August 6, 2010
JobsTopics: Political News and commentaries
The Obama administration announced "Recovery Summer" in June to highlight the expected gains in jobs and economic strength resulting from the stimulus, but as J.D. Foster quips at NRO, maybe next summer. For now, it's just a pipe dream:
Initial estimates from the Department of Labor suggest the economy shed a whopping 131,000 jobs in July while employment for the prior two months was revised down by 97,000 jobs. The unemployment rate held steady in August at 9.5 percent despite a drop in employment, because the number of people in the workforce also declined as workers apparently gave up in the face of persistent unemployment (edit: and almost infinite unemployment pay).However, still living in their pipe dream, this hasn't stopped the Obama administration from sending out Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to CNBC (which provides a lot of help with the spin) to hilariously insist that we're having the best recovery in a generation - a claim thoroughly debunked by Calculated Risk.
To an important extent, the wild swings in employment in recent months are due to the decennial census, which led to a steady but temporary rise in government employment, a spike upward in government employment in April, and now two consecutive months of downward plunges, resulting in 454,000 fewer government jobs. In the private sector, job growth increased smartly in April and May but has since dropped to a very anemic three-month average growth rate of about 51,000 jobs.
This data confirms once again that the $862 billion Obama stimulus legislation -- as well as all the subsequent budget-busting legislation Congress has enacted under the rubric of "jobs" bills -- has failed, as expected.
As Ed Morrissey makes abundantly clear over at Hot Air, the administration is talking about the rate of change from quarter to quarter, which is a function of the size of the drop. Previous recoveries didn't need to show as much expansion because the preceding drop wasn't nearly as steep. In other words, the Obami are comparing apples to oranges, in order to spin their disastrous economic policies as a success. But spin doesn't make it real, and the argument that we're having the best recovery ever is particularly tone deaf when looking at the employment figures.
Posted by Richard at August 6, 2010 11:44 AM
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