The most recent jobs report from the Labor Department contains both good news and the bad news.
If you’re a glass-half-full person, you’ll want to focus on some positive trends.
- The joblessness rate fell to 7.5 percent, the lowest level since Obama became President.
- Private-sector jobs are increasing.
- As I’ve noted before, the economy seems to do better if there’s gridlock.
- One reason for better economic performance is that the burden of government spending has been reduced, at least when measured as a share of GDP.
I made many of these points in the beginning of this interview for Real News on Blaze TV.
On the other hand, if you’re a glass-half-empty person, you might focus on these grim details.
- This is the weakest job performance for any recovery since the end of World War II.
- Unemployment is far higher than the White House predicted it would be if the so-called stimulus was enacted.
- There are headwinds that are undermining job creation, such as Obamacare, higher payroll tax rates, and the President’s class-warfare tax hike.
- The employment-population ratio is terrible, suggesting that the lower unemployment rate is really a measure of people dropping out of the labor force.
So who’s right, the optimists or pessimists? At the risk of sounding like a politicians, they’re both right.
If it sounds like I’m trying to have it both ways, that’s simply the reality of public policy. There are both headwinds and tailwinds impacting the labor market, which is why I talked about scales balancing in the interview.
But I will state without ambiguity that small government and free markets are the right formula to improve economic performance. In other words, get rid of the bad policies and adopt more of the good policies. Be more like Hong Kong and less like France.