The White House Would Like You To Know That Americans Dropping Out Of The Labor Force Is An “Economic Positive”

Last week America got what, superficially, looked like a positive jobs report. Unfortunately, the small decline in the unemployment rate from that jobs report had more to do with the labor participation rate hitting a 30-year low than any real economic growth.

But the Obama administration would like you to know that all those citizens leaving the labor pool is a good thing. Because they could be going into college or something.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney explained that the number of people dropping out of the work force, which artificially depresses the unemployment rate, can be regarded as an “economic positive.”

“A lot of that is due to younger people getting more of an education, which is an economic positive,” Carney said. He had been asked what would happen when people “inevitably” raise the unemployment rating with their return to the work force.

He also noted that “an aging population” going into retirement has contributed to the number of people dropping out of the work force.

Carney suggested that the focus on the number of people dropping out of the work force is politically motivated.

Well of course the President’s political opposition is going to point out problems in these labor reports. That’s how politics work.

As to the White House spin, does anyone really think that adding more students to the nation’s already bloated colleges is going to be advantageous to the economy in the long run? We don’t have a shortage of college-educated workers. We have a shortage of jobs, created by expensive government we can’t afford putting obstacles between we citizens and the sort of commerce that creates prosperity and jobs.

Unfortunately, the President is going to see some political advantage from what the public perceives (thanks to superficial media coverage of a superficially positive jobs report) as an improving economy:

President Obama will benefit because the media will fail to note that the Obama administration promised that the unemployment rate today would be approximately 5.8 percent – not 8.3 percent — if the $800 billion stimulus package were passed.

He will benefit because interviewers like Lauer will fail to ask the president whether the unemployment rate will be below 5.5 percent — as promised – by Election Day.

He will benefit because commentators will ignore the fact that even if 250,000 jobs were created every month from now to the election, the unemployment rate will still hover near 8 percent.

He will benefit because no reporter will ask the president to explain why the labor participation rate has fallen to an abysmal 63.7 percent, the lowest level in three decades.

It’s an election year, so of course perception matters more than reality.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Captornado

    And when you have a headache and you get kicked in the groin, you’re not thinking about your head anymore either are you?

  • Neiman

    The truth is NOT a factor, it is what is perceived as truth about lowering unemployment rates and job creation and the Obamanites are experts at spin. Get bogged down in such things as people dropping out of the employment pool will only cause the eyes of the electorate to gloss over, it’s a loser.

    • two_amber_lamps

      Yes sir… truth is for fools, it’s the NEW TRUTH (ie. the party approved truth) which truly matters. 

      Proles falling off the Labor force is beneficial in two ways…  many of them will eventually fall on the welfare dole, which artificially decreases unemployment stats, and of course, every welfare recipient becomes a liberal for life!  

      • $8194357

        As Jefferson so stated:
        “If Americas citizens get stacked up one on top of each other in cities like in Europe, America will become as corrupt as the cities in Europe.” Somethin like that anyway..I bet you a dollar to a donut (I like donuts) that most of the cities on the list of corrupt bankrupt crime ridden cities below are run by Democrats political machines….The Cloward/Piven overload the system with bad loans objective of the lefts financial puppets Fanny and Freddy sure took its tole on these folks as well….

        10 most miserable U.S. cities of 2012
        By Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes
        America’s most miserable cities
        We looked at 10 factors for the 200 largest metropolitan areas and divisions in the U.S. to determine America’s Most Miserable Cities for 2012. Some are serious, such as violent crime, unemployment rates, foreclosures, property and income taxes, home prices and political corruption. Other factors we included are less weighty, such as commute times, weather and how the area’s pro sports teams did. Although many would consider sports, commuting and weather trivial, they can be the determining factor in the level of misery for a significant number of people.

        #1 Miami, Fla.The housing crisis has devastated Miami with 47% of homeowners sitting on underwater mortgages.  Foreclosures have been rampant with 364,000 properties in the Miami area entering the foreclosure process since 2008 according to RealtyTrac.

        #2 Detroit, Mich.
        Detroit has closed schools and laid off police in an effort to avoid a bankruptcy filing this year. Home prices are down 54% the past three years, worst in the U.S. The median price was $38,000 last year in the Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn metro division.

        #3 Flint, Mich.
        Flint razed 775 abandoned homes in the year ending October 2011, to try and change the city landscape. The state of Michigan appointed an emergency manager last year to take over Flint’s budget and operations. Crime remains a severe problem with the violent crime rate the third worst in the U.S.

