The jobs numbers came out Friday and as has been the case in recent weeks – the gains were disappointing.
The U.S. unemployment rate has fallen to 8.1 percent,down from 8.3 percent, according to official figures from the U.S. Labor Department. However, American employers reported to have added fewer workers than forecasted in April and the jobless rate unexpectedly declined as people left the labor force. With this, The Blaze's Becket Adams notes that the decrease in unemployment can only be attributed to the fact that people have left the labor force:
Bottom line: the economy created only 115,000 jobs in April, 522,000 people left the labor force, the “official” unemployment rate is 8.1 percent, and total employment for the month actually fell 169,000, according to CNBC.
Rather than focusing on yet another week of anemic numbers, the "Real News" panel opened Friday examining the big picture.
Earlier in the week, James Pethookoukis of the New York Post notes that "even if you believe the garbage-in-garbage-out economic models that say Obama’s trillion-dollar stimulus averted a 1930s repeat, it’s sadly apparent we’ve stumbled from the Great Recession into the Great Stagnation."
Stagnation has been thrown around a lot by commentators this week. On "Real News" Friday Will Cain aimed to put the label into context, assessing that when judging the economy we often talk about growth and contraction, put forth as we are either going forward or going backward. Cain described stagnation as when we are either barely moving forward or standing still. From 2007 to 2012, Cain notes that for the most part the U.S. economy grew each year by only two percent or less.
From 1970 to 2010 we grew at an annualized pace of over three percent a year.
Cain explains that after examining the economic growth of both countries, we may be on course for the Japanese "lost decade" of the 1990s.
Matt McCall said we may very well be on the same path.
"The path that Japan took did not lead to growth," said McCall of the Keynesian economic measures applied by the Japanese government after the bubble burst. "What scares me is the path that we're going down now, with the FED and the U.S. government, we're going down a similar path in that we do not see growth.
"We're putting a band aid on the situation where it's not getting any worse, we're going to have probably slow growth; stagnate growth, but I do not see where the ultimate growth will come from."