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June Jobs Report: Obama Economy Still Sluggish

The mainstream media will rejoice that the economy grew 287,000 jobs. But what do the figures actually say?

Audience members hold signs appealing for jobs as they attend a Democratic news conference about extending unemployment insurance benefits which expired Dec. 28, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released their monthly job figures for June. Despite a slight increase in the unemployment rate – 0.2 percent to 4.9 percent – the liberal media will rejoice that 287,000 jobs were created. But what do the figures really tell?

First of all, participation rates are still sluggish. Despite a 0.1 percentage point increase to 62.7 percent, they are still at the level they were in February 1978. In comparison, the rates were 65.8 percent in February 2009 when President Barack Obama took office.

Audience members hold signs appealing for jobs as they attend a Democratic news conference about extending unemployment insurance benefits which expired Dec. 28, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Audience members hold signs appealing for jobs as they attend a Democratic news conference about extending unemployment insurance benefits which expired Dec. 28, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

While adults of all races, including Latinos, have relatively stable participation rates, youths from 16 to 19 are not so lucky. Their participation decreased 0.4 percentage point to 34.6 percent, with Whites and Latinos being the most affected. They respectively lost 0.4 and 1.9 percentage points, while their Black peers saw a 0.5 point increase. But fortunately, the “real” unemployment rate – U6, which includes discouraged unemployed workers – has decreased 0.1 percent to 9.6 percent.

Second of all, the overall picture of where the jobs were created can lead to satisfaction at first. The government sector shed over 400,000 jobs while private industries created over 500,000 jobs, although there are some 40,000 fewer self-employed. There are also 600,000 fewer part-time workers for economic reason, showing that employment seems to be picking up.

But as it has been the case with this administration, many of the jobs created do not add much value to the economy. The goods-producing sector (manufacturing, mining, construction) only created 9,000 jobs, while low value-added sectors like retail trade and leisure and hospitality account for nearly 90,000 new jobs. Fortunately, higher value-added jobs like information, finance, professional services and education and health services were the bulk of the 287,000 jobs.

Finally, long-term unemployment is still plaguing the economy. Its average duration has increased one percentage point to 27.7 weeks, i.e. over six months, although its median duration decreased 0.4 percentage point to 10.3 weeks. This may seem like a contradiction, but it’s not since unemployment between zero and 14 weeks has increased more quickly – 0.2 percentage point to 59.4 percent – than unemployment 15 weeks and over, which decreased 0.3 percentage point to 40.5 percent.

But these figures are still no reason to rejoice.

Only Ronald Reagan had to face such long-term unemployment, and only in 1983. President Obama has always had over 40 percent of the active workforce unemployed for more than 15 weeks. And he only had two month of very long-term unemployment (over 27 weeks) below 25 percent – it increased 0.7 percentage points to 25.8 percent. On his side Reagan only had a single month above that threshold.

If you want government to keep destroying the economy at this pace, then by all means vote for Hillary Clinton. Her handling of classified information gives you an idea of how she would handle the economy.

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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