… BUT WHERE ARE THEY?
After three consecutive weeks of increases, the number of Americans filing claims for initial unemployment benefits was flat last week at 374,000 – meaning that there may have actually been some hiring going on (somewhere) in this country.
Not in South Carolina, obviously … but somewhere.
Here’s the question though … is the modest hiring we’ve seen over the summer of 2012 enough to make a sustained dent in America’s ongoing epidemic of joblessness. And what’s going on at the other end of the job spectrum? Is the data we’re getting from the federal government telling the full story?
Regarding the first question, analysts are predicting the government’s August employment report (due out on September 7) to show an increase of 118,000 jobs – although that figure would fall below the level necessary to keep pace with population growth. Accordingly the U.S. unemployment rate – which is the nation’s most widely watched economic indicator – is expected to hold at 8.3 percent.
But the official unemployment rate is only part of the equation. Remember that figure is based on the size of the American labor force – which has been shrinking under Barack Obama.
“The data is simply devastating,” said Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG). ”Since Obama took office, the labor force participation rate has dropped from 65.7 percent to 63.7 percent, with about 4.8 million people who have dropped out and simply stopped looking for work.”
Wilson added that while trillions of tax dollars have been spent on “stimulus” efforts, “the government did nothing to make it more cost-effective to do business here in America, to encourage investment here.”
“Now we’re just floating along, no real growth recovery, and certainly no recovery in the jobs market,” Wilson said.
Exactly … and government could be on the verge of making things even worse.
South Carolina’s unemployment rate has risen from 8.9 to 9.6 percent over the last three months. Meanwhile the state’s underemployment rate – a broader, more accurate measure of joblessness - currently stands at 17 percent.