Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Despite the fact that GDP declined in the fourth quarter due mostly to the Pentagon substantially reducing spending in anticipation of the fiscal cliff austerity crisis negotiations and the pending sequester cuts (which has now been delayed), the economy continued to add jobs in January. Steve Benen reports, Economy adds 157k jobs in January, revisions way up:
Expectations for job creation were pretty close to perfect according to the new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with the economy adding 157,000 jobs in January. The big news, however, is in the revisions.
First, let's note the basics. The unemployment rate was effectively unchanged at 7.9%, and as is often the case, austerity measures undermined the employment landscape -- while America's private sector added 166,000 jobs in December, the public sector lost 9,000 jobs. Indeed, over the last three months, the nation's private sector added 624,000 jobs, while 24,000 government jobs were lost.
It'd be easy for Washington to improve the latter number and lower the unemployment rate, but congressional Republicans won't allow it.
Regardless, today is the day the BLS publishes its revisions for all of 2012, and that's where we see the genuinely good news. Not only were the job totals for November and December revised up considerably -- 127,000 jobs combined -- but for the entire 2012 calendar year, we learned this morning of an additional 335,000 jobs that had not been previously reported.
That means 2.17 million jobs were created just last year, which is the best annual total since 2005, and tops seven of the eight years Bush/Cheney was in office.
Here's another chart, this one showing monthly job losses/gains in just the private sector since the start of the Great Recession.
That is 35 consecutive months of private sector job growth. Tea-Publican austerity measures have devastated public sector employment with job losses continuing since the Bush Great Recession. If public sector employment had been used to grow the economy, as Presidents Bush and Reagan did, we would be close to a full economic recovery from the Bush Great Recession by now. It is the anti-government, anti-spending (austerity) ideology of Tea-Publicans that is holding back economic recovery and job growth, and adding to the deficit (depressed tax revenues). (See below)
As Steve Benen snarks, "Yes, it's further proof that if President Obama is a radical socialist, he's really bad at implementing the tenets of his leftist ideology."
UPDATE: Paul Krugman posts on the effect of conservative austerity economics during the Bush Great Recession. Our Incredible Shrinking Government:
Here’s a comparison, using the BEA numbers, of the relevant numbers in the current business cycle and during the Bush-era recession and aftermath:
By this measure, the era since the Great Recession began has been marked by unprecedented fiscal austerity.
How big a deal is this? Government consumption and investment is about $3 trillion; if it had grown as fast this time as it did in the Bush years, it would be 12 percent, or $360 billion, higher. Given a multiplier of more than one, which is what the IMF among others now thinks reasonable under current conditions, that ends up meaning GDP something like $450 billion higher, which is 3 percent — and an unemployment rate 1.5 points lower.
So fiscal austerity is the difference between where we are now and an unemployment rate not much above 6 percent. It’s a policy disaster.