Unemployment As Job One

July 11, 2011

“The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.”
Oscar Wilde

(Illustration found here).

If the horrible US jobs report on Friday was anywhere near shocking for you, as Paul Krugman says this morning, “you haven’t been paying attention.”
Most-likely the biggest hole in the US economy and the throttle for any kind of recovery is in people working — employment is the linchpin of a healthy economy.
And if you had been paying any kind of attention the past two years, the view would be depressingly creepy.
From the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Nonfarm payroll employment was essentially unchanged in June (+18,000), and the unemployment rate was little changed at 9.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Employment in most major private-sector industries changed little over the month.
Government employment continued to trend down.

And what the shit does this shit mean?

According to the US National Bureau of Economic Research, July is the start of a third year of a so-called recovery from the recession, but recovery may not be the right word.
There’s no silver lining out of Friday’s job report, nothing but unabated gloom — although the US requires at the minimum 125,000 new jobs each month to keep pace with population growth, the system added only 18,000 this cycle.
And on top of that, a “spending monitor” survey for June from Discover Financial Services showed a significant slide in consumer confidence with nearly 56 percent of adults said the economy is getting worse, up from about 51 percent in May and 40 percent in January.

One of the biggest troubling points in Friday’s job report was its impact on the young.
Workers between the ages of 16 and 19 have an unemployment rate over 24 percent — more than twice the 9.2 percent reading nationwide.
Those young workers are being pushed aside by all those older unemployed, or under-employed workers.

And President Obama’s job is also in jeopardy — even from beyond his own boast.
From a financial reflective piece at bostonherald.com:

Obama told TV titan Matt Lauer during a Feb. 1, 2009, MSNBC interview that he would be “held accountable” to improve the economy by the American public and, “If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”
“He said it. He can’t go back and un-say it,” declared Washington, D.C.-based Democratic consultant Tom Ochs.
“(The Obama campaign is) going to have to fight to the death on the economy, and I think they know that.”

And this dumb-ass idiom:

Although Obama promised yesterday to work tirelessly “to give people the security they deserve,” his message was undermined by top aide David Plouffe’s seemingly tone-deaf statement earlier this week: “People won’t vote based on the unemployment rate.”


And the biggest problem is not only the economy and all its trappings, but the self-centered, nasty-faced Republicans.
A New York Times editorial on Saturday:

There is plenty of evidence, in fact, that the spending cuts already imposed by Republican intransigence are responsible for a great deal of joblessness.
Although the private sector added 57,000 jobs in June, that tiny progress was reduced by the 39,000 jobs shed by federal, state and local governments, much of which came from education.
As David Leonhardt noted in The Times on Friday, cutbacks in state and local spending have cost the economy about a million public-sector jobs over the last two years, in part because the federal stimulus program, bitterly opposed by Republicans, ended too soon.

Facts have never bothered the GOP.

Mash mouthed Mitch McConnell reiterated again the GOP’s major concern is kicking Obama out of the White House (one must remember McConnell saying last October the “single most important thing” for Republicans is beating Democrats in 2012.
From Raw Story:

Fox News’ Bret Baier asked McConnell Sunday if that was still his major objective.
“Well, that is true,” McConnell replied. “That’s my single most important political goal, along with every active Republican in the country.”

And Tea Party poster gal and full-blown nit-twit Michele Bachmann blubbered out a truth last Friday on the real emphasis of the GOP and the economy — all politics.
From Think Progress:

Appearing on CNBC this morning, presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) was asked about this morning’s dismal jobs report and whether higher unemployment rates might help her chances of winning in 2012.
“Does it strike you that as the unemployment rate goes up, your chances of winning office also go up?” host Carl Quintanilla asked.
“Well, that could be. Again, I hope so,” Bachmann replied.

Good luck with the job search, there buddy.

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