There’s no way for President Obama or his media allies to spin the apocalyptic May jobs report, released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as even the heavily massaged “official??? unemployment rate rose to 8.2%. That brings us to forty straight months of adjusted unemployment above 8 percent.
The only tiny glimmer of hope in this report is the one thing the media never wanted to report until now: the overall workforce participation rate nudged up a bit, showing a 0.2 percent gain, widely thought to represent students entering the workforce in search of summer jobs. This leaves the American workforce considerably smaller than it was on the day Barack Obama took office. For this reason, it would be extremely uncomfortable for the White House to suddenly discover the workforce participation rate it has been studiously ignoring for the past three years, and attempt to cite the May gain as a spot of good news.
Only 69,000 jobs were created in May. That’s far, far below the rate needed to keep pace with population growth, and an astonishing failure to meet expectations of 150,000 jobs created – which would have given us a stagnant job market.
Furthermore, the already anemic April numbers were revised down by 38,000 jobs, which is a huge “adjustment.??? The old number was only 115,000 jobs created! Now it’s down to 77,000, and even March was revised down by 11,000 jobs to 143,000. Well north of 150,000 jobs are needed to keep up with population growth.
Think about the magnitude of those “adjustments??? for a moment. The three-month average just dropped from 113,000 per month to 96,000??? and 113,000 was awful. Construction took a big hit, losing 28,000 jobs in May. It has long been known that the warm winter moved a lot of construction jobs ahead. Also, those notorious “seasonal adjustments??? are always positive during the winter, but they start becoming negative in May. The bottom line is that the situation has always been worse than casual news consumers were led to believe. The fudge is getting fire-hosed from these numbers.
Long-term unemployment is up, from 5.1 million to 5.4 million, making them 42.8 percent of the unemployed population. The average duration of unemployment rose from 19.4 weeks to 20.1 weeks. Part-time work is up, as the BLS finds people “working part time because their hours had been cut back, or because they were unable to find a full-time job.??? Average hourly earnings grew by an extremely weak 0.7 percent – another sign of the transition to an economy dominated by part-time and temporary jobs.
The population of discouraged workers, the “unemployables,??? has held steady at 830,000 for a year. The BLS defines discouraged workers as “persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.??? Just what America needs! Let’s have four more years of it!
Among key voting demographics, Hispanic employment is up, while women, young people, and blacks remain hopelessly stagnant.
This awful jobs report comes in tandem with the downward revision of America’s GDP growth forecast, which the Commerce Department now estimates at a perilously weak 1.9 percent for the year. Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan told CNBC on Friday that he attributes this sluggish growth to “a fear of the future??? among investors and executives. Taxmageddon, the largest tax increase ever to hit American businesses and families, is a thundercloud rumbling on the horizon, ready to rain almost half a trillion dollars in new taxes on the weak Obama economy in January 2013. As the Heritage Foundation points out, Barack Obama is utterly silent about stopping this disaster, and actively opposed to efforts at stimulating the U.S. economy by increasing our energy reserves or trimming onerous regulations.
This is an apocalyptic disaster for the Obama re-election campaign – which, you may recall, was recently trying to criticize Mitt Romney for achieving a 4.7 percent unemployment rate in Massachusetts. That’s a level this failed President cannot even dream of. Nevertheless, Obama promptly jetted off to an incredible six fundraisers in one day. (Hat tip: Jammie Wearing Fool.) Just think of all the jobs that could be created if people invested that money instead of pouring it into Barack Obama’s pointless re-election effort.
Update: Corrected a typo on the April job numbers, which should have said “revised down to 77,00 jobs,” not “revised down by 77,000 jobs.” Since I had the 77k figure later in the paragraph, I thought it would be most efficient to edit the line to read “revised down by 38,000 jobs.”