As part of our continuing effort to keep our clients and friends up-to-date on the political environment as we head toward Election Day, 2012, every Friday WPA compiles the key numbers from the week and provides analysis of key trends.  The full analysis can be found here:

In addition to the key political numbers, this week’s analysis includes:

  • The decline in the Labor Force Participation Rate.
  • A look at the types of jobs created during the Obama Presidency.
  • President Obama’s overall favorability compared to other incumbent Presidents prior to their convention.
  • The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, including a look at how and why the United States has fallen from first to seventh since 2009.

The key points from this week are:

  • Only 96,000 jobs were created in August (pg. 9).
    • The labor market and the overall economy continue to underperform what is needed to achieve real economic recovery.
    • Since the beginning of 2012, job growth average 139,000 jobs per month vs. an average of 153,000 jobs per month in 2011.
  • The labor force declined by 367,000 workers and the participation rate fell to its lowest level since September 1981 (pg. 10)
    • If the labor force participation rate was the same as when Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 11.2%.
  • According the National Employment Law Project, a majority of jobs lost in the last four years were mid-wage jobs, but a majority of jobs created are low wage jobs (pg. 11).
    • While 60% of jobs lost were from the middle class, 58% of new jobs created are low wage occupations.
    • This has caused a growing lower class of underemployed Americans.
  • President Obama has a much lower favorability than previous recent incumbent Presidents heading into the convention (pg. 13).
    • Obama’s favorability is at 47%, 7% lower than the nearest incumbent (Bush, 2004).
  • The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index was released this week with the United States ranked 7th (pg. 14-15). 
    • The United States’ ranking has dropped every year since Obama has taken office.
    • Economists blame government bureaucracy and taxes among their primary concerns for doing business in the United States.