Obama's Jobless Recovery Continues Unabated
Posted 02/01/2013 06:46 PM ET
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Economy: So the economy created 157,000 new payroll jobs in January. Wow. At this rate, we might actually get back down to Bush-era unemployment rates sometime, oh, within the next 100 years.
The January jobs report is supposed to be good news. After all, the economy has now added a total of 6.1 million jobs over the past three years, and the BLS revised last year's jobs numbers sharply upward.
But it doesn't take much effort to notice that, when it comes to job creation, we are barely treading water.
Case in point: Despite these “big” gains, unemployment climbed to 7.9% — higher than when Obama took office amid the “worst recession since the Great Depression.”
That 7.9% is deceptively low: It fails to account for the exodus of 8.5 million from the labor force under Obama.
As a result, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' broader measure of unemployment remains stuck at a depressing 14.4% — also higher than when Obama took office.
In addition, there are still 4.7 million long-term unemployed — nearly twice as many as when Obama was first sworn in. And at 35 weeks, the average length of unemployment is far higher than any time between World War II and the Obama era.
But the worst news of all is that we remain 3.2 million jobs shy of the previous employment peak of five years ago. To get a sense of how dismal this is, consider this:
It took an average of just 24 months to regain all the jobs lost in the previous nine recessions. But at the current Obama job-creation pace, it will take about 80 months to regain those lost jobs.
And this doesn't factor in the growth in the number of job seekers over the past five years, which makes the real jobs gap more like 9 million.
This isn't because the economic hole was so deep, as Obama endlessly insists, but because his policies have produced the slowest recovery in modern times. If Obama's recovery had merely been average, there'd be 7.5 million more with jobs today.
At least Obama's top economic adviser, Alan Krueger, had some sound advice. “Today's report is a reminder of the importance of the need,” he wrote, “to avoid self-inflicted wounds to the economy.” Too bad Obama didn't heed that before he imposed ObamaCare, unleashed his army of regulators, added more than $1 trillion in new taxes, and piled on $5 trillion in added debt.