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  • Morning Bell: Job Growth Should Be Stronger

    The Obama Administration and the nation have cause to breathe a sign of relief as today’s monthly jobs report shows 243,000 jobs were created in January. Those numbers are of course good news, another positive sign of recovery, and another clear indication of the enduring strength of the American economy and American economic system. But, really, so long after recession’s end, we should be doing much better — and would be but for President Barack Obama’s debilitating anti-growth policies. In reality, the economy is recovering despite — not because of — Obama’s policies. Make no mistake: 243,000 jobs is good, but we should be seeing numbers upwards of 350,000. America can and should do better.

    For millions of Americans, last month’s strong job growth is a bright spot that they unfortunately cannot see. While the unemployment rate has fallen to 8.3 percent, it fell from lofty heights that lasted far too long. And even at 8.3 percent, 12.8 million Americans remain unemployed, and the high unemployment among women, teenagers, whites, and Hispanics remained steady. What’s more, the number of long-term unemployed — which stands at 5.5 million — remained relatively unchanged, meaning that 42.9 percent of unemployed Americans have been out of work for 27 weeks or more. On top of that, there were 1.1 million “discouraged workers” in January — meaning that they’re sitting on the sidelines not looking for work because they believe no jobs are available.

    But what do all these numbers mean? Let’s put today’s job report into context using the President’s own words — promises that weren’t mentioned in the President’s State of the Union address. In January 2009, President Obama’s advisers produced a chart projecting that with the President’s economic plan, the unemployment rate would plummet to levels much lower than those we’re seeing today. And the President pledged that if his trillion-dollar stimulus plan were enacted, unemployment never would rise above 8 percent — a promise that has been broken every month since the stimulus became law.

    For years, millions of Americans have been suffering the effects of economic policies that hinder growth. Even with the creation of 243,000 jobs, that path to full recovery is going to be an incredibly slow one. The Heritage Foundation’s Rea Hederman, Jr. and James Sherk wrote last month, “If employers add an average of 265,000 net jobs per month–the rate the payroll survey showed between 1997 and 1999 — then unemployment will not return to its natural rate until December 2014.” Contrast that with the President’s projections, which predicted that today only six percent of Americans would be unemployed.

    So what is the President now proposing to speed up the economic recovery? Temporary tax cuts that don’t create new jobs and threats of higher taxes on job creators, with the latter leading to the same sort of uncertainty that has helped drag down America’s recovery. Those tax policies aside, President Obama has failed to take the necessary measures to get the country’s deficit under control. A new report this week shows that the country’s budget outlook is getting worse, not better, with 2012 being the fourth straight year of trillion-dollar deficits. The principal cause of this budget crisis? Entitlement spending, especially on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. President Obama was silent on these matters in his State of the Union address, but he will have another chance to demonstrate leadership when he releases his budget in a few days. Hopefully, he won’t give the fiscal crisis the silent treatment again.

    Though today’s job growth numbers are good news, it’s the equivalent of winning a foot race with a cinder block strapped to your leg. Sure, you might cross the finish line, but you could get there a lot faster if you cut off the dead weight. America’s economy is struggling to break free from the dead weight of debt, reckless spending, uncertainty, over-regulation, high taxes and a convoluted, counterproductive tax code. Heritage’s Saving the American Dream plan proposes real solutions to fix the debt, cut spending, reform the tax code, and enable America to get back on track for the sort of rapid economic growth that the U.S. economy so desperately needs.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    49 Responses to Morning Bell: Job Growth Should Be Stronger

    1. Richard says:

      Are the numbers reported today due to changes in how the unemployment rate is determined? Zerohedge has an interesting assessment of today numbers here:

      I would be interested in the Heritage Foundations assessment of this.

    2. Coach Burke says:

      what SPECIFICALLY does Heritage recommend that is different and would speed up job growth- lets forget the unhappiness with the President and the generalities and be specific exactly what specific things would we be doing differently and what specific job growth would that produce. With all the negativity being spearheaded by Romney, Gingrich et al, I fearwe are handing a reelection to Obama

      • Guest says:

        Did you read the last paragraph, theres a link to "Saving the American Dream". There is where your answer lies.

