Image of the day: The Obama jobs recovery in one handy chart

posted at 3:21 pm on January 10, 2014 by Allahpundit

We all know the difference between the U-3 rate and the U-6 rate at this point (I hope), and so we all understand the perverse effect that a dwindling labor force can have on “the unemployment rate.” If you’re unemployed and looking for work, you’re part of the demand for labor that employers/suppliers are trying to meet. You count. if you’re unemployed and so deeply in despair about ever finding a job that you’ve given up looking, you don’t. Get enough people to give up and the labor force just might shrink to the point where marginal job gains overall can produce relatively steep drops in the U-3 rate. Which, of course, explains how America made sub-seven-percent magic last month with that 74,000-job stinkeroo.

We all know that (again, I hope) and we’ve all seen depressing graphs by now like the ones posted at Zero Hedge showing the slow, steady contraction of America’s labor force. The graph below, though, by Sean Davis of the Federalist, visualized the U-3/U-6 contrast in a way I don’t think I’d ever seen before. If you want to grasp just how few real gains have been made since the recession supposedly ended in June 2009, gawk away:

sd

All we need is a few million more people to give up on job-hunting to reach 5% unemployment by the end of O’s term.

I genuinely don’t understand why, traditionally, the media’s emphasized the U-3 instead of the U-6 and I really don’t understand why they’d continue to do it after the Great Recession, with the public ever more aware of the dangers of long-term unemployment. Thanks to the Senate bickering over unemployment insurance, we just went through a new flurry of media coverage about the hardships of being laid off for six months or more. People’s skills get stale, they stop looking for work, and before too long employers start to view them as essentially unemployable. It’s a dire problem, the extent of which is masked by the prominence of the U-3. And yet headline-writers use the U-3 anyway. Go figure.

Here’s Scarborough and crew letting the cat out of the bag.


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Why Imagine that even the Morning Cho has to acknowledge the validity of my hypothesis LibFreeOrDie…

Obamanomics is predicated on the notion that the economy bleeding 2 million plus employees a YEAR on average over the last 5 years is a great thing.

harlekwin15 on January 10, 2014 at 3:24 PM

This is what a liberal economic recovery looks like. It’s been a long summer boys.

antipc on January 10, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Don’t worry, the economy will save the Democrats in 2014.

NotCoach on January 10, 2014 at 3:26 PM

You make a fraction larger by increasing the numerator or by decreasing the denominator.

Increasing the numerator = create jobs, very difficult especially for Democrats.

Decreasing the denominator, on the other hand, is much easier. One might say it’s an Obama specialty.

jwolf on January 10, 2014 at 3:27 PM

I have to give MSNBC some serious points for an open Honest broadcast.

File that under “things I swore I would never say”.

Johnnyreb on January 10, 2014 at 3:29 PM

You make a fraction larger by increasing the numerator or by decreasing the denominator.

Increasing the numerator = create jobs, very difficult especially for Democrats.

Decreasing the denominator, on the other hand, is much easier. One might say it’s an Obama specialty.

jwolf on January 10, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Using an Obama joke, D is for Denominator, R is for numeRator.

NotCoach on January 10, 2014 at 3:29 PM

U-3= Better for Obama/Democrats.

U-6= Better club to beat Republicans with (when they are in office)

Gatsu on January 10, 2014 at 3:29 PM

All we need is a few million more people to give up on job-hunting to reach 5% unemployment by the end of O’s term.

…the LSM can’t wait to trumpet 3%
…can’t wait for the amnesty fix!

KOOLAID2 on January 10, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Nothin’ a good shootin’ war wouldn’t solve.
I’m sure Prezzy Peace Prize is thinkin about that…..

dentarthurdent on January 10, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Using the government criteria for calculating unemployment that was in effect through 1994 the true U6 rate is closer to 23%. Today by any measure we have the lowest percentage of the working age population employed since 1978. Ever fewer tax payers, ever more dependents, a steady trend down. I wonder how this ends…. /sarc

Scotsman on January 10, 2014 at 3:37 PM

I have to give MSNBC some serious points for an open Honest broadcast.
File that under “things I swore I would never say”.

