I don't think that presidents can create jobs but they can sure do a lot to destroy the economy or get in the way of employers creating jobs. The latest jobs report, for August, is out and the net job growth is ... zero. Unemployment remains at 9.1%. July's numbers, already dismal, were revised down from 117,000 jobs to 85,000. U-6, broader measure of unemployment, is up to 16.2% from 16.1%. People employed part time for economic reasons rose from 8.4 million to 8.8 million in August.
Whenever the jobs report comes out, I like to check in with Jim Pethokoukis for context. He notes that in August 2010, Vice President Joe Biden said, ""We're going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month." We've averaged 104,000 a month since then.
If the labor force was simply as big as it was when Obama took office, our unemployment rate would be 11.4 percent.
And this second "Recovery Summer" has seen a total job growth of just 105,000 net new jobs.
I've mentioned here before about how many of my friends and family, particularly those out in Western states, are unemployed, underemployed, or have dropped out of the labor force altogether. One of my closest family members who was in this situation got a job -- a really good job -- that starts next week, which has improved my disposition mightily. But it's hard to express just how depressing, stultifying and worrisome unemployment is. Particularly for men, who have been hit hardest with unemployment.
This news of zero job growth has serious political implications. This administration's economic policies have been disastrous. But it's also true that this situation in American families is so much more important than politics. I pray for those who are out of work that jobs -- and all of the tangible and intangible benefits that come with employment -- come to them quickly.
That image comes from Justin Hart, by the way.