Archive for Saturday, October 9, 2010

Economy sheds more jobs in September

October 9, 2010


— There’s no relief from the jobs crisis — for everyday Americans or lawmakers facing the midterm elections.

The most rampant layoffs of teachers and other local government workers in nearly three decades more than offset weak hiring in the private sector in September, resulting in a net loss of 95,000 jobs. Unemployment remained stuck at 9.6 percent.

The jobless rate has been at or above 9.5 percent for a year and two months, the longest stretch since the Great Depression. The “underemployment” rate adds part-time workers who would rather work full time and jobless people who aren’t actively seeking work. It now exceeds 17 percent.

The glum economic picture came Friday in the Labor Department’s last monthly jobs report before the November election. Voter frustration over jobs threatens to cost Democrats control of the House and perhaps the Senate.

“We have to keep doing everything we can to accelerate this recovery,” President Barack Obama said. “The only piece of economic news that folks still looking for work want to hear is, ‘You’re hired.’ And everything we do is dedicated to make that happen.”

The combination of limp hiring by businesses and more governments layoffs expected means unemployment could rise to 10 percent again this year or next. When Obama took office in January 2009, the unemployment rate was 7.7 percent.

Republicans pointed to the weak jobs report as evidence of Democrats’ failed economic policies. They argued that the $814 billion stimulus has contributed to bloated federal deficits but done little to create jobs. Most economists say job losses would have been deeper and unemployment higher if not for the tax cuts and additional government spending.

“As Americans, we have to decide: Do we want another two years of job-killing policies out of Washington?” said House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio.

In an Associated Press-GfK poll taken in September, 92 percent of Americans said the economy was an extremely or very important issue. And 79 percent said the economy was in bad shape, compared with 15 percent who said it was healthy.

September was the fourth straight month in which the economy has lost jobs. Layoffs of government workers, including temporary Census Bureau employees, drove the decline. Most census jobs have already expired, but others have lasted longer.

In all, the economy shed 159,000 jobs in the public sector, including 76,000 at the local level, most of them teachers. It was the largest cut by local governments in 28 years.

One reason the spike is showing up now is that teachers who were notified of their layoffs when school ended in spring fell off the payrolls in September. That’s the case for Georgia middle school teacher Candy Murdock, a mother of 13.

Despite seven years of experience and certifications in Spanish, biology and English for speakers of other languages, Murdock was laid off in the spring.

“I can’t just retire now like a lot of people are doing, because I taught part-time for so many years when my kids were young, and it doesn’t count toward retirement,” said Murdock, 56. “And I just can’t go back and retrain. I already did that once.”

More layoffs are expected from state and local governments despite a $26 billion aid package that Obama signed into law in August. The recession devastated state and local budgets.

Without any big rise in sales, companies are not adding jobs fast enough to make up for the losses. Private businesses added only 64,000 positions last month, only about half what it takes to keep up with the growing work force.

There are now 14.8 million people officially unemployed in the United States, and even that figure doesn’t capture the suffering. People out of work who have stopped looking for jobs are not counted as unemployed.


Richard Heckler 7 years, 7 months ago

NEW YORK — The Dow Jones industrial average closed Friday above 11,000 for the first time since early May as the markets digested news of another weak report on unemployment, fueling expectations the Federal Reserve will step in to help the economy.

High unemployment remains a major hurdle as economic growth continues to be sluggish. The Labor Department's report, considered the most important piece of news on the economic calendar, did little to alter the view that the economy remains weak.

While job creation remains scarce, however, there could be a silver lining. Expectations are growing that the Fed will try to stimulate the economy by stepping up its purchases of government bonds. The gloomy jobs report could give the U.S. central bank more incentive to act.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 7 months ago

How can the USA avoid these huge job losses?

This has happened twice in a very short period of time under virtually the same circumstances which is to say why didn't the people/voters and the USA learn the first time?

When and how did these events take place?

  1. The Reagan/ Bush Savings and Loan Heist "There are several ways in which the Bush family plays into the Savings and Loan scandal, which involves not only many members of the Bush family but also many other politicians that are still in office and were part of the Bush Jr. administration.

Jeb Bush, George Bush Sr., and his son Neil Bush have all been implicated in the Savings and Loan Scandal, which cost American tax payers over $1.4 TRILLION dollars (note that this was about one quarter of our national debt").

The Reagan/Bush savings and loan heist was considered the largest theft in history at the time. George Herbert Walker Bush then took $1.4 trillion of taxpayers money to cover the theft.

