Terry Corbell, The Biz Coach
By Terry Corbell
Business Consultant

The Link: Artificial 4.9% Jobless Rate, Obama’s Firing of His Jobs Council


Updated July 30, 2016

Economic growth is an oxymoron under the Obama Administration.

The broadest measure of the economy is the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). But it only grew at 1.2 percent from April to June this year – far short of the 2.6 percent forecast by most economists.

Even the 1.2 percent might be wrong – in Q1 GDP was 1.1 percent but the government revised it downward to .8 percent. That’s three consecutive quarters of pathetic growth.

So no surprise why countless Americans are stuck in low-wage or part-time jobs, which means the unemployment rate is at an artificial 4.9 percent — a phony statistic.

It’s worth remembering President Obama fired his jobs council — comprised of CEOs at major companies. Ostensibly, he didn’t like their advice.

A noted economist has been expressing the same concerns for years.

ID-10043269 xedos4“The jobless rate may be down from its recession peak of 10 percent, but much of this results from adults, discouraged by the lack of decent job openings, have quit altogether. They are neither employed nor looking for work,” explained economist Peter Morici, Ph.D., in his analysis on August 1, 2014.

“Only about half of the drop in the adult participation rate may be attributed to the Baby Boom generation reaching retirement age. Lacking adequate resources to retire, a larger percentage of adults over 65 are working than before the recession,” he wrote.

“Many Americans who would like full time jobs are stuck in part-time positions, because businesses can hire desirable part-time workers to supplement a core of permanent, full-time employees, but at lower wages,” Dr. Morici added.

“The economy needs to add about 360,000 jobs each month to push unemployment down to about 6 percent and provide employment for those frustrated adults,” explained Dr. Morici. “That would require GDP growth in the range of 4 to 5 percent.”

But under Obama, the nation’s GDP growth rate has been comparatively tepid.

President Reagan’s Administration inherited a worse economy from President Carter than Obama from Bush. But the Reagan White House performed at a much higher level than Obama. Millions of legitimate jobs were created and the GDP was 4.8 percent.

Sadly, the mainstream news media has largely failed to report such facts, as well as two other economic developments:

1. There’s a connection between the president ignoring his own Council on Jobs and Competitiveness a year, and the artificial unemployment rate.

Mr. Obama recruited business leaders to join his jobs council in January 2011. This was to demonstrate leadership in solving the nation’s anemic jobs situation, and to fix his impaired relationships with employers.

But not since Jan. 17, 2012, has Mr. Obama convened his own jobs council, which is supposed to be chaired by General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt.

“There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”
-Will Rogers

Some 23 million Americans are out-of-work or are under-employed because they can only find part-time work — so the average American workweek is only 34.6 hours. And the president has not bothered to convene his jobs council?

So neither of Mr. Obama’s jobs-council goals has been attained — by default. That’s unacceptable for the nation’s economy and workers.

2. Former Intel CEO Paul Otellini, a member of the Obama jobs council, joined the ranks of high-profile business leaders who opposed Mr. Obama’s re-election.

Mr. Otellini is ostensibly disappointed by Mr. Obama’s lack of commitment to creating private-sector jobs.

He has good reason. Mr. Otellini joined the president’s jobs council to lend his expertise even after voicing his concerns about ineffective administration policies for job creation. (See: Job Creation: Will Public Officials Listen to Intel’s CEO?)

Other business leaders who were forced to actively campaign in the 2012 presidential election for Mitt Romney: Charles Schwab, Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Bernie Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot.

The results speak for themselves. Mr. Obama has not kept his promises – from his commitment to reduce the unemployment rate to 5.2 percent – to his pledge to balance the federal budget.

You might recall in 2008 he called President Bush “unpatriotic” for his handling of the economy and heavy spending, but the national debt increased 52 percent under President Obama.

Here we have a president who campaigned on “hope and change.” But he hasn’t delivered — understandably because he doesn’t have any job-creation credentials — his experience as a community activist explain his economic failures and focus. There’s been no hope under Mr. Obama — only harm to the nation’s economy.

Even Steve Jobs criticized the ineffective Obama approach. (See: Biography: Will President Obama Listen to Steve Jobs on the Economy?)

Business leaders understandably chortled at Mr. Obama’s announcement that he wants to add a new cabinet position, a “secretary of business.” I concur.

“I don’t think adding a new chair in his Cabinet will help add millions of jobs on Main Street,” said Mr. Romney in the 2012 campaign. “We don’t need a secretary of business to understand business. We need a president who understands business.”

Agreed. It’s time for realistic hope and positive change.

From the Coach’s Corner, the media also failed to report another noteworthy development in 2012, about which I wrote: 6 Nobel Laureates Among 673 Economists Back Romney’s Economic and Jobs Plan.

The economists signed a statement — the benefits of Mr. Romney’s plan — and multiple reasons why Mr. Obama’s economic approach is a failure.

“There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”

-Will Rogers

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy of xedos4 at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.