|Unemployment Crisis Continues||| Print ||
|Written by James Heiser|
|Friday, 08 October 2010 17:00|
The last pre-election monthly report from the Labor Department on the ongoing loss of jobs in the American economy has been released, and the news is likely to bode ill for incumbents. A pattern of underestimations in predictions of weekly and monthly rates of unemployment detracts from President Obama’s efforts to spin the nation’s economic woes to his political advantage.
According to a CNN story, Obama greeted the news as one more opportunity to blame Republicans for not engaging in even more reckless spending that has already taken place:
Obama blamed the net job loss on layoffs at both the U.S. Census and state and local governments. He slammed the GOP for opposing additional state assistance.
"We have to keep doing everything we can to accelerate this economy," he said during a visit to a Maryland brick and masonry company. Too many Americans have been "swept up in the most devastating recession of our lifetimes."
The delivering of such an assessment at a brick and masonry company seems fitting, since the only "acceleration" that is taking place in Obama’s plan for the economy is toward the "brick wall" of national insolvency. With an accumulated federal deficit now over $13.5 trillion — a deficit of over $128,000 per taxpayer — the grotesque financial recklessness of both parties in Washington, D.C. is an established fact.
The U.S. lost more jobs than forecast in September, reflecting a decline in government payrolls that shows the damage being done by rising fiscal deficits.
Employers cut staffing by 95,000 workers after a revised 57,000 decrease in August, Labor Department figures in Washington showed today. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 5,000 drop. The unemployment rate unexpectedly held at 9.6 percent.
Private payrolls that exclude government agencies climbed 64,000, less than forecast, underscoring the concern expressed by some Federal Reserve policy makers that the rebound from the worst recession since the 1930s has been too slow and may require easier monetary policy. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg project unemployment will average at least 9 percent through 2011, which may restrain consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy.
Given that the same economists who rosily estimated only a 5,000 job drop when the actual rate was 95,000 now say that the unemployment rate will be “at least 9 percent” through the entire next year is profoundly disconcerting, to say the least. When the November election and then the Christmas shopping season has passed, the nation’s economy could easily face the danger of further decline if the newly-elected Congress does not turn from the failed policies that have exacerbated the economic decline.
The Dow's rebound to 11,000 on Friday seemed almost inevitabile [sic] as investors shook off all the bad news and instead focused on slivers of hope in jobs, government intervention and politics.
By nearly any measure, Friday's nonfarm employment report was a disappointment: Payrolls dropped 95,000, the so-called "real" unemployment rate jumped to 17.1 percent and one of the few growth areas came in restaurant and bar jobs.
However, the real unemployment number is far more than "disappointing" — it is disastrous. The 17.1 percent rate means that one in six Americans are either unemployed and still looking for a job, or have given up seeking employment. In one respect, one can hardly blame the workers who have given up; after all, for 17 months the official unemployment rate has exceeded 9.4 percent; as Veronica Smith of the AFP observes, this is “the longest stretch since the start of monthly figures in 1948.”