Curious Capitalist

New Jobs Figures Are Bad News for Obama

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John Moore – Getty Images

A student registers at the Barnard College Career Fair in New York City on Sept. 7, 2012. Barnard, which is the undergraduate women's college of Columbia University, hosted the job and internship fair, in which nearly 100 companies and organizations met with hundreds of Barnard and Columbia students looking for work

It wasn’t what the Obama Administration wanted to hear. The new employment figures out this morning show that the U.S. economy created a mere 96,000 jobs in August, far fewer than the 130,000 that most economists were expecting. In addition, the already low gains of the past two months were revised downward.

Key sectors like manufacturing shrank sharply, owing to a paring of auto jobs. It matters little that this was largely caused by trouble in Europe and a slowdown in emerging markets that has depressed sales. The unemployment rate actually went down, from 8.3% to 8.1%, but only because the labor force contracted. The U.S. labor-force participation rate is at a 12-month low of 58.3% — lower than in many parts of Europe, in fact — and wages are still flat. In short, the President will have to fend off new attacks on his economic record from the Romney camp.

So far, Obama has been a Teflon President when it comes to the economy. As I wrote in my Curious Capitalist column in TIME last week, one of the most interesting aspects of this election season has been how little of a dampening effect high unemployment and low consumer confidence have had so far on the President’s re-election prospects. Since the Conference Board’s consumer-confidence measure was introduced in 1967, no incumbent has ever won re-election without confidence averaging above 95. (It’s now around 60, much lower than when Carter lost in 1980.) Yet Obama continues to run neck and neck with Romney in most polls. What has helped the President is that voters have become savvier about the global economy: they know that a lot of the economic trouble at home emanates from abroad and that the key issue is the shrinking middle — a problem that Romney, with his Cayman accounts and tax-deductible horse, seems ill suited to fix.

That said, the next couple of months of data are going to be crucial. The new employment numbers virtually ensure that the Fed will start a third round of quantitative easing, QE3, to try to stoke the economy. I don’t think it will do much. Only the first round of QE had much of an effect, and to the extent that anything is bolstered, it will likely be the stock markets, which benefit mainly the rich. Even that effect will be dampened, since the markets have basically priced in a third round of Fed ammo anyway.

The truth is that central bankers can’t save us. They’ve stoked the economy for decades, and they are now left shooting blanks. We have to save ourselves, and the only way to do that is by slowly and surely rebuilding the U.S. job-creation engine. Not with tax cuts — can we please face facts and admit taxes are going to have to go up to make the budgetary math work? — but with smart investments in the things that are going to make companies want to set up shop and keep jobs in America. That means education, infrastructure, high-growth industries like technology and clean energy and the like. It may sound boring, but it’s true.

Those are, of course, all the things the President talked about last night in his DNC speech, in which he laid out a “hard road ahead, but one that leads to a better place.” Whether he gets to take the nation on that journey may well depend on the next couple of labor reports.

49 comments
Alan D Thompson
Alan D Thompson

The new employment figures released today just can't be true! People I personally know, and I, were not counted for one! Our unemployment stopped many months ago. I know I will not get any benefits... BUT!... I should be counted If I reapply for unemployment benefits. I want anyone who really cares about this to let their friends know, who are still unemployed with out benefits, to reapply so they will be counted. I believe there are enough of us to cripple the system once this gets going. This is one effort that truly needs to go VIRAL all over the USA. please help spread this effort :(

hmartinez622
hmartinez622

Please remove this photo. You do not have permission for its use and I did not sign anything releasing this image.

Thank you,

Student pictured registering at the Barnard College Career Fair in New York City on Sept. 7, 2012

RonTruth
RonTruth

The new jobs report is NOT "bad for Obama." Last week's clear, proven statements put the real truth to the Republican lie. When President Obama produced, after it was approved by a

biparisan (meaning Republican and Democratic, together, believe it or not) commission, it was the REPUBLICANS in the House of Representatives who blocked it from passing.

And, now, the Republican fibbers are trying to lay blame on the guy who sent them the legislation to produce the jobs that were, and still ARE needed!

And all their presidential candidates seem able to do is stand in front of microphones and bellow out about how much they "believe in America." It is that same America that VP candidate, Paul Ryan, stood against when standing for America would have meant he would have supported the president's jobs bill. Disgusting!

Mao Piseth
Mao Piseth

Obama can't do anything to improve employment status of the Americans as he has been busy in invading poor nations.

salemst
salemst

You can't attract companies to build and hire here unless taxes are cut, government regulations and mandates are reduced, and an economic environment created through policies making in financially conducive for businesses to expand operations and hire.

