Worse than Jimmy Carter (Sep 07, 2013)

New York Post Opinion Page     September 6, 2013 | 10:31pm

Posted by American News Online


Jimmy Carter must be smiling: Another president has finally broken the record he had held for the worst rate of participation in the job market by American workers in modern times.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Friday job numbers show the nation’s “labor force participation rate” — i.e., the percentage of Americans over 16 who have jobs, or are looking for one — dipped to 63.2 percent.

That beats the sad record of 63.4 percent set in 1978, a harbinger of the Carter-era stagflation and malaise to come.

Yes, the unemployment rate last month ticked down a tenth of a point, to 7.3 percent. But that’s only slightly better than the 7.8 percent rate that prevailed when Obama first took office in 2009. And much of that gain is the result of workers simply giving up altogether on finding jobs: The BLS reports that a record 90 million Americans eligible for work are sitting on the sidelines. These workers don’t count as “unemployed,” hence the lower unemployment rate.

Why are so many workers opting out? Part of it is retiring baby boomers. But others have simply given up because of an economy that’s been anemic for Obama’s entire 55-month tenure. At the same time, uncertainty about the future and concern about the costs of ObamaCare may also be holding business back from expanding.

The worst part of all this is the seeming lack of concern by President Obama himself. No doubt, he still thinks he can blame George W. Bush for the morass and be done with it. That may be convenient for him — and happy news for Jimmy Carter.

As for the 90 million of our fellow Americans who are out of work, not so much.

Posted by American News Online



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