Monday, May 6, 2013

The Unemployment Numbers

Rush had lots of interesting things to say about this on Friday. I share the entire transcript.
RUSH: Everybody is ecstatic with the jobs numbers today. Unemployment down to seven and a half percent, 165,000 new jobs. Well, it's nothing, but in comparison to what it has been --

It doesn't matter, Snerdley. The media's all atwitter about it. That means the low-information voters are gonna hear that. The real number, nine and a half million fewer jobs since Obama was immaculated. That's how many people are not working, that's how many jobs we've lost, nine and a half million in four and a half years. The sequester. The sequester is what I'm crediting it to. (laughing) If they're gonna talk about how great this news is, then I'm gonna credit the sequester for it. He-he-he. Budget cuts, just to tweak 'em, you know, just to tick 'em off, budget cuts led to massive new job gains! That could be our theme here today. Make 'em prove it isn't the case. Budget cuts, government getting smaller. Ahem. We know it didn't, but this is just how we tweak 'em.

Budget cuts. Look what happens when you cut the budget. People start hiring left and right. That's how, if we wanted to play the game the way they do, that's what I could say. I thought about doing that. But the truth of the matter is that, folks, our buddy Jim Pethokoukis over at AEI: "US job growth in April beat economist expectations as nonfarm payrolls rose 165,000, and the jobless rate fell to a four-year low of 7.5%. But the report contained worrisome signs that President Obama's health care reform law is hurting full-time, high-wage employment."

There's no question that the economy is not creating careers. The economy is creating part-time jobs. Now, Pethokoukis says the American economy added -- by the way, I sit here and I go through all this. I'll give you the truth, but the low-information crowd isn't gonna hear this. The low-information crowd is hearing that the economy's going great guns, that unemployment's down to seven and a half percent, all these new jobs are created. And in terms of it being an electoral factor for Obama, it's not. Obama's still got big, big trouble out there, and he knows it. But that's another subject.

Let me stick with this. "While the American economy added 293,000 jobs last month," again, these are government numbers, "according to the separate Household Survey, the number of people employed part time for economic reasons," i.e., "involuntary part-time workers..." That's what the Labor Department calls them: Involuntary part-time workers These are people that have their hours reduced. That number of people employed part time for economic reasons "increased by 278,000 to 7.9 million, largely offsetting a decrease in March.

"These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job." At the same time, the U-6 unemployment rate -- which is the number people out of work and the number of people who have given up and are no longer counted in the U-3 number -- that number went up. It's 13.9%.

The U-6 unemployment rate, which includes discouraged workers and part-timers who want full-time work, went from 13.8 to 13.9%.

And there's more. There was a two-tenths of an hour decline in the length of the average workweek. I mean, this stuff gets detailed and filled with minutia. But the nut of it here is that it's a part-time economy, and the number of involuntary part-time workers is skyrocketing. Now, remember, the economy added 293,000 jobs last month. The number of people employed part time increased by about the same: 278,000. So we're not adding careers, is how I look at it.

We're adding part-time people whose hours are being reduced because of Obamacare. There are anecdotal reports like this one from the Los Angeles Times: "Consider the city of Long Beach. It is limiting most of its 1,600 part-time employees to fewer than 27 hours a week, on average. City officials say that without cutting payroll hours, new health benefits would cost up to $2 million more next year..." So the City of Long Beach, in order to save $2 million that it does not have, has reduced the workweek for 1600 people that work for the city down to 27 hours.

Those people, by the way, are included in the "positive" unemployment numbers today. Those 293,000 jobs created and everybody is going, "Yay! Right on, dude!" are made up largely of people like that. Let's see. Even with the unemployment rate at 7.5%, it is way above where the Obama White House predicted it would be if Congress passed the stimulus in 2009. This is important to remember. We passed the Porkulus bill, which is one of the first things Obama did in 2009.

Remember, the knock-off vice president was running around predicting 600,000 and 800,000 new jobs a month? The Obama team said that the unemployment rate would be something like 5% by now if we passed the stimulus. It's at 7.5%. But that's a misleading number, too. I'm not trying to throw cold water on anything. I mean, a lot of people want to look at this and feel good about it, and if you do, fine. I'm just pointing out here that the majority of people that make up this great job report are part-time employees, people that are working under 30 hours a week.

RUSH: A little trivia here, ladies and gentlemen. The current unemployment rate is 7.5%. The current unemployment rate is worse than it ever was under George W. Bush. The worst unemployment number that Bush had was 7.3% in his last month in office, December 2008. Now, you might be saying, "Rush, that can't be, 'cause I remember the media telling us how we were in a recession and how bad the economy was." Well, you remember that right. They did.

For the last three years of the Bush administration's second term, every day the media was pummeling us with the fact that we were in an economic slowdown approaching a recession; things were going horribly. It was all part of setting up the 2008 campaign for the Democrats, whoever the nominee was. But the highest unemployment number for Bush was 7.3%. Today we're at 7.5% and everybody wants to throw a party. For most of Bush's terms, for at least six years...

Well, the unemployment rate probably spiked after 9/11 in 2001, but factor that in, the recovery from that. The Bush unemployment number was 4.7% and 4.8% for a huge number of years. It was hovering around 5%. Statistically, the government has always said that "full" employment is 4.7%. Just by virtue of statistical anomaly, 4.7% unemployment equals full employment, and we were at that number when the media was hyping a recession, and the media was hyping a plummeting economy.

It really was a self-fulfilling prophecy. They just harped on a rotten economy for so long, they eventually made people believe it. I'll never forget, I had a guy call here and he said, "Yeah, I'm doing great, doing great. But I watch the news, and I'm hearing how bad it is, and I'm worried how my neighbors are doing. I'm doing great, Rush." That was the case all over the country. People were doing fine economically, but they were seeing and hearing on the news every day how bad it was.
They felt guilty, and it was all lies.

Now, this unemployment news today, I'll tell you why it's being hailed as fantastic by the media. Because the media is in full-panic mode, and we've documented that all week. The media's in full-panic mode because their hero, "Barack Hussein Obama! Mmm! Mmm! Mmm!" gave a disastrous performance in his press conference. His sequester bluff fooled nobody. His creation of part-time jobs and the loss of health insurance by all those people being moved down (involuntary part-timers), and all the people losing their health insurance is being felt.

Benghazi is blowing up. His approval numbers are tanking (at least in Rasmussen) and we've got infanticide in the news. Obama is out now saying he personally... This is the Limbaugh Theorem on this. Obama is saying that he personally has no problem with a 15-year-old girl being able to walk into a drugstore and get a morning-after birth control pill but it's not his decision. (impression) I have no problem with it. I really don't. But I have nothing to do with it." Limbaugh Theorem.

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