There were 236,000 new jobs added in February, this is at least double the number of new people entering the workforce, and this pushed the unemployment rate down two clicks to 7.7%. But, do you know who's taking credit for this continued growth in jobs? The Republicans of course, they issued statements today claiming that their having forced government spending down with the sequester has given the private sector the confidence it needed to create jobs. This would be the same 'Obama-quester' that was destroying the economy last week. The White House response was to point out that these numbers were gathered prior to Feb 16th, and don't reflect the sequester's effects in anyway.
The unemployment rate among people without high school diplomas has dropped sharply down close to 11% from nearly 15% a year ago. These are the people who would benefit most from a boost in the minimum wage, something the right vehemently opposes. The main reason for the opposition doesn't even occur to the people who mindlessly repeat the talking point that a higher minimum wage destroys 'mom & pop' business. It would do the opposite of course, mom & pop are heavily dependent on their own labor to make money doing the work of several employees that corporate operation would need to hire. So they would effectively get a raise as well if the corporate stores they compete with must pay their help better. Not to mention their neighbors having more money to spend with mom & pop.
The right is trumpeting that new record number of Americans not working is now past 90 million. Hmm, out of 310 million, 90 million aren't working? Yeah that's a nonsense number, sure the participation rate continues to track downward, it has been since the first baby-boomer retired in 2005. Anybody who isn't in an institution is counted as non-participant no matter how old. This will continue for sometime until the even larger Millennium Generation comes fully into the workforce.
The stock market closed the week in record territory. Remember how the Republicans were insisting before the election that there would be a market collapse if Obama was re-elected? Corporate profits continue to soar while wages barely stay ahead of inflation. Next month the job numbers won't be good with the Sequester starting to kick in, but the Republicans will just flip the card over and read the other set of talking points. It's handy when your reality doesn't need to jibe with actual reality. www.prairie2.com