Heartland Institute Economic Experts React to Weak Jobs Report

Published September 7, 2012

The U.S. Department of Labor today reported the economy added 96,000 jobs in August, pushing unemployment down to 8.1 percent.

The following statements from economic experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Tammy Nash at [email protected] and 312/377-4000. After regular business hours, contact Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/731-9364.

“Today’s jobs report shows unemployment remains a very serious problem. As high as it is, the headline unemployment rate of 8.1 percent is misleading. The economic rate of underemployment is close to 15 percent when we compare total hours worked to the amount of hours people would normally be working.”

Robert Genetski
Policy Advisor, Budget and Tax Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“That makes 43 months with unemployment over 8 percent, the longest since the Great Depression by far. But the unemployment rate number is hocus pocus with millions now counted as leaving the work force without jobs. Counting them the real unemployment rate is at least 11 percent.

“This is Obama’s fault because instead of dealing with the recession and recovery with the more modern supply side economics as Reagan did, Obama went back to the proven failed Keynesian economics of the 1970s, and worse by doing exactly the opposite of everything Reagan did.”

Peter Ferrara
Senior Fellow, Entitlement and Budget Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“White House mouthpieces correctly point out that jobs numbers can be volatile month-to-month. But when we’ve gone nearly four years with the official unemployment rate over 8 percent – and with recent declines in unemployment rate partly due to people becoming so frustrated they are no longer looking for work and therefore not included in unemployment figures – it’s clear the ‘recovery’ is more like a recession. Who could have imagined that more of the government spending, borrowing, and monetary policies that caused the recession would fail to end the recession?”

Steve Stanek
Research Fellow, Budget and Tax Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Budget & Tax News
[email protected]

“There are fewer people working than at the beginning of President Obama’s term, during the depths of the recession. That’s because instead of freeing the economy to cure the recession, the president has laid much additional weight on the nation’s job-creators: higher taxes, expanding health care obligations, enormous additional regulations, EPA overreach, and much more, plus the upcoming fiscal cliff he could easily avoid if he did not insist on even more tax hikes. It’s simply far too costly and risky to hire people under such circumstances. The president is letting his ideology obliterate common sense.”

S.T. Karnick
Director of Research
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.