Rana is wrong.  When you raise taxes you retard economic growth

Buy Steroids
Buy Steroids

does he really care about anything other than winning.

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TruthinSF
TruthinSF

The reason Pres. Obama seems to be like Teflon is because no matter how bad things get, the media is still so glowingly smitten by him, that they never say anything bad about him.  The media bias in favor of him ads to the polarization of the country.

Margaret Nye
Margaret Nye

For a great example of why Romney is totally WRONG,  take a look at Caterpillar. 

Caterpillar's profits rose a whopping 44% in 2011.  This year revenue rose another 21% to 17.37 billion, with a $4.9 billion profit.  Yes, that's billion with a "B".  Of course the CEO, was handsomely rewarded-Douglas Oberhelman earned $16.9 million in 2011, a figure that

includes salary, bonuses, stock and option awards and retirement plan

contributions. Oberhelman pay increase, which was tied to the

company’s performance, included a $4.9 million cash payment, an 81

percent increase from his 2010 cash award. His base salary increased to

$1.4 million from $1.1 million in 2010.

So, you're thinking that Caterpillars employees were also rewarded, right?  Or that they hired more people to keep up with demand for their products.  That's what Romney would like you to believe--that we get jobs when companies make profits.

But NO!  Not only did Caterpillar not reward their workers they had the audacity to ask for concessions!!! Would you believe a SIS-YEAR salary and pension FREEZE?

WTF?  Why are they doing this when still making record profits?  Because there are even cheaper workers out there in the world (note that the cost of living in those places is also cheaper) and if they could just squeeze their employees a little more they can reward long suffering Mr. Oberhelman a few more million dollars.

But hey, the CEO of Caterpillar (CAT recently went on record as believing we are "in a soft spot now" because NOT ENOUGH STIMULUS was applied .

josephmateus
josephmateus

 Ms. Rana Foroohar : So the Curious Capitalist blog has been resurrected and you're the only writer writing in it now? What happened to Michael Schuman and company?? Seems to me that you resurrected the Curious Capitalist blog all by yourself, therefore perhaps we should nickname you : "Mighty Queen Rana Foroohar".

sgreco1970
sgreco1970

All it really does is make Romney zombies holler and cry. Obama supporters know its still a positive job growth, not a jobs loss. All we had under the Republican adnministration was jobs loss leading up to the recession, not growth. Why would Obama supporters give up job growth, even lower than expected growth, to go back to republican job loss?

ScottieB4
ScottieB4

You'll pull a muscle twisting facts like that.  

GymRatPro
GymRatPro

Think of what you're going to pull with Obama in the White House for four more years, sport!

chris87654
chris87654

I would think they'd also be bad for Romney since we've had 4 years of tax cuts to high-enders and THAT hasn't helped jobs - Mitt's only plan is more tax cuts - maybe $250k/year will finally get them enough money to let some "trickle down" to Main St but I doubt it.   Odd how job numbers go down and oil goes up assuming the fed will bail out the economy again...  we need to let the markets sink - then consumers may have some money left over to spend elsewhere after filling gas tanks.  Wall St and oil speculators are keeping the economy stagnant.

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

Somebody needs to talk to Tammy Faye Boehner about this.

TechnoPeasantx
TechnoPeasantx

When the Republican Party embraced the strategy frequently and vociferously stated as "I hope Obama fails even if it means America fails" then they are expressing support for America's enemies.

 

Expressing this as an opinion is a first amendment right.

 

But the GOP has actively obstructed the efforts of the Commander-in-Chief during wartime.

 

This is treason.

lottatop
lottatop

Obamanomics: If everyone quit looking for work, we'd have zero unemployment and as mr eastwood said obama is the greatest haox ever peretrated on the amercan people

sgreco1970
sgreco1970

Romneynomics: Kill all the jobs like Bush did and pocket all the money for your rich cronies then tax the workers more and tax the rich less.

No thanks.

djs1138
djs1138

The election has not been held.  No one can say how the failing economy will effect the President's re-election chances until then... But I think it'll be a landslide...

Jfante1452
Jfante1452

I'm for Obama too, and I hope it'll be a landslide, but the polls usually are a pretty accurate gauge.

djs1138
djs1138

I never mentioned I was a supporter of Barack Obama, only that I believe it will be a landslide election.  I do understand if you are an Obama supporter you have hope for his re-election.  I can respect that, but I think what many are going to face in the final tally is change...  

chowching
chowching

Doubling welfare payments will jumpstart the economy and

create 30 million new jobs. Recipients do not bank their money but spend every

cent; cash registers will not stop ringing until the recipients are broke. When

the next check arrives the party will start again. Some say the governments

generosity will cause problems, but not for the 30 million that have found

jobs.

