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.
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.
During a breakfast with reporters on Wednesday, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf presented reporters with his agency’s labor force projections — the percentage of Americans available for work — over the next 10 years.
Much attention has been paid to Elmendorf’s defense of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) analysis of the $10.10 minimum wage proposal amid criticism from the White House and congressional Democrats, but his presentation on labor force participation is the real story from his talk with reporters.
The side Elmendorf presented shows that the CBO expects labor force participation to continue to slide to lows not seen in decades. The most recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed the labor force participation rate at 63%, up very slightly from the previous month’s 62.8%, which was the lowest rate since 1978.
The White House didn’t take too kindly to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s report showing that the $10.10 minimum wage being pushed by President Barack Obama would lead to the loss of 500,000 jobs.
In response to the report, two White House economists wrote a lengthy rebuttal to the report, touting the findings that they felt bolstered the case for a minimum wage hike while, at the same time, dismissing its findings on the negative impact to the labor market. Call it a case study in “having their cake and eating it too.”
Betsey Stevenson, one of the White House economists who wrote the rebuttal, even insulted the CBO, comparing its report to what’s taught in introductory economics.
“[A] new burgeoning literature has really pointed out that how much you pay people actually affects how they perform, what they do, and how much they produce,” Stevenson told reporters on Tuesday. “You don’t get the loss of employment that that, you know, supply-demand that you saw on the chalk board if you took introductory economics would have demonstrated.”
CBO Director Doug Elmendorf defended his agency’s report on the labor market effects of the minimum wage at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor on Wednesday:
While most Democrats seem to be hailing the news that Obamacare will reduce the incentive to work, Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius seems to be in complete denial.
At a stop in Orlando on Monday, Sebelius told reports that there is no evidence that Obamacare will reduce employment.
“There is absolutely no evidence, and every economist will tell you this, that there is any job-loss related to the Affordable Care Act,” Sebelius said. “Part-time physicians are actually down since 2010, not up. The number of full-time workers continues to increase. I know that’s a popular myth that continues to be repeated, but it just is not accurate.”
Well, there is evidence.
The Congressional Budget Office recently determined that Obamacare would reduce employment by 2 million full-time workers by 2017, up from an earlier projection of 800,000, rising to 2.5 million by 2024. The reason for the decline in workers is because the subsidies, which are tied to income, would encourage people to work less.
Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has endorsed construction of the Keystone XL, pointing to the State Department report released last week showing that the oil pipeline would have little impact on the environment:
Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in an interview Thursday that his endorsement of construction of the Keystone oil sands pipeline comes after learning new information, including that the pipeline would not greatly increase carbon emissions.
Speaking at an energy conference in Texas earlier this week, Salazar said he supported the project.
He said he believed construction could “be done in a way that creates a win-win for energy and the environment.”
This is the first time Salazar, now a lawyer in the private sector, has endorsed the pipeline, which would carry crude from tar sands in Canada to refineries along the Gulf Coast.
Salazar served as Interior secretary in President Obama’s first term, from 2009 to 2013. His support is notable given that he issued a moratorium on off-shore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico after the 2010 BP oil spill, a move that caused oil companies to drill in other regions of the world. The move cost Louisiana 12,000 jobs.
In mid-January, the Federal Reserve released its monthly Beige Book, which offers a wide-ranging look at commentary on economic conditions in each of the central bank’s 12 regions. While it’s mostly mundane, the Heritage Foundation found some key details buried in the report that relate to Obamacare and its affect on employment:
The Beige Book finds businesses repeatedly stating that Obamacare and rising health care costs have held back the labor market:
The Keystone XL pipeline would have little environmental impact, according to a final analysis released this afternoon by the State Department, because the extraction of oil from Canada is likely to continue with or without its construction:
An Obama administration analysis of the Keystone XL pipeline application shows the project wouldn’t likely change the amount of oil ultimately removed from Canadian oil sands, suggesting that building the pipeline would have little impact on global climate change.
The report found that the “approval or denial of any single project is unlikely to significantly affect the rate of extraction of the oil in the oil sands, or the refining of heavy crude on the U.S. gulf coast,” a State Department official told reporters Friday.
The conclusion that the heavy crude would be extracted and delivered anyway—by rail if not pipeline—left environmentalists disappointed. But the report isn’t the last word on the matter. Now begins a final State Department study to determine whether the pipeline project is in the nation’s broader interests. A total of eight separate agencies have up to three months to weigh in, potentially injecting the pipeline issue into the midterm election season.
The House Republican Conference released a couple videos, — sort of prebuttals to the State of the Union address — that takes aim at some of the statements President Barack Obama has made about the economy and healthcare over the last few years.
In past State of the Union address, President Obama has told Americans that the economy is growing and more Americans are going back to work in the aftermath of the “Great Recession.” But the video fuses takes the flashbacks to these address and fuses them with new reports of over the years, including most recent, disappointing jobs report in December.
The second video focuses on lines from the 2009 State of the Union address dealing with the cost of healthcare and its impact Americans and employers. After each statement, the video offers truths about how Obamacare is increasing insurance premiums, forcing Americans out of their health plans, and causing many small businesses to freeze hiring:
No matter how many times President Obama says we’re in a recovery, we just don’t have a lot to make us really feel like we’re rebounding from the world economy since the Great Depression. Recent unemployment numbers were less than expected, with a staggering number of Americans who just pulled themselves out of the job market entirely. It just doesn’t feel like an economy on the rebound, does it.
In a down economy, combating poverty always seems to become a priority. President Obama’s answer seems to be not just extending unemployment benefits — a measure that Republicans don’t actually oppose, they just want to identify cuts to pay for the extension — but also raising the minimum wage.
Of course, that’s not a problem if you don’t mind killing around 1 million jobs in the process:
The Obama administration’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could result in as many 1,084,000 jobs eliminated from the work force, according to a new study conducted by the Employment Policies Institute (EPI)