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August jobs report: 54,000 jobs lost; unemployment rate hits 9.6 percent

jobsjuly.jpg

Another month, another grim jobs report. We lot 54,000 jobs in August. Most of those -- in fact, 114,000 of them -- were expiring census jobs. The private sector added jobs slowly but steadily, posting 67,000 in gains. This report doesn't really tell a story of recovery nor of recession. It's just stagnation: We're not falling back into the hole, but nor are we getting out of it. No wonder the White House is looking for further stimulus measures.

Update: The August jobs report, not the July jobs report. Sorry folks. The numbers in the post are right, though.

By Ezra Klein  |  September 3, 2010; 9:08 AM ET
 
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Comments

Seriously, did you even review what you wrote before posting it? "We lost 54,000 jobs in July...114,000 of them were expiring census jobs." That isn't even a logical statement.

This is why you can't get a job with Bloomberg, because they are reporting acurately that this is a positive jobs report. It beat economsists expectations.

Stop report negative spin and start reporting acurately. The private sector has added jobs every month since January. You can't complain about big government in one breath and shun them for cutting jobs in the next.

"Another grim jobs report"...what a joke. The market didn't think it was so grim. The only stock down today is your stock Mr. Klein. Try harder next time.

Posted by: bv123 | September 3, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

bv123,

All Ezra is saying is that we lost 54,000 jobs on net, and that we also lost 114,000 census jobs (implying job creation net of census).

And it's a bad report. Beating consensus is irrelevant. If the consensus of economists was for 450,000 net jobs created in a month, and the total was only 395,000, it would still be a good report. Likewise, job growth well below population growth, even if it beats expectations, is still a bad report.

"The private sector has added jobs every month since January."

Sure, but at the current rate unemployment will never go down. Since January the net gain in private sector payrolls has been about 95k jobs per month. This compares to the 123k private sector jobs per month in the first 8 months of consistent job growth under Bush II (Aug03-Mar04) or an average of 149k private sector jobs per month from Aug03-Oct04, during which time the Democrats were comparing the economic environment under Bush to the Great Depression.

I'm not arguing that Bush had the proper policy mix either - my point is that people can reasonably claim job creation under Bush was mediocre at best, and at the same point in the cycle it is even worse today. Ezra is justified in being disappointed.

Posted by: justin84 | September 3, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

bv123,

Ezra is being kind in terming this stagnation rather than falling off the planet. You obviously have rose colored liberal glasses and a job. 50 year-old kids are coming home to live with parents in my neighborhood and this is not "hope and change".

Posted by: macd380 | September 3, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

By the way, full-time employment is now down 894,000 since the May peak, down in each of the past three months and down 254,000 in August.

That's about roughly 40% of the 2.3 million decline in full-time employment that occured in each of the 1990 and 2001 recessions.

It was a lousy jobs report.

Posted by: justin84 | September 3, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Anybody who thinks a net addition of 67000 jobs nationwide is a "positive jobs report" is out of their mind. You'd have to be totally clueless to believe that. Who made "Bloomberg" a be-all end-all expert? This is less than anemic. In any kind of a decent recovery, we should be producing 250,000 jobs a month. As bv123 noted when Bush was producing 123-149,000 a month the democrats were calling it a depression. The policies of the administration, socialist in bent and character, are a disaster for the country and increasing number of once non-politically active citizenry now realize - - to their horror. And their reaction to The One's Washigton DC centric public policies at all levels, will be felt by the democratic party in the November election. This administration is clueless about a national economy. HE doesn't GET IT. And we shouldn't be surprised by that fact as he has no experience in the nation's economy. Eugene Robinson's recent article refers to the present electorate as throwing a "temper tantrum." As though, the display of 'distemper' by citizens to the current administration's policies and its impact on their daily lives is an affront to the 'enlightened' ruling political class who 'knows better'. Sorry, Gene. It doesn't work that way. If there was an electoral 'temper tantrum', it was the last election cycle producing Obama. He is a fellow who doesn't know is own limitations which are substantial He's had his rear kissed by so many other fools for so long that he has internalized the fawning as reality. He's our "European Vacation" president.

Posted by: DrNo1976 | September 3, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Seriously dude, why even get into the vacation stuff? What a pointless dead end for the discussion.

The private sector added jobs. Good, though it wasn't many. This gain was swallowed up by losses in the public sector due to census jobs ending. Bad. This isn't a free fall, but it's not a recovery. It's stagnation, just like Ezra called it. Stagnation's bad enough without trying to hype it into something worse.

Posted by: MosBen | September 3, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Seriously dude? Are you serious? I figured you'd get it. Chevy Chase and all.

Posted by: DrNo1976 | September 3, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"Another month, another grim jobs report. We lot 54,000 jobs in August. Most of those -- in fact, 114,000 of them -- were expiring census jobs. "

Would you care to express that again in a way that begins to make sense?

You gotta have one highly-placed silver daddy to keep getting paychecks from WaPo.

Posted by: vanderleun | September 3, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

"We lot 54,000..."

I mean, really, Klein. It's a 50 word item and you can't even be bothered to read it over carefully. Please. Show some respect, if only for yourself.

Posted by: vanderleun | September 3, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Can we believe anything this Administration reports, take Obama's May "rose garden" jobs and unemployment report:

"In May, President Obama acknowledged, "Most of the jobs this month that we're seeing in the statistics represent workers who've been hired to complete the 2010 census," but he never said just how many.
He appeared to be sidestepping the less-favorable elements of August's government data, as well. In the Rose Garden Friday, he made no mention of August's net job loss at all, choosing to focus instead on the private sector."

By CHRISTINA CAPATIDES and DAVID KERLEY
Sept. 4, 2010 http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/white-house-faces-political-headaches-jobs-ahead-labor/story?id=11557806

I wonder how many of the census jobs represented the same person hired and let go, over and over. The worker that was in my neighborhood said he had been rehired 4 times since Jan. 2010. He said often he was rehired within days of being let go. So I guess they called that 4 new jobs?

All they do is mess with the numbers to get the outcome they need. Or report only what makes their policies look favorable.

What a hoax.

Posted by: fedupwithgovernment | September 5, 2010 4:23 AM | Report abuse

Can we believe anything this Administration reports, take Obama's May "rose garden" jobs and unemployment report:

"The net increase of 431,000 jobs that the White House boasted of in May was propped up by the hiring of 411,000 temporary Census workers.

In May, President Obama acknowledged, "Most of the jobs this month that we're seeing in the statistics represent workers who've been hired to complete the 2010 census," but he never said just how many.
He appeared to be sidestepping the less-favorable elements of August's government data, as well. In the Rose Garden Friday, he made no mention of August's net job loss at all, choosing to focus instead on the private sector."

By CHRISTINA CAPATIDES and DAVID KERLEY
Sept. 4, 2010 http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/white-house-faces-political-headaches-jobs-ahead-labor/story?id=11557806

I wonder how many of the census jobs represented the same person hired and let go, over and over. The worker that was in my neighborhood said he had been rehired 4 times since Jan. 2010. He said often he was rehired within days of being let go. So I guess they called that 4 new jobs?

All they do is mess with the numbers to get the outcome they need. Or report only what makes their policies look favorable.

What a hoax.

Posted by: fedupwithgovernment | September 5, 2010 4:25 AM | Report abuse

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