Policy: Economy

White House thinks another mediocre jobs report shows 'solid job gains'

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Beltway Confidential,White House,Barack Obama,Jobs,Labor,Ashe Schow,Economy,Unemployment

Who has the toughest job in the nation's capital? How about the White House official who has to figure out a new way to put a positive spin on yet another mediocre monthly jobs report.

Here's what Jason Furman, chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers came up with for the latest report:

“With continued solid jobs gains, today’s employment report is another sign of progress, but we must continue to pursue policies that move our economy forward and restore middle class security.”

But are there “continued solid jobs gains”? Hardly.

White House officials often point out that “private sector employment has risen for 42 consecutive months, with businesses adding a total of 7.5 million jobs over that period.”

What they don’t say is that in the 56 months that Obama has been president, unemployment has fallen just 0.5 percent, from 7.8 percent when he was inaugurated to 7.3 percent today.

They also don't mention that the main contributor to the fall of the unemployment rate is people leaving the workforce altogether because they can't find work, with 312,000 leaving in August alone.

This month’s jobs report is hardly better than last month’s. Employment increased by 169,000 jobs in August, while 162,000 were allegedly added in July. But then the latter number was revised downward this month to 104,000.

The jobs picture remains bleak when broken down into demographics:

• Men: 7.1 percent (up from 7 percent in July)

• Women: 6.3 percent (down from 6.5 percent)

• Teens: 22.7 percent (down from 23.7 percent)

• Whites: 6.4 percent (down from 6.6 percent)

• Blacks: 13 percent (up from 12.6 percent)

• Hispanics: 9.3 percent (down from 9.4 percent)

• Asians: 5.1 percent (down from 5.7 percent)

• Americans with no high school degree: 11.3 percent (up from 11 percent)

• Americans with college degree or higher: 3.5 percent

The number of people employed part-time due to cuts in work hours declined by 34,000. There are still 866,000 discouraged workers in America, unchanged from last year.

The real unemployment rate, the U-6 rate (which includes total unemployed, including part-time workers) fell to 13.7 percent in July.

The long-term unemployed make up 37.9 percent of all unemployed Americans.

Nothing "solid" about those numbers.

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