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The Jobs Numbers

The Obama “recovery” continues in the latest jobs report. The economy added 169,000 jobs last month, but jobs for June and July were revised downwards by 72,000. The unemployment rate fell by a notch to 7.3 percent. But that was only because 310,000 people left the labor force. The participation rate (the percentage of working-age people in the labor force) dropped to 63.2 percent, the lowest since August of 1978.

Underemployment, people with part-time jobs who want full-time ones, continues to be a major problem, with 40 percent of part-time workers unable to find full-time employment.

And most of the jobs created so far this year (848,000—a dismal number in itself) have been part-time jobs. The percentage of those jobs that were part-time was either 96 percent, 63 percent, or 59 percent, depending on how you interpret the Bureau of Labor Statistics data. If you would like to induce a headache, you can follow the arguments among professional economists for which number is correct here. But, regardless, even the lowest number, 59 percent, is dreadful. Prosperity is not built on part-time jobs.

How many of these part-time jobs are due to current economic conditions and how many are due to the impending implementation of Obamacare is anyone’s guess.


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