Recovery From Bush’s Great Recession Has Stalled

Recession graph
Source: Calculated Risk.

There were 115,000 payroll jobs added in April, with 130,000 private sector jobs added, and 15,000 government jobs lost. The unemployment rate declined to 8.1%. U-6, an alternate measure of labor underutilization that includes part time workers and marginally attached workers, was unchanged at 14.5%.

Robert Reich:

Friday’s jobs report for April was even more disappointing than March. Employers added only 115,000 new jobs, down from March’s number (the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised the March number upward to 154,000, but it’s still abysmal relative to what’s needed). At least 125,000 new jobs are necessary each month just to keep up with an expanding population of working-age people.

That means the hole is getting even deeper.

…Most of the job gains in April were in lower-wage industries — retail stores, restaurants, and temporary-help. That means average wages continue to drop, adjusted for inflation — continuing their long-term decline. Most of the new jobs that have been added to the U.S. economy during this recovery have paid less than the jobs that were lost during the downturn.

What does all this mean? Together with other recent data showing slower economic growth during the first quarter of this year, it’s safe to say the economy has stalled.

From Calculated Risk:

  • There are a total of 12.5 million Americans unemployed and 5.1 million have been unemployed for more than 6 months.
  • According to the BLS, there are 5.1 million workers who have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks and still want a job.
  • There are now more private sector jobs than when President Obama took office.
  • The public sector is continuing to hemorrhage jobs.
  • The participation rate decreased to 63.6% from 63.8% (a new cycle low).

The Bush administration crashed our economy so badly that even though the Obama job creation record is better than Bush’s, it’s still not enough. Most new jobs are low-paying, and the middle class just doesn’t have the spending power to help with the recovery. The rich are doing better than ever, but this also does not help the economy – instead, it sets the conditions for the next bubble and financial sector meltdown.

Dean Baker reminds us that the collapse of the housing bubble stuck the American consumer with $8 trillion in lost wealth, and this continues to depress demand.

UPDATE: Presidential candidate Willard (“Mitt”) Romney says “We should be seeing numbers in the 500,000 jobs per month.” Of course, that has only happened four times in 50 years.

UPDATE: Labor Force Participation Is Lower Than It Has Been In 30 Years — Why It Matters And Why It Doesn’t

UPDATE: Robert Reich tweets:

“Rom says unemp shld be 4%. I was Sec of Lab last time it was 4%. We got there by raising taxes on rich and investing in ed and infrstructre.”

CHART: Economy Has Recovered All Private Sector Jobs Lost Since Obama Took Office

  1. #1 by Richard Warnick on May 7, 2012 - 12:30 am

    UPDATE: Robert Reich tweets:

    “Rom says unemp shld be 4%. I was Sec of Lab last time it was 4%. We got there by raising taxes on rich and investing in ed and infrstructre.”

    Willard got schooled. Again.

    • #2 by Glenden Brown on May 7, 2012 - 7:31 am

      Romney’s grasping at any straws he can right now, anything, to get attention and try to control the narrative. The fact that he’d adopt the snake oil plan sold by Paul Ryan is as good an argument against him as anything else. Mittens has no integrity.

  2. #3 by cav on May 7, 2012 - 8:54 am

    Austerity bitches! One term president! Ryan’s ridiculous ‘budget’ plan! (And of course Ryan would, were Mitt elected – which he may very well be – probably land a position in the Ministry of Austerity).

    It’s the plan /offering, and while I’m sorely disappointed in our progress out of Bushes Great Bungle, I will always have the sense the republicans did absolutely NOTHING to help us out, and EVERYTHING to sabotage the dems and Obama, who themselves meekly pitched bipartisanship bullshit in the misguided hopes of there actually being any.

  3. #4 by Richard Warnick on May 7, 2012 - 8:54 am

    Willard claims that 500,000 jobs a month and 4 percent unemployment is the measure of success. That’s so he can keep saying Obama’s economic performance is a failure.

    Ryan = Tax Cuts For The Rich and Budget Cuts For Everyone Else.

  4. #5 by cav on May 7, 2012 - 1:08 pm

    (cue Lee Greenwood, please)

    KABUL, Afghanistan — The American military claimed responsibility and
    expressed regret for an airstrike that mistakenly killed six members of a
    family in southwestern Afghanistan, Afghan and American military
    officials confirmed Monday.

    The attack, which took place Friday night, was first revealed by the
    governor of Helmand Province, Muhammad Gulab Mangal, on Monday. His
    spokesman, Dawoud Ahmadi, said that after an investigation they had
    determined that a family home in Sangin district had been attacked by
    mistake in the American airstrike, which was called in to respond to a
    Taliban attack.

    Mr. Mangal summoned the American regional commander, Maj. Gen. Charles
    M. Gurganus of the Marines, to complain, and General Gurganus apologized
    for the incident, Mr. Ahmadi said.

    A spokesman for the United States military in Helmand, Lt. Col. Stewart
    Upton, said, “We don’t have any issues with the governor’s statement.”
    He said American officials had been aware of the deaths and had
    immediately started an investigation.

    “We expressed regret over the incident, and we’re investigating to determine how this happened,” he said, “We are deeply saddened by any civilian death and particularly regret an
    incident where civilians are killed,” especially because of action by
    the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, Colonel Upton

  5. #6 by cav on August 23, 2012 - 7:55 am

    Oh, and good morning. I hope yer all doing superbly. If you catch my drift. Nudge, nudge, elbow, elbow.

  6. #7 by cav on August 23, 2012 - 8:10 am

    Am I wrong in assuming – this is the guy that actually owns Geithner? And has a major share in the fellah who appointed him?

    Dimon, called to account for a $2 billion or more trading loss suffered in the second quarter, was visibly irritated when asked about the bank’s chain of command as well as its risk controls, not to mention whether new regulation would have prevented what’s come to be known as the “London whale” trade.

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