The employment numbers are out today.
Obama’s supporters are saying “Yaaaay, 8.1%” out one side of their mouth…
…and “thank Gaia these numbers didn’t come out before The Light Worker’s speech yesterday” out the other.
While unemployment is down 0.2% to 8.1%, that would seem to be entirely due to the workforce participation rate also dropping 0.2%, to an all-time low of 63.5%.
Let’s put this in context: this means that 58.36% of the workforce is actually working. Not only is this 2.22% lower than when Obama took office in 2009 – it’s worse than when the economy had an ostensible 10% unemployment rate in October of 2009 (when the participation rate was 65%).
Most telling, perhaps? Since mid-2010, we had not been above 58.5% of the workforce employed, except for a few months earlier this year, when the employment rate bounced between 58.5 and 58.6. It’s been steadily down since June, as the participation rate has resumed its slide.
The Dems are trying to put lipstick on the pig, of course; Extreme-DFL Representative Jim Davnie of Minneapolis tweeted this morning:
Jobs 8/12: Up 96K, Jobs 8/08: Down 84K. Net 180K jobs to the good. Yes better off than 4 yrs ago. Imagine if #GOP worked to help
In August of 2008, the labor force participation rate was 66.1%; today, it’s 63.5%. That’s 2.6% lower. The unemployment rate was 6.1% (and getting worse), two points lower than today. The actual employment rates? 62.07% then, 58.35% today. Go ahead, Rep. Davnie; make my day, and keep using these stats in public.
If the participation rate drops low enough, we’ll technically have full employment, I guess.
Upside, sorta? I actually heard some of the morning news people mentioning the full context of the unemployment number drop – it’s a function of the number of people leaving the work force – this morning. Maybe even they can’t ignore it anymore?