The July jobs report contained a major victory for President Obama. Statistically speaking the nation’s unemployment rate has fully recovered from George W. Bush’s Great Recession.
Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said in a statement:
With today’s report, the headline unemployment rate (on an unrounded basis) moved below its pre-recession average for the first time in the recovery. While this milestone is a testament to the strength of the labor market recovery so far, several alternative measures of labor market strength have not fully recovered, and some level of slack remains. For example, the long-term unemployment rate is 34 percent above its pre-recession average. The slower recovery in the long-term unemployment rate is offset by the short-term unemployment rate, which is now below its pre-recession average. More noticeably, the U-6 “underemployment rate”—a broader measure than headline unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those employed part time while preferring to work full time—remains 14 percent above its pre-recession average. The female and Hispanic populations’ unemployment rates are not yet fully recovered, but unemployment rates for male, black, white, and Asian American workers are now below their pre-recession averages.
As Furman noted, the long-term unemployment rate is still higher than pre-recession levels, and remains above the pre-recession average for Hispanic and female workers. This means that there is still work to be done on the jobs front. The next president could send the economy into overdrive if he/she could address the plight of the long-term unemployed. President Obama has made numerous attempts over the last few years to tackle long-term unemployment with proposals that have ranged from job retraining programs to employer incentives for hiring the long-term unemployed, but Republicans in Congress refuse to seriously discuss the issue.
Congressional Republicans would rather dedicate their resources to pointless Benghazi and Hillary Clinton email investigations than take action for the nation’s workers who still have not recovered from the recession.
The good news is that the economic recovery is sustaining itself, and under President Obama businesses have created 200,000 or more jobs in 15 of the last 17 months. More private sector jobs have been created over the last two years than at any period since 1997-1999. Overall, the private sector has added 13 million jobs over 65 straight months of growth.
The failed trickle-down policies being championed by the Republican presidential candidates can’t touch what President Obama has accomplished. Obama is proving once again that if voters want jobs and a booming economy, the need a Democratic president in the White House.