Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
A columnist in today’s Las Vegas newspaper gloats about being vindicated in his opinion of the lagging Obama economy by citing the findings of a liberal economist.
Wayne Allyn Root recounts a report by the former chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers Alan Krueger and fellow Princeton economics prof Lawrence Katz, which came out in September but was recently reported on by Breitbart. Root said the report shows “94 percent of all new job (sic) created under Obama was part-time. There were no jobs created — unless you wanted to work part-time for low wages with no health insurance. There were no real jobs … middle class jobs … high quality, high-wage jobs you could take to feed a family of four and pay a mortgage.”
Actually that report concluded, “A striking implication of these estimates is that 94 percent of the net employment growth in the U.S. economy from 2005 to 2015 appears to have occurred in alternative work arrangements.” Those alternative work jobs rose from 10.7 percent in February 2005 to 15.8 percent in late 2015.
The report defined “alternative work arrangements” as temporary help agency workers, on-call workers, contract workers, and independent contractors or freelancers. Yes, a large number of those are part-time, but by no means all.
In fact the economists’ study states, “Workers in alternative work arrangements are more than twice as likely as other workers to be classified as part-time for economic reasons (7.6 percent versus 3.3 percent).” Part-time is 35 hours a week or less.
The facts do appear to belie the claim made by Obama in his 2016 State of the Union address:
Let me start with the economy, and a basic fact: the United States of America, right now, has the strongest, most durable economy in the world. We’re in the middle of the longest streak of private-sector job creation in history. More than 14 million new jobs; the strongest two years of job growth since the ’90s; an unemployment rate cut in half. Our auto industry just had its best year ever. Manufacturing has created nearly 900,000 new jobs in the past six years. And we’ve done all this while cutting our deficits by almost three-quarters.Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction. What is true — and the reason that a lot of Americans feel anxious — is that the economy has been changing in profound ways, changes that started long before the Great Recession hit and haven’t let up.