Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and indeed all Americans. It is time again for our weekly update for dissemination.
My biggest concern from this past week is the numbers from the monthly jobs report released on Friday. There is no doubt that we all want to alleviate the suffering of our fellow Americans from this horrific epidemic of joblessness. However, it is the manner by which we are "recovering" that has me somewhat scratching my head.
You see, a savvy Commander always looks for trends and inconsistencies in order to understand the battlefield and develop a sound strategy. In this case, I have been absolutely perplexed with the amount of statistical revisions emanating from the Obama Administration.
Case in point, last year in the final quarter of 2011, October through December, we were initially told the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was at 3%. That number was later revised upward to 4.1%. Two quarters later the GDP growth number for Second Quarter 2012 was reported to be at 1.7%. Yet, just a month ago that number was revised downward to 1.5%.
The September jobs report put national unemployment at 7.8%, down from 8.1%. Amazingly enough, that is the exact same number from January 2009.
However, there was no change to the workforce participation rate, which remains at a 30-year low at 63.6%. Accompanying that is the fact that the U6 computation, which includes unemployed, underemployed, and discouraged Americans who are no longer counted, remained unchanged at 14.7%.
How is it that the national unemployment rate could drop .3% yet not yield commensurate change in other measurable categories?
In South Florida, we still face very high percentages: Palm Beach County in the mid 9%, Broward County hovering around 8 %, Martin County almost 10%, and St. Lucie County near 13%. We are not seeing this major shift down here in our little piece of paradise.
The Thursday before the monthly jobs report, we were told there had been an increase in first time jobless applications, up from last month.
Regardless of this 7.8% report, the Obama Administration stimulus promised in its projections an unemployment rate somewhere between 5.8%-6% at this point in time. Therefore, we still blew almost a trillion dollars and fell short of designed expectations.
Well, at least we did drop $2 billion from last year's deficit of $1.3 trillion to come in at $1.1 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It is still our fourth straight trillion-dollar-plus deficit. Supposedly, President Obama was going to cut that deficit in half.
Remember, the deficit was "only" $458 billion in 2008, President George W. Bush's last year, and Bush had to contend with a United States House of Representatives run by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a United States Senate run by Majority Leader Harry "Where's That Budget" Reid.
10 Key Facts on Jobs and Unemployment:
1. 4.1 Million Fewer Jobs than Projected: In January 2009, the Obama Administration forecast there would be 137.6 million jobs in December 2010. Instead, there were 130.3 million jobs in December 2010. Even 21 months later in September 2012, there are just 133.5 million jobs -- 4.1 million fewer than the Administration's forecast for late 2010.
2. Slower Jobs Recovery than during the Great Depression: This is the only "recovery" since World War II that the jobs lost in the recession had not been recovered by this point. In fact, the recent pace of job creation during the "Obama recovery" has been slower than during the Great Depression.
3. Less Full Time Work: Since January 2009, the number of full-time employees has fallen by more than 600,000 while part-time employment has grown by almost 1.4 million. This means part-time workers account for all of the net employment growth in the Obama years -- the opposite of what Democrats predicted when they said their stimulus plan was "likely to move many workers from part-time to full-time work."
4. Manufacturing Jobs Down: Since January 2009, more than 600,000 manufacturing jobs have been eliminated---the opposite of the Administration's projected increase of 408,000 manufacturing jobs due to their trillion-dollar stimulus.
5. Ten Times More New Dropouts than New Employees: During the Obama Administration, the number of people not in the labor force has grown by 8.2 million, while total employment has grown by less than 800,000. This means that during the Obama years, new workforce dropouts have outnumbered new employees by 10 to 1.
6. Far Higher Unemployment Rate than Projected: September's 7.8% unemployment rate remains far above the 5.5% rate the Administration predicted for this month in their January 2009 report on the projected effects of stimulus. Democrats actually predicted unemployment would fall to 7.8% in September 2009 -- a full three years ago.
7. Real Unemployment Is Almost 11%: If the unemployment rate included the "invisible unemployed" (discouraged workers who dropped out or never joined the workforce), the September 2012 unemployment rate would be 10.9%.
8. More Unemployed Now than When Economy Was in "Free-Fall": In September 2012, there were 12.1 million officially unemployed workers. That's 39,000 more than when President Obama took office in January 2009 -- when the Administration said "we were in economic free-fall."
9. Two Million More Long-term Unemployed: In September 2012, there were 4.8 million long-term unemployed for more than six months -- more than two million more than when President Obama took office in January 2009.
10. Economic Misery up 80%: The "Obama Misery Index" shows that unemployment and debt have risen by a combined 80% since the start of the Obama Administration.
This all reminds me of a certain novel, "1984" by George Orwell.
Steadfast and Loyal,
Allen B West