Showing signs of weakness, Barack Obama is back from his ninth vacation since starting work last year, but data released to kick-off the Labor Day weekend shows that Obama is still tired and unrepresentative of the people who elected him, with the U.S. Department of Labor reporting that the nation’s August unemployment rate rose to 9.6%.1
The high unemployment rate – increasing more than 26% since the 2009 inauguration – has provoked Democrats to label Obama as an ineffective executive. First, he blamed the American public for malaise in bringing about the 2008 financial crisis. Then he spent scarce time and resources on a health-spending bill while a growing number of Americans were losing their jobs (see below chart).2
“Whether he works in a business or in a hospital, in a government agency or in a labor union, in a university or in the army,” leadership expert Peter Drucker said in The Effective Executive, “the executive is, first of all, expected to get the right things done.” 3
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the unemployment rate isn’t projected to decrease below the 5% rate expected naturally in the United States economy, due to people taking time off work and switching jobs, until after the 2012 elections.4
Obama’s approval ratings are at a new low, showing that his fellow Democrats are not the only Americans who believe that it’s Obama who suffers from malaise as an ineffective executive.5
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The Employment Situation – August 2010,” United States Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm.
2. John B. Judis, “The Unnecessary Fall,” The New Republic, September 2, 2010, 12.
3. Peter F. Drucker, The Effective Executive (New York: HarperCollins, 1996), 1.
4. The Budget and Economic Outlook: An Update, “Economic Projections,” Congressional Budget Office, http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=10521&zzz=39446. Michael S. Derby, “Natural Jobless Rate Seen Shifting Higher,” The Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2010, WSJ Blogs, http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/06/25/natural-jobless-rate-seen-shifting-higher.
5. Frank Newport, “Obama Weekly Job Approval Average at New Low of 43%,” Gallup, August 23, 2010, http://www.gallup.com/poll/142634/Obama-Weekly-Job-Approval-Average-New-Low.aspx.