    3. Pat C says:

      Sorry, MB, but the U6 is 15% which is a much more accurate measure of Unemployment. The U3 is a joke. http://portalseven.com/employment/unemployment_ra… The U3 (which gives us the 8.3% rate) counts people who have been employed for even one day in the year as employed for that year. This is only one of the U3's many flaws.

    4. John Deitchman says:

      paragraph 2 – "meaning that 42.9% of Americans have been out of work for 27 weeks or more"????!!!!

    5. Mary......WI says:

      I would think next months job growth report and unemployment report will be dismal with American Airlines laying off 13,000 workers. AND I'm still hearing from friends that have friends on unemployment that refuse to go out to find a job because the unemployment checks are more than what they could get working low paying jobs. I tend to believe what the CBO reports. This country is in deep, deep trouble. Obama and his administration are fudging the numbers so he looks good……but he's a failure as a president. He must be voted out of this next election!

      • sdfultz says:

        Of course your opinion is yours, but why do you have friends that behave so poorly? You should correct their behavior and help the economy at the same time. After all improvement starts at home.
        How does the President fail in your wise opinion?

      • steve h says:

        Unemployment is not an open-ended entitlement. You can only get it for so long before it ends on you. And if they were workign low paying jobs, their unemployment checks will be very small. Your checks are based on what you earned and how much you put into the system. How is Obama fudging the numbers? For once, we have an administration that has it all on the books, where the previous one never put war costs on the books. It seems you forget the giant downward tailspin our country was in 3 years ago – amazing how quickly people forget.

        • Mary......WI says:

          Apparently the guy was earning $20/hr as a truck driver. He can only find jobs that pay less than that so he decided to stay on uneplyment until it runs out. Read the CBO's report that came out this week….it doessn not sound like an improving economy to me and many others. You've forgotten the attack on home soil 9/11….how soon we forget. That was a crushing blow to the economy in this country and quite frankly I think Bush did a great job. Obama has doubled our debt in just 3 years! Read the CBO report to get the sad picture of where this country is heading if BO stays in office.

      • Mary......WI says:

        They aren't my friends but friends of mine with friends on unemployment and they have tried convincing them to take a lower paying job instead of living off the rest of us if only for their own self-esteem. They feel they that if they can't get a job that paid them what they earned while they were employed why should they take a lower paying job when unemployment pays more.

    6. @snowcloud79 says:

      No doubt by the time October gets here they will tell us the unemployment number is 3 percent. Then, after November 6th, the REAL unemployment numbers will come out. This is nothing more than Big Media spinning a positive tale for their man in the WH.

    7. Ruth says:

      Something is fishy with the labor report….my local paper does not list hardly any jobs in the help wanted ads and there are alot of empty buildings…..just sayin'

    8. Does the Heritage Foundation have a position on the trade deficit?
      Since it is so tightly linked to employment, or the lack of employment, I'd hope to hear some concern about it in postings. None so far.
      It is my opinion that stopping the importation of unemployment and misery that is the hallmark of the trade policy of the USA at present would be the focal point of any effort to curb unemployment and spur job growth.
      Is not the idiotic so called free trade policy at the heart of the massive problem we face?

    9. Stirling says:

      The numbers (by the government) have been "manipulated" way too much in the past 3-4 years to put any faith that they are acurately reflecting our Economic situation.. Please remember the one charateristic of "progressives" is that they change the ground rules in the middle of the process to suit their own needs and perspective. (The ends justify the means..) The one constant is the labor force is being reduced to skew the unemployment rate. Now only 63% of our population works, which is the lowest in recorded history, which should give you an indication of which direction we are going,

    10. steve h says:

      Got to love the conservatives that cite the stats until the numbers start looking good for the other side, then complain about the stats. They talk about Reagan, but by looking at the zerohedge link provided above, Obama has done better than Reagan regarding unemployment – and Obama had a far worse economic recession to deal with than Reagan did. I love seeing the House Republicans screaming that Obama's policies have failed when the first month of Obama's term there were over 1 million jobs lost and we were averaging over 700,000 jobs lost and we've now had 23 straight months of provate sector job growth. We've seen the biggest turnaround in GDP in US history and the stock markets are at the hickest they have been in 4 years – the DOW has doubled since the recovery package passed.

