Obama 2012 Slogan: Hey Unemployment Is At 0% Among Those Of You Who Have A Job- You’re Welcome!

The December unemployment numbers are out and the media are celebrating. Happy Days Are Here Again baby!

The Labor Department said Friday that employers added a net 200,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent, the lowest since February 2009. The rate has dropped for four straight months.

The hiring gains cap a six-month stretch in which the economy generated 100,000 jobs or more in each month. That hasn’t happened since April 2006.

The steady drop is a positive sign for President Barack Obama, who is bound to face voters with the highest unemployment rate of any sitting president since World War II. Unemployment was 7.8 percent when Obama took office in January 2009.

Still, the level may matter less to his re-election chances if the rate continues to fall. History suggests that presidents’ re-election prospects hinge less on the unemployment rate itself than on the rate’s direction during the year or two before Election Day.

Meanwhile back on planet Earth, the reality is quite a bit different.

If the size of the U.S. labor force was as large as it was when Barack Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 10.9 percent. But since so many people have gotten discouraged and stopped looking for work– and thus disappeared by government statisticians —  the jobless number has been artificially depressed.  A better gauge of the jobs picture is the broader U-6 rate, which includes part-timers who would rather have full-time jobs. It stands at a whopping 15.2 percent.

Also problematic for Obama is the unemployment rate in a key constituency…African-Americans.

The Black unemployment rate increased slightly to 15.8 from 15.5 percent in November.

Sure Obama is going to get 98% of that vote no matter who the GOP elects but how big will turn out be for that group, especially in key states like Virginia and North Carolina?

Hispanics are also suffering from a disproportionately high unemployment rate, 26.3%. That can’t be good news for Obama in places like Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada that are key to his “western path” to 270 electoral votes.

Of course by now the actual unemployment rate was supposed to be a full point or more lower.

(Just look at that chart for a second. Do you think that if it were put out by George W. Bush or any Republican President the media would ignore it like the AP writer above did? Not only would a Republican not get glowing coverage that ignored the underlying data, the media would be throwing this chart in their face every day.)

Also hurting Obama is that as the economy does tick up, discouraged workers will reenter the job market and that will drive the unemployment rate back up.

So this is some good news but it’s not the end all and be all the media will make it out to be for Obama.


About Drew

I blog about politics and hockey because I sort of understand those things. I'd blog about women but I'll never understand them.

Posted on January 6, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. You should shamelessly link yourself more often Drew. IMHO “the media” can’t hide economic malaise by refusing to report the daily price of gas, or not doing “man on the street” interviews about how shitty the economy is.

  2. Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

    Hi, Drew, just want to link this: http://i2i.nfc.usda.gov/Publications/All_Title_1/title1-12-1.html.

    Not every employee is getting a pay raise. Mostly I’m giving you a hit and also it’s impossible to link on Pixy’s crazy system at Ace’s. (Hi!)

  3. I really wonder how come you named this particular post, “Obama 2012 Slogan: Hey Unemployment Is At 0% Among Those Of You Who Have A Job- Youre Welcome!
    | DrewMusings”. In any event . I really loved the post!I
    appreciate it,Nam

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