The July jobs report was anything but inspiring. Sadly, as the Heritage Foundation explains, the economy remains weak, and part-time workers are not being converted to full-time workers:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics employment report found steady but disappointing growth in the labor market in July. Employers added 162,000 net jobs, and the unemployment rate fell slightly to 7.4 percent. While this would be considered decent growth in normal economic times, it falls short of expectations for a recovery from a deep recession. However, part-time workers are not being converted to full-time at the rate seen in previous recessions.
President Obama’s promises remain unfulfilled:
In 2009, the Obama Administration promised that the huge increase in government spending from the stimulus would lead to recovery and low unemployment within a few years. Instead, four years later, unemployment remains persistently high.
And Obamacare will only make the situation grimmer:
The Pew Research Center recently produced statistics indicating that young adults are living in their parents’ home in increasing numbers. The numbers should concern young adults (young men specifically), their parents and every Americans because they are a prism through which we can see the degradation of our society that results from big-government policies. What’s causing young people to decide to live at home? Employment and marriage are on the decline and college enrollment is on the rise.
To be clear, college enrollment can be a good thing, but if the decision to attend college is made because of the inability to find employment, it could simply be a means of racking up debt. Indeed, student loan debt totals nearly $1 trillion, double what it was in 2007. Unemployment and underemployment are hurting young people and the culture of delaying marriage has demonstrable negative effects on them as well.
We have already noted that big-government policies are directly harming young people, and we outlined the ways Obamacare and Social Security are dragging them down. But these policies are also harming the economy, and those getting hit the hardest are our young people.
The economic forecast for the United States is not exactly sunny. The May jobs report indicates that employers are hiring at a restrained pace as they still feel uncomfortable hiring due to the weak economy. Though May’s jobs numbers were a slight improvement on April’s, 175,000 from 149,000 respectively, May’s jobs growth falls in line with average job growth over the past three years.
The unemployment rate shows an “economy running in place,” explains Heritage’s James Sherk. And to boot, millions of Americans have left the labor force altogether, and there are few signs that they will return any time soon. This makes unemployment numbers look smaller:
The fact that unemployment rose but the employment-to-population ratio did not rise illustrates a larger problem facing the economy: While unemployment has dropped, the proportion of Americans with jobs has scarcely increased since the recession ended. Unemployment looks better only because millions of Americans are no longer looking for work and thus do not count as unemployed.
The economic picture is entirely unimpressive.
Before you rush to celebrate last month’s unemployment rate that ticked down to 7.6 percent from 7.7 percent, consider what has happened to labor force participation. The labor force participation rate fell to 63.3 percent, its lowest level since 1979. In fact, Austan Goolsbee, former chair of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, called the March jobs report a “punch to the gut.”
Of course, the White House is singing the same old tune: it’s the sequester’s fault! But Heritage Foundation experts predicted this reaction last month when they explained:
Looking ahead, policymakers need not fear slower job growth due to the recent sequestration, which will force the federal government to cut $85 billion in budget authority this year. That will slow the growth of 2013 spending by only about $42 billion.
The federal cuts from sequestration, which will be enacted gradually over the next two years, should not negatively impact private-sector job growth. Economists Alberto Alesina, Carlo Favero, and Francesco Giavazzi have found that spending-based corrections are followed by little decline in gross domestic product (GDP), with recovery following within a year.
The Obama administration wants to replace the sequester with a so-called balanced approach; however, their idea of balanced is more taxes and ultimately more spending. Increased taxes – like the higher payroll taxes imposed upon us by the fiscal cliff deal – will not contribute to economic improvement.
According to a Pew Research Center poll, 66 percent of Americans support the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and this support spans most demographic and partisan groups. This poll stands in contrast to opinions from the left and environmental groups that public opposition to the Keystone pipeline should sway the Obama administration away from approving its construction.
Some people question the safety of transporting oil via pipelines and make the argument that since there is a risk to the environment involved in the transport of oil, the Keystone pipeline should not be built.
However, this argument is self-defeating for a number of reasons.
First, as the Wall Street Journal explains (sub. req’d) it is actually safer to transport oil via pipelines than by rail, and energy companies have been increasingly forced to ship by rail as pipeline capacity has been filled. Oil pipelines carry far more crude and have fewer leaks per mile than rails.