Didn’t I tell you? The August job numbers were “disappointing,” so “right on cue, the Chicken Little media villagers produced a slew of gloom and doom reports: ‘The sky is falling!'”
As I said last month in The Obama economy outperforms the mythological Ronaldus Magnus, “The vast majority of media villager know nothing about economics and the economy, in particular the labor market. Sorry media villagers, the sky is not falling. August historically has been a jobs estimate that gets revised upwards later (that’s why it is an estimate).”
And right on cue, the August jobs numbers have been revised upwards, and the September job numbers are back up over 200,000. I am so effin’ tired of idiot media villagers misinforming the public.
Steve Benen has the September jobs report today. Job growth picks up steam in Sept, unemployment rate drops:
When August’s job number fell far short of expectations, many wondered whether it was just an off month or the start of a more alarming trend. As of this morning, there’s evidence of the former.
The new report from Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. economy added 248,000 jobs in September, above expectations and far ahead of August’s totals. The overall unemployment rate also dropped to 5.9% — the lowest since July 2008, which was over six years ago.
Once again, public-sector layoffs did not drag down the overall employment figures. Though jobs reports over the last few years have shown monthly government job losses, in September, the private sector added 236,000 while the public sector added 12,000. The latter may not sound like much, but after several years in which that total was negative, it’s at least somewhat heartening.
As for the revisions, all of the news is good: July’s totals were revised up from 212,000 to 243,000, while August’s figures were revised up, from 142,000 to 180,000. Combined, that’s an additional 69,000 jobs.
All told, over the last 12 months, the U.S. economy has added over 2.63 million jobs overall and 2.58 million in the private sector. What’s more, September was the 55th consecutive month in which we’ve seen private-sector job growth — the longest on record.
At this point, with the year more than half over, 2014 is on track to be the best year for U.S. job creation since 1999.
Above you’ll find the chart I run every month, showing monthly job losses since the start of the Great Recession . . . Here’s another chart, this one showing monthly job losses/gains in just the private sector since the start of the Great Recession.
Steve Benen adds that President Obama must remind voters of the economic success of his administration — he took office with the world on the brink of financial collapse and in economic free-fall due to conservative economic policies — and brought the country back from the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression. The man rightly deserves credit. An economic message Obama is eager to share:
“Do you think we are better off today than when President Obama took office?”
[Reminder: The Bush Years Were a Lost Decade.]
For Americans who actually remember late 2008, the answer is painfully obvious, but the question itself is no doubt frustrating for the White House, which rescued the nation from economic ruin, but isn’t getting much credit.
With this in mind, the president seems all the more eager, especially this election season, to remind the public about America’s economic recovery, which the voters may not have heard much about. Obama traveled to Northwestern University yesterday and delivered one of his best speeches of the year.
“[S]ometimes the noise clutters and I think confuses the nature of the reality out there. Here are the facts: When I took office, businesses were laying off 800,000 Americans a month. Today, our businesses are hiring 200,000 Americans a month. The unemployment rate has come down from a high of 10 percent in 2009, to 6.1 percent today. Over the past four and a half years, our businesses have created 10 million new jobs; this is the longest uninterrupted stretch of private sector job creation in our history. Think about that…. Right now, there are more job openings than at any time since 2001. All told, the United States has put more people back to work than Europe, Japan, and every other advanced economy combined. I want you to think about that. We have put more people back to work, here in America, than Europe, Japan, and every other advanced economy combined.
“This progress has been hard, but it has been steady and it has been real…. Every item I ticked off, those are the facts. It’s not conjecture. It’s not opinion. It’s not partisan rhetoric. I laid out facts.”
The president seemed almost preoccupied with cutting through what he referred to as political “noise” — he used the word “facts” 11 times in his speech, saying it with emphasis each time.
What’s more, his remarks came yesterday, a day ahead of this morning’s very encouraging jobs report, which also happened to coincide with a big improvement in the U.S. trade deficit thanks to record domestic exports. [See: The U.S. trade deficit fell to the lowest level since January as exports rose to an all-time high. US trade deficit shrinks for 4th straight month.]
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Obama also has an economic tightrope to walk: the economic turnaround has been impressive, but in their daily lives, many Americans aren’t seeing the results first hand . . . So, he made an effort to thread a needle.
“[I]t is indisputable that our economy is stronger today than when I took office. By every economic measure, we are better off now than we were when I took office. At the same time, it’s also indisputable that millions of Americans don’t yet feel enough of the benefits of a growing economy where it matters most – and that’s in their own lives.
“And these truths aren’t incompatible. Our broader economy in the aggregate has come a long way, but the gains of recovery are not yet broadly shared – or at least not broadly shared enough. We can see that homes in our communities are selling for more money, and that the stock market has doubled, and maybe the neighbors have new health care or a car fresh off an American assembly line. And these are all good things. But the stress that families feel – that’s real, too. It’s still harder than it should be to pay the bills and to put away some money. Even when you’re working your tail off, it’s harder than it should be to get ahead.”
To that end, Obama laid out the basic tenets of his economic agenda – the speech was reminiscent of a State of the Union address – which he sees as the way for the economy to take the next steps forward, while reminding the audience that while he won’t be on the ballot in November, issues like growth, wages, and jobs will be.
And it culminated with a political challenge: “I laid out what I know has happened over the six years of my presidency so far, and I’ve laid out an agenda for what I think should happen to make us grow even better, grow even faster. A true opposition party should now have the courage to lay out their agenda, hopefully also grounded in facts.”
What makes the Obama record on the economy all the more remarkable is that he has faced unified GOP opposition to any policy he proposed from the day he was inaugurated president. The GOP has actively sought to sabotage the economy, even at the height of the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression and millions of their fellow Americans suffering as a result of their failed conservative economic policies, out of pure partisan calculation to undermine the Obama presidency.
Americans would be fools to reward these saboteurs and economic terrorists with their vote.