The February Jobs report is out and for the 12th month in a row the economy created over 200,000 jobs. This is definitely good news, but the economy is not where it should be. The Labor participation rate is still too low and average wages haven’t increased much. This would seem to indicate that we aren’t approaching full employment despite the UE rate. The Obama administration is sure to take credit for this development. I for one cant point to one policy they can say is responsible. It cant be their stimulus program which was shown as not leading to job growth for its entire roll out. EPA regulations on energy production and the President’s Veto of a Keystone Pipeline are definitely not job creating policies. The President’s desire to increase the minimum wage is a proven deterrent to job growth, so that goes out the window. Now word comes out that the President is looking to raise taxes through executive order and you have an environment of uncertainty for businesses. It is a veritable miracle the economy is creating any jobs.
One could argue that the Obamacare requirement that employers provide health insurance for any worker averaging 30 hours a week, has led to companies reducing workers hours. This in turn has led to hundreds of thousands of people acquiring second jobs. President Obama is the first to make the middle class into a part time labor force and he gets praised for it! More impetus for job growth came when Congressional Republicans reduced unemployment benefits. What Democrats seem to forget is that people respond to incentives. When you are receiving money to not work you wont work, and when the money is going to go away you find a job. This is something the Obama administration vehemently opposed, so don’t expect much media examination of this argument. Another potential boost to the labor market is the fact that Congressional Republicans have been able to blunt the worst of Obama’s agenda. Far from being able to take credit for job growth, the economy is growing despite the President.