Obama is Wrong. The Private Sector Isn’t “Doing Fine.”
As Jonathan notes below, President Obama gave some interesting insight into his view of the state of the American economy in his news conference today.
“The private sector is doing fine.”
Here is the whole quote (via RealClearPolitics):
The truth of the matter is that, as I said, we created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government. Oftentimes cuts initiated by, you know, Governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don’t have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in.
But is it really? Is the private sector “doing fine?”
1. Private-sector jobs have increased by an average of just 105,000 over the past three months and by just 89,000 a month during the entire Obama Recovery.
In 1983 and 1984, during the supply-side Reagan Boom, private sector jobs increased by an average of 292,000 a month. Adjusted for population, that number is more like 375,000 private-sector jobs a month
2. If the labor force participation rate for May had just stayed where it was in April, the unemployment rate would have risen to 8.4%. As it is, the U.S. economy is suffering is longest sustained bout of 8% unemployment or higher since the Great Depression.
3. Private-sector GDP rose just 2.6% in the first quarter, after rising a measly 1.2% last year.
By contrast, private-sector GDP rose 3.8% in 1983 and 6.5% in 1984 during the supply-side Reagan Boom.
4. The U.S. stock market is down 7% since early April.
5. Real take-home pay is down over the past year.
6. That first-quarter GDP report also showed that after-tax corporate profits dropped for the first time in three years. Major red flag.
No, Mr. President, the private-sector isn’t doing fine at all. And it certainly isn’t ready to deal with a fiscal cliff of tax hikes or a continued deluge of new regulation.