      Thank you conservative members of the House for showing America what your vision of the country is!!! Obama and the Dems – and Dem supporters like me can't thank you enough.

      • @snowcloud79 says:

        That is a complete lie! Reagan came into a MUCH BIGGER MESS than Obama came into. Interest rates were 28 percent! Unemployment was at 8 percent on day one for Reagan. You have NO idea what you are talking about. Reagan was the first president I voted for so I am old enough to remember how bad it was after Carter's term.

        • steve h says:

          A complete lie? Reagan had it easy coming into office and the economy was doing fine. In Reagan's 1st quarter in office, the GDP was a 20% increase from the previous quarter. And the final quarter of 1980 also had 20% increase from teh previous quarter. So Reagan was coming in with two consecutive 20% quarter-to-quarter increased in GDP.

          Obama came in with the worst quarter-to-quarter % decrease in the history of the country – even worse than the great depression. The final quarter of 2008 had a '-8.4%' change in GDP from the previous quarter. And his 1st quarter had a '-5.4%' decrease from previous quarter.

          To say Reagan's inherited economy was worse is laughable. Look up the economic numbers yourself if you don't believe what i typed above – click on 'percent change from preceeding quarter' link at the top of this page: http://www.bea.gov/national/index.htm#gdp

        • steve h says:

          It's also a bit humourous you say i know nothing of what i am talking about and Reagan had 8% unemployment on day 1. Look at the numbers: http://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet

          I didn't hit 8% until November of 1981. Then never got below 7.3% for the rest of his first term. So over his 4 years on office, he shaved .2% off the rate. As of today, Obama's rate is .5 higher then we he took over, and again, economic considitions were far worse in Obama's 1st day.

      • sdfultz says:

        Steve, how ironic that I meet another Steve here at the Heritage, what a great place for knowledge or insight into the mind of great conservatives. Love your post, best truth I've read all week.

      • Wayne Peterkin says:

        Keep enjoying the Kool-aid.

    11. joseph hohmann says:

      I am of the opinion that the percentage used to show unemployment is a bogus number and comparing it to another bogus number is very misleading. As I understand it, the calculation is made using two variables both of which change in making the calculation. The hard numbers you use are much more realistic and comparable to other hard numbers give a much clearer comparative picture. Also don't we need to create 100 thousand plus jobs per month to accommodate new additions to the work force

    12. J E Houser says:

      With all the corruption of reports by that group in DC, such as the number of unemployed, how can we expect anything except sliding down a hill, or falling off a cliff, with that group in Washington.

    13. Ruby S. says:

      When clicking on the artical about ..the release of Guantanamo prisoners…a link to vote against GOP to 'keep them out of leadership'???? What's up with that???? It is a Google ad!!! Is advertising from anyone used no matter of the content??

    14. JMac says:

      Heritage Report has totally blown this one.
      Read http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=201459.

      According to Karl Denninger, the number of people who LEFT the labor force *** last month *** was 1.6 million ! He adds that number of employed persons DROPPED by 737,000. Then if you account for the growth in population, we went over 2 million in the wrong direction. The government numbers are totally bogus.

    15. Tom S. says:

      I am one of the under employed in America. That means I earn enough to not qualify for unemployment compensation, but enough to pay for all my biils! I am looking for full-time work, but oer-qualified for most of the
      jobs, I apply for!! How is President Obama's employment iniatives going to help me? They aren't!!!

    16. sandy says:

      Is it true that Obama has imported a large number of foriegn workers to take American jobs? These jobs are high positions like engineering jobs.

    17. Tomas says:

      It's breathe a sigh of relief, not sign of relief! A good beginning is half the job.

    18. Don DeHoff says:

      Come on people, we are all being hoodwinked. The Federal Job Report format in its present format, is just a political tool to further the administration's goals. It provides the private sector very little useful information. Congress needs to establish a manditory monthly report format that keeps the public informed, state by state, and includes state and federal hires and fires, Chrismas time, full time vs part time, and temporary, incuding the military, fulltime National Guard and any other data that all parties can use. They should also document the number of foreign workers, full time and part time, and again, state by state. The bottom line is such a format will show the unemployment rate to be about double than is being reproted.

