Donald Lambro

"In the weakest recovery since the Great Depression, nearly the entire reduction in unemployment since October 2009 has been accomplished through a significant drop in the percentage of adults participating in the labor force -- either working or looking for work," writes University of Maryland business school economist Peter Morici.

Though monthly employment growth rose from 80,000 in June to 163,000, it was hardly a blip in a workforce that numbers 150 million Americans -- tens of millions of whom are still looking for a full- time job.

Let's be honestly frank here. The economy would have to add about 13.3 million jobs between now and 2015 -- or about 370,000 jobs a month to lower the unemployment rate to 6 percent.

But to do that, the lackluster Obama economy would have to start growing by 4 to 5 percent a year, instead of the weak 1.5 percent it was growing in the second quarter.

Economist Heidi Shierholz at the leftist Economic Policy Institute told the Washington Post last week that at at the average rate of job growth we are experiencing now, it would take a decade for the economy to return to full employment.

This is the grim, jobless future we face under Obama's economy.

Until now, Obama and his friends in the news media have managed to keep much of the nation's focus away from these troubling statistics that threaten our solvency and even our continued status as the world's largest economic power.

But in the weeks and months to come, Mitt Romney is preparing an avalanche of TV ads to remind voters how bad things have really gotten under Obama's leaderless presidency. Among them:

-- 42 consecutive months of unemployment over 8 percent and climbing again.

-- More than six in 10 Americans say the U.S. is moving in the wrong direction, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.

-- The same Post-ABC poll in July said that 54 percent of Americans surveyed disapproved of Obama's handling of the economy -- 41 percent strongly disapproved.

-- The Gallup Poll reported last week that 60 percent of Americans now say the economy is getting worse.

-- Younger Americans, including college graduates, are finding it increasingly difficult to find full-time work and one fourth of 18- to-34-year-olds have returned home to live with their parents again.

-- The unemployment rate among 18-to-29-year-olds was nearly 13 percent last month. If you count those who have stopped looking for a job, their jobless rate is nearly 17 percent, according to the youth advocacy organization Generation Opportunity.

-- An Associated Press survey of economists, think tanks and academics last month reported that the official poverty rate will climb from 15.1 percent to 15.7 percent this fall.

There's growing evidence that the daily economic life of ordinary Americans -- people Obama says he's concerned about -- is getting worse. Gallup's tracking poll says that 42 percent of Americans say they are "struggling," and 4 percent says they are "suffering."

Mitt Romney's job is to tell their story and explain how his policy changes will put our economy back on the road to recovery and prosperity again.

Look for him to take the gloves off in the TV ads he is about to run in the coming weeks. It will be no more Mr. Nice Guy from here on out.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.