Donald Lambro

"July was supposed to mark the starting point for an amped-up economy. Instead, data on Friday showed the recovery remains stuck in second gear," the Post said in a front page story that ran beneath this headline: "Sluggish hiring in July reflects tepid recovery."

The network news shows, which to a shameful degree have avoided any serious reporting about Obama's sorry economic performance, didn't give last week's jobs story the detailed coverage it deserved.

NBC's Brian Williams reported that the unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent, but did not explain this was largely due to 240,000 discouraged, job-seeking adults who left the labor force because they could not find work.

(That's right, many more long-term unemployed workers dropped out of the work force than found jobs last month.)

When unemployed Americans are asked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics if they're still looking for work, and they answer no, they are not counted among the unemployed.

And that lowers the unemployment rate.

Most of the reduction in the jobless rate under Obama's presidency has been the result of people who have given up looking for work. And that's led to a fast-shrinking labor force, an ominous sign of a dying economy in a long-term decline.

"For most working families and recent college graduates the situation is grim," because the jobless rate is far worse than the government's 7.4 percent figure, says University of Maryland economist Peter Morici.

"Adding in discouraged adults and part-timers who want full-time employment, the unemployment rate becomes 14 percent," he says.

The economy isn't producing enough jobs to keep up with population growth. We would need to create at least 360,000 jobs a month to lower the unemployment rate to 6 percent, which would require an economic growth rate of 4 to 5 percent. "Over the last four years, the pace has been a paltry 2.2 percent," Morici says.

Obama's advisers dismiss the possibility of such higher economic growth rates, saying slower growth is "the new normal." But four years into Reagan's swift recovery, which followed a deeper recession than Obama has had to deal with, the quarterly growth rates were 8.5, 7.9, 6.9 and 5.8 percent.

What never gets mentioned in any of the network news stories about the economy is that slower growth and high unemployment are the result of Obama's anti-growth, anti-job creation policies. Among them:

Energy policies that have boosted fuel costs, killed jobs and flattened family budgets; opposition to any new export expansion agreements to open emerging markets for U.S. goods and services; and higher taxes rates on investors that have reduced new, job-creating start-up enterprises.

Democrats and Republicans in Congress are working on a sweeping tax reform plan to eliminate loopholes and lower business and individual tax rates to boost economic growth. Obama has given their idea the cold shoulder.

Notably, people are beginning to speak out much more forcefully about Obama's economic record. Last week's job report was "consistent with a sluggish, lackluster economy," says Alan MacEachin, an economist at the Navy Federal Credit Union. Well said.

This week, the Gallup Poll said "American's confidence in the economy... was the lowest it has been in any month since April," slipping to minus-12 last month. And the President's job approval score has fallen into the mid-40s.

Maybe the American people are finally beginning to put two and two together.

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.