The February 2015 jobs report is out and the nation’s unemployment rate has fallen to 5.5%. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this equates to full employment. It’s a great thing, isn’t it? Just ask the DPCC.
Under President Obama’s leadership, the economy has added private sector jobs for 60 straight months. During this span, 12 million private sector jobs have been created. – See more at: http://www.dpcc.senate.gov/?p=blog&id=172#sthash.93kTaVlT.dpuf
Five straight years of private sector job growth. President Obama is without question the most consistent jobs creator in history. Isn’t he? Never been done before, right?
Facts get in the way here. Mainly, the U-6 measure of the unemployed and those not in the labor force any longer. The U-6 rate?
What is U6 unemployment rate ?
The U6 unemployment rate counts not only people without work seeking full-time employment (the more familiar U-3 rate), but also counts “marginally attached workers and those working part-time for economic reasons.” Note that some of these part-time workers counted as employed by U-3 could be working as little as an hour a week. And the “marginally attached workers” include those who have gotten discouraged and stopped looking, but still want to work. The age considered for this calculation is 16 years and over.
Still at 11%, higher than in any of the Bush years. Those not in the labor force?
Who is not in the labor force?
Labor force measures are based on the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years old and over. Excluded are persons under 16 years of age, all persons confined to institutions such as nursing homes and prisons, and persons on active duty in the Armed Forces. The labor force is made up of the employed and the unemployed. The remainder—those who have no job and are not looking for one—are counted as “not in the labor force.” Many who are not in the labor force are going to school or are retired. Family responsibilities keep others out of the labor force.
January, 2009. Obama takes office. Those not in the labor force was 80,529,000. February, 2015. 92,898,000 million are now no longer in the labor force. Meaning 12,369,000 million Americans are now out. Gee, kinda equals out with the 12 mil number the DPCC is touting, doesn’t it?
I used to post on these reports every month. It just took me a while to realize what folly that was. With the inflation rate being revised whenever necessary to fit the agenda and other meaningful measures such as wage growth being distorted accordingly, it is a waste of time.
Seat of the pants is a far better measure. Talking to your neighbors, family and co-workers. Talking to real people about their situation and how far their dollar goes today is infinitely more reliable than any government statistics dribble regurgitated by the media.
We are about as close to full employment as we are to getting politicians to switch to a part-time, unpaid term all in the best interests of the country. Neither one is even close.