Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Energy, Liberalism, Taxes, The United States | Tags: A Part-Time Nation?, Carter Level Economy, More People Quit Looking
The economy added 169,000 jobs in August, 152,000 in the private sector, but that was less than predicted and offset by a downward revision for June and July of 74,000 jobs. The problem is that another 312,000 working-age Americans have quit looking for work and left the workforce. They call it formally “labor force participation rate” and it fell to 63.2% — the lowest rate since August 1978, and before the big numbers of women entered the workforce in the 1980s and 1990s.
The labor force participation rate measures the share of the country that finds it rewarding enough to seek or get a job. Or stated differently, the measure of workers’ confidence that they can find a job that pays enough to make it worthwhile. These are levels last seen during the Carter Presidency. If participation in the workforce had just returned to where it was at the end of the recession in June of 2009, four million more Americans would be collecting a paycheck. If those who have stopped looking for work were counted as unemployed, the jobless rate would be closer to 10%.
Temporary help increased by 13,100 jobs in August, and by 181,700 from a year ago. Motor Vehicles and Parts employment was up by 18,800 jobs in August. Oil and gas extraction payrolls increased by 1,400 new jobs from July to August. Over the last 12 months oil and gas payrolls have increased by 4.4%.
The expansion of food stamp participation and federal disability rolls have made not working more attractive. A new Cato Institute study shows that the full plate of welfare benefits — food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid and so on — now pays more than a $12 an hour job in half of the states. This plays a role in the expanding numbers of people who are leaving the workforce. Reforming those programs would help, but the cure is faster economic growth.
Unfortunately, the president has little knowledge or understanding of economics. One would think that they would recognize, by this time, that Keynesian economics just doesn’t work, never has, yet some are still sure that the stimulus just wasn’t big enough. Obama is still railing at the sequester, and wants big tax increases. He just cannot conceive of spending less money. (click to enlarge)