Tag Archives: job losses

Jobs Report – May 2016

jobs

From BLS:

The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 4.7 percent in May, and
nonfarm payroll employment changed little (+38,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported today. Employment increased in health care. Mining continued
to lose jobs, and employment in information decreased due to a strike.

Total nonfarm payroll employment changed little in May (+38,000). Job growth
occurred in health care. Mining continued to lose jobs, and a strike resulted
in job losses in information. (See table B-1.)

Health care added 46,000 jobs in May, with increases occurring in ambulatory
health care services (+24,000), hospitals (+17,000), and nursing care facilities
(+5,000). Over the year, health care employment has increased by 487,000.

In May, mining employment continued to decline (-10,000). Since reaching a
peak in September 2014, mining has lost 207,000 jobs. Support activities for
mining accounted for three-fourths of the jobs lost during this period, including
6,000 in May. (more…)

Public Sector Job Growth

One of the things that conservatives have said was that Obama was growing the government by hiring tons of public sector workers. This was not true and easily proven to be false. The following is from Calculated Risk Blog, who put together the numbers and the graphs. (There is no website that I know of that does a better job at giving us an overall picture of the economy.)

A big difference between the presidencies has been public sector employment.  Note the bumps in public sector employment due to the decennial Census in 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010. 

 

The public sector grew during Mr. Carter’s term (up 1,304,000), during Mr. Reagan’s terms (up 1,414,000), during Mr. G.H.W. Bush’s term (up 1,127,000), during Mr. Clinton’s terms (up 1,934,000), and during Mr. G.W. Bush’s terms (up 1,744,000 jobs).

However the public sector has declined significantly since Mr. Obama took office (down 638,000 jobs). These job losses have mostly been at the state and local level, but more recently at the Federal level.  This has been a significant drag on overall employment.

And a table for public sector jobs. Public sector jobs declined the most during Obama’s first term, and increased the most during Reagan’s 2nd term.

 

Term Public Sector
Jobs Added (000s)
Carter 1,304
Reagan 1 -24
Reagan 2 1,438
GHW Bush 1,127
Clinton 1 692
Clinton 2 1,242
GW Bush 1 900
GW Bush 2 844
Obama 1 -702
Obama 2 641
128 months into 2nd term, 110 pace

Looking forward, I expect the economy to continue to expand through 2016 (at least), so I don’t expect a sharp decline in private employment as happened at the end of Mr. Bush’s 2nd term (In 2005 and 2006 I was warning of a coming recession due to the bursting of the housing bubble).

For the public sector, the cutbacks are clearly over at the state and local levels, and it appears cutbacks at the Federal level might also be over.  Right now I’m expecting some increase in public employment during Obama’s 2nd term, but nothing like what happened during Reagan’s second term.

Here is a table of the top three presidential terms for private job creation (they also happen to be the three best terms for total non-farm job creation).

Clinton’s two terms were the best for both private and total non-farm job creation, followed by Reagan’s 2nd term.

Currently Obama’s 2nd term is on pace to be the 2nd best ever for private job creation.  However, with very few public sector jobs added, Obama’s 2nd term is only on pace to be the third best for total job creation.

Note: Only 64 thousand public sector jobs have been added during the first twenty eight months of Obama’s 2nd term (following a record loss of 702 thousand public sector jobs during Obama’s 1st term).  This is less than 8% of the public sector jobs added during Reagan’s 2nd term!

 

Top Employment Gains per Presidential Terms (000s)
Rank Term Private Public Total Non-Farm
1 Clinton 1 10,885 692 11,577
2 Clinton 2 10,070 1,242 11,312
3 Reagan 2 9,357 1,438 10,795
Obama 21 6,322 64 6,386
Pace2 10,838 110 10,948
128 Months into 2nd Term
2Current Pace for Obama’s 2nd Term

The second table shows the jobs need per month for Obama’s 2nd term to be in the top three presidential terms.

 

Average Jobs needed per month (000s)
for Obama’s 2nd Term
to Rank Private Total
#1 228 260
#2 187 246
#3 152 220

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2015/06/public-and-private-sector-payroll-jobs.html#j5XVy8W01MpQe7Td.99

The Politics of False Correlation – Regulations and Job Growth

This is an excellent example of garbage journalism. You have Greta Van Susteren arguing that small businesses are being strangled by overwhelming regulations. Okay. Where’s the data? Instead of arguing the data, Greta Van Susteren simply tells Paul Krugman to ask small businesses why they aren’t hiring. What’s wrong with that? What is wrong with simply asking a business owner about his business behaviors? Well, most of the time, business owners have not sat down and thought about why they do the things that they do. Secondly, many business owners do not delineate between federal, state and local regulations. They see this as all – government regulations. Finally, I should add that Americans are terrible at explaining why we embrace certain behaviors.

From the Economic Policy Institute:

The most common general studies are of environmental regulations, and these have consistently failed to find significant negative employment effects. Moreover, studies suggesting that regulations have broad negative effects on the economy offer little persuasive evidence.

Some well-executed studies have found that certain regulations led to job losses in particular areas, but most studies of various industries suggest that regulations had either a close to neutral or small positive effect on employment levels.

The problem with our economy is not some mysterious “regulations” that are holding our economy hostage. The problem with our economy is a lack of demand. Consumers are not spending. There’s overwhelming data to support this. Simply put, there’s a large number of consumers who don’t have a job. These consumers are not spending. There are large numbers of Americans who are living with economic uncertainty. They may only have part-time work. They may be working at a company at which they have seen their fellow coworkers get laid off. This atmosphere will cause most of us to be apprehensive about spending. We really and truly don’t need any mysterious “regulations” to explain our economic woes.