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March Jobs Report: Obama Economy Still Sluggish


Being April 1, Democrats will joke that they handle the economy very well with an unemployment rate of 5 percent and 210,000 more jobs. But a closer look shows that reality is not so glorious.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The Bureau of Labor Statistics just released the March job report.

Being April 1, Democrats will of course joke about it being great, showing how great President Barack Obama is at managing the economy. Hey, the unemployment is only at 5 percent!

But what does the report actually say?

Photo Credit: Shutterstock Photo Credit: Shutterstock

True, participation rates keep increasing. They are still at 1978-low, but have now increased to 63 percent. The increase can be seen for all adult groups but African Americans, who saw a decrease of 0.2 percent to 61.5 percent.

Unfortunately, youth (age 16-19) participation rates still don’t profit from the Obama “recovery.”

The overall rate has decreased 0.4 percent to 35.1 percent, still hovering around historically low rates. Only young African Americans saw an increase of 1.7 percent to 30.5 percent. Their white and Latino counterparts respectively saw a decrease of 0.6 percent (to 37.1 percent) and 0.8 percent (to 31.1 percent). Both have still not recovered from Obama’s taking power in February 2009.

In slightly more positive news however, the economy grew 215,000 jobs in March, none of which were government – that sector lost nearly 230,000 jobs. Even the self-employed saw a substantial increase of over 130,000 jobs.

However, nearly 140,000, or 61 percent, of the jobs that were created are part-time and for economic reasons (slack conditions or couldn’t find a full-time job). There are over 6.1 million people in this situation, the highest rate since September 2015. Concomitantly, there are 130,000 more multiple-job holders, showing that employment is still difficult.

And many the jobs that were created were in, once again, low-paying industries like retail (47,700) and leisure and hospitality (40,000). The mining (-12,000) and manufacturing (-29,000) industries keep bleeding jobs, although the healthcare industry saw a handsome increase of 44,000 jobs.

This means that many people will remain unemployed for a long time.

While the average duration of unemployment decreased 0.6 percent to 28.4 percent, it’s still 40 percentage points longer than in February 2009. As for the median duration, it increased 0.2 percent to 11.4 percent, nearly back to the February 2009 figure.

Long-term unemployment (15 weeks or more) is also nearly back to February 2009 figure. It encompasses 42.4 percent of all the unemployed, a 0.3 percent increase. While the very long-term (more than 26 weeks) unemployed rate decreased 0.1 percent to 27.6 percent, it’s still higher than in 2009 and on an upward slope since June 2015.

So when you are done laughing at Democrats’ pretended good handling of the economy, do as the French would do and “pull up your sleeves.” Make sure the next set of politicians actually care about improving the economy rather than their personal gains. Because if America gets to “feel the Bern,” it will be its final downfall.

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