Surg­ing un­em­ploy­ment

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

The Bureau of La­bor Statis­tics an­nounced June 5 that May’s un­em­ploy­ment rate soared to 9.4 per­cent. Once again, Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion pre­dic­tions on the eco­nomic im­pact of the $787 bil­lion stim­u­lus plan have proved wrong.

On Feb. 4, Christina Romer, chair­man of the Pres­i­dent’s Coun­cil of Eco­nomic Ad­vis­ers, warned: “If we fail to act [and don’t pass the stim­u­lus], we are likely to lose mil­lions more jobs, and the un­em­ploy­ment rate could reach dou­ble dig­its.” White House eco­nomic ad­viser Lawrence H. Sum­mers told Amer­i­cans that the stim­u­lus would start im­prov­ing the econ­omy “within weeks” of pas­sage.

Af­ter the stim­u­lus bill was signed into law on Feb. 17, the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion pre­dicted that the un­em­ploy­ment rate this year would av­er­age just 8.1 per­cent. Even as late as May 11, Ms. Romer didn’t think the un­em­ploy­ment rate would reach 9.5 per­cent un­til De­cem­ber. in­creased by 0.5 per­cent­age points or more in a month. Two of those months — Fe­bru­ary and May of this year — have been un­der the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion. not­ing that many un­em­ployed peo­ple may have been dis­cour­aged from looking for jobs and thus are not in­cluded in the re­ported rate. That means ac­tual un­em­ploy­ment is higher than what is re­ported.

Much of the me­dia has fo­cused on the 345,000 jobs that were lost in May, hail­ing that as amaz­ingly low given the losses in pre­vi­ous months. Yet more than 2.1 mil­lion jobs have been lost since Fe­bru­ary. The job loss for April was just re­vised up­ward by 82,000 to 504,000.

The $787 bil­lion stim­u­lus pack­age has failed to slow un­em­ploy­ment, which is clos­ing in on 10 per­cent — the dreaded dou­ble dig­its the White House promised the stim­u­lus would help avoid. Pres­i­dent Obama’s spending binge has made the re­ces­sion worse and de­layed re­cov­ery.

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