Unemployment Rate Under Obama Is Now Lower Than Ronald Reagan Ever Achieved (IMAGE/VIDEO)

The labor department released some excellent news on Friday, just as the nation begins to head into the Labor Day weekend.

The latest job figures, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), show that the unemployment rate is now lower than  Ronald Reagan ever achieved during his entire eight years in office – currently at 5.1%.

It’s hard for Republicans to bad-mouth Obama when he’s doing better than the Gipper ever has. Even Fox News released a glowing jobs report saying nothing but positive things. For that report, go HERE.

Republicans have for too long been harping about how the high unemployment rate was proof that Obama’s stimulus package shortly after taking office was an absolute failure. Nevermind the fact that when Bush left the presidency he left an economy that was going through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. In just the first few months of Obama’s presidency, before he even had time to implement any new policies, unemployment peaked at 10.0%.

Unemployment has been declining under Obama for years. Speaker John Boehner and co. have since had to change tactics.

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Pic via Vox.

Pic via Vox.

Instead of talking about the unemployment rate, they’re trying to confuse the matter by pointing out that the labor-force participation rate (LFPR) is at its lowest level since 1977, at 62.6%.

This is misleading.

The LFPR has been steadily declining all throughout the Bush years. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2012 concluded that at least half of this decrease comes from the retirement of baby boomers. This was expected and is what’s referred to as a structural change – not indicative of a weak economy at all.  Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor, echoes this same sentiment along with the fact that more Americans are now choosing to receive an education.

Baby boomers in a big lump are leaving the labor force. And that explains about half of the drop in the labor force participation rate between 2007 and the end of 2014.The second factor is education – people getting more education and staying in school longer. If you get an MBA, you’re out of the labor force for three years. If you get a Ph.D., you’re out of the labor force for 5 years, maybe 7 years.

What’s more concerning are the reasons that lead to cyclical fluctuations – people that get discouraged from looking for jobs either due to low wage prospects or no openings.

Even here, things look bright. Average hourly earnings for all private employees in the economy have gone from $20.60 an hour in January 2007 to $25.09 in August of 2015. Also, there are more job openings now than at any point in the last 15 years, since the BLS first began tracking them in December 2000.

What’s being least talked about is how technology is transforming the nature of work. As the economy becomes more and more information based, a greater share of workers will need to pick up the required skill sets to match the demand for these higher paying jobs.

That’s why Obama released his TechHire Initiative earlier this year, which recognizes the need to train a new generation of workers as quickly as possible. It aims to encourage non-traditional modes of training, such as coding boot camps, and online courses so that applicants can be recruited and hired based on their actual skills, instead of having to obtain 4-year degrees. It’s one of the largest initiatives ever released.

The economy is about to undergo the greatest technology revolution this country has ever seen. If the unemployment rate is going to continue to remain low, workers will need to adapt. There’s no way to avoid this. Obama is doing all the right things to attain this end.

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Featured images via Wikimedia and Wikimedia.