jobs

The Summer of Wreckovery continues

No doubt all of us would take some good economic news right now, but that won’t come from the jobs report for June, which was released this morning showing the unemployment rate rising slightly to 9.2% and adding only 18,000 jobs:

U.S. employment growth ground to a halt in June, with employers hiring the fewest number of workers in nine months, dampening hopes the economy was on the cusp of regaining momentum after stumbling in recent months.

Nonfarm payrolls rose only 18,000, the weakest reading since September, the Labor Department said on Friday, well below economists’ expectations for a 90,000 rise.

Many economists raised their forecasts on Thursday after a stronger-than-expected reading on U.S. private hiring from payrolls processor ADP, and they expected gains of anywhere between 125,000 and 175,000.

The unemployment rate climbed to 9.2 percent, the highest since December, from 9.1 percent in May.

Numbers from the two previous months were revised down by 44,000 jobs; April dropped from 232,000 to 217,000 and May from 54,000 to 25,000. In case you’re wondering, the economy needs to create around 120,000 jobs each just to keep up with population growth.

Another bad sign is the U-6 rate, what many economists call the “real unemployment rate,” jumped from 15.8% to 16.2%.

Just like government intervention in the economy in the 1930s prolonged the Great Depression, intervention and uncertainty with President Barack Obama’s economic policies are slowing the pace of recovery today.

Reforming Minimum Wage: “Training Wheels for Employment”

Now that Weiner is out of the way, let’s get back to a more pressing issue: jobs. It’s something that Obama and the Democrats haven’t been doing well on (though I’m not convinced the Republicans have the silver bullet, either.) The most recent unemployment figure rolled out has it back up at 9.1%. But that’s not really a big problem. The real big problem is here is what unemployment is doing to our youth, those aged 16-19. Looking at Table A-16 and doing a little math to combine enrolled and unenrolled, it’s 24%.

And that’s only today’s problem. Like most things political, it’s an even bigger and more disastrous issue for our country down the road. That’s why just tinkering at the edges isn’t going to help; we need to do drastic things. My solution: totally overhaul how minimum wage works, with an eye towards helping youngsters find employment.

You need a combination of two things to land a job: education and experience. As a teenager, you really don’t have experience, and whatever you’re getting out of school, its not an education. An employer could hire you, at at least $7.25 an hour, but when there are older, more experienced workers jostling for any job in this economy, why? You have no skills, no record, and who knows if you’ll be at work on time. It’s a vicious Catch-22, where you need skills and experience to get a job, and a job to get skills and experience. The only role the minimum wage law plays in this is keeping these kids unemployed and unemployable.

State of the Union Live-Blog

Doug Mataconis, Brett Bittner, Mike Hassinger, Tom Knighton and Jason Pye will be live-blogging President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and the Republican response given by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). We’ll kick things off around 8:30pm (EST).

Our friends at the Cato Institute are also live-blogging this evening.

You can full text of President Obama’s prepared speech here. Excerpts from Rep. Ryan’s speech are available here.

Welcome Instapundit readers!

Obama’s Potemkin Recovery

Today, we learned that the economy had added 431,000 jobs in May but that most of them were temporary Census positions:

Employers added 431,000 nonfarm jobs nationwide in May, the biggest increase in a single month since the recession, the Labor Department said Friday. But the bulk of the growth was in government jobs, driven by hiring for the Census, and private-sector job growth was weak.

The unemployment rate fell to 9.7 percent nationwide, from 9.9 percent in April, the department said.

The figures for May represented the fifth consecutive month that payrolls have risen, but fell below analysts’ expectations that 540,000 jobs would be added to the economy.

The shortfall was immediately reflected in futures trading in the Wall Street stock indexes, with the Dow Jones industrial average expected to open almost 2 percent lower.

Altogether, 411,000 of the jobs added were for Census workers whose positions will disappear after the summer.

The net gain in government jobs was 390,000, while the private sector added only 41,000.

In other words, 95% of the jobs created in may were government jobs that will no longer exist as of mid-July. But for that census hiring, the unemployment rate would not have gone down at all and we would have had an anemic jobs report.

This is six months after we were told that the worst is behind us.

President Obama, however, thinks this report was good news:

President Barack Obama said on Friday the gain of 431,000 jobs in May is a sign the U.S. economy is getting stronger, although there will still be ups and downs going forward.

Podcast: Liberty Candidate - John Dennis (California’s 8th District)

Continuing our “Liberty Candidate Series” of interviews, Jason and Brett talk with John Dennis, discussing his opponent, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, liberty in San Francisco, and his candidacy.  Dennis is a “Pro-Liberty” Republican candidate for U.S. Congress in California’s 8th Congressional District.

This special edition podcast is the fifth in a series devoted to showcasing liberty candidates nationwide.  Dennis talks about his liberty-focused campaign against the Speaker of the House in California.

You can download the podcast here. The introduction music is “Silence is Violence” by the always lovely Aimee Allen.

You can subscribe to the RSS of JUST our podcasts here, or you can find our podcasts on iTunes here.

