Malaise is here to stay

By Tom Quiner

Malaise Jimmy Carter - Barack ObamaUnemployment “dipped” to 7.6 percent.

If you listened to the news last week, that’s how the mainstream media framed the story.

You hear reports about the economic “recovery” as well. When coupled with the unemployment “dip,” you’re left with the impression that we’re making slow, but steady progress under Obamanomics.

A key number is usually unreported or de-emphasized: the contraction of the workforce under

Malaise has returned to America thanks to Obamanomics

Malaise has returned to America thanks to Obamanomics

Barack Obama. The labor force “participation rate” has plummeted to 63.3 percent, the lowest it has been since (surprise, surprise) the “national malaise” wrought by the Carter administration.

Last month, a pathetic 88,000 jobs were created. At the same time, 496,000 workers left the workforce entirely.

They are no longer participating.

If we had the same sized participating workforce as a year ago, today’s unemployment rate would be 8.3 percent.

Apologists for Obamanomics will pounce and blame the workforce attrition on the hordes of retiring baby boomers. Think about that for a moment. If old folks are retiring in hordes, that would suggest that the unemployment rate would be dropping for younger workers needed to replace retiring workers.

It’s not happening.

Unemployment for workers between 18 and 29 years of age is worse than the general workforce: 11.7 percent.

In fact, the situation is dismal for younger workers under the carnage of Obamanomics, as analyzed by ZeroHedge:

Since the arrival of Obama, the US workforce has been effectively split into two separate job markets: those 54 and younger (condolences) and those 55 and older. Specifically, since January 2009, the number of jobs created has been focused solely on the gerontocratic component of the US labor pool, those aged 55 to 69 (or more – gray line below), and who can no longer afford to retire as expected thanks to Bernanke’s genocidal ZIRP policies which have made a mockery of savings.

These older workers have seen a grand total of 4.02 million cumulative jobs created. Everyone else (or those 54 and younger – red line below)? A grand total of 2.8 million jobs lost, and now deteriorating once more, with those in the prime work demographic of 25-54 having lost the most jobs, 2.2 million, since the coming of Obama.

Here’s a recap of Obamanomics:

√ Mature workers can’t afford to retire.

√ So there are fewer existing jobs for younger workers to fill.

√ New jobs aren’t being created fast enough.

Is there hope on the horizon? After all, the American economy has been historically resilient. Probably not. Obamacare fully kicks in in January. New employment-crushing fines and taxes will kick in on employers creating disincentives to hire full time workers.

Crushing government debt will continue.

Fed policy ensures that inflation lurks around the corner.

We need Reaganomics. We’re stuck with Obamanomics, which means that malaise is here to stay.


  1. sally1137 on April 8, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Another difference between this administration and Carter’s is that Carter’s numbers were not being “massaged” as these are. So you’re being told we’re in a recovery, unemployment is dropping, inflation is low.

    Inflation is low because they’re not counting the stuff that matters: food and fuel.

    I’m guessing low information people are all thinking, “Well, I’m screwed. But everybody else must be doing okay.”

    Not so. We’re all screwed.

    • quinersdiner on April 8, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      Outstanding points. If we included inflation and fuel, we’d have a different picture, wouldn’t we?