Jobs, Jobs, and yet more Jobs
In years past it was fairly easy to get the true view of the job landscape in the U.S., one would simply refer to the unemployment rate. That is no longer the case, as most Americans do not believe the statistic gives a true reading of the state of employment in the country.
The real gauge is how Americans feel about the employment situation. Are they out of work? Do they know friends and family on the unemployment line? And how long have the unemployed been searching for a job? If you ask the majority of Americans the state of the jobs market is not any better today than it was when the unemployment rate was 10.1 percent. Even though the number has improved to 8.2% as the economy move out of recession, the true view is not nearly as rosy.
The Real Numbers
The number of unemployed in the country crossed above 13 million in March 2009 and today it stands at 12.7 million. Considering the large amounts of taxpayer money spent on attempting to fuel the jobs market, the number is less than impressive.
If the 2.4 million Americans that have given up on finding a job over the last 12 months were added back into the labor force and used in determining the unemployment rate it would shoot above 11 percent. To any sane person the 2.3 million people that have given up on the job search are still technically unemployed.
Small Business is Key
According to www.GOP.gov, since 1980 small business startups have created over 40 million jobs, which accounts for 60 percent of all new jobs in the country. Unfortunately the surveys show that small business owners are not planning on hiring or expanding in the near future. The NFIB small business optimism index turned lower last month with nine of ten factors negative.
Without small business creating jobs it will be difficult for the country to get out of the employment situation it currently faces. The government can do all they want with stimulus and attempts to create jobs. Unfortunately history shows that the government is not successful in creating long-term, sustainable jobs. What does create jobs is favorable business conditions and confidence in small business owners. Both are non-existent today and need to change soon for the country to avoid another slowdown in economic growth.
Jobs and the Election
The polls that pit Obama against Mitt Romney in November are close with several months left for voters to decide. The question as we move closer to November is whether the employment picture improves or as the recent numbers suggest, begins to deteriorate?
That then leads to the discussion as to what voters will focus on when pulling the lever in November. Will it be based on the economic and employment numbers or will it be on social issues? If it is the former, there is a very strong chance that Obama will not be around for a second term.
I am not sure how anyone can honestly say that the economy and employment situation has improved since Obama took office. The “cooked” numbers do not show it and either do our neighbors out of work. If you do not want another four years of stagnant economic growth and family and friends out of work, do not pull the level market Obama in November.