Johnnyreb on January 10, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Well, I did see a news report last night that Hell (Michigan) has actually frozen over – resulting of course in snowballs actually having a chance there….

dentarthurdent on January 10, 2014 at 3:38 PM

I genuinely don’t understand why, traditionally, the media’s emphasized the U-3 instead of the U-6 and I really don’t understand why they’d continue to do it after the Great Recession, with the public ever more aware of the dangers of long-term unemployment.

I have never understood why the CONSERVATIVE media also takes this line of reporting. Fox News should start reading the names of every unemployed person in the country, every night; just as the LSM did to report the casualties of war when GWB was President.

OccamsRazor on January 10, 2014 at 3:43 PM

I have to give MSNBC some serious points for an open Honest broadcast.

File that under “things I swore I would never say”.

Johnnyreb on January 10, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Morning Slow has been honest about the crappy jobs reports and the deceptive decline in the U3 rate. In fact, he even expressed skepticism at the unusually upbeat jobs numbers for October 2012 right before the election(and as we later discovered, they’d been manipulated).

Doughboy on January 10, 2014 at 3:43 PM

I genuinely don’t understand why, traditionally, the media’s emphasized the U-3 instead of the U-6 and I really don’t understand why they’d continue to do it after the Great Recession

Because the U-6 number is only important when a President has (R) after his name, silly!!

powerpickle on January 10, 2014 at 3:43 PM

I genuinely don’t understand why, traditionally, the media’s emphasized the U-3 instead of the U-6 and I really don’t understand why they’d continue to do it after the Great Recession, with the public ever more aware of the dangers of long-term unemployment.

Allahpundit: I genuinely don’t understand why you wrote something so foolish. The media emphasizes the U-3 rate for the same reason the three major networks have already spent 17 times more time covering Christiegate than they have devoted to the IRS scandal.

bw222 on January 10, 2014 at 3:43 PM

…TROLLS all have the flu today or something?

KOOLAID2 on January 10, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Because the U-6 number is only important when a President has (R) after his name, silly!!

powerpickle on January 10, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Kinda like the media casualty counts in the War on Terror.

bw222 on January 10, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Don’t worry, the economy will save the Democrats in 2014.

NotCoach on January 10, 2014 at 3:26 PM

And blabbermouth Wasserman promises they’re running on Ocare too. Should be good.

msupertas on January 10, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Democrats to country–don’t look at this silly unemployment crap, look at that really serious Fat Boy bridge thingy.

msupertas on January 10, 2014 at 3:46 PM

I have never understood why the CONSERVATIVE media also takes this line of reporting. Fox News should start reading the names of every unemployed person in the country, every night; just as the LSM did to report the casualties of war when GWB was President.

OccamsRazor on January 10, 2014 at 3:43 PM

You still believe FNC is conservative? Next thing you’ll be telling us that Salem is conservative.

bw222 on January 10, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Hmmm, HA is starting to eat my comments, so I’ll try the second half again.

A real nice version of that graph, including taking into account the retiring Boomers, was >put together by agmartin over in the main jobs post.

Steve Eggleston on January 10, 2014 at 3:47 PM

if you’re unemployed and so deeply in despair about ever finding a job that you’ve given up looking,

…Rep Sheila Jackson Lee would like to count you has …’fully employed’…

KOOLAID2 on January 10, 2014 at 3:49 PM

Because the U-6 number is only important when a President has (R) after his name, silly!!

powerpickle on January 10, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Kinda like the media casualty counts in the War on Terror.

bw222 on January 10, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Yup, strangely after 2008 the media became totally uninterested in taking pictures of the caskets of dead soldiers arriving back in the states…hmmmmmmm….

powerpickle on January 10, 2014 at 3:49 PM

I genuinely don’t understand why, traditionally, the media’s emphasized the U-3 instead of the U-6 and I really don’t understand why they’d continue to do it after the Great Recession, with the public ever more aware of the dangers of long-term unemployment.

I don’t mind that they stick with the U3 rate since that’s what’s always been the standard. Provided of course these media outlets explain why it’s declining. Most of them actually do these days which goes to show that even the drive-bys are nervous about how lousy the economy is(they do live in it after all).

