Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that the unemployment rate in July rose to 8.3 percent, marking an inauspicious milestone—the 42nd consecutive month that unemployment has been at or above 8 percent under President Obama. Americans continue to suffer through a painfully tepid recovery made even slower by the president’s failed policies. In addition, the labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of able Americans working or looking for work, remained near a 30-year low in July. If the percentage of Americans in the work force were as high today as at the beginning of this recession, unemployment would actually be 11.5 percent.
Alan Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, went to the White House blog today to set the spin in motion as the president and his administration continue to resort to the politics of division and envy:
“…today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression.”
Here’s what the media had to say about today’s announcement:
CNN: “Three years after the recession officially ended, roughly 12.8 million Americans remain unemployed, and 40.7% of them have been so for six months or more. Meanwhile, 852,000 so-called "discouraged workers" were not counted in the labor force, because they did not look for a job in the last four weeks.”
USA Today: “Employment continues to recover slowly from a recession that pushed unemployment to 10% in October 2009. The number of unemployed was 12.8 million in July and the number of long-term unemployed was 5.2 million. Both showed little change from June.”
MarketWatch: “Still, job growth remains well below what’s needed to bring down the unemployment rate, which rose to 8.3% in July…This is the highest rate since February.”
CNBC: “Despite the seemingly good news, the report's household survey showed that the actual amount of Americans working dropped by 195,000, with the net job gain resulting primarily from seasonal adjustments in the establishment survey.”
Wall Street Journal: “The latest payroll numbers are encouraging after three months of weak job creation, but the figures still aren’t enough to lower the unemployment rate, and hiring remains well below the pace set at the start of the year.”
Associated Press: “Still, the economy has added an average of 151,000 jobs a month this year, roughly the same as last year's pace. That's not enough to satisfy the 12.8 million Americans who are unemployed.”
Alan Krueger also said that:
“It is critical that we continue the policies that build an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007. To build on the progress of the last few years, President Obama has proposed an extension of middle class tax cuts that would prevent the typical middle class family from facing a $2,200 tax increase next year.”
Unfortunately, Krueger failed to mention the president’s plan will raise taxes on our nation’s job creators, which will only exacerbate our jobs crisis. A new report released by the accounting firm Ernst & Young finds the President’s tax increases will hurt the economy and cost more than 710,000 American jobs. In addition, the report found that wages would fall by 1.8 percent, reflecting a decline in workers’ living standards relative to what would have occurred otherwise.
Even though Krueger is fond of reminding America “not to read too much into any one monthly report,” House Republicans know that action must be taken. That is why we voted to stop the tax hike this week. House Republicans agree with the president that taxes should not go up during a recession.