Total Employment

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Wiseacre, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. Wiseacre
    Offline

    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Messages:
    6,025
    Thanks Received:
    1,192
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Ratings:
    +1,194
    Every month the BLS puts out a monthly report of employment/unemployment. Table A-1 in that report shows the total number of employed and the change over the last couple of months so you can see the direction it's going in. Lately it ain't good, but that's not the point of this post.

    When Obama took office in Jan 2009, the BLS summary showed the total employment at approx 142.1 million. As you know, that was in the middle of big numbers of people losing their jobs, losses would continue into 2010, even though Obama pushed for and signed a stimulus bill costing about $862 billion. It was said to be needed immediately, and shovel ready jobs were just waiting for the bill to be signed to go into effect. Here's a link to show the numbers for Jan 2009:


    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/empsit_02062009.pdf


    So, the bill was signed, but the jobs didn't materialize in the numbers we expected. Then, in June 2009, the recession was said to be over, and economic growth was no longer negative. At that time, the BLS showed total employment to have dropped down to approx 140.2 million, subsequently revised downward to 140.0. Seems to me this is the logical time to start counting jobs created on Obama's watch, considering he got his stimulus bill and then a very large appropriations bill, the largest in our history, passed shortly thereafter. And the Fed obliged by lowering interest rates down to next to zero and also enacted QE1 and QE2, and Twist and Shout, or whatever they called that latest effort. Here's a link to the June 2010 numbers:

    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/empsit_07022009.pdf


    So, where are we now? The latest BLS numbers say total employment is about 142.3 million. 3 years later, from the end of the recession, we've got about 2 million more employed. And that included part timers who would rather be working fulltime, and the underemployed. I don't think 2 million in 3 years is anywhere near good enough, it doesn't even come close to keeping up with the new workers entering the workforce evey month. And it's not even close to the recoveries from other recessions since WWII.

    Question: How does Obama come up with the 4.3 million jobs created? Even the lowest number was 138.6 million in Feb 2010, maybe someone can explain that.

    Question: We were supposed to be doing so much better by now, why aren't we? With all the additional spending, low interest rates, QE1 and QE2, WTF? We've been spending money for 3 and a half years like it was going out of style, do you think it's been wisely spent? I don't.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
  2. The Rabbi
    Offline

    The Rabbi Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    67,619
    Thanks Received:
    7,821
    Trophy Points:
    1,840
    Location:
    Nashville
    Ratings:
    +18,214
    The number of jobs created is arrived at by assuming that every X dollars of gov't spending produces Y new jobs.
    Of course that is bogus. It is complete and utter bullshit.
    The best defense that can be mustered is "it would have been worse." That is the mantra of every author of every failed plan.
     
  3. Wiseacre
    Offline

    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Messages:
    6,025
    Thanks Received:
    1,192
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Ratings:
    +1,194
    So, nobody can tell me how Obama gets his 4.3 million jobs created number?
     
  4. Saigon
    Offline

    Saigon Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Messages:
    11,434
    Thanks Received:
    870
    Trophy Points:
    175
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    Ratings:
    +1,240
    Unemployment in the US is still relatively low compared to your major trading partners.

    I don't know what all the fuss is about really.

    Spain has 23% unemployment, and Greece 20%.

    Try that on for size.
     
  5. Epsilon Delta
    Offline

    Epsilon Delta Jedi Master

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Messages:
    2,687
    Thanks Received:
    363
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Central America
    Ratings:
    +364
    Well, not sure about 4.3 million, but you'd have to count from when the job losses actually bottomed out - in December 09; at 138 million employed. Subtracting that from the 142.0 million employed today gives you 4 million new jobs. But, it would depend on when you want to start counting. Obama took office in January 2009 with 142.2 million employed, the economy shed 4.2 million jobs in his first year. How much of that is really attributable? Most say it takes about 6 months before you can really start having much of an impact; under this analysis, July '09 employment being 139.0 million, you would have a net of about 3 million new jobs (one million lost in the second semester of the presidency plus 4 millions in the subsequent years), which isn't historically bad.

