Despite GOP sequester to harm the economy, April jobs numbers are up

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

This is due to the incremental nature of the GOP sequester taking place over time, but so far the economy and job creation have not been dramatically slowed by the withdrawal of federal spending in the economy (public sector employment continues to decline unabated). The "summer doldrums" that have dogged the Obama presidency may be just around the corner, however, with the lagging factor of the  GOP sequester finally beginning to have an impact on the economy.

Steve Benen reports on the April jobs report, U.S. job creation improves, unemployment rate drops:

The U.S. economy added 165,000 jobs in April,
more than expected, and overall unemployment rate dropped to 7.5%, its
lowest point in four-and-a-half years
. As is usually the case, there was
a gap between the two major sectors — America's private sector added
176,000 jobs last month, while spending cuts caused the public sector
lose 11,000 jobs
.

Of course, these are preliminary totals that
will be updated in the coming months, and therein lies the key
importance to this new jobs report: the revisions. February, for
example, was revised up from 268,000 jobs to 332,000
, making it the
single best month for job creation since 2005 (excluding temporary
Census hiring). March was also revised up, from 88,000 to 138,000. In
other words, as of this morning's report, the previous two months added
an additional 114,000 jobs we didn't previously know about. (Update: Also note, the February job totals, the best in eight years, came after January's tax hikes, but before the sequester.)

It's
painful to think about, but all of the available evidence tells us
something important: were it not for Congress and sequestration cuts,
the nation's economic recovery would likely be quite strong right now.
Were it not for the lawmakers Americans elect to represent our
interests, and their ongoing efforts to take capital out the economy and
slash public investments, job growth would probably be very robust
.

April Jobs

Here's another chart, this one showing monthly job losses/gains in just the private sector since the start of the Great Recession.

AprilPrivate

There have been 38 consecutive months of private sector job growth. Conversely, due to the Great Recession and GOP austerity economic measures, public sector employment has fallen each month since before Barack Obama's presidency. All previous presidents since Franklin Roosevelt have used public sector employment to stimulate the economy in times of recession. The anti-government philosophy of the Tea-Publicans and GOP austerity economics are the major factors holding back a robust economic recovery.

Steve Benen continues, The lowest jobless rate since 2008:

As of today,
the unemployment rate is down to 7.5%, which is not only the lowest
point of the Obama presidency, but also the lowest since late 2008. It's
dropped a full point in the last year and a half, a 2.5 points since
its October 2010 high.

It's also one of the fastest improvements in the jobless rate in the last 30 years.

UnemploymentRate

As we've discussed
before, this isn't my favorite metric for the health of the jobs
market, but it seems to be the metric that dominates the public
consciousness and political conversation, so it's probably worth paying
attention to.

* * *

To date, the net gain for jobs under Obama is over 1.5 million overall and over 2.2 million in the private sector.

Yes, this is not a particularly impressive jobs number under normal economic circumstances, but this jobs number reflects having dug out of the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression and zero net job growth over the previous decade under George W. Bush. The Bush Years Were a Lost Decade. GOP austerity economics measures are holding back an economic recovery, and far more government stimulus is needed to grow the economy at a pace that will begin to reduce the long-term structural unemployment built up over the past 12 years.

UPDATE: Think Progress illustrates my point, The Loss Of Government Jobs Is Holding Back The Economy:

Overall, the government has shed 718,000 net jobs since President Obama
took office. While often accused of bloating the government, the trends
show exactly the opposite: Obama has overseen a sharp decline in public
sector payrolls as compared to his predecessor President George W. Bush, as can be seen in this chart from Calculated Risk:

PulbicBushObama

This trend can be tied very closely to a major cutback in government
spending: the most recent GDP report showed that the federal, state, and
local share of the figure was 0.01 percent lower than four years ago. This comes during a struggling economic period where money in the private sector is still tight.

The drop in public spending and, in turn, public employment has had
big consequences for the recovery. If public sector rolls hadn’t been
shrinking so steadily, the unemployment rate would likely be a full percentage point lower.
The furloughs and potential job losses from sequestration cuts don’t
even show up in these numbers. When the full pain of those cuts is felt
later in the year, the trend may look even worse.

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