The consensus from the far left following this morning’s release of September jobs numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics can be described as nothing short of elation.

According to the BLS, unemployment sharply dropped from 8.1% to 7.8%. This marks the first time unemployment rate has been below 8% since the day Barack Obama was sworn into office. In fact, it is currently at exactly the same level it was in January of 2009.

A closer look at the statistics reveals an America developing under President Obama that isn’t exactly “built to last.”

First we start with the easy one, unemployment under the U-3 index: 7.8%. This is the number you’ll hear on all the major news networks and leftist publications. But this isn’t the whole story of the state of jobs in America, not by a long shot.

Hot Air has done a nice job explaining the internals of the numbers used by the BLS:

The U-6 number, which captures unemployment and underemployment as well as the marginally attached, stayed the same as in August at 14.7%. The civilian population participation rate rose a tenth of a point to 63.6%, exactly where it was in the 1982 midterm election, and only missing the 31-year low set last month.

The number of unemployed dropped 456,000 last month, while only 114,000 jobs got added. That either means that 342,000 people left the US, or they left the work force in one way or another. In the household survey, though, the number of people with jobs rose by 873,000 — a very strange outcome that makes it appear that more than one tweak has been done to previous data. (The +873K is in the seasonally adjusted number, by the way.

So how did the unemployment rate (as measured by the U3 index) drop so sharply given that only 114,000 jobs were added last month, a number that was less than that added the previous month?

Involuntary part time work. Also referred to as the “underemployed.”

James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute explains (h/t Hans Bader from Open Market) [emphasis mine]:

1. Yes, the U-3 unemployment rate fell to 7.8%, the first time it has been below 8% since January 2009. But that’s only due to a flood of 582,000 part-time jobs. As the Labor Department noted:

“The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose from 8.0 million in August to 8.6 million in September. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

Despite the fairy tale that many on the left are embracing as proof that we may finally be seeing the Obama recovery, the reality is quite the opposite. What we’re actually seeing is an economic stagnation far worse than anyone expected. An America where the involuntary part-time worker is now touted by our leadership as a beacon of success.

If this is now what we consider a recovery, we would have been better off just doing nothing. But don’t take my word for it, just ask the President how his recovery should be graded:

I heard a very relevant quote the other day, the source of which is disputed.

There are three types of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.

Ain’t that the truth.

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