Today in Liberty: Obamacare disapproval hits an all-time high, Eric Cantor will leave Congress on August 18

“Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else’s resources as carefully as he uses his own. So if you want efficiency and effectiveness, if you want knowledge to be properly utilized, you have to do it through the means of private property.” — Milton Friedman

— Economy adds 209,000 jobs in July, unemployment rate rises slightly: The economy added 209,000 jobs in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the unemployment rate increased from 6.1 percent to 6.2 percent. Economists had projected 233,000 jobs and that the unemployment rate would hold steady at 6.1 percent. Although the report didn’t meet expectations, this is the sixth consecutive month of 200,000-plus job growth. The labor participation rate — the percentage of Americans working or looking for work — increased marginally from 62.8 percent in June, a 35-year low, to 62.9 percent in July.

— Obamacare disapproval hits an all-time high: The Kaiser Family Foundation has released a new poll finding that unfavorable views of Obamacare have jumped to an all-time high since they began tracking opinions of the law in April 2010. The July tracking poll shows that 53 percent of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Obamacare, while 37 percent view the law favorably. Sixty percent want Congress to “work to improve” Obamacare, while 35 want to repeal and replace it. The poll also finds that Americans are evenly divided on the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision.

Watch Reason’s absolutely amazing response to the call for a disastrous minimum wage increase

So, last week, Funny or Die released a video featuring actress Kristen Bell as a Mary Poppins who is struggling to work as a nanny on a $7.25 hourly wage. Basically, it’s a nearly 3-minute video making the case for President Barack Obama’s $10.10 minimum wage increase.

“Just a $3 increase can make a living wage,” Bell, star of Disney’s hit animated flick Frozen, sings to the tune of “A Spoonful of Sugar” from the 1964 film, Mary Poppins. “It makes a living wage. It makes a living wage.”

Well, Reason TV respond with its own Mary Poppins-style short. In the video, Remy, a comedian who frequently works with Reason on videos that parody current events and policy in hilarious videos and equally funny songs, plays a chimney-sweeper who explains the unintended consequences of a minimum wage increase.

“Just 3 pages of Econ. And perhaps your mind will change. When free people arrange
Voluntary exchange,” Remy says. “Just 3 pages of Econ. With this talk of ‘living wage,’ tell me, what do you folks pay?”

Watch the video below:

Barack Obama’s horrible economic policies are the reason why the U.S. economy has taken so long to recover from the recession

President Barack Obama wants you to know that he saved the United States economy from the throes of the Great Recession. He says his “pretty smart policies” have left the country “better off.” Or something:

President Obama bragged the nation was “better off now than we were five years ago” while touting the economic recovery in a campaign-style speech on Wednesday in Denver, arguing administration officials have made some “pretty smart policies.”

“The decisions we made early on not only stopped the slide, but they built a new foundation for our economy, and they’re paying off,” Obama proudly declared during an economic speech intended to rally a reticent Democratic base.
[…]
“Despite what you may hear, there is no doubt we are making progress,” Obama said. “By almost every measure, we are better off than when I took office.”

Yeah, it only took six years to recover the 9 million jobs lost during the recession. That doesn’t account for the “shortfall of nearly 7 million jobs” needed just to keep up with population growth over the same time period, according to James Pethokoukis. What’s more, the labor participation rate  — the percentage of Americans working or looking for work — has remained at 62.8 percent over the last few months, matching a 35-year low.

Today in Liberty: Economy shed 523,000 full-time jobs in June, conservative groups take IRS scandal to federal court

“Governments never learn. Only people learn.” — Milton Friedman

— Yeah, about June’s jobs report: On Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 288,000 jobs were added in June. That sounds great on the surface, but the devil is in the details. “The Labor Department’s household survey reveals that the economy lost 523,000 full-time jobs in June. At the same time, it gained an astounding 799,000 part-time jobs - the largest such monthly jump in two decades. Part-time jobs now top 28 million for the first time since last July,” the Washington Examiner notes. “This shift to part-time labor is an echo from June 2013, when the economy added 360,000 part-time jobs and shed 240,000 full-time ones. So why has history thus seemingly repeated itself? One possibility is that Obama decided last July to delay Obamacare’s employer mandate from 2014 to 2015.” Interestingly, Politico ran a story over the weekend pointing out that many Obamacare supporters are now “abandoning the employer mandate” because the provision of the law does “more harm than good.” The relevant data from the June jobs report can be found here (under “full- or part-time status”).

Obama is selling out Americans for his environmental legacy and ego

Unconcerned with the credibility problems he has with the public, President Barack Obama is telling Americans to ignore the “misinformation” and “spin” coming from critics who say that his latest round of anti-coal regulations will hurt the economy:

“You should expect that there’s going to be a heated debate in Washington,” he said. “A lot of efforts to put out misinformation and to try to make sure that spin overwhelms substance and that PR overwhelms science.”
[…]
“I promise you, you will hear from critics who say the same thing they always say. That these guidelines will kill jobs or crush the economy,” Obama said. “What we’ve seen every time is that these claims are debunked when you actually give workers and businesses the tools and incentive they need to innovate. When Americans are called on to innovate, that’s what we do.”

Do you remember when the stimulus bill was going to save the economy from the throes of the Great Recession? Remember when Obamacare was going to cost less than $1 trillion? Remember when you could keep your health plan if you liked it? Remember when you could keep your doctor? Remember when GDP was growing?

 


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