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GOP Concern Trolling On Jobs Numbers: A Primer

September 7, 2012

There are two possible responses to be expected from the GOP (and media shills) whenever a new Jobs report is released.

Scenario #1 — The Unemployment rate goes up
Reaction: “Oh, this is awful! Obama must go!” (Not that we have any kind of substantive jobs plan ourselves; and not that we’ve been willing to support any from the other party)**

Scenario #2 — The Unemployment rate goes down
Reaction: “Oh, this is awful! Obama must go!”

How does this work, you ask? In two ways: the first is simply reverting to “not good enough, fast enough” arguments like Paul Ryan’s tweet this morning.


The second is by claiming that the only reason the rate has gone down is because the Labor Force Participation Rate is plummeting. (And this is where the media shills really shine.) A decline in labor force participation is always referred to as people simply “giving up” and leaving the labor market. It would be disingenuous of me to suggest that there are not people doing just that. Of course there are. But what no one tells you is this:

…in a finding that has attracted little attention, CBO says that roughly half of the recent drop in labor force participation has occurred simply because more and more baby boomers are hitting retirement age. (Center For Budget and Policy Priorities – emphasis mine)

And a handy chart to illustrate:

** I was just kidding, they would never actually say that.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. mikey2ct permalink
    September 7, 2012 8:27 pm

    I was watching CNN expound this AM on the new jobs report. Ali Velshi mentioned that there are a number of factors in breaking down the 368,000 jobs lost. As usual, he didn’t go on to explain what they were. Thanks for shedding some daylight. .

  2. September 7, 2012 9:39 am

    Brilliant as always. Why can’t we have you as the president?

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