New data from the U.S. Department of Labor published Thursday revealed that the number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits last week was the lowest in decades.
“In the week ending February 3, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 221,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 230,000. The 4-week moving average was 224,500, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 234,500,” the DOL announced.
Here’s the kicker: “This is the lowest level for this average since March 10, 1973 when it was 222,000.”
Excellent, though just to be clear, the unemployment rate began dropping years ago after the financial crisis of 2007-2008, as seen in the following chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Because of this, Democrats keep trying to attribute America’s current economic boom to former President Barack Obama. But while this might hold true in regard to America’s low unemployment, it doesn’t hold true for other metrics.
“Home ownership: down. Labor force participation: down. Student loans: up. National Debt: up. Health care costs: up. Median family income: flat. People on food stamps: up. Workers’ share of economy: down,” Brad Schaeffer of The Daily Wire pointed out this week, referencing metrics that fell under Obama’s “recovery.”
“These trends do not paint a rosy picture for the working middle class,” he added.
Labor force participation particularly matters in regard to unemployment.
Let me ask you something: What does it suggest when both the unemployment rate and labor force participation rate drop at the same time as they did during the Obama years?
It suggests that the unemployment rate dropped not because of a change in economic conditions, but because more people dropped out of the labor force pool altogether.
Now take a look at the following labor force participation chart from the BLS:
The labor force participation rate dropped precipitously during Obama’s tenure in the White House. Not until around the time businessman candidate Donald Trump announced his candidacy for office did it begin to tick upward after nearly a decade of trending lower and lower.
Something similar happened with America’s food stamp consumption rate. According to documentation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, the number of Americas collecting food stamps ballooned from 28 million in 2008 to 44 million in 2016. Then suddenly in 2017, during Trump’s first year in office, it shrank to 42 million.
Is this a coincidence? I think not.
In fact, numbers such as these suggest President Donald Trump, not former President Barack Obama, deserves credit for America’s booming economy.
And many economists agree: “A recent survey of economists suggest it is President Trump, and not Obama, who should be taking a bow,” The Hill reported in January, referencing a survey of 68 economists by The Wall Street Journal.
Of the economists surveyed, “(A) majority said the president had been ‘somewhat’ or ‘strongly’ positive for job creation, gross domestic product growth and the rising stock market.”
And that’s something everyone should be happy about.
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