        #4 West Palm Beach, Fla.
        South Florida has long been stained by corruption. One of the latest examples: Jose Rodriguez, the mayor of Boynton Beach (part of the West Palm metropolitan division) was suspended from his office last month by Gov. Rick Scott after he was arrested for allegedly using his position to obstruct a child abuse probe involving his wife’s estranged daughter. Home prices in the West Palm area are off 50% since 2006.

        #5 Sacramento, Calif.Sacramento’s lone pro sports team is flirting with a move to Anaheim unless the city delivers financing for a new arena. Sac-Town might not miss them. The team has lost 73% of its games since the start of the 2008-09 season. Foreclosures in California’s capital were among the 10 highest last year

        #6 Chicago, Ill.
        The Windy City is a cultural and financial center, but its residents must endure gridlock traffic, high property taxes and brutal winters. Commute times to work average 31 minutes, eighth worst in the U.S.

        #7 Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
        The spring break mecca has been hit hard by the housing downturn. Median home prices in the metro division that includes Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach are down 50% since 2006 to a recent $183,000.

        #8 Toledo, Ohio
        The city is ensnared in a scandal within its Department of Neighborhoods that involves alleged bid rigging and stolen funds. The FBI and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are investigating the crimes. Toledo scores poorly when it comes to income and property tax rates

        #9 Rockford, Ill.
        Property tax rates were fifth highest in the country in 2010. The median tax bill was $3,234 on home values of $136,000 for a rate of 2.4%.Property tax rates were fifth highest in the country in 2010. The median tax bill was $3,234 on home values of $136,000 for a rate of 2.4%.

        #10 Warren, Mich.
        The housing market collapsed in the Warren metro division, which includes Troy and Farmington Hills. The median home price is down 50% over the past three years, the second biggest drop in the U.S. after Detroit.The housing market collapsed in the Warren metro division, which includes Troy and Farmington Hills. The median home price is down 50% over the past three years, the second biggest drop in the U.S. after Detroit.

        #11 Stockton, Calif.
        Last year’s No. 1 miserable city got a boost as housing prices have stabilized to some degree after a 45% drop between 2006 and 2008. Stockton still has plenty of problems, though. It ranks among the country’s six worst when it comes to unemployment, foreclosures and violent crime.

        #12 Cleveland, Ohio
        Things have brightened in our 2010 most miserable city as unemployment is below the U.S. average at 7.7% and home prices are off just 4% since 2008. Cleveland still makes the cut thanks to high taxes (income and property) along with lousy weather and sports teams.

        #13 Lansing, Mich.
        Lansing makes the cut thanks to lots of foreclosures, high property taxes and lousy weather. One bright spot: short commutes to work for the metro area’s 467,000 residents.foreclosures, high property taxes and lousy weather. One bright spot: short commutes to work for the metro area’s 467,000 residents.

        #14 Akron, Ohio
        Vacant homes are becoming a problem in Akron with 3,000 properties currently on the Akron Service Department’s list of problem homes.

        #15 Merced, Calif.Unemployment is at 17.6% in Merced, which is the worst among the 200 largest metro areas in America. Foreclosures are also an issue with 3,700 filings last year, or 4.4% of households. That rate is seventh worst in the U.S. Merced is the smallest metro area by population on the miserable cities list. 

        #16 Memphis, Tenn.Home prices are down only 6% the past three years and Tennessee does not have a state income tax. But a violent crime rate that is second only to Detroit helps lands Memphis on the list.

        #17 Bakersfield, Calif.The American Lung Association dubbed Bakersfield the most polluted city in the U.S. thanks to its high level of particulate matter in the air and ozone. Only 14% of Bakersfield adults have a college degree.

        #18 Vallejo, Calif.
        Vallejo emerged from bankruptcy last year after three years of cutting spending and restructuring debt. Fallout from the reduced spending includes a police force and fire department that operate at roughly one-third their capacity from 2004.

        #19 Modesto, Calif.Modesto has been ravaged by the housing bust with 1 out of every 19 properties filing for foreclosure in 2011 according to RealtyTrac. That’s third worst in the U.S. Unemployment remains a problem also with an average rate of 16.7% the past three years.bankruptcy last year after three years of cutting spending and restructuring debt. Fallout from the reduced spending includes a police force and fire department that operate at roughly one-third their capacity from 2004.

