“Stagnant Spring” awaits voters

| April 21 2012
Hannah Thoreson

The Obama Administration and the establishment media have been claiming for months now that the economy is recovering and people are finding jobs again.  Of course, blogs ranging from Breitbart.com all the way to Zero Hedge have long been disputing this, and Gallup finds through polling that only 64.5% of the available workforce is employed full time.

Fox Business has begun to question the Department of Labor’s reporting methods:

The Department of Labor has revised higher the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits for the first time in 58 out of the last 59 weeks.

The same has held true since the beginning of the year. There have been 14 weeks of jobless data this year, and there have been 14 revisions. And all 14 were revisions that made the claims picture higher than what the government originally reported.

Another ugly stat:  according to the New York Federal Reserve head,  unemployment would be over 10% if the number of people included in the labor force had stayed the same since 2008.  The labor force participation rate has dropped from 66 to 64% over the time period that Obama has been in office.

The Associated Press, too, has mostly bad news for those seeking work:

Nationwide, the unemployment rate fell to 8.2 percent in March from 8.3 percent. But employers added only 120,000 jobs, half the pace of the previous three months.

That dip in hiring, along with recent increases in the number of people seeking unemployment benefits, has raised some concerns that job gains could slow in coming months.

The declines haven’t come at an even rate nationwide.

The biggest job declines were reported in Ohio, which lost 9,500 jobs, and New Jersey, which lost 8,600 positions. Wisconsin posted the third biggest loss, a decline of 4,500.

Note that Ohio is a key swing state for the fall election, and that all three of those states have a huge union presence.

Some states reported healthy job gains: New York added 19,100 jobs, California gained 18,200 and Arizona said employers added 13,500 jobs.

How is it possible that Arizona has only 17% as many people as California, yet is creating almost as many jobs?  It may have something to do with the conservative leadership that has created a friendly environment for business and job creation.  Meanwhile California has sent a lot of entrepreneurial-minded people packing off to tax-free Texas, and everything from its school system to its state budgets exist in a state of dysfunction.

North Dakota’s 3 percent unemployment rate is the lowest in the nation, the report said. That’s down from 3.1 percent in the previous month.

North Dakota has made headlines in the past year for one reason:  oil.  Lots of oil.  And creating thousands upon thousands of high-paying jobs related to oil.  Anybody who believes that building the Keystone pipeline or expanding drilling opportunities elsewhere in the U.S. would not create jobs should look at how western North Dakota has boomed in the last few years.  That probably includes a lot of senior officials in the Obama Administration, unfortunately.

And on top of everything else, the number of people seeking unemployment benefits in the past month is at a three-month high; home sales are slowing down again; and the economy is only growing at a rate of 2.5%, lower even than it had been in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Yet, most of the media and political class seem to believe that Obama will coast to an easy victory in November.  Unbelievable.

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