Lackluster Economy Adds Only 88,000 Jobs In March


President Obama has just started his new term and has the better part of four years to turn around this sluggish economy.  But pointing fingers and Obama bashing at this time is an exercise in futility.  The only thing that should matter to all Americans is getting people back to work.  It needs to be a bipartisan effort.  It’s an unacceptable strategy to hope the economy remains weak until the next Congressional and then Presidential election, so the Republicans can win both Houses as well as the White House.  The greatest challenge however is how to get that done.  There are legitimate differences between the parties but some common ground must be found for the betterment of the American people.  Politics must be put aside.  The facts from the March report show the overall unemployment rate dropping to 7.6% with 88,000 jobs created but that fell well short of the 190,000 jobs economists predicted.  It also doesn’t include the 500,000 people who stopped looking for work and are therefore no longer included in the unemployment statistics. The unemployment rate would have remained at 7.7% if not for revised figures for January and February improving job creation by 30,000 for each month.  The unemployment breakdown for March, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic is as follows: adult men (6.9%), adult women (7.0%), teenagers (24.2%), whites (6.7%), blacks (13.3%) Hispanics (9.2%) and Asians (5.0% not seasonally adjusted).  These figures have remained fairly constant with the Hispanic unemployment rate falling slightly and teenage unemployment falling 0.9%. But the most important factor of all can not be overstated, “education”.  For those with a college degree, the unemployment rate for March remained at a low and very acceptable (3.8%).  That percentage is well within the accepted definition of full employment.  There will always be a group or sub-group of people who are simply unemployable which is why that figure will never decrease below a few percentage points.  As a nation, we must do a better job of educating and placing our children into positions that require skilled and educated citizens.  Gone are the days where a trade or a shot at a union job meant a middle class life.  Even recent college graduates can only expect to be offered entry-level jobs paying $30,000-$35,000 dollars.  Perhaps someone living in Nebraska can live on that but not someone living in New York or LA.  Therefore, we must ensure that the coming generations are prepared to take on the positions that are available and not simply flounder.  The truth is, very few doctors, attorneys, engineers or those with MBA’s are unemployed.  We are no longer a manufacturing based country.  If we continue to live in and long for the “good ol days”, the shrinking middle class will continue, as will the decline of much of the country.

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