Right Hooks

As Economy Improves, Unemployment Will Rise

It's going to be really hard to improve upon "full employment."

Nate Jackson · Jan. 6, 2017

The headline jobs numbers are, once again, pretty good. The U.S. added 156,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.7%. The Washington Post reports, “December marks the 75th straight month of job growth — the most extended streak the country has seen since 1939.” And Reuters notes, “[T]he number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to near a 43-year-low last week, suggesting the economy ended 2016 with strong momentum.”

We don’t mean to always play the role of Debbie Downer, but there are some stagnant and poor numbers, too. The Washington Examiner explains, “2016 saw the slowest job growth since 2012, a reflection of the fact that there are far fewer unemployed workers and the jobs market is much tighter today than earlier during the long, drawn-out jobs crisis.” And CNS News tallies another number: “Barack Obama’s presidency began with a record number of Americans not in the labor force, and it’s ending the same way. … [T]he number of Americans not in the labor force has increased by 14,573,000 (18.09 percent) since January 2009, when Obama took office. … In December … a record 95,102,000 Americans were not in the labor force.”

What’s interesting about the trend is that it’ll be pretty tough for Donald Trump to do better than 4.7% unemployment. Reuters points out, “Trump, who campaigned on a pledge to spur job growth largely by revitalizing U.S. manufacturing, will inherit a labor market that is considered to be at or near full employment, with a jobless rate at a nine-year low.” Implicit in this is what a wonderful job Obama has done.

However, this particular unemployment rate, as Patriot Post readers well know, is an incomplete number. Still, it’s the number in mainstream media headlines, and it’s the one that sticks with the American people. Yet because of the way it’s measured, when Trump’s tax and regulatory cuts yield jobs for some of those 95 million not currently in the workforce, the increased participation will actually drive the headline unemployment number up. Thus, it will appear to the uninformed — thanks to a deceitful Leftmedia — that Trump’s policies are causing unemployment when just the opposite is the case. Don’t be fooled. As the old saying goes, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

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