Monday, September 17, 2012

Jobs Numbers Don't Add Up

The jobs report came out the day after President Barack Obama's speech at the end of the Democrats' national convention. It said the United States' economy had created 96,000 jobs in August. That's down a bunch from the revised 141,000 jobs in July. But it was enough to take the unemployment rate to 8.1% from 8.3%. The White House called this good news, saying “ today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression.”

I don't buy it. I don't believe the White House thinks this report is good news. They're just shoveling a heaping load of ****. The only alternative would be that the White House and the Obama campaign believe this — and are alone in this assessment. After all, 96,000 is well below the estimates made by the economists, and those estimates were down from the prior month's performance. In other words, even if the jobs numbers had been no worse than the estimates, that still would show the economy on a clear and strong downward trend. That's far from good news. It indicates a slowing economy, with job creation below its poor 2010 level.

There are a few other problems — like the Administration is "cooking the books." To get a reduction in the unemployment rate from that puny 96,000 jobs number, a number far too small even to keep up with the normal population increase in the labor force, the Bureau of Labor Statistics had to assert that 368,000 Americans left the labor force, gave up looking for work, and probably decided to give up their addictions to food and shelter. This was they only way they could artificially reduce the unemployment number.

The 96,000 jobs number itself is also suspect, at best. It is certainly not a net jobs increase. That is an absolute certainty. If 96,000 is the number of jobs created in August, then there were 215,000 jobs destroyed in that month. That's because there were 119,000 fewer people employed at the end of August than at its beginning.

Obama keeps trumpeting his claim to have created 4½ million jobs since June of 2010. The August jobs numbers make me wonder just how many million jobs he has destroyed in that time.

No comments: