From Hope to Hopelessness: Obama's Economy Has 88 Million "Not In Labor Force"
April 6, 2012
It was less than a year ago that Barack Obama’s senior adviser, David Plouffe said:
After 2½ years in office, President Obama now “owns” the economy as an issue, according to top adviser David Plouffe, who added he was confident that voters understand that recovering from a devastating recession Mr. Obama inherited takes time.
“Of course he does,” Mr. Plouffe told NBC’s “Today” show host Matt Lauer when asked point-blank if Mr. Obama owns the economy.
“But the American people understand that we — it took us a long time to get to this mess,” Mr. Plouffe said. “It’s going to take us some time to come out. We are making progress.”
Well, after Friday’s jobs numbers came out (the economy added 120,000 jobs) Labor Secretary Hilda Solis promptly proclaimed: “That’s a noteworthy achievement.”
In fact, for the man who campaigned on the message of “hope” in 2008, the 120,000 jobs added is much fewer (about half) than expected and the edging down of the unemployment to 8.2% is not from job creation but from hopelessness.
There are now 88 million Americans who are “Not In Labor Force,” according to Department of Labor statistics, which the St. Louis Federal Reserve put into this pretty chart:
Obviously, others are seeing past Obama’s cheerleaders.
But mostly, the picture was disappointing at a time when all eyes are on the U.S. to help keep global growth humming. The jobless rate, which is obtained from a separate survey of households, edged down to 8.2% from 8.3%, its lowest point in three years. However, that decline was due less to new hiring than people abandoning their job searches.