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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Debate Fact Check Cheat Sheet on Jobs!



If jobs numbers and allegations start to fly during the debates, you can use this Jobs Fact Check Cheat Sheet:


If Obama's policies were effective, shouldn't we have seen immediate job gains vs. jobs losses that continued for a few months?

  • Duh.  Is this really what the Republicans expected out of Obama  (Would they have had the same expectations from McCain and the P woman?):  That we would go from losing 700,000 to 800,000 jobs a month and, within a few weeks, we'd be adding jobs?  I don't know what to say to anyone who trashes Obama and the Democrats because the job bloodbath didn't stop immediately and because we kept losing jobs (though at a reduced rate) for about another year after Obama was inaugurated.  If you really think that Obama should have been adding jobs the minute he took office... Well, did you feel the same way about Bush or Reagan?  It took months and years for jobs to increase under both of those two Republican presidents. MORE HERE:  How Was Your Life in January 2009?  and HERE:  How Many Jobs Were Lost Before Obama Took Office? 

Is the unemployment rate higher now than when Obama took office?

  • Almost dead even, but back then, people were becoming unemployed; now they are returning to work.  The unemployment rate is now 8.1%; the unemployment rate back then increased from 7.8% to 8.3% between January 12, 2009, and February 12, 2009.  MORE HERE:  What Was the Unemployment Rate When Obama Took Office?   Also, in spring of 2009, there were only about 2,300,000 job openings a month and now we have about 3,700,000 job openings a month.  In spring 2009, there were 2,500,000 layoffs and discharges a month, the highest number for years; in July we had 1,500,000 layoffs and discharges, the lowest number of layoffs and discharges for the past ten years. 
Are there more jobs now than when Obama took office?

How Many Jobs Have We Added since the Economy Bottomed Out?
  • This is the only way to count jobs that makes sense:  Start counting jobs AFTER the "trough" of a recession, when the economy again starts to add jobs.
  • We have added 4,442,000 more jobs in total since February 2010, and 5,081,000 private sector jobs since February 2010.  That's an increase of 4.8% in private sector jobs since February 2010.  
How Many Jobs SHOULD We Have every month?
  • This is a tough one.  We'd like to have enough new jobs to accommodate the growth in population and to find jobs for all of the people who lost their jobs (and still want a job) in the Great Recession.  But let's look at job growth through the ages (from August of the given year to August 2012) to put things into perspective:
  • Jobs added since 1962:  130,000 a month
  • Jobs added since 1972:  124,000 a month
  • Jobs added since 1982:  123,000 a month  
  • Jobs added since 1992:  104,000 a month
  • Jobs added since 2002:  28,000 a month (Yep, that's right.  I tripled checked it.)  
  • Jobs added since the bottom of the recession:  148,000 a month
  • Jobs added in the past year, since August 2011:  170,000 a month.  
  • Hmm...  Doesn't look like much of a "failure" in terms of job growth over the past year to me.  Not when compared to job growth in this country over decades.       
How Many Jobs Do we Need to keep up with the growing population?


Do we have "record high unemployment" now?
  • Good heavens, NO!  Unemployment peaked at 10.1% in October 2009, and it has been coming down ever since.  It's 8.1% now, a full two percentage points lower than it was three years ago.

Is the unemployment rate 14% now?
  • Good heavens, NO!  That's an alternate unemployment rate (the U-6) that has NEVER been widely used to discuss how many people are employed.  That number includes people who are working part-time but want full-time work, people who are so discouraged they have stopped looking for work, and people who have looked for work in the past year but not in the past month for some reason.  Again, this rate has been calculated for decades but it has never been widely used...  It only started to be bantered about when the regular unemployment rate started to come down about a year or a year and a half ago.  The Republicans could no longer claim that the unemployment rate was stagnant so they started claiming that the alternate unemployment rate was the "real" unemployment rate.  Not true and never has been true. 
    Also this number is much lower than it was three years ago when the economy bottomed out.  Back in October 2009 the alternate unemployment rate reached 17.4%.  When Obama took office, the alternate unemployment rate was already 14.0%.  
     

How many jobs were we losing a month when Obama took office?

This is the worst economy since the Great Depression, and it is all Obama's fault.
  • It is the worst economy since the Great Depression, so the only economy that you can compare it to is the Great Depression.  But if you blame this economy on Obama, you are definitely watching too much Fox News and right-wing talk radio.  MORE HERE:  Obama Caused the Recession? 
I'm sure I'll think of more, but I tried to get down the basic facts of the job market and job growth in a very short post.  If there is a question that comes up that hasn't been answered here, please leave a comment, and I will try to get to it.



4 comments:

  1. Obama is trashed because he made the claim that a trillion dollar stimulus would create "shovel ready jobs". Not sure where you're from but in 99% of America "shovel ready" means ready immediately. I guess you have selective memory as Obama later back tracked and stated "the jobs weren't as shovel ready as we thought". When you make extraordinary claims to win an election you're expected to deliver. He has not and without more ridiculous amounts of stimulus will not. People don't want more debt on temporary jobs that don't increase growth and GDP. Government jobs are a leech and a cancer on the American taxpayer and the American economy.

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    1. Did you bother to read anything I wrote? What part of "5 million jobs" do you not understand? Do you understand net vs. gross jobs? What 5 million more jobs mean is that employers are reporting 5 million more jobs, 5 million more people on payroll, than there were in February 2010. We're not talking temporary jobs; we're talking people on payroll now vs. February 2010.

      You do know that we have fewer government jobs now than we had in January 2009? So why are you blathering on about government jobs are a leech? 250,000 teachers, those leeches and cancers, are gone. That must thrill you.

      I personally have two family members, one who owns a small business that employs about 50 people, who kept their jobs, who kept their businesses open, throughout the recession thanks to the stimulus. Because those people were able to work and make money throughout the recession, they were able to help other family members who weren't that fortunate. I guess all of them, the business owners, the workers, the family members that they helped, are all leeches?

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    2. And many of the projects were "shovel ready". My family members were working on stimulus projects in spring and early summer 2009. Overall, the first stimulus project was started two weeks after the stimulus was passed.

      Shovel ready: Ready to start in 90 days.

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    3. Proofs in the pudding troll..However,you are right...each Congress-member who voted against all those jobs bills should be docked for the last four years and loose their Gov. benefits,without mercy,when their terms end...BUMS & anonymous synonymous/chx*Troll!You need to take a serious look at your so called GOP

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