We Are Way Better Off Than We Were When Bush Left Office As Jobless Rate Falls To 5.9%

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics released September’s employment figures on Friday and it was almost entirely good news. The economy added 248,000 new jobs during the month and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.9%. This is the lowest level the jobless rate has been since July 2008 and reiterates that President Obama has helped to resuscitate a moribund economy that was suffering through a horrific financial crisis when he took over. The BLS also revised jobs numbers upwards for the months of August and July, revealing that we actually added 61,000 more jobs than previously estimated during those two months.

The country is essentially at full employment now. Economists state that for a nation to be at full, healthy employment, the unemployment rate needs to be between 5.5% and 6.0%. These numbers helpfully point out that the country is indeed better off than it was when Barack Obama was first sworn in. When Obama took office in January 2009, the country was in the grips of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. That month, the unemployment rate stood at 7.8% and climbing. The next month, it rose to 8.3% and kept rising until it hit a peak of 10.0% in October 2009. However, President Obama’s stimulus package, along with other initiatives, helped create jobs and reverse the trend.

In 2014 alone, the unemployment rate has dropped by 1.3 percentage points and 1.9 million jobs have been added. Therefore, whenever you hear someone like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) claim that “Obamacare is the biggest job killer in this country,” as he has done numerous times, you know he is completely full of it. Seriously, since the full implementation of the law last year, the country has added well over 2 million jobs. If a law is a ‘job killer,’ shouldn’t it actually be killing jobs?

The labor force participation rate remained mostly unchanged at 62.7%. While conservatives will claim that this number shows that there are a lot of people that are discouraged and just giving up on finding work, the majority of this is attributed to baby boomers retiring, students either going to school or remaining in school for post-graduate programs and two-parent households where one partner decides to stay at home to raise children. Is there a large number of long-term unemployed that need assistance? Certainly. Of course, you don’t see Republicans doing anything about providing additional unemployment insurance to these people.

Where improvement needs to be seen is in the median wage. Wages remained stagnant in September, as the median wage actually dropped one cent, down to $24.53 an hour. Now, raising the minimum wage, even modestly, would do quite a bit to push this number up and provide additional income to working class people. Once again, while this is an easy solution, Republicans have stood firm and refused to do anything about it. Therefore, we are stuck with a minimum wage that is not in line with today’s economic needs.

Still, these numbers do reflect that President Obama has made things better for Americans since first taking office. However, you wouldn’t know it based on all of the doom-and-gloom naysayers, many from his own party, that make it seem that Obama is set out to destroy America and its economy. The man inherited a total mess, and while there are still improvements that need to be made, and income inequality is a real issue in this country, this nation is exponentially better off than it was when George W. Bush vacated the White House. Democrats need to embrace the President and what he’s done for this nation during the midterms this year, instead of falling over themselves trying to create a distance between them and Obama.

15 Replies to “We Are Way Better Off Than We Were When Bush Left Office As Jobless Rate Falls To 5.9%”

  1. Democrats need to embrace the President and what he’s done for this nation during the midterms this year, instead of falling over themselves trying to create a distance between them and Obama.

    It has become apparent to me that Democratic pols (and some left-of-left Democratic voters) have been working very hard NOT to win in these midterms. It’s almost as if they have no qualms sacrificing the country in order to piss off enough people so that an eventual Hillary Rodham Clinton presidency is all but secured.

  2. I’ve been reading comments on other sites and it is all negativity from the right-wing posters.
    The only thing the right sees as good news is when they can somehow find something to criticize President Obama for. Good news is bad for Republicans as they have been cheering for America to fail ever since President Obama was elected. It must be miserable to be a Republican.

  3. The GOP won’t blame this on Obama. They never blame him regarding good news only bad news. Even if it happened on Bush’s watch.
    What we will see is Boehner, with a straight face, will say “more needs to be done,” while refusing to bring the jobs bill up for a vote, and refusing to extend unemployed.
    These figures never include those who have given up, black unemployment, or hispanic unemployment. If it did, the unemployment rate would be in double digits.

  4. Only 10% of the top wage earners are better off since President Obama took office. Republican policies are killing Americans, from cutting funding needed for Ebola, Veterans health care, unemployment, life is not better for the 90%
    Republican Body Count by State for not providing Medicare Expansion. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/30/1287923/-GOP-s-Obamacare-spite-means-death-toll-for-red-states?detail=email
    Republicans Want To Kill Veterans Even More By Privatizing The VA http://politicususa.wpengine.com/2014/05/25/john-boehner-harm-veterans-privatizing-va.html
    Republican policies that increase the suicide rate. http://ourfuture.org/20140623/gop-the-pro-death-party?utm_source=pmupdate&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20140623

  5. These figures never include those who have given up,

    But they are based on the same calculations that were used under the previous presidents.

    If we were going to revise the numbers to include those who have “given up” and other variables in order to bring down the numbers negatively, then we need to do that for the calculations used under the Clinton and Duhbya Bush (mostly Duhbya Bush) administrations – and you’ll see that under President Obama, we still come out ahead.

  6. From my experience lots of the jobs are part time. I’d like to hear more talk about the looming retirement crisis.

  7. And what would experience be? Sitting on the sofa eating Cheetos watching fox news?

    The Spectacular Myth of Obama’s Part-Time America—in 5 Graphs

    A falsifiable claim, falsified
    The first thing you would expect to see from a Part-Time America is that the number of part-time jobs added would rival the number of full-time jobs added. But in the last year, new full-time jobs outnumbered part-time jobs by 1.8 million to 8,000. For every new part-time job, we’re creating 225 full-time positions.

    See what I did? Instead of my experience I gave you facts. I know facts have a liberal bias

  8. Full employment economy with 6% unemployment? Labor participation rate unchanged? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

    This is an unambiguously excellent report, and its plain that the economy is beginning to turn around, maybe in a big way. Maybe. But we had months at the beginning where we lost over 500K jobs. The excuses about the labor participation rate are mostly excuses. We still have a long way to go.

  9. The slowest recovery ever. The “worst recession” lasted only a year. If you think the economy is great now, run on that platform LOL, I dare you.

  10. This is how stupid or racist you are, take your pick. Who controlled the house that have said no to any jobs bill, caused a down rating in the nations credit and have obstructed everything to help the middle class? I answer for you. You may be a pointy head racist but your idiocy is off the charts

  11. More willful conservative ignorance of cause and effect. The economy hasn’t improved as much as it could have, because corporate America is outsourcing jobs, and perfidious republicans are doing everything they can think of, to assist in destroying the middle class. 50 meaningless votes to defund Obamacare, wasting legislative time of irrelevance, while the middle class is being transformed into the poor. Useless bromides about problems republicans created, to wreck the economy for political benefit. You are the problem, and you offer no solutions.

  12. we were shedding 800K jobs and the economy was falling off the clift at the end of the Dumya rein of terror. So yes we are doing MUCH better and without any help from the party of NO…stop watching the lies of Fox

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