Jack Welsh doesn’t believe September’s 7.8% unemployment rate
Jack Welsh, former CEO of GE, and Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Magazine, took to their Twitter accounts to cast doubt in the latest national unemployment rate. The United States Department of Labor releases a monthly unemployment rate. The country had been in a state of 8% unemployment or higher for 43 months. The lowering of the rate is more a “psychological victory” as opposed to a vast improvement in America’s economy.
I think it is pretty ridiculous to cry bias with this report. I didn’t hear anyone complaining when the numbers were above 8%. I am not one of those conspiracy theorists. I don’t think the “numbers were cooked.” This whole controversy is unnecessary, foolish and only distracts from the real discussion of the numbers.
Economists were almost exactly right in their estimation of the net jobs created last month. However, they expected the unemployment rate to increase from 8.1% to 8.2%. Total employment increased by 873,000 for the biggest increase since 1983. In all there was a net increase in 114,000 jobs. The underemployment rate (the rate I most care about) remained the same at 14.6%. The underemployment rate counts the people that have left the job search because they can’t find a job and have thus become discouraged. The total number of unemployed and underemployed is at 23.2 million (12.1 million unemployed + 2.5 million stopped looking + 8.6 million working part-time). Another key factor in the rate dropping was the fact more and more early “baby-boomers” are retiring early; thus essentially dropping out of the work force.
According the U.S. Department of Labor the U.S. has 4.5 million less jobs than pre-recession and 61,000 less employed since President Obama took office. We have 8.1 million less people in the work force giving us 63.6% work force participation. That is the lowest participation rate since Jimmy Carter was in office. The 7.8% rate is also a product of a revised July and August jobs report (about 86k more jobs added than had been estimated).
So I don’t think the numbers have been “cooked.” Instead of arguing that point conservatives should be explaining the real reason for the decrease in the unemployment rate. In reality, regardless of if it’s 8.2% or 7.8% the number is still high. President Obama entered into office with an unemployment rate of 7.9%. So I’m sorry if I’m not thrilled he has managed to keep the rate almost the same. I will give him a congratulatory salute when I see real, sustained, and consistent improvement in the economy. Until then I’m not convinced of a recovery.
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate