Sunday, June 5, 2011

Obama on Jobs: Created 0, Lost 2.5 Million

Jobs Created, Saved, Recovered or Just Lost?

~ By: Larry Walker, Jr. ~

Hours after the White House received a disappointing jobs report, Barack Obama told autoworkers at a Chrysler Fiat Plant in Ohio that, "Even though the economy is growing, even though it's created more than 2 million jobs over the past 15 months, we still face some tough times. We still face some challenges. There are still some headwinds that are coming at us. Lately, it's been high gas prices that have caused a lot of hardship for a lot of working families. And then you have the economic disruptions following the tragedy in Japan."

So his latest excuses are high gas prices, and the tragedy in Japan, neither of which were a problem for Obama when the March and April jobs reports were more favorable. First of all, Japan was hit with a tsunami on March 11, 2011, and the crisis over there has nothing to do with job creation or economic growth in the United States. Secondly, gasoline prices have been on the rise since February of 2009, primarily due to a decline in the value of the dollar. And the decline in the value of the dollar is primarily due to the federal government’s padding of the money supply to cover its out-of-control spending.

On the same day, the Italian automaker Fiat SpA agreed to purchase the U.S. Treasury's remaining 6 percent interest in Chrysler for $500 million. This gives Fiat a 52 percent stake, otherwise known as the controlling interest, in Chrysler. Although Obama has spoken negatively of US companies that open plants overseas, he just sold the taxpayer bailed-out automaker to Italy. Nice going chief.

Even more troubling is Obama’s statement regarding jobs. He said that the economy has “created more than 2 million jobs over the past 15 months”. Which economy was that, the global economy, or the U.S. economy? According to data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy has lost nearly 7 million jobs since the recession began in December of 2007, and 2.5 million of those jobs have been lost since February of 2009. Did I miss some sort of fundamental transformation of the definition of words, or something?

A more appropriate statement by Obama would have been to say to autoworkers at the old Chrysler Plant that, “I’m sorry I sold you guys out to an Italian automaker, but what can I say, we needed the money. The economy has shrunk further under my presidency. Even though the recession officially ended in June of 2009, the economy has lost around 2.5 million jobs since I became president, which brings the total number of jobs lost since the recession began, in December of 2007, to around 7 million. I now understand that I have been leading this nation in the wrong direction, so my plan is to bring in a new group of advisors who have a better understanding of how the American economy works.” But instead, what we heard was more of the same.

Perhaps Obama would do well to heed the words of Abraham Lincoln who once stated, “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” Obama has yet to bring us the real facts. Everything he says is biased in a way to make it appear as though he has accomplished something great, when in reality his policies are not even capable of fostering economic growth.

Created, Saved, or Recovered?

The word ‘created’ means to originate. Jobs are created when new jobs are added on top of existing ones. After a jobs market goes into recession (a period of sustained job losses), it enters into a state of recovery in which jobs that were lost are recovered. Once the jobs that were lost have been recovered then any additional jobs added are considered to have been created.

The word ‘saved’ means to preserve or guard from injury, destruction, or loss. Jobs are saved when they are prevented from being lost such as through the automotive industry bailouts. If one can prove that (x) number of jobs would have been lost but for some kind of intervention, then one can make the case that those jobs were indeed saved.

Then we come to that elusive word 'recovered'. The word recovered means to get back, regain, or to return to a normal condition. Since the Great Recession began in December of 2007, the U.S. economy has lost nearly 7 million jobs. Once those 7 million jobs have been recovered, and only then, can Obama, or any other politician, start talking to us about the number of jobs created.

The Real Facts

To be precise, since the recession began, we have lost 6,493,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Household Data, or 6,940,000 according to BLS Establishment Data. And that’s including Obama’s alleged creation of “more than 2 million jobs in the last 15 months”. In reality, the economy has merely recovered 1,081,000 jobs in the last 15 months according to BLS Household Data, or 1,797,000 according to BLS Establishment Data, neither of which exceeds 2 million. And further, since February of 2009, the month after Obama’s inauguration, the economy has lost a total of 2,422,000 per BLS Household Data, or 2,520,000 per BLS Establishment Data. In other words, we are a long way from a jobs recovery, and a lot further away from job creation.

From Employment Statistics May 2011
From Employment Statistics May 2011

As indicated in the chart below, per BLS Table A-1, when the recession began in December of 2007, there were 4,659,000 American workers not counted as part of the labor force who wanted jobs, and another 7,664,000 who were counted as part of the labor force and unemployed, bringing total number of unemployed persons to 12,323,000. As of May of 2011, there were 6,227,000 American workers not counted as part of the labor force who wanted jobs, and another 13,914,000 who were counted as part of the labor force and unemployed, bringing total number of unemployed persons to 20,141,000. That means there are 20,141,000 Americans, or 7,818,000 more than the pre-recession level, literally sitting on the sidelines waiting for “change you can believe in”.

From Employment Statistics May 2011

As indicated in the chart below, per BLS Table B-1, at the beginning of the recession 137,963,000 Americans were employed. By February of 2009, the number had fallen to 132,837,000. When the recession ended, in June of 2009, the number had fallen further to 130,493,000. As of May of 2011, the preliminary number of employed Americans stands at 131,043,000. No matter how you slice it, not one job has been created during the Obama presidency. Although it’s true that some jobs have been recovered since the trough, the number of jobs has declined by 2,520,000 since Obama’s inauguration.

From Employment Statistics May 2011

References:

Images, Data 2, Data 3

Related:

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