Steven Carollo
Steven Carollo

I do not agree with the characterization suggested by the article's title. The jobs number is positive, and has been for, what, 30 consecutive months. So it is not as many as some self-styled experts were expecting.  Please let's not get all hyperbolic ("far fewer.")  "Positive" is still jobs created rather than "negative" as in jobs destroyed.

OrganizationMan
OrganizationMan

Do you understand that 300k+ DROPPED OUT of the job market?  94k jobs added followed "revisions" reducing the previous two months by 50k+!  The population grows, yet job participation shrinks.  NOTHING ABOUT THE REPORT IS POSITIVE.

And they call Republicans the party of stupid...

Jfante1452
Jfante1452

I agree. If the facts don't follow a fairy tale scenario, the media enhances the story to bring out drama.

leonaann
leonaann

 I agree with you Steven.  They try to make every thing a talking piece.   Maybe they need to add this piece.

Obama

Jobs Plan Prevents 2012 Recession in Survey of Economists

President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan would help avoid a return to recession

by maintaining growth and pushing down the unemployment rate next year,

according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/...

 

GOP-block-dem-jobs-bill-for-teachers-firefighters.php

For Teachers, Firefighters

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo...

 

GOP blocks Obama jobs bill; pushes

alternative that won’t create jobs

http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

Senate Republicans block Democrats' jobs bill

http://www.reuters.com/article...

Senate Republicans block Obama's jobs package

Senate Republicans blocked President Obama's $447

billion jobs package on Tuesday, putting the brakes on a bill Mr. Obama has been

vigorously promoting over the past month.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-50...

 

For the second time in two weeks, Senate Republicans

voted in unison to block “jobs” legislation, which the Obama administration and

Senate Democratic leaders have made central to their agenda.

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor...

bob3905
bob3905

We don't make enough money.

We lived for too long on credit and the bill came due.We lost our homes and went bankrupt.The banks paid dearly for the bad loans with hundreds of thousands of defaults.Now we are moving past this and are trying to live within our means, not on credit. We still don't make wages equal to that of the last 30 odd years of inflation. We can't afford to buy like we once did. Since we are not purchasing goods at the old rates companies don't make as much money and therefore their businesses stagnate. They don't need to hire. They don't need and cannot afford to replace those they laid off. Those jobs are gone.

Obama can't bring the jobs back. Romeny can't either. There is little, if not next to nothing, either candidate can do in the near future to create job growth. Tax cuts to corporations mean more money in the pockets of those who run them, not new jobs. Stimulus money runs out and then what?

Start paying people more and then something might happen.

Mencken30
Mencken30

When FDR came into office in 1932, the unemployment rate was a staggering 23.6%. In 1936, When FDR won his re-election in a landslide over Republican Alf Landon, the unemployment

rate was a still-staggering 16.9%. The American people, mindful of Republican

big-business, anti-government policies that led to the 1929 Crash in the first

place, flatly rejected them again. During the Great Depression, unemployment

didn't dip below 10% until 1941, yet the U.S. wisely kept returning FDR to the

White House.

When Obama took

office in 2009, the unemployment rate was 9.3% and the stock market had lost

approximately a staggering 50% of its value. Now, the unemployment rate is down

to 8.1% or so and the stock market has totally recovered its lost value, and

then some. And yet now, the panicky half of America wants to return to the

laissez-faire, trickle-down "voodoo" economics that caused the Great

Recession in the first place?

Is it the fault of

Obama that American corporations, flush with cash, aren't hiring? Why don't we

put the blame squarely where it belongs, on an inequitable economic system that

rewards spendthrifts, recklessness and greed, and on so-called conservative politicians

(like Bush/Cheney) who have no problem squandering trillions of dollars on an

unprovoked, idiotic war in Iraq without taxing anyone to pay for it.

Republicans love to say that Democrats are "tax-and-spend" liberals.

But Republicans are insidiously worse, since they are "no-tax and

spend."

While the Great

Recession pales in comparison to the Great Depression in terms of suffering and

hardship (over 90% of working-age Americans DO have jobs), the systemic

troubles are perhaps just as deep and complex, and will take years to resolve

if reforms are kept in place. In their wisdom, Depression Americans gave FDR

more than 12 years to right the ship, which he did, giving the nation Social

Security, unemployment insurance, federal work programs, bank regulation, and a

host of other programs designed to remedy the catastrophe of unfettered,

greed-is-good capitalism, just the kind Mitt

Romney and Paul Ryan think will save the country.

grsull
grsull

Isn't the phrase "government investment" actually French for mis-allocation of capital?

