Today’s unemployment numbers, despite the top-line analysis that the economy added 431,000 jobs, is nothing to cheer about. Analysts expected the economy to add more than 500,000 jobs overall, with an average of 188,000 in the private sector. Instead the private sector created only a net 41,000 jobs, and the report instead highlights the 411,000 (temporary) jobs created by the Census Bureau — while noting, quite far down, that state governments killed 13,000 jobs of there own.
And if the temporary jobs created by the Census Bureau that are soon to disappear aren’t depressing enough, private sector job growth is itself still fueled by temp agencies, which created 31,000 jobs this month. Manufacturing added 29,000, but construction, which is the industry that was supposed to reap the biggest benefits from the stimulus package and jobs bills actually lost 35,000. That offsets all the gains made in construction this year.
And, still, 46 percent of unemployed people have been that way for 26 weeks or more, despite all the Administration’s pronouncements that their unemployment isn’t structural. Labor force participation is down (despite all those college graduates entering the job market last month), as the same number of people that entered the labor market in April thinking they might be able to get jobs turned around and stopped looking in May because there actually weren’t any.
We’re now 5 months out from the midterm elections (and half a year from when all those Census jobs will, with absolute certainty, be gone), but employers aren’t hiring, businesses aren’t expanding, people aren’t spending (unless they’re rich) and nobody is happy. Guess the economy needed more than just tax credits. After 8 years of George W. Bush’s economic plans (which consisted entirely of tax cuts and led to the start of the recession), who could have foreseen that tax cuts don’t solve everything? Democrats, perhaps? It’s too bad they aren’t in power…
[Image via Editor B on Flickr, licensed by Creative Commons]