        #20 Gary, Ind.
        Gary, located 25 miles from downtown Chicago, has been ravaged by the decline of its industrial base. Foreclosures and high crime continue to plague the area.

  • 2hotel9

    It is a positive for the Barri Admin, the more people unemployed and dependent on government handouts is what they have been working for all along.

    • Opinionated

      Brilliant you hit that nail squarely in its head and the American people are getting kicked squarely in the teeth by those who seek to keep this juvenile President the Supreme King of the World… 1.2 million people dropping out of the work force in one million should be investigated by someone, anyone

      • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

        The juvenile President was serenaded out of Washington when he handed his broken economy over to the adults.

        • 2hotel9

          Yes, that is what Barri will do, hand over a broken economy to who ever kicks his stupid a$$ out of Washington.

        • factsarefacts

          Still blaming, are you? 

          • Hal712

            There is nothing positive for the libs to tout.  All they have is the blame game.  Obama will run from his record this election cycle and blame the congress.  Two years of total control wasn’t enough for him to claim credit for his failures.

        • two_amber_lamps

          Oh, is this comrade hanny having LSD flashbacks?  Or should I say future sight as to the results of the 2012 election?  We can only hope The toiletbowl surfer’s foresight becomes reality!

  • Wesbutte

    What a bunch of morons.  That is tantamount to saying that it would be good for the women to leave the workplace to make more jobs for men who might be the main money earner.   We need more jobs, not government give aways. 

  • Kevin Flanagan

    In Obamaland, the more dependent people there are, the better the Obamites think it is.

  • $8194357

    Sounds like “deficit spending” when debt becomes currency to invert the pyramid….

  • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

    “It’s an election year, so of course perception matters more than reality”. – Rob Port

    Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney led his supporters in singing “America the Beautiful” at a campaign event in Florida on the eve of the state’s primary election.

    • 2hotel9

      And tranni:TheLyingSh*tSpewer toddles in to defend Democrat Party policies that have been driving massive increases in unemployment. Good job, stupid c*nt.

    • two_amber_lamps

      “It’s an election year, so of course perception matters more than reality”. – Rob Port

      “I didn’t overpromise, and I didn’t underestimate how tough this was going to be,” he said. “I always believed that this was a long-term project. This wasn’t a short-term project. And, you know, for individual Americans who are struggling right now, they have every reason to be impatient.” –Barack HUSSEIN Obama

  • SigFan

    These people must have no sense of balance at all.  Spinning around that fast would make most people collapse from dizziness after about thirty seconds.  Given that they have said that extended unemployment benefits are better for the economy than Keystone XL would have been though this comes as no surprise.

    • $8194357

      Get ready here comes some more “stimulus” spin..

      DOVER, Del. (AP) — Fisker Automotive, an electric car maker that received a half-billion-dollar loan from the federal government, said Monday that it has laid off workers in Delaware and California.The layoffs include 26 workers at a former General Motors plant in Wilmington that Fisker is retooling to manufacture its Nina plug-in hybrid sedan. Another 40 contractors and employees who were working in design and development of Fisker’s Karma luxury car in Anaheim, Calif., also have been cut.Related Video Henrik Fisker on ‘Nina’Henrik Fisker on ‘Nina’The layoffs come as Fisker is seeking to renegotiate its loan agreement with the Department of Energy.Fisker has received $193 million of the $529 million DOE loan, mostly for work on the Karma, which sells for about $100,000. The introduction of the Karma was delayed because of regulatory issues and battery pack problems that prompted a voluntary safety recall by Fisker.Read more:

  • mikemc1970

    “A lot of that is due to younger people getting more of an education, which is an economic positive,”

    Why is it that Democrats always see money being borrowed, with out much chance of repayment, as a positive?

    • realitybasedbob

      Because Raygun taught us deficits don’t matter?

      • 2hotel9

        Poor boob, still stuck on stupid and spewing lies and sh*t.

      • mikemc1970

         He also taught us that cutting the top marginal tax rates creates 16 million new jobs. Funny how you always skip over that one.

        • two_amber_lamps

          As he also skips over the fact that deficits that serve the purpose of fixing a stagnant economy left over from a peanut farmer is one thing, deficit spending by a Manchurian Candidate to the purpose of imploding the economy of the worlds last super power is somehow of equal merit? 

