NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- On Thursday, the Labor Department is expected to report that the economy added 211,000 jobs in June.
The number would be in line with the pace so far this year, which is far short of what is needed to keep up with the population growth and to genuinely reduce unemployment.
The jobless rate is down to 6.3% from the recession peak of 10%, but most of the reduction has been accomplished by adults quitting the labor market -- neither working nor looking for work.
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If the same percentage of adults were in the labor force today as when Presidents Obama or Bush took office, the jobless rate would be 10.4% and 12.4%, respectively.
Three problems have limited jobs creation during the Bush and Obama years -- slow economic growth overall, a disinclination to control the border with Latin America or disappoint businesses' appetite for cheaper skilled labor from Asia, and the work disincentives imposed by social programs intended to redress income inequality and help the disadvantaged.
In this century, gross-domestic-product growth has averaged 1.7% per year, whereas during the Reagan-Clinton period, it was 3.4%. The reluctance of both Presidents Bush and Obama to confront Chinese protectionism and currency manipulation and open up offshore oil for development has created a huge trade deficit, which sends consumer demand and jobs abroad.