On Friday, the latest Jobs Report was released. Whether you argue semantics and say the latest employment data is flat or relatively unchanged, with the new job total at 54K and unemployment jumping from 9% back up to 9.1%, the grim statistics show that growth has definitely stalled, or worse yet heading into a double dip of a recession. I don’t even like to think of that prospect, much less put it into words.
I don’t know what upsets me most about these cold hard facts, but certainly the White House blog press statement, The Employment Situation in May, makes the most ridiculous excuse to possibly not be as concerned. The post, written by Austan Goolsbee, concludes by saying:
The monthly employment and unemployment numbers are volatile and employment estimates are subject to substantial revision. Therefore, as the Administration always stresses, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report.
I would find this comical if not so absurd in trying to make light of these figures by stating, well we don’t always get are numbers right, so don’t count on it. In some instances, yes, there are adjustments made tweaking the figures as more information becomes available. However, in the May report, the only adjustments made were to worsen statistics from the April’s Job report, not improving the situation. So, based on these most recent trends, should I be concerned that it is actually worse than claimed? I am in awe that there could be any positive spin on this report, I even feel bad for the painful task Austan Goolsbee had of trying to write something upbeat with the information at hand.
When will reality check will take place? What will have to occur before the Obama administration admits the stimulus did not work, that perhaps a different approach is desperately needed. In the WSJ on Friday, the article Job Market Loses Momentum, claimed:
Republicans said the administration’s policies have undercut growth and employment. “Until we restore some semblance of confidence—and that starts with significantly cutting spending in Washington—this economy will continue to limp along,” said House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R. Mich.).
I agree that is assuredly a part of the problem, but worry that as election year approaches, there are too many cracks in the dam and am fearful of the onslaught of perils looming if the whole thing collapses before any real fixes can and will take place.