“Unemployment Rate” at 8.1%, labor participation rate drops again, fewer than 100k new jobs created
Another one of those anomolies which makes the unemployment rate look better than it is. The rate as calculated drops when people drop out of the work force because they no longer are counted as unemployed.
So while the media and Obama campaign probably will try to spin the drop as a good thing, in this environment it is a sign of weakness, particularly considering that fewer than 100,000 new jobs were created.
From the BLS report this morning (which Obama would have known about before his speech last night):
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 96,000 in August, and the unemployment rate edged down to 8.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in food services and drinking places, in professional and technical services, and in health care.
The unemployment rate edged down in August to 8.1 percent. Since the beginning of this year, the rate has held in a narrow range of 8.1 to 8.3 percent. The number of unemployed persons, at 12.5 million, was little changed in August. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.6 percent), adult women (7.3 percent), teenagers (24.6 percent), whites (7.2 percent), blacks (14.1 percent), and Hispanics (10.2 percent) showed little or no change in August. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.9 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
In August, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 5.0 million. These individuals accounted for 40.0 percent of the unemployed. (See table A-12.)
Both the civilian labor force (154.6 million) and the labor force participation rate (63.5 percent) declined in August. The employment-population ratio, at 58.3 percent, was little changed. (See table A-1.)
Even NPR felt the need to note the statistical anomoly:
Meanwhile, the nation’s unemployment rate edged down to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent the month before. Often, the jobless rate dips even when employment growth is weak because the size of the labor force shrank as many Americans gave up looking for work.
Put today’s report in the context of last night’s vitriolic speeches, by Biden in particular, and you realize the complete disconnect this administration has to reality.
Update: James Pethokoukis notes:
– If the labor force participation rate was the same as when Obama took office in January 2009, the unemployment rate would be 11.2%.
– If the participation rate had just stayed the same as last month, the unemployment rate would be 8.4%.
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Regardless of the facts, even though reported by one of the most ‘trusted’ news sources – NPR, expect every national Democratic campaign and their media supporters to tell us all how this is a continuing trend of better numbers, proving we are ‘on the right track’. More work to do, give us more time, our policies are effective, be patient, the GOP will only enrich the rich with riches and richness, vote us in and well spend sooooo much more money this will only get better, yadda yadda yadda……
Two a’s in “anomaly.”
An administration of anomy has to depend on anomalies to make it look good.
There simply isnt a good way to spin the report. Sure..Ive seen it already…the focus on the .2 drop to 8.1%
May I remind our memory impaired media. We were at 8.1% back in April. Thats not Forward.
This isnt Forward either: Monthly job creation on average is less than 2011. Thats not momentum.
MInd you, I realize a President is somewhat limited in the actual jobs created. But hey..I never forced Obama to say “we created jobs”. He wants to take credit? Well.
Speeches dont create jobs. Specific actions can.
Ill bet Keystone is looking better as time goes on.
Everyone who supports Obama, pundits and elected class alike, constantly point to the “positive” jobs creation over repeated months. The point is weakly supported by the argument of how many were being lost when Obama entered office. Even though the smarter folks will try not to make a big deal out of the ‘reduction’ in the reported unemployment percentage, there is no doubt in my mind the theme for the next few months will be ‘the right direction’ with a mostly supportive media. Very few will question how good or positive it really is. They will simply point to the numbers and give the equivalent of, “See?”
Back in February :“Well we’re not there because this recession turned out to be a lot deeper than any of us realized,” Obama said about his inability to cut the deficit in half [as pledged]. ….
We lost 8 million jobs just in a year’s span, about half a year before I took office and half a year after I took office,” Obama said.
When a hurricane is coming in, people head to high ground in advance. Job creators and investors saw either Hurricane Hillary, or even worse Cat 5 Hurricane Obama coming. Things continued to get worse after Obama took office, but at a slower rate, because so many had fled in advance, largely after he was elected, but before he took office.
So now of course, Obama picks that period right before he took office for his comparisons, though almost certainly a big part of the fear was caused by the approaching tidal wave of spending from Democrat controlled DC.
The other ignored point … Democrats took Congress in 2007, and Obama voted for things he blames Bush for.
