Right Hooks

Obama Ignores the Jobs Number That Really Matters

Dan Gilmore · Feb. 8, 2016

Perhaps the economy has been good as Barack Obama claims, but is it resilient? On Friday, the chief executive used the Bureau of Labor Statistics' January Jobs Report to boast about his prowess of managing the U.S. economy. America has “the strongest, most durable economy in the world,” Obama said. As proof, he pointed to the jobs report, which said the unemployment rate dipped to 4.9% — the lowest it has ever been in eight years — and the fact that the hourly wage increased 12 cents. Obama also pointed to more people buying health insurance and cheap oil prices as evidence that his economy was working. First, Obama cannot force people to buy health insurance then say it’s a sign that his economy works. And as for cheap oil, Obama used his weekly address the next day to rail against “dirty fuels” and to push for greater government investment into green fuels — funded by a $10-a-barrel tax on the struggling oil industry. Meanwhile, the U-6 unemployment rate — a better measure of labor underutilization — skims along at 9.9%, and the labor force participation rate stands at a near-record low of 62.7%. Economists are now saying the economy is due for another recession, and we doubt the Obama administration’s boast of eight years of job growth will prepare the nation for a downturn.

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