April 5 2013
Jobs Report: A Punch to the Gut
When the 2012 presidential race was in the final stretch, the media suddenly discovered a new impediment to the Romney cause: an improving economy. So how’s that working out?
The jobs report today is so bad that even Austan Goosbee, former Obama economic adviser, had to admit it:
"We all overshot it," said Goolsbee on CNBC. "This is a punch to the gut. This is not a good number."
The stock market agreed, falling a walloping hundred points in 60 seconds.
The inevitably cheery Alan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, as usual was almost alone in finding the good news. Writing on the White House blog, he says this:
While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue the policies that are helping to build an economy that creates jobs and works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.
Here is what we learned this morning: Unemployment remains 7.6 percent. The economy created a scant 88,000 jobs in March. The number of people who aren’t even in the workforce has soared:
Things just keep getting worse for the American worker, and by implication US economy, where as we have shown many times before, it pays just as well to sit back and collect disability and various welfare and entitlement checks, than to work .The best manifestation of this: the number of people not in the labor force which in March soared by a massive 663,000 to a record 90 million Americans who are no longer even looking for work. This was the biggest monthly increase in people dropping out of the labor force since January 2012, when the BLS did its census recast of the labor numbers. And even worse, the labor force participation rate plunged from an already abysmal 63.5% to 63.3% - the lowest since 1979! But at least it helped with the now painfully grotesque propaganda that the US unemployment rate is "improving."
So it makes you feel really good that the president’s top economic adviser thinks the report shows signs of improvement from the long-ago downturn that began a full presidential term ago.