The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate has decreased to 7.8 percent. The biggest drops in unemployment, from the report on August to the report just released on September, is among teenagers, blacks, and Asians.
In one of President Obama's TV ads, Bill Clinton says that the key question in this election is which candidate can figure out how "to return us to full employment." But as the federal government's own figures show, Obama might want to start by first figuring out how to get us back to the level of employment that we had during the recession.
On Wednesday night, former president Bill Clinton assured us that nobody could have managed the Great Recession better than Barack Obama. He compared Obama’s tenure to the period between 1993 and 1996, when the economy was recovering but people were not yet feeling it. He assured us that, soon enough, we will feel this recovery.
In response to a statement about the high unemployment rate for those with college degrees, Robert Gibbs, a surrogate for President Obama's reelection campaign, admitted that things are particularly bad for those without college degrees:
“But boy that unemployment rate when you get out of college is tough," MSNBC host Chuck Todd said. "It's higher than the national average."
It was reported this morning that weekly jobless claims are up for the second straight week, and this week's unexpected increase exceeded analysts' expectations. The numbers (372,000 jobless claims last week) don't suggest that the next unemployment report will be awful, but it's a safe bet that there won't be good news for the unemployed either. Weekly jobless claims usually have to be at or below 325,000 to be consistent with job creation.
President Obama likes to say that he inherited a terrible economy but has gotten it headed in the right direction. But the employment figures released today by the federal government’s own Bureau of Labor Statistics tell a decidedly different story. During