Via Boise State Public Radio: American workers aren’t happy. Despite President Obama’s assurances (“By almost every measure we are better off now than we were when I took office”) a Rutgers University survey details the public’s economic pessimism:

Heading into the Labor Day weekend the American labor force is not all that happy. There are various signs that the U.S. economy is on the mend but a new survey from Rutgers University found two of three Americans have felt no improvement over the last year and only about one in four expect things to get better in the year to come [my emphasis].

Notwithstanding NPR’s not-so-veiled administration cheerleading (“Private employers have added nearly 10 million jobs in recent years, unemployment has fallen to just above 6 percent,” etc.; Americans have “even less faith in giving congressional Republicans control of the economy”), several average citizens offer why they are, and remain, wary:

ROBERT STOVEKEN: In the last six years I’ve switched jobs three times and I’m not making more money than it did three years ago and not as much as I did six years ago.

HORSLEY: Once more Stoveken worries the economy won’t be much better by the time his high school aged daughter enters the job market a few years from now.

STOVEKEN: She’s going to go to college and get a degree in something that she’s probably not going to be able to get a job in, you know. I want her to follow her dreams but I don’t think the dreams are going to be a good paying job.

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A troubling new report reveals that the Obama economy has produced millions of young Americans who are jobless and idle.

Phillip Elliot writes for the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Almost 6 million young people are neither in school nor working, according to a study released Monday.

That’s almost 15 percent of those aged 16 to 24 who have neither desk nor job, according to The Opportunity Nation coalition, which wrote the report.

Other studies have shown that idle young adults are missing out on a window to build skills they will need later in life or use the knowledge they acquired in college.

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Far fewer U.S. teenagers are working now than ever before:

In 1999, slightly more than 52 percent of teens 16 to 19 worked a summer job. By this year, that number had plunged to about 32.25 percent over June and July. It means that slightly more than three in 10 teens actually worked a summer job, out of a universe of roughly 16.8 million U.S. teens.

“We have never had anything this low in our lives. This is a Great Depression for teens, and no time in history have we encountered anything like that,” said Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston.

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Haven’t you heard? The economy is in recovery!

At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what we’ve been told…

At 7.4%, the unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been since Obama took office. Recently, Obama said in a speech that he is focused “like a laser” on jobs.

Here’s a reality check: The Labor Participation rate, which measures how many Americans are in the workforce, is the worst it’s been since Obama took office. In fact, it’s the lowest it’s been in 34 years!

The labor participation rate provides a better picture of the job market in America because, unlike the unemployment rate, it takes into account the millions of people who have simply given up and stopped looking for work.

That’s right. When someone stops looking for work, the official “unemployment rate” actually improves just as if that person had found a job. Even though that person is still very much unemployed, technically speaking.

So while the official “unemployment rate” is 7.4%, the Labor Participation Rate is now hovering at about 63%, which means that 37% aren’t working. Some of those are retired, but millions more simply gave themselves over to permanent unemployment during the recent recession. They dropped out of the labor pool altogether. Record numbers of Americans have gone on disability under Obama’s watch. And no conversation about jobs in America is complete without taking those facts into account.

Labor Participation numbers are likely to get much worse in the coming years, as the Obamacare health insurance mandate kicks in. Employers have already started cutting back hours, and reducing staff in order to skirt the insurance premiums they can’t afford.

As Sally Pipes pointed out recently at Forbes, Obamacare actually gives small businesses a strong incentive not to hire low-income workers. “A company faces a penalty of $3,000 for every worker who gets subsidized health insurance in Obamacare’s exchanges.”

Currently, the black unemployment rate is twice that of whites. The hiring cutbacks related to the insurance mandate will make that problem even worse.

But, don’t worry, because the president is focused “like a laser” on jobs.

Does that make you feel better?

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

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Philip Elliot writes for the Associated Press:

Despite all the grumbling about tuition increases and student loan costs, other college expenses also are going up. The price of housing and food trumps tuition costs for students who attend two- and four-year public universities in their home states, according to a College Board survey…

Tuition for students attending public four-year schools in their state averaged $8,655 last year, a 5 percent jump from the previous year. They paid more than that — $9,205 — for housing and food. These schools, like other four-year schools, posted a 4 percent jump in housing costs…

On the surface, private four-year schools are the most costly colleges, with the average student’s sticker price coming in at $39,518 for all expenses. Tuition and fees were $29,056 last year — another 4 percent jump — while room and board ran to $10,462…

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Friday’s jobs report was disappointing, but it also contained a truly heartbreaking statistic. Black teen unemployment is a shocking 41.6%. In July last year, the unemployment was considerably lower, at 36%. That almost half of black teens who want to work can’t find jobs is a stain on Obama’s economic policies.

This isn’t a numbers trick. This isn’t a rate based on the whole black teen population in the country. This is the proportion of the black teen population that is looking for work but can’t find a job. Just in March, the number was eight points lower at 33%…

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