In the government’s December labor report, the nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent, which is our lowest rate since October of 2008. While this may be heralded as good news, it is truly disturbing. Unfortunately, only 74,000 new jobs were added last month, the worst job growth numbers since January of 2011.
This is anemic job creation, a fraction of the 200,000+ new jobs needed each month just to keep pace with the nation’s population growth. It is even more shocking since most analysts predicted approximately 193,000 new jobs in December.
Even worse, of the new jobs, 40,000 were temporary positions, not what wage earners need to care for their families. Not surprisingly, the average work week for Americans dropped to only 34.4 hours. So, there are few full time jobs being created and on average Americans are working less.
The reason the unemployment rate dropped is that an astounding 347,000 Americans left the work force in December. This means that 5 times more Americans exited the labor pool than located new jobs. Our country now has 91.8 million Americans not in the work force. These are Americans who are receiving benefits, living off their savings or living on the streets. Many of these Americans have given up any hope of finding work and for these poor individuals; the hope of the American dream is over.
We cannot have a “recovery” with no jobs. There can be no “recovery” with a labor force participation rate of only 62.8 percent, the lowest level since 1978. In December, the country’s civilian labor force dropped to 154.9 million. This is occurring at the same time that the population is increasing to 317 million.
If the labor force participation rate was the same today as it was at the start of the Obama administration, the nation’s unemployment rate would be over 11 percent. If that were the case, experts would be worried about an economic “crisis” and not boasting about a “recovery.”
There could be even worse news in future months. Due to Obamacare, the healthcare industry will face a severe crisis. In December, 6,000 healthcare jobs were lost, the first time in 10 years that there have been any losses in healthcare. This trend will likely accelerate in 2014 as Obamacare is implemented.
If the President were truly concerned about the economy, he would immediately halt the onslaught of Obamacare and start working on pro-growth policies of tax and budget reform and sensible energy policies such as construction of the Keystone pipeline. Sadly, the President is still committed to pro government, anti-growth positions that exacerbated these problems in the first place.
While the administration claims that “Happy Days are Here Again,” the reality is that our economic clouds are darkening and a major storm is coming our way.