Reactions to the Jobs Report Heavily Overstated


“Weak”, “dismal”, “bleak”, “punishing”, “horrific”.  These are just some of the headlines that graced newspapers over the last couple of days regarding the recently released June employment report.  This comes amid the corporate media’s attempt to set the narrative of a weakening economy.  But if you take a long-term look at historic employment numbers, the latest is not much different.

While the jobs report shows that only 18,000 new jobs were created in June, such low numbers happened many times throughout the fraudulant “booming” Bush years.  The blog Jesse’s Cafe American did a wonderful job of anaylizing the numbers.  Click the graph in order to enlarge the image.

Once the economy was on the road to recovery in 2003, the jobs report came in at roughly the same numbers no fewer than 5 time before the onset of the latest recession.  In fact, the trend in employment is generally in line with trends in 2005, 2006, and 2007.  Even in a good economy, because of the cyclical nature of hiring, bad jobs reports crop up on a fairly regular basis.  Is the jobs report good? Obviously not.  But is it the end of the world? No, it is but one of many cogs ever in motion within the economy.

You’ll see little of this type of actual analysis being done from mainstream commentators.

And of course, potential Republican candidates took no time in attacking the President over his handling of the economy. Perhaps the most ludicrous reaction came from Republicant Presidential hopeful Gary Johnson, calling for an immediate elimination of the corporate income tax and  immediate spending reductions of $300 billion.

Sorry Gary, but multi-national corporations aren’t just going to throw away 20 years of investment in a supply chain that stretches across the globe just to give little ‘ol Americans manufacturing jobs once again.  Hey Gary, was that a hail mary to try and get your name to actually show up in the Republicant polls?

  1. lizard19

    mainstream media being sensationalist?

    anyway (and without the snark) you use the word “ludicrous” and i think that’s the perfect word to apply to the whole economic charade.

    that the conversation has successfully been entangled in how severe cuts will be is a major success for the right.

    that the connection between corporations sitting on over a trillion dollars (like 1.8 trillion), and the reality that spending cuts during a recession usually makes it worse, hasn’t been made by democrats is a major failure for the left.

    i heard on CBS tonight that unemployment for black men in Milwaukee is 34%.

    and there’s a president who might need to start worrying about his own employment pretty soon, because his shrinking base is angrier than ever.

  2. Chuck

    Cisco is going to eliminate over 13,000 jobs starting next month.

  3. Ingemar Johansson

    Spot on.

    Even people who don’t work have jobs.

    Their job is sitting on the couch collecting govt. checks for 99 weeks.

    • JC

      Whatcha got for ’em BS? Where’s your jobs program?

      Rather they just go live under the bridge?

      • Ingemar Johansson

        Glad ya asked.

        Every business owner that makers over 250K(married) and 200K (single) we need to tax the hell out of.

        And those greedy corporations we give so called subsidies to, tax them too. Bring back tax rates of the 60’s

        That’ll bring the jobs back.

  4. ladybug

    Jobs outsourced to India, China and Mexico will return when Americans stop buying the cheap goods cheap labor produces. It’s time for individuals to withdraw support for global corporatism and refocus on local and regional economic systems. This is something we as individuals do not need from government. Change, or be changed.

  5. JC

    Well, the perspective on a few months’ job reports may not be telling, but you’ve got to look at the overall picture.

    The graph starts in 2003. If they would have backtracked it to the beginning of Bush’s term, you’d see basically a net job growth of zero. I’d describe job growth and wages under Bush as: “Weak”, “dismal”, “bleak”, “punishing”, “horrific”.

    SO to look at jobs under Obama as anything much different, I’d tend to agree with the media’s terms. ONe telling number from the BLS is that unemployment plus underemployment is 16.2%

    Shadow Stats has the number pegged at over 22%.

    Data visualization is all about creating a narrative. Take a look at one of their charts, and you’ll see why I don’t have a problem with media representing jobs numbers the way they are. It all needs context, and while the chart you provide is interesting for Dems to try and create a not-so-negative narrative, take a look at Shadow Stats’ chart, and you’ll see my point:

    I think that we need to portray the jobs picture as clearly as possible to instill a sense of urgency in our political leaders that that is where they need to focus their efforts–not on the deficit at this point in time.

    I don’t see a need to beat up on the media for choice of superlatives.

    • carfreestupidity

      I agree that unemployment is a real and very large problem. But I wasn’t talking about that.

      Most people probably only read the headline on a story like the jobs report because most of the heart of the story is a bunch of economic mumbo jumbo and a mess of statistics. So how a news outlet chooses to frame the story is a big part of shaping the perception.

      My second point was that the same news stories only deal with the current the previous jobs report. So people aren’t given any sense of scale or perspective fit within a trend more than a month long.

  6. Ingemar Johansson

    Damn-we can agree.

    • Steve W

      Ingemar, let me get this straight. Your plan to create more jobs is to not raise taxes?

      That hasn’t worked in the last 12 years, so when does that start working?

      Or do you not care about jobs, just about taxes?

      • Ingemar Johansson

        Here’s how you pick up a quick 400,000.

        Almost 190,000 jobs could be created by 2013 if offshore drilling returns to pre-spill levels, according to a study sponsored by two oil trade groups, the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) and the American Petroleum Institute (API).

        The study, conducted by Quest Offshore Inc., found that if permits for exploration and drilling returned to historic levels, and if backlogged requests were granted, 400,000 jobs could be supported across the United States with a GDP increase of $45 billion by 2013.

        Read more:

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