Tag Archives: unemployment rate

Great jobs report, but what has POTUS done … exactly?

The U.S. Labor Department chimed in this morning with a stellar jobs report for July.

The nation added 209,000 payroll jobs. The unemployment rate fell from 4.4 percent to 4.3 percent. It’s good news. The economy is on the move, as it has been for some time now.

Donald J. Trump, as expected, took credit for the great jobs report. Yes, the president should be thrilled and happy with them. I welcome the good news as much as he does.

He said he’s “only just begun” to bring back more American jobs.

My question, though, is this: What, precisely, has the president done to generate the stellar jobs numbers?

Legislative accomplishment? None. We haven’t overhauled the tax system. Congress hasn’t acted on the president’s infrastructure revitalization plan. It hasn’t tossed out and replaced the Affordable Care Act.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has rolled back many of regulations enacted in prior administrations, but have those actions produced — by themselves — these big job numbers? Umm. No.

Take credit, Mr. President, if you wish. You are entitled to all the credit you deserve — which is some, but nearly as much as you seem to suggest.

What happened to the calamity?


Just a shade less than a quarter-million jobs were added to the U.S. non-farm, non-government payrolls in February, according to the Labor Department’s latest monthly report.

The unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent.

The federal budget deficit continues to decline.

But by golly, we keep hearing along the presidential primary campaign trail that Barack Obama is presiding over an economic calamity. We’re heading for the crapper. Bernie Sanders keeps harping on the “1 percent” who are making all that money at the expense of the rest of us.

It’s time to give Barack Obama some credit.

Tim Egan writes in the New York Times:

“By any objective measurement, (Obama’s) presidency has been perhaps the most consequential since Franklin Roosevelt’s time. Ronald Reagan certainly competes with Obama for that claim. But on the night of Reagan’s final State of the Union speech in 1988, when he boasted that ‘one of the best recoveries in decades’ should ‘send away the hand-wringers and doubting Thomases,’ the economic numbers were not as good as those on Obama’s watch.

“At no time in Reagan’s eight years was the unemployment rate lower than it is today, at 5 percent — and this after Obama was handed the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression. Reagan lauded a federal deficit at 3.4 percent of gross national product. By last fall, Obama had done better than that, posting a deficit of 2.5 percent of G.D.P.”

I’m not going to give the president all the credit for the economic recovery. However, I’m damn sure not going to condemn with the ferocity that we’ve been hearing — primarily from the Republican candidates for president — about all the gloom and doom.

On other side of the great divide, we hear Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders yammering about the richest Americans not paying enough taxes. He wants to enact fundamental economic change.

I can’t help but wonder: Why?

Yes, we’re in the midst of a contentious political campaign. Candidates are bound to say anything to get attention.

Which is precisely, as I see it, what they’re doing when they keep harping on the economic disaster that hasn’t arrived.

Economy takes a hit … or does it?

Economics question of the day: When does a drop in the unemployment rate mean bad news?

When the drop is caused by people giving up on their search for jobs.

So it is that the Labor Department today reported that the jobless rate fell to 6.7 percent, the lowest rate since 2008, but the economy added only 74,000 jobs in December, which is far below economists’ prediction.


Is it time to push the panic button? Time to throw in the towel? Time to storm the White House with torches and pitchforks?

No to all of the above.

As my financial adviser keeps telling my wife and me: Take the long view.

The nation added 2.2 million jobs in 2013, which is about what it added in each of the previous two years. The labor market isn’t great. As one economist said on NPR this morning, it’s gone from being “terrible to just plain bad.”

I’m not going to join the amen chorus of critics who keep insisting the economy is in the tank.

We’ve recovered all the jobs lost during the great recession of late 2008 and early 2009; manufacturing is up; the budget deficit is down, as is the trade deficit; domestic energy exploration is way up, as evidenced by all those pump jacks working furiously along the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles.

Let’s just wait for next month’s job figures … and maybe the month after that.

Jobs are up; jobless rate down … still no love

The U.S. Labor Department today reported 162,000 jobs were added to the nation’s payrolls in July, while the jobless rate fell to 7.4 percent, the lowest in nearly five years.

But still, despite that, the news is being received with a shrug and a “so what?” even from those who detest President Obama and his economic policies.


It honestly puzzles me. Then again, I don’t get paid to analyze this data. I’m watching all this unfold from the peanut gallery, like most Americans – and that includes the TV talk show chatterboxes who purport to be the know-it-alls of everything that’s supposed to matter.

This administration took office with the nation in free fall. We were losing – depending on who’s counting – 700,000 to 800,000 jobs each month. Banks were crashing. Housing markets all across the country were cratering. A member of my family – a well-educated architect – personified the agony of what happened when he lost his job as the housing market disintegrated all along the West Coast.

What’s happened since then? The government added rules that added accountability to lenders who were loaning money to people who couldn’t repay their loans. Rules for banks were tightened. The government pumped money into state and local economies – such as Texas and Amarillo, where officials were more than happy to take it. Jobs have been added at a slow, but reasonably steady rate.

Is the economy growing fast enough? No. Considering where we were at the start of 2009 and where we’ve gone since then, though, I’d rate the policies a success.

Yes, some individuals disagree with that. Let ‘em disagree. I’ll stand by what I’ve witnessed from the cheap seats.

Oh, and my family member who lost job in 2009? He’s back to work … as an architect.