No, wait a minute.... I forgot how incredibly successful the Soviet Union, East Germany, Maoist China, Cuba; and more recentlyVenezuala have been at "directing" their economies. 

Can't forget the fabulous Solyndra "investment" too!

FOWARD indeed.....

Jfante1452
Jfante1452

Oh please. Try and look at the positives. The economy is improving. There are more jobs today then there were 3 1/2 years ago.

MTommy
MTommy

Except there are not. 143.35 million were employed December 2008. 142.5 million are employeed August of 2012. Source: US Labor Stats.

Xolani Mahlangeni
Xolani Mahlangeni

I will introduce you to a revolutionary thought, if a man pushed you off a ten storey building amp; immidiately left, you cannot accuse the paramedics working on you that 4 weeks later you are still much worse than when your attacker struck. Understand? Its waaaay easier to wreck an economy and much harder to remedy the damage.

leonaann
leonaann

 But the GOP did not block bills and jobs for Americans I just do not understand how crazy this party is.  And we will not let you win.

Anthony J.Mungin
Anthony J.Mungin

"Obama may hurt Obama", but Romey and Ryan will kill America!  They don't give a rat's ass about you or me b/c ywe are NOT among the wealthy. OPEN YOUR EYES! I was COMPLETELY MOVED by the speech by Barack Obama. It was strong, presidential, honest, real, empowering, accepted responsibility, and offered far much more than ROMEY'S BLAME GAME speech!   "Sealed his fate" you say, YES, I agree! FOUR MORE YEARS! Now, deal with that!

milwaukeegregg
milwaukeegregg

obama hurts obama!! No GOD at the whiners convention!! You sealed your fate!! p.s. You can't placate GOD!!!

Jfante1452
Jfante1452

Speak for yourself. I don't believe in your god.

milwaukeegregg
milwaukeegregg

No,  you are your own god. That must be disappointing!

leonaann
leonaann

 You sound so uninformed and stupid.

milwaukeegregg
milwaukeegregg

Rite! a chris hitchens fan for sure! U will loose in november ace!! leo you really must have been a naughty boy for the censors to jump in! Prating fools u bring it on yourself!! leo behave stay out of blogging jail!!

leonaann
leonaann

 I am not in jail and I am not a boy.......lol  There is nothing you can say that will change what is getting ready to happen.  It is called a spanking.    And as far as paying for a reading milwaukeegregg, I think you really need to look at the choices in life you make and stop blaming others for what you are not doing.....how is that for a reading.  See the bottom line is you know that I am talking about because I am reading you.  You can get out of your mental jail anytime you want but you need to choose it.  Maybe it will be better for you to focus.......that will help you alot.

leonaann
leonaann

Thank you for visiting our site. Your email will be reviewed and a reply will be send to you in 72 hours. Thank you.

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leonaann
leonaann

Obama

Jobs Plan Prevents 2012 Recession in Survey of Economists

President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan would help avoid a return to recession

by maintaining growth and pushing down the unemployment rate next year,

according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/...

 

GOP-block-dem-jobs-bill-for-teachers-firefighters.php

For Teachers, Firefighters

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo...

 

GOP blocks Obama jobs bill; pushes

alternative that won’t create jobs

http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

Senate Republicans block Democrats' jobs bill

http://www.reuters.com/article...

Senate Republicans block Obama's jobs package

Senate Republicans blocked President Obama's $447

billion jobs package on Tuesday, putting the brakes on a bill Mr. Obama has been

vigorously promoting over the past month.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-50...

 

For the second time in two weeks, Senate Republicans

voted in unison to block “jobs” legislation, which the Obama administration and

Senate Democratic leaders have made central to their agenda.

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor...

leonaann
leonaann

Obama

Jobs Plan Prevents 2012 Recession in Survey of Economists

President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan would help avoid a return to recession

by maintaining growth and pushing down the unemployment rate next year,

according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/...

 

GOP-block-dem-jobs-bill-for-teachers-firefighters.php

For Teachers, Firefighters

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo...

 

GOP blocks Obama jobs bill; pushes

alternative that won’t create jobs

http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

Senate Republicans block Democrats' jobs bill

http://www.reuters.com/article...

Senate Republicans block Obama's jobs package

Senate Republicans blocked President Obama's $447

billion jobs package on Tuesday, putting the brakes on a bill Mr. Obama has been

vigorously promoting over the past month.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-50...

 

For the second time in two weeks, Senate Republicans

voted in unison to block “jobs” legislation, which the Obama administration and

Senate Democratic leaders have made central to their agenda.

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor...

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

And you don't speak for God.

leonaann
leonaann

Your website is interesting.  I will check it out.

milwaukeegregg
milwaukeegregg

brucy, Went to your joke site can I pay for a reading?