NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Spinning the Data

January 11, 2011

There are lies, damned lies and government unemployment statistics.  Friday's drop in the jobless rate -- to 9.4 percent from 9.8 percent -- reflects the last point, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

The decline has been hailed by some in the media and even some on Wall Street as good news.  Sadly, it isn't.  The only reason the rate dropped is that 260,000 Americans stopped looking for work entirely in December.

  • Today, the labor force is actually smaller than it was when the recession began.
  • The economy created just 103,000 new payroll jobs in December, well below the 150,000-plus most economists had expected.

This is the slowest recovery since the 1930s.  Businesses beset by the highest corporate tax burden in the world and the looming presence of ObamaCare and cap-and-trade regulation are simply marking time in an uncertain future, says IBD.

  • Of the more than 14.5 million people out of work in December, more than 6.4 million have been out six months or longer.
  • The mean length of time the unemployed have been out of work rose a third straight month to 34.2 weeks, the third highest level ever.
  • Add in those who've stopped looking for work or who are working part-time but want to work fulltime, and the number of unemployed climbs to 26.1 million -- for a jobless rate of 16.7 percent.

Jobs will not be created by high taxes, bailouts, subsidies and government's buying of car companies.  They'll be created by cutting taxes and regulations permanently and letting loose the entrepreneurial dogs.

Source: "Spinning the Data," Investor's Business Daily, January 7, 2010.

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