So the economy created 157,000 new payroll jobs in January. Wow. At this rate, we might actually get back down to Bush-era unemployment rates sometime, oh, within the next 100 years.
The January jobs report is supposed to be good news. After all, the economy has now added a total of 6.1 million jobs over the past three years, and the BLS revised last year’s jobs numbers sharply upward.
But it doesn’t take much effort to notice that, when it comes to job creation, we are barely treading water.
Case in point: Despite these “big” gains, unemployment climbed to 7.9% — higher than when Obama took office amid the “worst recession since the Great Depression.”
That 7.9% is deceptively low: It fails to account for the exodus of 8.5 million from the labor force under Obama.
As a result, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ broader measure of unemployment remains stuck at a depressing 14.4% — also higher than when Obama took office.
In addition, there are still 4.7 million long-term unemployed — nearly twice as many as when Obama was first sworn in. And at 35 weeks, the average length of unemployment is far higher than any time between World War II and the Obama era.