But if this keeps up(and with 3 more years of Obama, it likely will), we may reach the point where the U3 rate is rendered totally meaningless. By then, the more relevant figure will be the workforce participation rate.

Doughboy on January 10, 2014 at 3:50 PM

U6 or U3?

What difference, at this point, does it make?

fadetogray on January 10, 2014 at 3:50 PM

This is why we need a conservative version of JournoList. If every conservative blogger and news outlet reported the U-6 figure only, we would get somewhere.

I heard on the radio this morning that one out of every five men in America is unemployed. If that’s not a five-alarm crisis, I don’t know what is.

rockmom on January 10, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Barry’s economic plan…… join the welfare class and explore new opportunities in degradation.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on January 10, 2014 at 3:51 PM

…the LSM can’t wait to trumpet 3%
…can’t wait for the amnesty fix!

KOOLAID2 on January 10, 2014 at 3:31 PM

You know what we need with 11% U-6 unemployment? Amnesty. lol.

Seriously, we need to beat up John Boehner and the other Republicans who are in the pocket of Thomas Donohue, President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and America’s #1 Welfare Queen.

bw222 on January 10, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Allahpundit:

From someone who is frequently critical of you…….I need to let you know in an Unqualified Way:

Yow have done an EXCELLENT job here! This is one of the MOST HELPFUL things I have seen in The Media in the Last Two Years!

One of the best Posts/Articles ANYWHERE in The Media today!

Thank you – God Bless you!

williamg on January 10, 2014 at 3:52 PM

I have to give MSNBC some serious points for an open Honest broadcast.

File that under “things I swore I would never say”.

Johnnyreb on January 10, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Please note the headline “U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls from 7.0% to 6.7″ and the “cold weather” excuse.

blammm on January 10, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Long concertina and klieg.

Murphy9 on January 10, 2014 at 3:56 PM

I genuinely don’t understand why, traditionally, the media’s emphasized the U-3 instead of the U-6 and I really don’t understand why they’d continue to do it after the Great Recession, with the public ever more aware of the dangers of long-term unemployment.

For the same reason they focused on U-6 between 2003 and 2006 – politics.

Steve Eggleston on January 10, 2014 at 3:57 PM

No knowledgeable person believes any official stats.

ALL Official Stats Distort reality, hide the catastrophes of central planning and all the rest of government cataclysmic effects.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on January 10, 2014 at 3:57 PM

But, but Chris Christie!!

AllahsNippleHair on January 10, 2014 at 4:00 PM


Nothin’ a good shootin’ war wouldn’t solve.
I’m sure Prezzy Peace Prize is thinkin about that…..

dentarthurdent on January 10, 2014 at 3:37 PM

I hope he’s prepared for that little soiree to occur in this country, ’cause it’s a’comin’

HomeoftheBrave on January 10, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Besides, with no requirement to even look for work to get food stamps, the extended measures of unemployment are beginning to artifically fall too as people no longer want to work.

Steve Eggleston on January 10, 2014 at 4:08 PM

And just wait until the Obamacare effect kicks in. That will lower the unemployment rate to nearly 0. U-3, that is.

COgirl on January 10, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Allah, why so glum?

If we double-down on Obama policies causing labor dropouts, encourage hack libs to mandate Sharia law (though it costs an arm and a leg), and unleash the Obamascare death squads, I’ll bet we can collapse unemployment below 1%.

Then to make everything “skunky-dory, we need only to coronate Obama “Emperor Clothesno,” embrace the bureaucratic “desk spiral,” and imagine our country as “Titanica.”

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on January 10, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Summer Recovery, Since 2010.

jawkneemusic on January 10, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on January 10, 2014 at 4:29 PM

That was some downright poetic waxing….
:)

dentarthurdent on January 10, 2014 at 4:36 PM

I don’t mind that they stick with the U3 rate since that’s what’s always been the standard. Provided of course these media outlets explain why it’s declining. Most of them actually do these days which goes to show that even the drive-bys are nervous about how lousy the economy is(they do live in it after all).

