Is Ned Ludd Writing for the Associated Press?

Featured image The Associated Press has undertaken an ambitious series of reports on the rotten U.S. and global economies. To its credit, the AP recognizes that our current recovery is, by any historical standard, awful: In the U.S., the economic recovery that started in June 2009 has been called the third straight “jobless recovery.” But that’s a misnomer. The jobs came back after the first two. Most recessions since World War II »

Another weak jobs report

Featured image Now that the election is over, most of us don’t wait quite as breathlessly for the monthly job reports; nor is the media’s urge to spin them quite as strong. But the reports remain consequential and the temptation to spin remains strong. Today’s report shows that employers added 155,000 jobs in December 2012. The unemployment rate for December was 7.8 percent, unchanged from November (the November rate originally was 7.7 »

Another poor jobs report

Featured image Superficially, the November jobs report doesn’t look bad. Non-farm jubs increased by almost 150,000 and the unemployment rate dropped to a four year low of 7.7 percent. Viewed with a little more sophistication, the report looks worse. 150,000 new jobs isn’t very impressive. And the drop in the unemployment rate stems from the large number of Americans who stopped looking for work. In fact, the deeper one drills down, the »

Labor Department likely to issue jobs report on Friday

Featured image Despite initial suggestions to the contrary, it now appears that the U.S. government’s jobs report for October will issue on Friday, as scheduled. Earlier, it was thought that the disruption likely to be caused by Hurricane Sandy in the Washington, D.C. area might well prevent the timely preparation of the report, and there was even speculation no report would be released until after the election. Hurricane Sandy did disrupt the »

Our Awful Economy, In One Chart

Featured image Michelle Obama says we are “in the midst of a huge recovery.” That claim is laughable to anyone who has lived through the last four years; this simple chart from the Senate Budget Committee highlights one of the central failings of Obamanomics: people are leaving the labor force faster than they are entering it. Since Obama became president ten times as many people have been added to the roster of »

The real unemployment, cont’d

Featured image I’ve written a few times about “the real unemployment” that is bedeviling the country as a result of Barack Obama’s destructive policies. My previous comments should be supplemented by Elizabeth MacDonald’s Fox Business column of this past Friday on “The real unemployment rate.” Now comes Americans For Prosperity with a powerful political ad titled “The Dinner Table.” It is an ad that captures something of the widespread suffering I mean »

Mitt Romney on the new jobs report

Featured image In the post immediately below, I offered my view on the Labor Department’s jobs report, which says that the unemployment rate dropped from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent last month. In sum, the purported improvement indicated by these numbers appears to have little or no basis in reality. Mitt Romney responded quickly to the report: This is not what a real recovery looks like. We created fewer jobs in September »

An October surprise

Featured image Today, the Labor Department reported that the jobless rate in the U.S. dropped from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent last month. This is the lowest rate in approximately three and a half years. But there’s a problem with the report: it doesn’t make sense. As Kevin Hassett points out, the 114,000 net jobs created in September is well below the average for this year (146,000) and the average for last »

Private Sector Job Growth Under Obama: What Are the Facts?

Featured image In speeches, President Obama touts his administration’s supposed success in creating private sector jobs. Those who have lived through the last four years of high unemployment and economic stagnation naturally wonder whether Obama’s numbers can possibly be correct. To answer that question, you have to pay careful attention to how Obama phrases his claim: Our businesses have gone back to basics and created over 4 million jobs in the last »

The real unemployment, cont’d

Featured image You may recall that the dismal August jobs report reflected a decline in the unemployment rate from 8.3 to 8.1 percent. Funny how that works, however, as Conn Carroll points out: “The U.S. economy actually lost jobs according to the survey the Labor Department uses to calculate the unemployment rate. And not for the first time. The U.S. workforce has declined for each of the last two months as has »

Obama’s Economy, By the Numbers

Featured image In the wake of yesterday’s jobs report, the Romney campaign sent out these statistics, which sum up the smoking ruins of the Obama administration in a nutshell: 23,136,000: The Number Of Americans Who Are Unemployed, Underemployed, Or Have Stopped Looking For Work. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 9/7/12) 12,544,000: The Number Of Unemployed Workers. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 9/7/12) 8,031,000: The Number Of Workers Working Part-Time For Economic Reasons. »

The real unemployment, cont’d

Featured image The unemployment rate declined to 8.1 percent last month, according to the August jobs report released yesterday, although unemployment as generally understood actually increased. As James Pethokoukis explains, the decline in the unemployment rate was attributable to a big drop in the labor force participation rate (the share of Americans with a job or looking for one): “If fewer Americans hadn’t given up looking for work, the unemployment rate would »


Featured image His Maoist campaign slogan is “Forward.” Yet Obama is taking us backwards, as in today’s dismal jobs report. How bad is it? AEI’s James Pethokoukis explains: “It shows the U.S. labor market remains in a deep depression, generating few jobs and little if [any] income growth.” The perverse drop in the unemployment rate is a byproduct, as we have come to learn, of the hundreds of thousands of unemployed Americans »

Unemployment Rises to 8.3%

Featured image The nonfarm economy added an anemic 163,000 payroll jobs in July–up slightly from an even worse 64,000 in June–but the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3%. Unemployment (forget about underemployment and the “real” unemployment rate, which is far worse) is now .7% higher than it was when Barack Obama took office. Nearly four years into Barack Obama’s term, unemployment is rising instead of falling. So the latest numbers are one »

Zombie economy threatens Obama

Featured image That’s the headline on Politico today. It’s a bit Obama-centric, but has a nice ring. So I stole it. President Obama, of course, is spinning the June jobs report, even though it capped the worst quarter for job creation in two years: We learned this morning that our business created 84,000 new jobs last month and that overall means that businesses have created 4.4 million new jobs over the past »

The real unemployment

Featured image Walt Whitman famously observed to a friend in 1863 that “the real war will never get in the books.” Whitman knew what he was talking about, so the proposition can’t be discounted. But in the case of the Civil War, if the real war hasn’t gotten into the books, it’s not for lack of trying. Louis Masur even made a good book out of Whitman’s challenge. I have Whitman’s feeling »

The continued weakness of our economy and our job market

Featured image The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of only 2.2 percent in the first quarter of 2012, according to the Commerce Department. This represents a decline from the 3.0 growth experienced in the final quarter of 2011. On the plus side, consumer spending increased to 2.9 percent in the first quarter. Because consumer spending tends to drive the economy, analysts expect this improvement to result in job growth which, »