment
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Newspaper Contributors
Mar. `15
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31 1 2 3 4
About the author About the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Walter Williams
Walter E. WilliamsUpdated 1 Apr 2015
Patrick Buchanan
Pat BuchananUpdated 31 Mar 2015
Dennis Prager
Dennis PragerUpdated 31 Mar 2015

20 May 2014 A Disservice to Veterans

15 Oct 2010 Protect Speech

16 Mar 2010 One More Card in the Wallet