name content Hurray for Obama! Unemployment is up! (And it’s actually worse than that) — The North Star National

Hurray for Obama! Unemployment is up! (And it’s actually worse than that)

Unemployment news from the Labor Department caused jubilant reactions in the White House on Friday, and President Obama rushed to the microphones to crow.

According to Obama, his policies are directly responsible for the latest economic news which he and uncritical media mavens see as proof of an economic recovery in full swing.

Just a tad short.

What was the jubilant news? The unemployment rate rose from 9.7 percent in March to 9.9 percent in April.

Actually, the president didn’t highlight the rising unemployment levels when he was patting himself on the back.

Rather, he touted the 290,000 new jobs generated in April as the largest monthly increase in four years.

While the president didn’t brag about the rising unemployment, the Associated Press, Reuters and the nearly universal pro-Obama media hailed the rise as proof that the economy has turned around.

Typically, Obama’s media proclaims that the increase in unemployment rates demonstrates people are streaming back into the market looking for work.

Really?

Well, perhaps the dynamic in play in April may not demonstrate citizens rushing back to the employment market in search for work. Isn’t it more likely that the continuing extension of unemployment benefits has led those whose benefits have expired to return to the unemployment lines to sign up for more unemployment checks?

Unemployment benefits were extended to 99 weeks in March. Tens of thousands who had previously exhausted their maximum benefits were restored to unemployment benefit eligibility. As such, tens or hundreds of thousands began signing back up for benefits in April. Although they were returning to get their additional weeks of benefits, they have seemingly been counted as new claimants.

While it is shocking to suggest that this, or any, administration would manipulate such data, it is certainly a plausible scenario.

When the extended weekly benefits expire in the coming months, unemployment numbers will begin to drop again. Such a drop will not show an uptick in the number of new employees, but will merely increase the number of a different unemployment category.

A spiritual thriller by Dan Calabrese. Click the image to learn more and order a copy.
A spiritual thriller by Dan Calabrese. Click the image to learn more and order a copy.
In California, Florida and New York, more than 287,000 folks have exhausted their 99 weeks of unemployment compensation. Hundreds of thousands more will exhaust their benefits in the coming months.

High school and college graduations in May will swell the number of people joining the work force. Don’t be surprised to hear the president and his lemmings break out the big smiles for new numbers released in June when unemployment again will exceed 10 per cent.

After using up all the unemployment benefits, claimants are dropped from the traditional unemployed or U-3 roles reported by the Labor Department. The now-unemployed without any source of income will join, or rejoin as the case may be, tabulated in the underemployment rate or U-6.

People who exhaust their benefits and cannot find (or have given up looking for) work, and part-time employees who want to be working full-time, are counted as part of the underemployment rate, or the U6 list. These numbers increased in April to 17.1 per cent, the third month in a row this number has increased.

According to the Labor Department, 45.9 percent of all unemployed people have been out of work for six months or longer – a record number.

The wonderful economic news emanating from this administration has led economists to predict unemployment will increase to more than 10 percent before the November mid-term elections.

Obama campaigned on increasing jobs in the nation and actually set a target of 3.5 million new jobs by the end of 2010. At the time of Obama’s 3.5 million new job pledge, the nation had nearly 135.1 million employed. How close is the country to having the 138.6 million jobs Obama assured the country would exist by the end of this year? The same jobs report Obama took so much pleasure in discussing on May 7 also indicates the country’s total employment is 130.2 million in April.

So the man who promised the nation unemployment would not exceed 8 percent if his stimulus plan was adopted in the early days of his presidency is the same one who promised to push employment up to 138.6 million by the end of 2010.

An incredibly precocious 10-year-old girl in Louisville has a perfect analysis of Obama’s forecasting abilities. She would say the president engages in opposite day.

She would also ask Obama to stop making promises