Part of the reason it has taken a decade for the economy to recover from the Great Recession is that politicians have had too little respect for their ability to destroy jobs and too much faith in their ability to create them.
– Antony Davies and James R. Harrigan
Source: The ammo this jobs report gives the GOP
Before you celebrate:
Friday’s jobs report showing a gain of 252,000 positions and a dip to a 5.6 percent unemployment rate offered up more good news for President Barack Obama, who is wrapping up a weeklong road trip to tout the improving economy and offer up fresh proposals on housing and education in advance of his State of the Union address later this month.
Keep the following items in mind:
The report showed that average hourly earnings decreased by 5 cents to $24.57, following an increase of 6 cents in November. On the year, average hourly earnings have risen just 1.7 percent, barely enough to keep pace with inflation. The encouraging 0.4 percent increase in wages reported in November got revised back down to 0.2 percent.
The labor force participation rate also ticked down to 62.7 percent, the lowest level since the 1970s. [my emphasis] That number comes from the volatile household survey so probably does not mean very much on a single-month basis. But the overall trend in participation will be very much a Republican talking point over the next two years.
We are actively driving workers out of the workforce. This is really, really, exceptionally bad. With 27.3% of the workforce not even trying to find jobs, many of whom are relaxing in the comfortable “hammock” of unemployment or other social welfare programs, the load on those who remain in the workforce carry a tremendous burden. The heavier this burden becomes, and the more generous we are to those not working, the less incentive people have to work.
Sometimes, “generosity” – especially the “generosity” that comes from the plunder of workers (i.e. taxes) – kills.