  1. The Bush/Cheney Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers Yes, substantial fraud was involved. For example, mortgage companies and banks used deceit to get people to take on mortgages when there was no possibility that the borrowers would be able to meet the payments. Not only was this fraud, but this fraud depended on government authorities ignoring their regulatory responsibilities."

  2. Only 3 major Financial Institutions were at risk in spite of what we’re told ? "There were just a handful of institutions that were terribly weakened. AIG the insurer, Bank of America and Citigroup, Those three were clearly in very weakened form. Many of the other big banks simply were not.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 7 months ago

Again and again and again with the same Reagan/Bush links. Don't you ever get tired of walking into a conversation, shouting out the same drivel and then walking out again?

Richard Heckler 7 years, 7 months ago

Other matters to consider:

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: "The Bush tax cuts, all of them were financed with borrowed money. And where did we end up at the end of the Bush administration? If you add up all of the bailouts that the Bush administration did, the investments, the spending and the guarantees, it’s over $8 trillion. How much money is that? It is more than all of the income taxes paid by all Americans for the entire eight years of the Bush administration.

The fact is that if you don’t fix and maintain roads, you can’t move goods around efficiently, the economy suffers. If you don’t spend money on higher education, on research and development, the economy suffers. This notion that government money is, as a student once said to me, taken out in the ocean and just dumped has to go away. We need to recognize that government, which is the biggest single part of our economy, is absolutely vital, if we’re going have a robust economy. That doesn’t mean there isn’t waste and stupidity. Corporate America has plenty of waste and stupidity, too."

camper 7 years, 7 months ago

Liberty, I can be lumped in as a mixed breed, part Keynesian, part free marketer (I think advanced societies require a mix of both). To think it has to be one or the other is Utopianism. Practically speaking, Utopianism makes good reading and is good theory, but it never works with it's flaws quickly revealed.

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 7 months ago

I was told that letting the tax cuts for the upper 2% expire was a bad idea because those are the people who create jobs. So I'm wondering...Where are the jobs?

Scott Drummond 7 years, 7 months ago

Actually this is a lie. From the statements made President Obama and the Democrats want the expiring bush tax cuts to be continued for all but 2% of the country. The republicans are holding that achievement hostage in order to score political points.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 7 months ago

The extremely wealthy use more public services and have benefited to a greater degree from the public services therefore it is reasonable to expect them to contribute to a greater degree.

Further our country was formed, in large part, in response to the dynastic structure of European society. Progressive taxation helps to reduce the generational accumulation of wealth and therefore creates a society in which individual merit is valued over inheritance. This produces greater opportunity for greater numbers of citizens and greater innovation and progress.

notajayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

"The extremely wealthy use more public services and have benefited to a greater degree from the public services therefore it is reasonable to expect them to contribute to a greater degree. "

Oh, yeah, just look at all those "extremely wealthy" folks getting food stamps, TANF, Medicaid, Section 8 housing, WIC, sending their kids to public schools, collecting all those refundable tax credits like the EIC and Additional Child Tax credit ...

Oh, wait ...

Even for you, scottie, that's an incredibly inane claim to make.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 7 months ago

The wealthy have a court system to enforce their business deals. Police to enforce their property rights. Schools and universities to train their workforces. A monetary system to facilitate their economic gain. A military to fetch them raw materials. A national transportation infrastructure to move their goods and services efficiently around the country. A mortgage tax interest deduction. Business loans. Retirement savings. "Free" trade policies. And on, and on, and on.....

And yet you make the obscene claim that the cost of food and medical services for the poor outweighs the true cost of all the benefits that the wealthiest obtain from the public coffers. Which of us is truly inane?

notajayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

And the cuts he wants to continue cost three times as much as the cuts to that 2%, even without figuring in the secondary gain realized from the cuts to the wealthy.

BTW - how does "We're going to raise taxes, but don't worry, it'll be someone ELSE's taxes" not translate into an attempt to score political points?

notajayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

"All Bush did was shift the tax burden from the rich on to the middle class and poor. "

The tax burden actually increased for the rich after the Bush cuts. Three times as much money went back to the middle class and poor as went to the rich.

notajayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Well, that would be all that Bush cut, wouldn't it?

notajayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

"So I'm wondering...Where are the jobs?"