But Obama did take credit for Iraq, even though that was established by Bush. And he took credit for part of Bush’s “No child left behind”.
One population is seeing full employment.
Obama’s legion of straw men. Those guys are getting over-time.
August jobs report: Hiring slows, unemployment falls
Jobs growth slows to a snail’s pace in August
I’m surprised neither took the positive spin that I expected them to. Maybe they were just disappointed by Obama’s speech last night, and woke up this morning remembering they are trying to re-elected Obama and not Clinton.
in this environment it is a sign of weakness
I think more like, disaster just around the corner.
Ah, but Crazy Joe told us last night, “we turned the corner”.
So…I guess we met disaster. Again. Some more.
If you’re going to lay blame for failure, you have to take credit for failure…..
W-wait,….what am I saying?
Never mind. The Savior of Mankind can do no wrong.
I see Prof J added Jims stuff on jobs numbers. He is about the best around on this stuff.
One of his best charts actually explains alot in a backward sort of way. It answers why the jobs arent there.
Look at this chart. The lines show Actual GDP and Potential GDP. In a very real way the area between the two lines is Unemployment.
As hard as the bastids cook the books they STILL cant get the figure under 8% !
One should also point out the U-6 figure, which north of 14%:
Byron York says it best as he lists the standard reply from the WH
I mean really. How many times must we rely on the Fed’s “paddles” (QE) before we admit the treatment just isnt working?
James Pethokoukis notes:
“If the labor force participation rate was the same as when Obama took office in January 2009, the unemployment rate would be 11.2%.”
And this is the stat that the GOP should focus on. IOW, the real unemployment rate has actually gone up.
Well not to worry too much… Look’s like O’bammy will be toast in November which in turn will allow real leadership to be installed that has a “stellar” track record!
“The rate as calculated drops when people drop out of the work force because they no longer are counted as unemployed.”
If only one person, Obama, left the work force, I think we’d see a huge drop in the unemployment rate.
It’s also worth noting that private sector wages continue to fall — June: $810.75, July: $809.43, August: $809.09.
It’s the second coming of Jimmy Carter.
[…] of this government by disaster. In August 2012 the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1% because Americans are in such a depression that many are not bothering to look for work anymore and […]
“…From the BLS report this morning (which Obama would have known about before his speech last night)…”
It looks like you are assuming someone in the Obambi’s administration is competent and presented the BLS report to Choom Head before his speech.
Well, respectfully disagree, sir, we know Obambi read GQ when his mug was on the cover and we know he quotes “Rolling Stone” as a source.
And we know his jobs counsel has not met anytime this year and that he no longer received daily economic reports from reports from last year. Choomhead reads speeches without comprehending or connecting the facts because someone else writes them. America needs a real American with an IQ in the presidential office.
“I will not rest until every American who is ready and able finds a job.”- Barack Hussein Obama, The WORST PRESIDENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY and a devout radical marxist/socialist /communist extremist
“I think most folks understand how hard I work and how hard this administration is working on behalf of the American people.” – Barack Hussein Obama, The WORST PRESIDENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY and a devout radical marxist/socialist /communist extremist, 13 April 2012.
“The private sector is doing fine.” – Barack Hussein Obama, The WORST PRESIDENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY and a devout radical marxist/socialist /communist extremist, 08 June 2012.
“Just like we’ve tried their plan, we tried our plan, and it worked…that’s why I’m running for a second term.” – Barack Hussein Obama, The WORST PRESIDENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY and a devout radical marxist/socialist /communist extremist, 23 July 2012.
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Can we all agree from this point forward that the unemployment rate is an utterly worthless number? The participation rate is the real story.
The absence of any loud noise from the press says we are “on plan.”
This continues the Obama “LightWorker” strategy (i.e. Obama will run on the only thing he has, his popularity).
Notice that Obama’s speech on Thursday night didn’t tackle anything difficult (i.e. unemployment nada, entitlement reform nada). His polling indicated that a flat speech was his best plan of attack. He knows that all he has to do is offer the illusion of new programs and stay away from the “heavy lifting.” Then merely run on his popularity.
The Democrat’s strategy will be to discourage all those looking for jobs to drop out of the job market. That will cause the unemployment rate to fall below 4% which they can then claim as an accomplishment.