The Non-Recovery Recovery

Friday’s jobs numbers were dismal. Once again, President Obama desperately tries to pass the poor numbers off as progress. It is not clear just how stupid Obama may be, or how stupid he believes his followers must be, that he thinks he can sell these numbers as a positive.

James Antle, III does not buy Obama’s story. Neither do the non-Kool Aid drinkers in society. Mr. Antle provides an inconvenient perspective for Obama fans regarding the jobs numbers:

  • Unemployment has now remained above 8 percent for 41 straight months.
  • Obama economic advisers Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein had projected that the $800 billion stimulus would have brought unemployment down to 5.6 percent by now.
  • In the 36th month of the Reagan recovery, 209,000 jobs were created to the 80,000 created at the same point in the current recovery.
  • When you factor in people who have dropped out of the labor force, unemployment is closer to 15 percent.
  • Growth in manufacturing employment is slowing.

Actually, the numbers are worse than reported. Government says U-3 unemployment is 8.2% and that U-6, which includes part timers looking for full-time work and “discouraged” workers, is 14.6%. More damning is the adjustment to the numbers required to make them comparable with past measurements.

Government changes in definitions and methodology are necessary to compare unemployment rates from earlier periods. According to John Williams at, 22.8% unemployment represents the current rate if it were measured as defined in Jimmy Carter’s tenure. That is at 1930s levels!

Perhaps we all should be singing “Happy Days Are Here Again.”