October BLS Report: Superficially Improved, but Deep-Rooted Economic Problems Persist

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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 joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

November 6, 2015

The White House insists that President Obama is determined to work tirelessly on behalf of American job growth and to ensure that the middle class will rise again: “President Obama will not be satisfied until every American who wants work can find a job. That’s why he is working to grow our economy, so middle class families feel confident in their futures and their children’s futures.” And Obama also promised that the new $80 billion budget he signed earlier this week will be a job-creating engine which will boost the American economy.

Too bad that we’ve heard all this before, and recognize it as the same old deception that presidents so often rely on. Investigative journalist Matt Taibbi summed it up perfectly when, in his 2013 article about the Wall Street bailout, he wrote: “(T)he most appalling part is the lying. The public has been lied to so shamelessly and so often in the course of the past four years that the failure to tell the truth to the general populace has become a kind of baked-in, official feature of the financial rescue.”

Obama not only isn’t working on behalf of Americans to ensure that they’ll have good jobs, he’s actively subverting their chances. A recently leaked Department of Homeland Security document revealed that Obama, plotting behind the scenes, is exploring four options to give employment authorization to illegal aliens in the United States, including one that would grant work permits to an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants, a total which easily could be higher.

Forging ahead on his plan – even though his deferred action programs are under review in the Fifth Circuit Court, having been previously frozen in June by Texas federal court Judge Andrew Hanen –  Obama is determined to undermine American workers. Should Obama somehow prevail, unemployed and underemployed Americans’ chances at getting a job would be dramatically reduced.

Shipping our jobs away
TPP, Immigration pose continuing threats to American workers.

Then, there’s Obama’s pet Trans-Pacific Partnership project that could, based on his fast-track authority, allow millions of overseas workers to displace Americans. Every American job category would be at risk.

The biggest lie, however, may be the monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report. In October, the economy created 271,000 jobs, above the projected 180,000, and wages rose 0.4 percent, also better than anticipated, but not enough to send consumers on a buying spree. As they are each month, many of the new jobs are part-time and in lower-paying sectors like retail. Service-related sectors, for example, added about 240,000 jobs.

The deceptive unemployment rate dipped to 5 percent from last month’s 5.1 percent. When the labor participation rate is at a four-decade low, 62.4 percent, and more than 92 million Americans are detached from the labor force, employment conditions are best described as poor. The U-6 unemployment rate, a truer economic measure, is 9.5 percent.

Americans need a break from unchecked immigration that adds about 1 million legal, work-authorized immigrants to the economy every year. Since the start of the Second Great Depression, the U.S. has added 2.3 million foreign-born workers and just 727,000 native-born, a 3:1 ratio that provides more proof of Obama’s disinterest in Americans’ well-being.

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