Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Steve Benen breaks down the August jobs report, U.S. economy created 169k jobs in August, jobless rate dips:
The jobs reports are starting to get a little predictable, by virtue
of the fact that over the last several months, they're effectively the
The new report
from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. economy added
169,000 jobs in August, which is roughly in line with expectations.
After years of public-sector layoffs serving as a drag on the overall
economy, we're starting to see a slight turnaround — the private sector
added 152,000 jobs last month, while the public sector added 17,000
jobs. That may seem like a fairly modest number, but it's the most in
The overall unemployment rate dropped to 7.3%,
which is the lowest it's been in nearly five years, but it's not
evidence of good news — it ticked down largely because of people
leaving the workforce.
Indeed, while the 169,000 jobs added in
August isn't an awful preliminary report, on the whole, this morning's
figures are quite discouraging. The key is the revisions — June totals
were revised down from 188,000 to 172,000, while July's totals were
revised down from 162,000 to 104,000. Combined, that's a whopping 74,000
jobs we thought were created, but weren't.
This should, in
theory, send some key signals to policymakers in Washington. The Federal
Reserve really shouldn't be too eager to scale back its intervention,
and Congress would ideally be looking for ways to give the job market a
boost in order to strengthen a larger economic recovery. The latter
appears highly unlikely — Republican lawmakers continue to back
job-killing sequestration budget cuts and are now threatening another
debt-ceiling crisis that would destroy the job market (again).
All told, so far in calendar year 2013, the economy has added 1.44 jobs overall, and 1.47 million in the private sector.
Here's another chart showing monthly job losses/gains in just the private sector since the start of the Great Recession.
Neil Irwin at Ezra Klein's Wonkblog adds,"You don’t have to squint hard to see evidence that the “nice, steady
improvement” theme that has been the conventional wisdom is missing part
of the story." Ignore the headlines. This was a very bad jobs report.
That is particularly relevant for Chairman Ben Bernanke and his
colleagues at the Fed. The central bank has been expected to start
pulling back on the pace of its $85 billion-a-month in bond purchases at
its meeting Sept. 17-18. The Fed’s entire plan for winding down its
“QE” policies, which it planned to conclude in the middle of next year,
has been dependent on steady improvement in the jobs market.
That such a jobs recovery may not materialize has to make them at
least think twice, maybe three times, about pulling the trigger on the
so-called taper at this policy committee meeting. Adding to the case for
waiting is a looming fiscal standoff and rising oil prices set off by
the conflict in Syria, which is heightening geopolitical worries.
This report may not be definitive, but it’s enough to spur a
reassessment of how robust this recovery is, and how much confidence any
of us have in that view.
End the sequester, end the disproved and discredited conservative austerity economics, and pass a big jobs bill and infrastructure stimulus bill. Do what we know works to put people back to work and to boost the economy. Stop the insanity.