Free Markets, Free People

August employment report in one word? Awful (UPDATE)

Of course the spin will be that the unemployment rate has dropped to 8.1%.

Unstated is the fact that the reason the unemployment rate dropped is because 368,000 more Americans left the labor force.

In fact, the labor participation rate in the US is at its lowest level since September of 1981. Had we not seen 350,000 dropped from the labor force last month, the unemployment rate would be 8.4%. And if the labor participation rate was the same as the day Obama took office, unemployment would be at 11.2%.

96,000 jobs, while better than nothing, isn’t even close to what is necessary to get this economy going again. And don’t forget, the average monthly gain in 2011 was 153,000 a month. In fact, the U-6, which includes part-time workers looking for full time work, is at 14.7%.

I keep telling you that when you talk about jobs or lack thereof and what that means to individual Americans, it’s personal. While they may care or not care particularly who has the best record in foreign policy or whether or not abortion is something they believe in, being jobless, struggling, and/or knowing someone in the family who is, has much more of a direct effect on a potential voter than the other issues.

14.7% fall into that category with probably twice to three times that many effected by what those 14.7% are struggling with. Believe what you will about the polls right now, but if history is any indicator, Obama isn’t going to get a round 2.

Oh, and just as a reminder of the depth of the failure:
UPDATE: Meanwhile at the Ministry of Truth the “Spin-o-matic” is in overdrive:

While there is more work that remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

It does?  Wow … who knew?  Certainly not the 350,000 who dropped out of the labor force this month.  But hey, be happy, don’t worry … and ignore the chart.


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31 Responses to August employment report in one word? Awful (UPDATE)

    • Fine, then they won’t mind if we start double-counting votes for Mitt Romney in November.

  • White House Economic adviser Alan Krueger said Friday that despite a dismal August jobs report, “we see a pattern that the economy’s continuing to heal.”

    No.  It isn’t.  It can’t under this regime.

  • We didn’t need those 368k people – we have a whole hoard of illegal immigrant children who are ready to rise and fill those positions.  Probably jobs Americans won’t do anyway dontchaknow.

  • One population is seeing full employment.
    Obama’s legion of straw men. Those guys are getting over-time.

  • From The Unconsciousness Of A Liberal

    Nothing to see here.

  • When things start to turn around (due to the republicans instituting policy changes to fix things)   the month after Obama leaves office and the economy starts to pick up you will hear the dems say  “See that, our policies were working.  We just needed another month or two for it to start turning around.  THe republicans are stealing credit for the work that we did”

    • But they will be partially right.  Bush left thing bad.  Obama will leave them awful.
      There is no way to go except up (or the poor house).
      If Obama hadn’t made thing awful, it wouldn’t be possible for them to get better so fast.

      • I like it:

        “Obama was only trying to make things worse, so they would look so much better when the rebound occurred.  Mission Accomplished!”

        Now that’s some high-RPM spin.

      • Bush left thing bad.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>  And Clinton left Bush Bin Laden to deal with which caused lots of that “Bush mess” so what’s the question again? At least Bush doesn’t have 9/11 blood on his hands. 

    • And when inflation kicks in it’ll be “Big corporations are ripping you off!” and when gas prices continues to spike it’s “Big oil ripping you off” (as the latest survey demonstrated yet again).
      Never underestimate the cluelessness of the American citizenry on EITHER side of the aisle.

  • This story seems to contradict the old line that those folks dropping out of the workforce are retiring …

    “One of the reasons is young people can’t find jobs because older people are not leaving the workforce,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economist at Cal State Channel Islands who has studied the issue. Discouraged, many younger workers are staying in school longer or sitting on the sidelines until their prospects improve.
    That affects business at restaurants, furniture stores and electronics outlets. And it puts a squeeze on many local governments that rely on retail sales taxes for their revenue. . . . Pew surveys suggest that people 65 and older were the most likely to be bracing for a long recovery. That helps explain why so many older workers have put off retirement.
    And many seniors, thanks to the recession, now see how shaky their 401(k) retirement plans are. Without the assurance of the old corporate pension plans, they don’t know exactly how far their retirement savings will stretch.

    I guess it’s more like funemployment is transitioning to un-funemployment.
    And a special shout-out about those 401(k) retirement plans.   This is a topic that Team Romney needs to go after.
    I recently had my 401(k) servicer tell me that they will no longer take contributions to their guaranteed interest fund.  It seems that they had stated that it would always be a minimum of 3% interest .. and now they can’t promise that any more.

    • “Pew surveys suggest that people 65 and older were the most likely to be bracing for a long recovery. That helps explain why so many older workers have put off retirement.
      I think low interest rates have more to do with it. The economy can recover or even boom, but as long as us older folks can’t rely on interest & dividends, we won’t be retiring. Assuming there is any principle left, which isn’t true for some of the folks who bought GM bonds, for example.

    • How can you retire when your children or grandchildren can’t find jobs? If you have a job then you owe it to your family to keep working. I think that is behind a lot of it.

  • LOL Krugman: Nothing to see here, no big deal.
    #pathetic hack

  • If he wins I wont feel the slightest bit bad about what comes next

  • We must be going through a recovery because total employment and the GDP are growing, even though enemployment remains high. Being curious, I did a little research on the Great Depression and found that the same conditions occured then, also. I submit that, in the interests of fairness and consistency, one or both of the two time periods are misnamed. If we are now truly in an economic recovery then that period in the 1930s should be called “The Great Recovery”. If the 1930s were indeed a “Great Depression” then the current period should be called something similar; “The Great Recession”, for example, or “The Lesser Depression”; or perhaps, as I have mentioned before, “The Great Anxiety” (Hey, I still think it’s funny, and you don’t get Robin Williams or Stephen Wright for what they pay here. Deal with it.).

    • How about renaming them Great Marxist Blunder number one and Great Marxist Blunder number two ?

      • Great Leap FORWARD has a classical ring to it, plus that whole, now, today, happenin’ edge.

        • Since we seem to be borrowing so much from the Chinese, I  don’t think they would mind us borowing a slogan or two. Banks give toasters to their customers, our bank can loan Obama a new slogan; “Not just forward, but a Great Leap
          Forward!”.  Might as well use the whole slogan, God knows we have paid enough for it.

  • The absence of any loud noise from the press says we are “on plan.”
    This continues the Obama “LightWorker” strategy (i.e. Obama will run on the only thing he has, his popularity).
    Notice that Obama’s speech on Thursday night didn’t tackle anything difficult (i.e. unemployment nada, entitlement reform nada).  His polling indicated that a flat speech was his best plan of attack.  He knows that all he has to do is offer the illusion of new programs and stay away from the “heavy lifting.”  Then merely run on his popularity.

  • I ran the numbers over the weekend… and if Oama gets another four years, we’ll have around 6.2% of unemployment, on the people leaving the workforce alone.

    • Someone pointed out, if everyone would leave the work-force, Obama would have successfully reduced unemployment to zero.
      I think that’s his plan.   We’ll worry about government confiscation of property to pay for entitlements later, when he’s no longer in office.

  • And if you think Romney is going to any better, you’re fooling yourself.  The only thing Romney is going to inherit is being four years closer to coming out of this mess.  If it ends on his watch, then he will take credit for it—whether deserved of not.  If it doesn’t—or if it gets worse (as some predictions have it, regardless of who’s President), then Romney will be voted out, and Democrats will one again win the election.  Ring around the rosies.