Two years after the Bush tax cuts unemployment had fallen from over 6% into the 4's. Nearly 2 years into Obama's intervention, it has grown from the 7's to the 9's.

kansasmutt 7 years, 7 months ago

Until the feds step in and limite the utility companies from raising rates, you wont see any new jobs. People have 0$ extra to buy anything now. Electric, Gas , Phone , Cable , Water and everything else we have at home and work have trippled in the last 18 months absorbing every last disposible dollar we have. Businesses have seen overhead jump so high, they dont have the extra to do anything now. Cap that off with insurance rates jumping 400% and you have left them empty handed. I am not big on regulation, but somethings got to be done about utility companies NOW or we wont recover.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

The Fed sucks, and exists primarily to protect the Wall Street and the largest banks, but in your Utopia, there would be no constraints on speculation of any kind, meaning wild, massive swings between runaway inflation and depression. (but we'd all suffer in "freedom.")

Richard Heckler 7 years, 7 months ago

If the government takes control and spends money in such a fashion that it puts people to work in the USA then that spending will pay back. The spending as a result of those jobs will create other jobs not funded directly with tax dollar instead funded by way of increased new business throughout communities.

How can we get that done:

  1. repair streets and sidewalks in older parts of town. Building new walks and streets creates NEW long term tax debt. We do not need new locallong term tax debt at this moment in time.

  2. Get on with cleaner new energy sources. This can put half a million people to work. It pays back with cheaper utility rates. I say taxpayers need to own our energy sources because we cannot afford to fund:

  3. reckless management

  4. corp jets • corp bureaucracy • large corp profits • high corporate salaries • Expensive advertising
  5. over charges/fraud • Shareholders CERTAINLY increases the cost of insurance • Special interest campaign dollars
  6. Golden parachutes
  7. Politicians as shareholders

  8. Invest in what is called Green Collar Industry that keeps all jobs in the USA. Invest only in jobs that remain in the USA.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 7 months ago

How's that hopenchange working out for you?

Jay Keffer 7 years, 7 months ago

Bush's fault - not coupling tax cuts with spending cuts. He got half the equation right.

Now, back to the present. Since the only president that can do anything about the current issue is Obama, what is he doing to improve and not exacerbate the issue? Markets of all kinds (including you and me) hate uncertainty. Employers are waiting to see what the government will or won't do to them. Delaying the vote on extending the tax cuts may save some liberal skin during the elections, but nothing will change (for the better or worse) until the cards are on the table.

camper 7 years, 7 months ago

This is great news for those who for politics or personal dislike of President Obama want to see his policies fail. Obama's Socialistic policies blah blah blah broken record.

This latest report is due largely to teachers and other state workers being let go due to State budget constraints. Funding state budgets and keeping many employed for was an unsung sucess of the 1st stimulus. It stabalized things for a while. And president is trying to extend this, but is currently being blocked by the party of no.

What is going to happen is more public sector job layoffs in addition to States raising taxes as a result of lower revenues. And the Republicans have the nerve to say things like "Obama's job killing policies" in political ads.

It is going to get worse, as many Republicans will be happy to see. But that is ok. Maybe we do need the economy to bottom out. Maybe it will be good for us. Oatmeal is really good and I'm enjoing the process of learning to like it....even cold with no flavoring or sugar.

notajayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

"This is great news for those who for politics or personal dislike of President Obama want to see his policies fail."

They already have.

"This latest report is due largely to teachers and other state workers being let go due to State budget constraints."

Not to mention the layoffs of many federal government workers that were only temporarily funded, like census workers, that had been used to make the jobs picture look better than it actually was.

"What is going to happen is more public sector job layoffs in addition to States raising taxes as a result of lower revenues."

Good. The private sector, is adding jobs, so eventually the states will have a bigger tax base to aid in their recovery. No thanks to Obama.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 7 months ago

I, for one, am looking forward to February when the republicans and teahatters will have solved everything and unemployment is 5% again.

And the best thing is we can expect them to do it without any reference to the actions of President Obama and the "Democratic" Congress during the last two years.

notajayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Typical liberal - it's unfair to judge Obama after nearly two years, but he's expecting results in a month. With a Democrat still in the White House, no less.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 7 months ago

Well, I thought my sarcasm and facetiousness was self-evident, but I see it was lost on our two resident right wing apologists.

You see, I took what you have been doing ad nauseum, exaggerated the date of expected results and then stated an assumption that republicans would not do the very thing they have been whining about for the last two years. It is mildly humorous but apparently lost on some.

notajayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

"Well, I thought my sarcasm and facetiousness was self-evident"

Mighta' been, had your attempt at sarcasm not been perfectly consistent with every one of your past posts.