      • Don DeHoff says:

        I forgot to add, the Border Check Points should also record and report the number of workers comming daily across the border to work. And if the present system cannot identify such traffic, it should be amended.

    19. Dan Noxon says:

      I don't know why Democrats don't just report the number as 5.0 if everyone's going to buy the crap numbers they're peddling now. Maybe by Election Day …

    20. Wayne Peterkin says:

      Excellent article from Mr. Brownfield as always, and all too true. Businesses fight to survive and prosper regardless of government policies, whether those policies are beneficial or harmful. The slow and painful recovery from this latest recession are testimony to the fact that government policies have delayed and damaged the economic recovery, not facilitated it. We are recovering slowly in spite of the Obama administration, not because of it. In addition, I have always been a bit suspect of statistics reported by agencies who report to the same people that stand to benefit from those statistics. Be wary of numbers.

    21. toledofan says:

      It sounds to me like the numbers just don't reflect the real situation. I heard today that actually the numbers by the CBO show that about 2.5 million jobs were lost in January and that there is some sort of formula they use for seasonaly adjusted numbers? Anyway, the point is numbers don't lie but liars do figure, so, even though this may be a glitter of hope, I don't believe we're 100% on the road to real recovery.

    22. M. Rohrs says:

      The article cites Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as being the main reason for the budget deficit. The last time I looked, Medicare was supposed to be funded by the Medicare tax and recipient premiums, and S.S. was funded by the S.S. fund (which is still theoretically in the "black" but contains mostly IOUs). Sure, these are budget items, but the receipts plus withdrawals from the funds should balance expenses. It's the "temporary" reduction in the funding taxes that is causing the problem, along with Medicaid costs. So — the reduction in funding taxes is putting money in the pockets of workers (not retirees) but is jeopardizing the future of S.S. & Medicare along with contributing to the deficit. That, along with Obamacare taking 500 Billion from Medicare, is jeopardizing the future of retirees.

      We retirees are perfectly willing to take our share of "hits" but it looks as though a disproportionate number of the hits are aimed at us.

      • Jeanne Stotler says:

        We already took our hit, no COLA for 2 years, now we get a COLA increase and medicare part B is raised and due to OBAMA care, so is our Supp. Ins, in essence we did not get a raise ans when totaled we actually have less, on top everything incl vitamins, grocery's, gas has gone up. For those of us on fixed incomes, we have less for the money we are spending.

    23. Nick Sandwick says:

      Who are we fooling. I support Heritage because I'm hoping it wii help American's see what is happening as the country is being destroyed by radical statists. The problem is with American's and our lack of virtue passed by traditional families that understand the greatness of this country and the opportunity and individual liberty our Founders tried to pass to us. You don't get something from nothing–pride, work ethic, personal responsibility, and ethics are mandatory. These employment statistics are crap. Fewer people are entering the workforce everyday, but we're playing a game with numbers that say that everything is rosy and unemployment is decreasing. We can't stop the gov't spending (ref. baseline budgeting), and we're destroying prosperity by killing the private sector and our standard of living. I refuse to give Obama, his administration, or for that matter, anyone in gov't any kudos for these bogus numbers and I think your Morning Bell is way too generous. I can't stand this ridiculous political correctness. If Americans are too stupid and/or ignorant to see it then I guess we're getting what we deserve as our country–pathetic. I don't see how we can fix our problems anymore.

    24. Jack Thomas says:

      As usual the Obama regime is attempting to paint a pretty, but unrealistic picture of the true unemployment situation of the nation. BLS statistics show the labor participation rate dropped three-tenths of percent to 63.7%. That figure is down a full two points since Obama took office. The BLS simply took 1.177 million unemployed Americans and swept them under the rug by taking them out of the labor force. They get to join the 6.195 million unemployed Americans the Obama regime has swept under this rug since January 2009.

      Poof! Since they no longer exist, of course the unemployment number will look better than last month's number. The obvious problem is these 1.177 million people are real, living breathing human beings who need to put a roof over their heads and food on the table. However, that inconvenient truth is of little concern to an unpopular president who intends to spend a billion dollars keeping his job while others starve.

