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Jobs Report Out, Unemployment Down, Reportedly

August 8, 2009

The unemployment figures for the month of July are out.  The White  House released the numbers with a measure of pride and an air of “I told you so.”  There was a decline of 247,000 jobs in July, when compared to the numbers we have seen in the past few months, 247,000 doesn’t seem too bad. 

But the Obama White House isn’t exactly known for the openness and transparency they promised.  In just 7 months, Obama has  earned a reputation for lying to the American people, health care reform, the auto bailouts, the banking bailouts.  “I don’t want to run the auto industry.”  That was what he said, then the Democrats made sure that the government, and Obama came away with majority ownership of Chrysler and GM.

The jobs report is another reason for Obama to have an “audacity to lie.”  Nobody in the press has asked the question that would point a finger of suspicion at Obama for “misleading” the American people.  I will ask it.  How do we lose 247,000 jobs and still see unemployment go down by .1%?  The answer is in the jobs report itself.

“Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in July (-247,000),
and the unemployment rate was little changed at 9.4 percent, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The average monthly job
loss for May through July (-331,000) was about half the average
decline for November through April (-645,000). In July, job losses
continued in many of the major industry sectors.”

Not too bad so far, almost exactly what Obama told us.

“In July, the number of unemployed persons was 14.5 million. The
unemployment rate was 9.4 percent, little changed for the second
consecutive month.”

Unless we count the 247,000 jobs that we lost.  I would be inclined to say that is a substantial change.

“The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more)
rose by 584,000 over the month to 5.0 million. In July, 1 in 3 unemploy-
ed persons were jobless for 27 weeks or more.”

OOPS!!  That doesn’t exactly sound like an economic recovery. 

“The civilian labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage
point in July to 65.5 percent. The employment-population ratio, at 59.4
percent, was little changed over the month but has declined by 3.3 per-
centage points since the recession began in December 2007.”

Declining participation rate?  People are giving up on finding employment?

“About 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force
in July, 709,000 more than a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally
adjusted.) These individuals, who were not in the labor force, wanted
and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the
prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had
not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.”

Why bother searching for work when there is no work to find?  But don’t worry, Obama said the economy is improving now.

“Among the marginally attached, there were 796,000 discouraged workers
in July, up by 335,000 over the past 12 months. (The data are not
seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently
looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.
The other 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force
in July had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey
for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.”

Discouraged?  I guess they didn’t get the White House memo that Obama has created or saved 600,000 jobs last month?

“Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 247,000 in July. From May
to July, job losses averaged 331,000 per month, compared with losses
averaging 645,000 per month from November to April. Since December
2007, payroll employment has fallen by 6.7 million.”

November?  Robert Gibbs said August of last year?  November wasn’t bad enough, they had to use August?  November was the election, that is when we started losing jobs?  Why wouldn’t Obama want us to know that?  Why try to put it at a time when he could blame Bush, rather than blame industry’s lack of faith in his policies?  Why lie about the true unemployment rate?  Does it make people to feel better to know that if they give up on finding a job, or run out of their unemployment benefits, they are no longer unemployed?  Sure, they have no job, no paycheck, and no hope, but relax, they aren’t getting unemployment benefits, which means they aren’t unemployed.  But things are better in America, Obama said so, and he is the most open, transparent and honest President in American history.  He said so.  Or, maybe, He just lied to us again.

