The so-called mainstream media is busy touting the drop in the unemployment number to 7.5 percent (TNT, 5-4). That means we’re now back to the level it was five years ago when Barack Obama took office.
Is that really an accomplishment to be proud of? I think not. Particularly when you consider how the number was achieved.
The labor force participation rate remains at a decades-low 63.3 percent. If participation had held constant since Obama’s term began, the jobless rate would be 11 percent. So the lower unemployment rate was achieved by having people drop out of the job market. That doesn’t exactly bode well for a strong economy.
Furthermore, the retail work week tumbled to a three-year low and total retail hours worked fell nearly 1 percent – the result of employers slashing work hours in an effort to avoid Obamacare employer mandates. That doesn’t sound like much of an economic recovery to be hyping.