Jobs Report Undercuts President’s Speech
Last night, President Obama made his pitch to the nation for a second term. This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) undercut that pitch with more bad news for millions of unemployed Americans.
There are five key things to note in the report, which as always is subject to later adjustment (the first BLS jobs report for a month is always the initial, not finalized, one):
- The nation added 96,000 jobs in August which, at first glance, seems like good news.
- The unemployment rate went down to 8.1%, which again – at first glance – seems like good news.
- Adding 96,000 jobs means the nation’s number of employed people actually went down, as we require around 120,000 jobs to reach the replacement rate.
- The core reason unemployment went down is because people stopped looking for work – in BLS terms, they left the work force, and in August they left in droves. A total of 368,000 people dropped out of the work force, according to Bloomberg, and Ed Morrissey at Hot Air highlights the fact that the size of the work force is at a 30-year low.
- Speaking of later adjustments, BLS updated its June and July jobs reports. For June, the number of jobs added dropped by 19,000 compared to the original June jobs report, and for July the number dropped by 22,000.
President Obama can make all the speeches he wants, and The New York Times can praise those speeches until Election Day, but that doesn’t change the stark fact that the President’s jobs record is absolutely dismal. Unfortunately, despite trillions in extra spending since the beginning of 2008, the recession that officially ended in June 2009 has continued for millions of Americans. Wall Street got its bailout, but Main Street just got stiffed.