Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The strong first quarter job growth numbers led to high expectations, which made the job numbers for April, May, and June all the more disappointing.
In July, however, we saw just the opposite: expectations were generally pessimistic, making this morning's job numbers rebound good news. Steve Benen provides his monthly jobs charts. Job growth picks up steam in July, far exceeds expectations:
The new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. economy added 163,000 jobs in July, more than double the figures from the previous three months, and nearly double the predictions from economists going into this morning. The unemployment rate inched higher, from 8.2% to 8.3%, but as we've discussed many times, the figure can be misleading -- the rate goes up when more people reenter the job market. [emphasis added]
As is nearly always the case, there was a gap in the public vs. private sectors -- American businesses added 172,000 jobs last month, while the government shed 9,000 jobs. In terms of revisions, May's totals were revised up a little, while June's totals were down a little.
It's worth emphasizing that 163,000 new jobs in a month is not evidence of a strong, robust recovery, but given the severity of the Great Recession, the figures are relative -- today's report is good news because it's evidence of real progress. July's totals are the best we've seen since February, and reverse the deeply disappointing trend of the last few months.
For context, note that so far in 2012, the economy has created over 1.12 million private-sector jobs, which is underwhelming, but is already better than five of the eight years of the Bush/Cheney era.
Here's another chart, this one showing monthly job losses/gains in just the private sector since the start of the Great Recession. [There has been 29 consecutive months of private sector job growth, which has been offset by GOP austerity measures in state and local governments reducing public sector employment during the Great Recession -- exactly the opposite prescription required during a recession].
Just for fun, I thought I'd post one more jobs chart, following up on the earlier item. This one shows job growth by year going back to 2001. The blue columns point to President Obama's term, while the red columns point to the Bush/Cheney era, and just as importantly, the lighter color refers to the overall jobs picture, while the darker color points only to the private sector.
So far in 2012, from January to July, the overall economy has added 1.06 million jobs, while the private sector has added 1.12 million jobs. Note that in every year of the Obama presidency, the private sector outpaced the overall economy, while in every year under Bush, that notorious Marxist, the private sector trailed the overall job market.
And while job growth has been underwhelming in 2012, the year to date -- which, again, only includes seven months -- has outpaced the first three years of the Bush presidency combined. Indeed, we've seen more jobs created since January than in five of the eight years Bush was in office.
What's more, the chart should also make it obvious that economic conditions have vastly improved since 2009, when Obama took office. In fact, what the hell, let's throw one more chart into the mix. Mitt Romney recently said the first 6 to 12 months shouldn't be held against a new president. If that's true, Obama has created 3.88 million jobs overall, and 4.44 million private-sector jobs.
UPDATE: Yesterday, Mitt Romney released a one-page economic plan entitled: “Mitt Romney’s new plan for a stronger middle class.” Romney's economic ideas are ones we’ve heard before, such as increasing access to domestic energy resources, capping spending and cutting taxes, and getting tough on China. (Jesse Kelly, is that you?)
Romney's "plan" is really just a set of aspirational goals of what he would like to see, not actual policy proposals to accomplish them.
Romney’s one-page plan confirms that he sees no need to tell Americans with any specificity or detail what he would actually do to fix the economic crisis. The man is not a serious candidate.