Table A.  Major indicators of labor market activity, seasonally adjusted       
(Numbers in thousands)                                                         
_______________________________________________________________________________
                         |                 |                          |        
                         |    Quarterly    |                          |        
                         |     averages    |       Monthly data       |  June- 
        Category         |_________________|__________________________|  July  
                         |        |        |        |        |        | change 
                         |    I   |   II   |  May   |  June  |  July  |        
                         |  2009  |  2009  |  2009  |  2009  |  2009  |        
_________________________|________|________|________|________|________|________
                         |                                                     
     HOUSEHOLD DATA      |                 Labor force status                  
                         |_____________________________________________________
                         |        |        |        |        |        |        
Civilian labor force ….| 153,993| 154,912| 155,081| 154,926| 154,504|    -422
  Employment …………| 141,578| 140,591| 140,570| 140,196| 140,041|    -155
  Unemployment ……….|  12,415|  14,321|  14,511|  14,729|  14,462|    -267
Not in labor force ……|  80,920|  80,547|  80,371|  80,729|  81,366|     637
                         |________|________|________|________|________|________
                         |                                                     
                         |                 Unemployment rates                  
                         |_____________________________________________________
                         |        |        |        |        |        |        
All workers ………….|     8.1|     9.2|     9.4|     9.5|     9.4|    -0.1
  Adult men ………….|     8.2|     9.7|     9.8|    10.0|     9.8|     -.2
  Adult women ………..|     6.7|     7.4|     7.5|     7.6|     7.5|     -.1
  Teenagers ………….|    21.3|    22.7|    22.7|    24.0|    23.8|     -.2
  White ……………..|     7.4|     8.4|     8.6|     8.7|     8.6|     -.1
  Black or African       |        |        |        |        |        |        
    American …………|    13.1|    14.9|    14.9|    14.7|    14.5|     -.2
  Hispanic or Latino     |        |        |        |        |        |        
    ethnicity ………..|    10.7|    12.0|    12.7|    12.2|    12.3|      .1
                         |________|________|________|________|________|________
                         |                                                     
  ESTABLISHMENT DATA     |                     Employment                      
                         |_____________________________________________________
                         |        |        |        |        |        |        
Nonfarm employment…….| 133,662|p132,131| 132,178|p131,735|p131,488|   p-247
  Goods-producing (1)….|  19,826| p19,037|  19,041| p18,818| p18,690|   p-128
    Construction ……..|   6,590|  p6,300|   6,310|  p6,224|  p6,148|    p-76
    Manufacturing …….|  12,468| p12,005|  12,000| p11,869| p11,817|    p-52
  Service-providing (1)..| 113,835|p113,094| 113,137|p112,917|p112,798|   p-119
      Retail trade (2)…|  14,933| p14,814|  14,812| p14,791| p14,747|    p-44
    Professional and     |        |        |        |        |        |        
      business services .|  17,048| p16,730|  16,756| p16,650| p16,612|    p-38
    Education and health |        |        |        |        |        |        
      services ……….|  19,138| p19,214|  19,215| p19,252| p19,269|     p17
    Leisure and          |        |        |        |        |        |        
      hospitality …….|  13,235| p13,180|  13,195| p13,177| p13,186|      p9
    Government ……….|  22,543| p22,593|  22,605| p22,557| p22,564|      p7
                         |________|________|________|________|________|________
                         |                                                     
                         |                  Hours of work (3)                  
                         |_____________________________________________________
                         |        |        |        |        |        |        
Total private ………..|    33.2|   p33.1|    33.1|   p33.0|   p33.1|    p0.1
  Manufacturing ………|    39.6|   p39.5|    39.4|   p39.5|   p39.8|     p.3
    Overtime …………|     2.7|    p2.8|     2.8|    p2.9|    p2.9|     p.0
                         |________|________|________|________|________|________
                         |                                                     
                         |   Indexes of aggregate weekly hours (2002=100)(3)   
                         |_____________________________________________________
                         |        |        |        |        |        |        
Total private ………..|   101.7|   p99.7|    99.8|   p99.1|   p99.1|    p0.0
                         |________|________|________|________|________|________
                         |                                                     
                         |                     Earnings (3)                    
                         |_____________________________________________________
Average hourly earnings, |        |        |        |        |        |        
  total private ………|  $18.46| p$18.52|  $18.53| p$18.53| p$18.56|  p$0.03
Average weekly earnings, |        |        |        |        |        |        
  total private ………|  613.60| p612.39|  613.34| p611.49| p614.34|   p2.85
_________________________|________|________|________|________|________|________
                                                                               
   1 Includes other industries, not shown separately.                          
   2 Quarterly averages and the over-the-month change are calculated using     
unrounded data.                                                                
   3 Data relate to private production and nonsupervisory workers.             
   p = preliminary.

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