      Jack Thomas is the author of Obamacare: Dead on Arrival is Close Enough for Government Work.

    25. Ben C. says:

      I suggest any who feel the economy is improving start a business, or even move a business. I am living the nightmare of federal, state, and local regulations. I am required (at my expsense) to post signs along a road informing neighbors of my intended move in case anyone objects. We just finished nearly a year of hassle from the MDEQ (a state agency) and the local health department to review the septic capacity of the empty building. Next will be the plethera of inspections from the building inspector (who, of course, will not accept responsibility if he changes something which ultimately fails). Then, of course, are the endless regulations once you reopen your doors. So, the bottom line, is that employers, like me, will be very reluctant to hire people or expand a business with all the road blocks we face. And by the way, guess who picks up the tab for the unemployment insurance payments? My rate just increased even though I have the same employees I have had for years.

    26. Jeanne Stotler says:

      I am readng a bok by David Horowitz, every conservative should read it, "Shawdow Party, Shadow Goverment" Then you will understand what is happening and mabe and only maybe, can we trurn this thing around. Problem goes back to LBJ, ad really before.

    27. RennyG says:

      No problem, the big "O" will finish the job when he get's into his next term. The USA will be no longer!!!
      This huy is slicker than a snake!!

    28. N Carlson says:

      It seems as if talk is about everything but the real issue – losing our freedom.

    29. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Under Reagan, George W. Bush, and Clinton, it was higher. Obummer has the worst record of job creation since

    30. altondrew says:

      Let's not forget that high unemployment still persists for the African American population. Although the rate fell, it is still at an unacceptable rate of 13.6%.

    31. sandykramer says:

      Is any "non-partisan" organization checking the validity of the employment/unemployment figures?

    32. Carol,AZ says:

      For the Foundry to report this newest propaganda spit coming from D.C. is irresponsible and pandering to the fools in the press that will do anything to enliven their prophet.
      Lets get real:
      The American Dream as our parents once believed in, is dead.
      18 B. in debt killed it and will continue to destroy all future growth if this madman is re-elected.
      All solutions listed in David's last paragraph will never be put in place by anyone from the Democratic party .
      As stated in this first post by Richards and others , the real rate for joblessness is ~ 18%.
      No one speaks about the increase in foreign Vista by this administration that finally defined shovel ready jobs.
      Foreign Visas were increased by 30,000 this year just in the computer tech industry. Those are jobs you have been told, "Americas won't do. "
      Added to that stat; immigration quotas were increased by 25,.000 for just Muslins.
      We can determined as a nation later on, how many from the "brotherhood" were allowed to immigrate given the complete collapse of our Dept of Justice.
      American Dream?? or American nightmare?

    33. Bobbie says:

      Where government shouldn't be job growth would be and job elimination wouldn't have come to be.

      The stimulus money is gone. this is the result of the hard work and ongoing endurance of strong state leadership. Proof in the dignified work of Governor Scott Walker and the like, who respect their place and their duty to the people and country they serve! It's too bad union reps prove to be the lowest of humanity with a loss of conscience abusing any need for union existence, less their costs puts more money coming from your pocket who earns it, into the economy! Stop feeding union pigs. Feed your family first!

      The economy would be stronger if Obama were a good man. I'm sorry, that's not nice. The economy would be stronger If Obama were a man of good faith in the people to handle their own matters with integrity and accountability that stands their merit of credibility as Obama focuses on peace in the world and getting the world to pay for America's services so we can eliminate foreign debt as should be.

    34. JWalker says:

      Has anyone bothered to notice that there is a big increase in Oil & Gas exploration, the attendant services and the manufacturing of equipment for that activity? All industries Obama has done everything to make difficult?

    35. Newell Thornton says:

      This is a question about why the NLRB stopped Boeng from building their Dreamliner airplanes in South Carolina. My son in law told me the NLRB interfered because Boeng had signed a contract with the machinist union to build that plane and then to break that contract, tried to move the work to S. Carolina where no union is necessary. What is the whole story, or is my son in law correct?

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