ShareThis Page

The Obama economy

| Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Seemingly good news — March's unemployment rate falling to 7.6 percent from February's 7.7 percent — is actually bad news when a fuller picture of the economy is considered. Unemployment fell only because so many Americans gave up on finding jobs — another sign of how anemic the recovery remains.

The Obama administration hopes to bury grim economic reality under its feel-good focus on that 0.1-percentage point dip in joblessness. But factor in those who've quit looking for work or can find only part-time jobs, and 7.6 percent unemployment is actually 13.8 percent unemployment, as economist Peter Morici of the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business points out.

That's why the labor force participation rate fell from 63.5 percent in February — “already one of the lowest in decades,” notes economist Jake Haulk, president of the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy — to 63.3 percent in March. He also notes that the labor force was 496,000 Americans smaller last month, while the number employed fell by 206,000.

Mr. Haulk cites January's tax hikes, ObamaCare's effects and the bite of ever-increasing regulations for holding back the economy and job creation. Mr. Morici also sees an increasing mismatch between the jobs for which too many high school and college graduates are suited and available jobs that pay well.

What's certain, though, is that Obama administration policies aren't working for too many Americans who've lacked jobs for far too long.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.