Tags: Obama | jobs | employment | market

JT Young: Obama's Boasting About Strong Jobs Market Is Bogus

JT Young: Obama's Boasting About Strong Jobs Market Is Bogus

By    |   Tuesday, 29 March 2016 06:00 AM

President Obama’s incessant boasting about the strength of the U.S. jobs market diverts attention away from the dismal condition of the work force, says J.T. Young, a former official in the Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget during the prior administration.

“Employment's most popular measuring sticks, the number of employed and the unemployment rate, show Obama's story to be far less than billed,” Young writes in a RealClearMarkets blog. “Rather than the crown jewel of his economy, employment further underscores its weakness.”

While the unemployment rate has fallen to 4.9 percent from a 26-year high of 10 percent in 2009, millions of Americans have stopped looking for work and aren’t counted in the work force anymore. Meanwhile, the population of potential workers has grown to 252.6 million from 234.7 million when Obama took office.

“If America still had the 65.5 percent labor force participation rate that existed when Obama took office, today's official 4.9 percent rate would instead be an enormous 8.7 percent,” Snow writes. “Today's seemingly low unemployment rate is the product of today's low labor force participation rate.”

The unemployment rate is expected to remain steady at 4.9 percent this month. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will publish data for March.

Economic growth also has been anemic during the Obama presidency, according to data cited by Snow.

“Annual real GDP growth during Obama's presidency has averaged less than half of the post-WWII period preceding it: 1.4 percent from 2009 to 2015 versus 3.1 percent from 1946 to2008,” he writes.

In other signs of a stalling economy, U.S. consumer spending nudged upward February and inflation declined, according to the Commerce Department.

Consumer spending,which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, rose 0.1 percent as households cut back on goods purchases after a downwardly revised 0.1 percent gain in January, Reuters reported.

"It speaks to the weakening in domestic economic momentum at the start of this year, further reinforcing the Fed's cautious monetary policy bias," Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities in New York, told the newswire.

Following weaker data on consumer spending and trade, economists slashed their first-quarter gross domestic product growth estimates by as much as half a percentage point to as low as a 0.9 percent annualized rate, Reuters said. The economy grew at a 1.4 percent pace in the fourth quarter.

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President Obama's incessant boasting about the strength of the U.S. jobs market diverts attention away from the dismal condition of the work force, says J.T. Young, a former official in the Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget.
Obama, jobs, employment, market
396
2016-00-29
Tuesday, 29 March 2016 06:00 AM
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