          • $8194357

            Now that is “definately” “to true for school”!

        • realitybasedbob

          Oddly enough, that’s why he had to jack our taxes with the largest tax hike in American history. Funny how you always skip over that one.

          • 2hotel9

            Really, boob? Reagan ordered the Democrat controlled Congress to raise taxes? Show us. Post the letter which Reagan sent to the Democrat controlled Congress in which he ordered them to raise taxes in his name. Go for it, sh*t spewing liar.

        • realitybasedbob

          The next time you hear Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Michele Bachmann, or Rick Perry wax nostalgic for the good old, tax-cutting, government-drowning Reagan days of yore, consider tweeting the following, via Bruce Bartlett: …As Bartlett, a former Republican budget official [and Raygun aide], notes, the Tax Equity and Fiscal responsibility Act of 1982 was the single largest peacetime tax increase in history. But he also points out that there was still a net tax cut during the Regan years, with revenue nearly $265 billion lower in 1988 than it would have been without the sweeping tax cuts he introduced in 1981’s Economic Recovery Tax Act—half of which he’d taken back by the end of his administration.

          • 2hotel9

            Rewritten history from motheroflies. That is all you got, realitydenyingboob. Wow, that is lame, even for you.

    • 2hotel9

      Also, the “education” being bought is not worth the money spent on it, according to the thousands of college grads who are the entirety of the Occupados movement. Hmmm, me thinks they are all lying, yet again.

      • $8194357

        A bachelors of Marxist social justice cultural destruction isn’t worth as much as it used to be…That field is full to over flowing…

  • HG

    Sounds like spin, but what’s really sad is this administration likely believes this nonsense. Given the response of the resident libs, you don’t have to get up very early to fool them.  They seem to have bought in without a coherent thought.

  • Hal713

    The more people who drop out of the workforce, the more who are dependent on government.  The Obama administration considers that a success.  Obama is an economic failure.  

    • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

      More people drop out of the workforce because they lack an education or skills to obtain a job.

      If students use their student loan properly and apply themselves, they can be out in the workforce making more money for themselves and repaying back that loan.

      You would have to really hate Americans to deny them a chance to learn to fish.

      • 2hotel9

        And even more lies and sh*t spew from the lying sh*t spewer tranni.

      • Guest

         Your mental flaws are showing with much enthusiasm today.Good boy. Now rage for us…it’s show time, troll. Or maybe you should just repeat what I just said, parrot boy.

      • Hal713

        There are many highly educated and qualified people who are out of a job.  When government takes over large chunks of the private economy and threatens more, the private sector cannot grow without huge risks.  That is why private business has said they are very reluctant to hire, government interference.

        • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

          If what you were saying were true, employers wouldn’t hire people today, but they are hiring by the hundreds of thousands.  I guess you were wrong.

          • mtvphil

            So…a net gain of 243K on BHO’s watch is a stellar performance while a 300K net gain on W’s watch was a “job loss recovery.” Got it. 

            Hypocrisy remains the bedrock of liberalism.

          • 2hotel9

            Spewing more lies and sh*t, tranni? Clearly that is all you have.

          • Hal713

            The Labor Department reported over 1 million have left the workforce due to a lack of available jobs.  Obama is a economic failure and has choked economic expansion.

      • Hal713
    • 2hotel9

      No, Barri is quite successful. He is doing exactly what he said he would do, forcing America into decline so he can oversee it.

    • $8194357

      But a “free market capitalist killer” success. The “so called” “unintended consequences”
      of leftist legislation and regulation and soviet central planning…

  • HG

    More people drop out of the workforce because they lack an education or skills to obtain a job.

    They drop out of the workforce because they can’t get a job that doesn’t exist or they can’t compete for the very few that remain.  Not all who are unemployed are uneducated or just entering the workforce.

    • Mike Adamson

      Right on and the reason why the headline unemployment rate always paints the picture rosier than it really is. OTOH, a quick perusal of the economic and business blogs reveals that the adjustment made for the 2010 census is the biggest reason why the participation rate dropped so much. Unemployment is worse than the Administration lets on but lets not get carried away.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    The official stats indicate there are 5 people competing
    for every job. It was 7 to 1 a year ago. Technically, that is a tepid recovery. We have a long way to go. In a healthy economy the average is 2 to 1 for every job. If this economy is good according to liberals, imagine how great it could be under real leadership. We deserve better than this.