Washington argues about tax cuts for the rich while the jobs deficit continues to grow

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Supply-sider Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) said this week that "It’s the creation of jobs that drives the economy… Job creators create jobs." Maybe someone should ask him what all  of those corporations sitting on top of trillions of dollars in accumulated profits are doing to create jobs — because it ain't happening. (Reason: it is demand that creates jobs. More economic stimulus is needed).

McClatchy News ran a story overnight with a headline that read, "Friday's November jobs report expected to be rosy." The headline was wrong — the report is genuinely awful. The Washington Monthly:

After seeing an encouraging trend through the fall, and a relatively strong jobs report in October, this morning's report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on November fell far short of expectations, and represented a noticeable reversal in the wrong direction.

In a significant setback to the recovery and market expectations, the United States economy added just 39,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent, the Department of Labor reported Friday. […]

Private companies, which have been hiring since the beginning of the year, added 50,000 jobs in November. Government jobs dropped by 11,000.

I realize that economists tend to emphasize that it's unwise to overreact to any one report, but this one feels like a punch to the gut. For all the indications that the job market was starting to pick up a little steam, this morning's jobs report suggests the exact opposite.

If our political system were sane, awful news like this would be a much-needed wake-up call that would spur policymakers to action. There would be an immediate drive on the part of Congress and the White House to do far more to stimulate the economy, inject more capital into the system, and invest in job-creation measures immediately.

Instead, Americans just elected a new House majority that is prepared to do the exact opposite — taking money out of the economy, scrapping economic stimulus, and ignoring all job-creation measures. Voters were angry about the economy last month, and in a tragic irony, elected people intent on making the economy worse.

The job numbers were revised upwards for September and October, but this morning, that's little comfort.


Steve Benen continues at The Washington Monthly:

For much of 2010, this was important because of the sharp differences we've seen between the private and public sectors. Most notably, the rise and fall of Census Bureau jobs can offer a skewed picture — some months, such as May 2010, look better than they should, because the monthly total is exaggerated by hundreds of thousands of Census jobs. Other months, such as June 2010, are distorted in the other direction, looking worse than they should.

But that period is largely over, and last month, both sectors were awful — the economy added 50,000 private-sector jobs in November, far below expectations. It was the 11th consecutive month of private-sector growth, but that really shouldn't make anyone feel better — November's figure was the worst monthly total since January.

All told, the economy has added 1.17 million private-sector jobs in 2010. For comparison purposes, note that the economy lost nearly 4.7 million private-sector jobs in 2009, and lost 3.8 million in 2008.

With that in mind, here is a different homemade chart, showing monthly job losses/gains in the private sector since the start of the Great Recession. The image makes a distinction — red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration. (Note: the chart reflects revised totals from August and September, per data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.)


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