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Friday, August 16, 2013

Economic Approval

Gallup reports that the president's economic approval rating is down:
Despite President Barack Obama's renewed focus on the nation's economy this summer, he scores worse with Americans on the economy than he did in June. His approval rating on the issue, now 35%, is down seven percentage points, and his ratings on taxes and the federal budget deficit are each down five points. During the same period, his overall approval rating is down three points.
In fact, out of seven issues for which Obama's job performance was rated in the new poll and in June, only the three economy-related ones fell significantly. These are also his lowest issue approval ratings of the nine total issues measured this month. Notably, these declines somewhat parallel the slide Gallup has seen in Americans' economic confidence over the same period, although confidence picked up slightly this past week.
Claims for unemployment are down and the stock market is up.  So why the gloom?  At AEI, James Pethokoukis offers some clues:
Well, the jobless claims measure is just one way of gauging the economy. Other metrics show stagnation rather than acceleration. For instance, here is the employment-population ratio, which simply measures what share of the non-incarcerated, not-military portion of the population is working at any job:
He also notes that the share of the US workforce that is currently part-time remains highly elevated and that take-home pay is barely growing