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Lawmakers need to step up

July 11, 2012 • Editorial

The Obama administration must have found the latest survey of economists by The Associated Press sobering. We know we did.

A majority of economists expect the national unemployment rate will remain stubbornly fixed above 6 percent for at least the next four years.

The economy simply isn’t growing fast enough to bring it down any faster.

Nationally, the unemployment rate stood at 8.2 percent in May. In reality, of course, the rate is significantly higher if those who have given up looking for work or those who are only working part time but want full-time work are counted. The extended misery in the jobs market is a hallmark of financial meltdowns. If the job market remains as unhealthy as the economists surveyed by the AP predict, it will still be weak seven years after the official end of the Great Recession.

In our view, there is only so much that the federal government can do. Presidents, in particular, get far more credit than they deserve when the economy is good (think Bill Clinton) and far more blame when it is not.

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