Thanks to some deep digging by BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, here are two clips of a younger Barack Obama explaining why a jobs report issued under then-President George W. Bush showing a gain of 300,000 is somehow indicative of poor economic policies.
Here’s a 2004 radio address:
And here’s a television interview where he repeats the same thing:
You know why this is funny, right?
U.S. employers added only 96,000 jobs last month (9,000 of which were striking utilities workers returning to work), the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July, and 368,000 Americans exited the work force, TheBlaze reported earlier this morning.
By any measure, it’s a pretty dismal report, right? Well, not if you’re currently employed by the White House [emphasis added]:
While there is more work that remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.
Okay, perhaps we need to sit down and have a discussion on the meaning of the words “recover” and “build” because we seem to be losing something in translation. What next? Is the White House going to tell us to not read too much into —
As the Administration stresses every month, the monthly employment and unemployment figures can be volatile, and employment estimates can be subject to substantial revision. Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report and it is informative to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available.
Okay, at what point after 42 straight months of unemployment above eight percent should we start “reading into” these reports? Here, let’s try to visualize what’s going on. First, here’s a 14-year trend for the employment-population ratio [via Hot Air]:
“These two charts measure the workforce as a percentage of the population — which accounts for population growth as well as job creation,” Ed Morrissey writes. “Both are not only dropping, the civilian participation rate dropped faster and farther during the recovery than it did during the recession.”
And just for fun, here’s a graph showing the difference between the jobs report senatorial candidate Obama scoffed at and the report that just came out this morning:
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This story has been updated.