The headline may look like a shameless attempt at negative spin, five days after the Labor Department announced that U.S. payrolls had climbed back slightly above the number of workers who were employed before the recession took hold in 2007.
And it would be spin indeed, if the raw number of employed Americans were all there was to it.
But this is the Obama “recovery.” To be carefully weighed alongside the number of jobs is what kind of jobs people hold and population growth, to name just two factors.
Citing Labor Department statistics, The Wall Street Journal reported there are now 1.6 million fewer manufacturing jobs and 941,000 more jobs in the accommodation and food-service sector than when the recession began. Construction jobs are down by 1.5 million compared with pre-recession. Jobs in temporary help services are up 307,000.
Higher-paying jobs are being exchanged for lower-paying and part-time employment. Job creation is not keeping up with population growth, the Journal reported.
The number of adults not participating in the labor force is larger by 13 million than pre-recession.
Don’t look for things to improve soon. People at the stage in life when they should be learning to think of themselves as part of the work force and contributors to a growing economy are unemployed in massive numbers.
Moreover, teens and others who have limited job skills face the prospect of becoming even less employable as the administration pushes cynically for a higher minimum wage.
Democrats have had some electoral success by running against fictional Republican “wars,” notably on women. Republicans will miss a bet if they don’t talk every day about a “war” they don’t need to make up, the Obama Democrats’ war on jobs. It just happens that a great many of the casualties are women.