Jimo 7 years, 7 months ago

So, let's see:

  1. We've got Bush's welfare for billionaires still in place - you'd think they'd be busy creating jobs with their magic tax-cut pixie-dust

  2. We're firing government workers right and left (159,000 government workers dismissed in September alone, half by local governments) even though there were already fewer governmental workers than in 1990 or 1980 or 1970 - but hey, who needs firefighters?

  3. Investment in public infrastructure bottled up in the Senate (along with everything else) - Chinese businessmen read about American roads reverting to dirt while speeding along in 16,000 miles of "bullet" trains travelling over 200 mph

  4. Obama's 1st budget deficit declined by $125B over Bush's last budget deficit - the largest decline in nominal terms ever - and one of the most severe drags on the economy recorded (Herbert Hoover would be proud)

Had enough of the GOP's Anti-stimulus yet? Sorry, tried Tea Partism. It doesn't work.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 7 months ago

Re: Item 1: I think the current claim is the uncertainty of having this President in office causes them to suddenly become Cautious Captains of Capitalism. (in a whisper..."He's black, you know.")

Re: Item 3: Isn't our nation's infrastructure an asset that facilitates commerce and capitalism? How does letting it all go to hell help an economic recovery? Will BP and Walmart and TacoMcBurgerFilA build the roads that move their products to the nation's consumers? Perhaps that magic tax-cut pixie dust will .

Tea Partism = New Coke republicans.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 7 months ago

Also, will the cost of maintaining and repairing our nation's infrastructure be lower now, or in the future?

Isn't delay in addressing the needs just adding to the future deficit in order to appear fiscally "responsible" now?

notajayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

"Will BP and Walmart and TacoMcBurgerFilA build the roads that move their products to the nation's consumers?"

They already do. Or do you think your precious middle class pays more in taxes to support those things than BP, Wal-mart, and TacoMcBurger? Exxon alone pays more in taxes than the entire lower 50% of individual income tax payers. Do you have the faintest idea what YOU would be paying for that infrastructure without their contribution?

[Pssst - scottie - that was a rhetorical question. Of course you don't.]

camper 7 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, like Exxon doesn't pass on taxes to the consumer. Give me a break.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 7 months ago

Thank you, Camper. So, I think the answer is the republican stonewalling now on addressing these issues will lead to higher prices down the line. Seems better to invest now when labor and materials costs are depressed due to the bush Depression.

camper 7 years, 7 months ago

Exactly 3460. We will benefit (ie individuals & commerce as you say) if we invest in infrastructure in addition to renewable energy and education. It gives me a headache when I think of all the money we threw down the drain destroying and building infrastructure in Iraq & Afghanistan. Of course, at the time in 2003, I was brainwashed into thinking that Sadam needed to be removed from power, so I shouldn't talk.

independant1 7 years, 7 months ago

The fed did the right thing by loosening the money supply but all the spending didn't produce much. Even one of the outgoing cabinet econmists wrote the net affect of the stimulous spending was about the same as if we would've done nothing (Christina Romer as memory serves).

An economist is a man that can tell you anything. His guess is liable to be as good as anybody else’s, too. (Will Rogers)

Sunny Parker 7 years, 7 months ago

Did any of you really expect a 'community organizer' to do any better? I didn't!

camper 7 years, 7 months ago

He's doin better than the 'Skull & Bones' organizer.

independant1 7 years, 7 months ago

Here's where the gov't went wrong - from Walter Williams/economist Mar 3, 2010 ...Who were the major recipients of the billions of taxpayer bailout dollars, the so-called Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)? The top recipients of TARP handouts included companies such as Citibank, AIG, Goldman Sachs and General Motors. Their top management are paid tens of millions dollars to run companies that were on the verge of bankruptcy, were it not for billions of dollars in taxpayer money. Politicians preach the politics of envy whilst reaching into the ordinary man's pockets, through the IRS, and handing it over to their favorite rich people and others who make large contributions to their election efforts. ... Tyrants denounce free markets and voluntary exchange. They are the chief supporters of reduced private property rights, reduced rights to profits, and they are anti-competition and pro-monopoly. They are pro-control and coercion, by the state. These Americans who run Washington, and their intellectual supporters, believe they have superior wisdom and greater intelligence than the masses. They believe they have been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us. Like any other tyrant, they have what they consider good reasons for restricting the freedom of others. A tyrant's primary agenda calls for the elimination or attenuation of the market. Why? Markets imply voluntary exchange and tyrants do not trust that people behaving voluntarily will do what the tyrant thinks they should do. Therefore, they seek to replace the market with economic planning and regulation, which is little more than the forcible superseding of other people's plans by the powerful elite.

We Americans have forgotten founder Thomas Paine's warning that "Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one."

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