September 8, 2012

The way I see it, President Obama has only 59 days to get 368,000 people to join ranks and vote for him on November 6th.

That number represents those Americans who dropped out of the workforce last month, frustrated over not finding work in the private sector.  This number also appears to be the worst news to come out of Friday's jobless report from the Labor Department. But hey, Obama can push to get them on the government dole (after all, he has waived the work requirement for welfare) and thus create more dependents.

The Labor Department counts a person as not in the civilian labor force if they are at least 16 years old, are not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home, and have not actively looked for a job in the last four weeks. The department counts a person as in “the civilian labor force” if they are at least 16, are not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home, and either do have a job or have actively looked for one in the last four weeks.

In July, there were 155,013,000 in the U.S. civilian labor force. In August that dropped to 154,645,000—meaning that on net 368,000 people simply dropped out of the labor force last month and did not even look for a job.

This sounds really bad for the Obama Administration. But wait! The more dependents, the more potential Democratic voters.

The Labor Department also reported more disappointing news. The economy created only 96,000 jobs in August, the unemployment rate remains above 8 percent. While some may focus on the jobs that were created last month, this jobs report is nothing but horrendous. I welcome any jobs, but American workers giving up on employment in the weakest recovery since the Great Depression is cause for alarm, not celebration.

The worst number is the total number of Americans who not in the Labor Force -- 88.9 Million! Almost 87 million, or 96 percent of these get at least one government check.

The unemployment rate has not fallen below 8 percent for the past 43 months. The labor force participation rate is at the lowest level in 31 years! You will remember 31 years ago was when Ronald Reagan was swept into office riding a tide against the terrible economy of the Jimmy Carter years.

Consider this: If the labor force participation rate were at the same level it was before the recession started, the unemployment rate would be 11.6 percent today. And the rate of “underemployment” or “real unemployment,” including the unemployed, those who want work but have stopped searching in this economy, and those who are forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment is actually at 14.7 percent. We're still experiencing a significant jobs crisis, whether President Obama recognizes it or not.

President Obama’s policies of more spending, more debt and more taxes haven’t worked. It’s way past time for a course correction. The country needs responsible leadership, not the President’s boasts over anemic growth and unending pleas for patience. Americans are looking for a sustained and real recovery. This weak report is nowhere near enough, and this has gone on long enough. Any real jobs plan must stop the regulatory madness and avert the fiscal cliff of tax increases on January 1. The health care law is yet another drag on the economy. Small businesses need tax relief and regulatory certainty to grow and hire.

The answer to creating jobs and jumpstarting the sluggish economy shouldn’t be a surprise. Small firms are the biggest job creators. Yet, the vital role small businesses play in economic growth is still overlooked. Together, these small firms consistently create 60 to 70 percent of new jobs, year after year, and employ more than half of the entire U.S. workforce at 27 million different places of business. That means we all have a vested interest in keeping that dynamic job creation going strong.

But unfortunately, small businesses are barely staying afloat. Based on NFIB’s (National Federation of Independent Businesses) monthly economic survey that will be released on Tuesday, small businesses have experienced no growth over the last few months. We can do better than this.

The House has passed more than 30 jobs bills that sit idle in the Senate, with no leadership from President Obama to move them forward. The House also created a Plan for America’s Job Creators to boost private sector growth, while our counterparts in government sit on their hands. House Republicans can’t do this alone.

If we want to successfully address our nation’s unemployment crisis, we must work together to promote policies that provide confidence to small businesses. If we want to see Americans get back to work and our economy recover fully, we must start with our nation’s best job creators — small businesses — and remove obstacles that prevent growth and job creation.

The employment numbers look bleak. But if you were a socialist who wants 51 percent or more of the country on the government dole without having to work, it might not look bad at all to you. It could be the ticket to getting more voters. Obama has just 59 more days to work his magic.

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