Saturday, October 6, 2012

Newest Fox News piece: What the 7.8 percent jobless number really means

This is the way my newest piece starts:
The official unemployment rate of 7.8% means we are finally back to the level when Barack Obama became president, at the height of the recession. That may seem like great news. However, a more serious analysis of the job market numbers indicates continued gloom. 
First of all, full-time employment actually fell last month. Total jobs rose only because part-time employment increased so dramatically. 
Even so, the number of jobs, full-time and part-time, is falling short of the ever-increasing working-age population. Last month there was a net gain of 114,000 jobs. But with an expanded working age population of 206,000 and 63% of those working, 131,000 jobs would have had to be added to keep the fraction employed from falling. 
Unfortunately, even this anemic growth in the total number of jobs only came about because several hundred thousand full-time workers were forced to accept part-time work. While total jobs rose by 114,000, people who are classified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as "part time for economic reasons" soared from about 8 million to 8.6 million, a 581,000 increase. . . .
If I had thought about it when I was writing the piece, I would have noted that since the recovery started most of the reduction in unemployment was due to people giving up looking for work.  The increase of people not in the labor force grew by 2.66 times the growth of the number of people employed.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Newest Fox News piece: Four ways Romney must hold Obama accountable for the economy

My newest Fox News piece starts this way:
Are you better off today than four years ago? Tonight's presidential debate, with its focus on domestic policy, is Mitt Romney’s chance to put President Obama on the defensive, to make him answer for his abysmal economy policies. 
Without a doubt, the economic performance during Obama’s presidency has been sluggish and GDP growth has been getting even slower. The new jobs added to the economy have merely offset the jobs that have been lost, with no increase in total employment. Obama has overseen the weakest economic recovery ever. 
But the media has largely glossed over the continued slump and painted an unjustifiably rosy picture of the economy. It’s Romney’s job tonight to focus on the important economic issues. 
Obama’s strategy is clear: blame Bush and claim the economic problems he inherited were much worse than anyone could have known at the time. But such a line of arguing should be a hard sell if Romney plays his cards right in tonight’s debate. Romney only needs to remind us of Obama’s continuing overly optimistic predictions. . . . .


Monday, October 1, 2012

Newest Fox News piece: What the media isn't telling you about our economy

My newest Fox News piece starts this way:
Judging from the media coverage, you might think that our economy was improving. You’d be wrong.
The truth is that the slowest recovery on record appears destined to set even more records for slow growth. That’s not good news for President Obama. And more bad economic news hit him this past week. Here's a short list of indicators:
-- Slow GDP growth: GDP rose at an annual rate of just 1.25% during April through June, barely keeping up with the growth in population. The economy has been getting slower and slower since the end of last year. . . .

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