    In Bush II's first term, with a much milder recession than this one, the economy generated a grand total of 1.6 million jobs in the same time frame (July '01 137.1 million - April '04 138.7 millions). Bush I's the number was 0.9 million (the economy was still dropping at the end of this period). Clinton faced very favorable post-recession winds and enjoyed a figure of almost 6 million in the same time frame.

    Quite wrong. Any X dollars of any spending by anybody necessarily produce Y new jobs. If the government of Wisconsin spends $1 million in 25 teachers' yearly salaries, then it is in fact maintaining 25 jobs. If it takes that funding away, there will be 25 more people unemployed.

    As far as 'it would have been worse' you may have a point - it is a bit of a weak argument, as nobody can really know what would happen one hypothetical way or the other. But we can examine cases where different policies were followed, such as the savage austerity which conservatives want to impose (ie, gutting government spending across the board to pay down debt) - like the cases of Spain (unemployment: 24%), Greece (22%), Portugal (15%), or Ireland (14%). Very different policy mix, very different results.
     
  6. auditor0007
    Offline

    auditor0007 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    12,566
    Thanks Received:
    2,255
    Trophy Points:
    255
    Location:
    Toledo, OH
    Ratings:
    +3,218
    We are not Spain or Greece. That being said, there are a number of factors holding back a strong recovery. The biggest factor which is not readily acknowledged is that the baby boomers are downsizing, retiring or getting ready to retire, and they have stopped spending money. This is a massive number of people who just have no need to buy any new homes, cars, or anything. In fact, they are trying to get out of their big homes so they can move into something smaller. These people, which includes many of us, have no reason to go out and buy a big new house, four brand new cars, one for husband, one for wife, and two for the teenage kids. And because so many lost so much when the market crashed, everyone is being extremely conservative with their savings and investments, trying to secure a decent retirement.

    With such a drop in spending, there just is no demand for new products and services, so younger people are having trouble getting into the workforce. This is leading to a situation where young people are putting off getting married and starting families, the biggest thing that leads to greater spending. There is nothing like needing to buy a house and raise a couple of kids to increase spending.
     
  7. The Rabbi
    Offline

    The Rabbi Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    67,619
    Thanks Received:
    7,821
    Trophy Points:
    1,840
    Location:
    Nashville
    Ratings:
    +18,214
    So this is the excuse d'jour? Baby boomers? Obama has blamed Japanese tsunamis, airport kiosks, and ATMs. So now it's baby boomers.
    Bullshit. Baby boomers didnt suddenly start downsizing in 2008. And the majority of boomers are probably well under retirement. I am the last year of the boomers and I just turned 50.
     
  8. Saigon
    Offline

    Saigon Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Messages:
    11,434
    Thanks Received:
    870
    Trophy Points:
    175
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    Ratings:
    +1,240
    The Rabbi -

    I think the latest "excuse" is the same one being used by 190 other governments - there is an international recession.

    Again, the US is probably doing better than most.
     
  9. The Rabbi
    Offline

    The Rabbi Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    67,619
    Thanks Received:
    7,821
    Trophy Points:
    1,840
    Location:
    Nashville
    Ratings:
    +18,214
    Compared to Zimbabwe we are an economic powerhouse. But I really don't want to be compared to Zimbabwe. Compared to the George W Bush years we do look like Zimbabwe.
     
  10. Saigon
    Offline

    Saigon Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Messages:
    11,434
    Thanks Received:
    870
    Trophy Points:
    175
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    Ratings:
    +1,240
    The Rabbi -

    I suggest you compare the US rationally, and against the countries you trade with - because how they are doing effects the US, too, right?

    So how does unemployment in the UK, France and Germany look right now?

    How is growth in Japan, Spain and Australia?
     

Share This Page