How the White House Plans to Reach 0 Percent Unemployment by November

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

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February 21, 2012

The economic website has a running not-so-funny joke. The laugh (on us) is that President Obama will be able to get the unemployment rate to 0 percent by November if the Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps ignoring those who drop out of the labor force each month.

A serious look behind the January jobs data is troubling. At first glance, everything is roses. The 243,000 jobs “created” exceeded all economic predictions. The most optimistic Wall Street analysis estimated that 120,000 jobs would be added. Accordingly, the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent---a bigger decline than anticipated.

But in January, even though the unemployment rate dropped from 8.9 percent, 1.2 million people stopped looking for a job; the aggregate of those not in the labor force surged from 86.7 million to 87.9 million. Translated this means that the civilian labor force fell to 63.7 percent, a 30 year high. For the Obama administration to arrive at the coveted 0 percent, the BLS would have to continue to “crush” (as Zero Hedge describes it) the labor participation number to 55 percent, something the agency seems determined to do.

There’s also the very significant matter of what types of jobs were “created” in January. Growth in low paying positions like hospitality and retail where wages average between $9 and $15 an hour far outpaced higher paying jobs for which the national average is nearly $23.00. Neither type is likely to contribute to family medical coverage.

Not only have new jobs created not kept up with population growth over the last several months, the U.S. population has been inflated by the federal government’s policy of inviting about 1 million legal immigrants annually and issuing work permits to them. Today, there are several competing bills on Capitol Hill that would significantly increase the numbers of non-immigrant workers who arrive on H-1B visas or, worse yet, eliminate the existing cap.

Finally, here’s the coup de grâce for American workers. According to economist and frequent VDARE.Com contributor Edwin S. Rubenstein, the real number of January jobs created totaled 847,000, the highest total in nine years. That’s the good news.

But, based on Rubenstein’s Household (or Current Population) Survey analysis as opposed to the mainstream media’s preferred Payroll Survey, is the bad news. Wrote Rubenstein:

“Our analysis of the Household Survey indicates that 414,000, or 49 percent, of January’s new jobs went to immigrants. That is more than three times their share of the labor force (16 percent). Native-born employment grew by 433,000.

“Immigrant employment grew by 1.83 percent in January. Native-born employment grew by 0.37. At these rates, immigrant employment will double in just 39 months while native-born employment will take 196 months to double. That’s 16 years.”

See the side by side Household versus Payroll surveys published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics here. Read Rubenstein’s complete report here.


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