But if this keeps up(and with 3 more years of Obama, it likely will), we may reach the point where the U3 rate is rendered totally meaningless. By then, the more relevant figure will be the workforce participation rate.

Doughboy on January 10, 2014 at 3:50 PM

As a few others have mentioned here, during the Bush years, especially before the ’06 elections, every. single. time. the news outlets discussed unemployment, they’d give the U-3 and then immediately follow it with the “real” number, the U-6, because it made the government look worse.

As soon as the Dems gained control of Congress we saw a lot less of that pesky “real” U-6 number, and once Obama was coronated, it almost completely disappeared from the discussion except for the odd conservative (or realistic) party-pooper.

Of course as a current member of the U-6 demographic (hoping like hell I don’t end up in the U-6) the U-6 is depressing enough to make one wonder if there is any point in continuing to hunt. Which might be a valid reason to not highlight it. Though we know that the media really doesn’t care about national morale unless raising it benefits their Boy King.

LibraryGryffon on January 10, 2014 at 4:43 PM

…current member of the U-3 demographic (hoping like hell I…

It would be great to have an edit button!

Hey, I’ve put in two applications today alone, as well as spent several hours going through various job boards, doing my bit to justify my unemployment insurance payment for another week.

LibraryGryffon on January 10, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Surprised? I’m not. This administration lies about everything.

sadatoni on January 10, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Seriously, we need to beat up John Boehner and the other Republicans who are in the pocket of Thomas Donohue, President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and America’s #1 Welfare Queen.

bw222 on January 10, 2014 at 3:52 PM

…never thought I would see the day….where I would loathe a ‘Chamber of Commerce’…f*ck these people!

KOOLAID2 on January 10, 2014 at 5:02 PM

When the last person looking for a job just packs it in, we’ll have ZERO % UE.

Good Times!

Another Drew on January 10, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Steve Eggleston on January 10, 2014 at 3:47 PM

I’ll second that.

In fact, AP, an update highlighting that graph wouldn’t come amiss in highlighting the vapidity of the LSM’s focus on the U-3 and ignoring the promises of the Obama Administration.

Very few graphs highlight the stagnation of the Obama recovery better than that one when it comes to job creation – or the effects of 293 pivots to the economy over the past 5 years.

Athos on January 10, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Ain’t Obamanomics WONDERFUL?

GarandFan on January 10, 2014 at 5:23 PM

They’ll start using U-6 the next time there is a Republican president.

motionview on January 10, 2014 at 6:15 PM

I’ve been saying this is a weak economy (still)… glad to see the REAL numbers validate my claims out here in the Golden State…

Khun Joe on January 10, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Four legs good,

two perfect creases better!

wytshus on January 10, 2014 at 6:48 PM

So, why isn’t Carney being asked about this? Why isn’t Carney being asked what the President is going to propose to the Senate to add more jobs? Why isn’t Carney being pressed on unemployment at 99 weeks since Obama has been President?

Neither the Democrats, or Obama, feel the need to do anything about jobs because they know that, politically, as long as we have Pravda and Izvestia, they’ll never be held responsible for the dismal performance of the economy. I’m sure they’re really waiting until they can find a way to blame Republicans, which is why it’s so important for the House to be sending employment bills to the Senate every day.

bflat879 on January 10, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Administrations used to shoot for Full Employment measured as an unemployment rate of about 4%. This one’s goal seems to be Full Unemployment.

Laurence on January 10, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Can we all agree to stop making simple-minded statements about whether or not the recession has ended? Geez, it really is easy to define the beginning and end of these things :

( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Bureau_of_Economic_Research )

The more you spin fiction about factual stuff and blow long and hard about something like a recession and economic recovery, the more vulnerable you make yourself, your candidates, your party and those of us who cherish clarity and honest debate. Our opposition will jump on this obfuscation like it’s a free meal!

ronco on January 10, 2014 at 10:13 PM

Wear pajamas.

Drink hot chocolate.

Talk about getting a job.

NoPain on January 11, 2014 at 11:53 PM

The December jobs report – more ugly
by Steve Eggleston | January 11th, 2014

ITguy on January 12, 2014 at 1:00 AM