Mediocre July Jobs Report
August 3, 2012 15 Comments
The Department of Labor released its July jobs report, it is at best mediocre. The Department reports 163,000 jobs were created last month, while unemployment increased to 8.3%. The jobs created barely outpace population growth, which adds 125,000-150,000 adults to the jobs market every month. Interestingly the number of people in the work force actually dropped by 150,000 with 195,000 fewer having jobs. The media will try to spin this report as positive for Obama for no other reason than July doubled June in terms of jobs created. But we must remember that April to June was absolutely dreadful for job growth. With that in mind, July really isn’t so great.
In fact looking further at the Labor statistics reveals this j0bs report really isn’t very good. The U-6 figure, which represents people who are unemployed, underemployed or have given up, is 15.2%. The U-6 figure was in the mid 14% range earlier in the year. For various demographic groups, unemployment remains more or less the same. Adult men at 7.7 percent, adult women at 7.5 percent, teenagers at a whopping 23.8 percent, whites at 7.4 percent, blacks at a staggering 14.1 percent, Asians at 6.2% and Hispanics at 10.3%. Interestingly blacks still support Obama at a 90% clip despite having the highest unemployment in the nation. Hispanics which support Obama at around 60% have the second highest.
No doubt the media and Obama will try to spin this report in a positive way. But there’s nothing positive about a report where unemployment is 8.3%, 195,000 people lose jobs and 150,000 people give up and leave the workforce. While Obama and his surrogates are running around demanding decade old tax returns from Mitt Romney, the economy is stagnant. Unemployment is up and job growth barely out paces population growth and doesn’t even begin to replace the jobs lost since 2008. (we need over 400,000 new jobs a month for three years just to get back to the workforce level before the recession)
What is Obama’s plan for his second term? He surely hasn’t offered one, in fact he’s suggested that his plan has worked. Second quarter growth was 1.5%, is that success in his mind? Surely 8.3% unemployment isn’t success nor is a U-6 number of 15.2%. Obama’s policies haven’t worked. They have created a stagnant economy with tax uncertainty, healthcare uncertainty and regulatory uncertainty. He’s spent a fortune on a massive stimulus that didn’t work. What’s he going to do in a second term, offer us a bigger stimulus? Obama doesn’t seem to have a plan, other than telling us how rich and evil Mitt Romney is. At what point does 8.3% unemployment matter to the public more than Bain Capital or Romney’s tax returns?
That isn’t to say that Romney has a great plan for the future. He’s barely offered his yet. Surely he will offer us something at his GOP Convention acceptance speech on August 30th. He needs to offer the country a clear, conservative alternative to Obama’s big government, failed economic policy. Whether Romney has that in him remains to be seen. He can get across to the public that 8.3% unemployment isn’t good enough, he’s very good at telling us what a failure Obama has been. But the public needs to have a reason to vote for Romney. He needs a solid economic plan to contrast with Obama’s.
Expect Obama to continue harping on Bain Capital and tax returns. Expect him to continue to claim his policies worked while ducking any responsibility for a stagnant economy. At this point Obama’s ads, speeches and strategy is tired and predictable. As such Romney has an opening. No amount of media cheering can take away from 8.3%, Obama simply can’t hide from that number. Romney must exploit it to the fullest and to do that it’s time for him to lay out his alternative, positive vision for our economic future. Romney’s time is fast approaching.