|Toon by A.F. Branco|
According to The New York Times, “The United States had another month of disappointing job growth in April. The nation’s employers produced a net gain of 115,000 positions, after adding 154,000 in March, the Labor Department said Friday. April’s job growth was less than economists had been predicting. . . . The unemployment rate ticked down to 8.1 percent in April, from 8.2 percent, but that was not because more unemployed workers found jobs; it was because workers dropped out of the labor force. The share of working-age Americans who are in the labor force, meaning they are either working or actively looking for a job, is now at its lowest level since 1981 — when far fewer women were doing paid work. The share of men taking part in the labor force fell to 70 percent, the lowest number since the Labor Department began collecting these data in 1948.”
And The Huffington Post even admits, “Unemployment Rate Falls To 8.1 Percent As People Give Up On Looking For Work,” adds, “Unemployment fell to 8.1 percent in April, the lowest since January 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning. But the decline was mainly due to 342,000 people leaving the labor force, meaning the BLS had stopped counting them as unemployed. The number of employed people in the nation actually fell by 169,000. . . . About 12.5 million people are still unemployed, and a record 88.4 million people are considered ‘not in the labor force,’ according to the BLS. The labor-force participation rate -- the percentage of the work-age population either working or looking for work -- dropped to 63.6 percent, the lowest since December 1981. ‘It's hard to see the good news here,’ David Semmens, senior U.S. economist at Standard Chartered, wrote in a research note.”
Recall that when President Obama and Democrats in Congress passed the nearly $1 trillion stimulus bill over three years ago, their economic advisors claimed that unemployment wouldn’t exceed 8%. And Vice President Joe Biden famously boasted that the stimulus would “create 3.5 million jobs … literally drop-kicks us out of this recession,” in only 18 months.
Politico’s Mike Allen reports that President Obama will be speaking to high school students in Arlington, Virginia today. There’s not a lot of good economic news for them, though. As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said last week, “So today, the President will bring his latest poll-tested message to . . . students . . . . And I’m sure he’ll give a very rousing speech, full of straw men and villains who stand in the way of their dreams. I’m sure he’ll also express his strong support for things that all of us agree on. But what he won’t talk about is the extent to which the decisions he’s made are limiting their opportunities in the years ahead.”
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