The United States economy created zero jobs during the month of August – falling far short of analysts expectations and dealing yet another blow to America’s struggling economy. Also, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revised July’s job gains downward – from 117,000 to 85,000.
This lack of job growth – which comes after ten straight months of modest employment gains – left the U.S. unemployment rate unchanged at 9.1 percent. Meanwhile the “underemployment” rate – a broader, more accurate measure of joblessness – ticked up from 16.1 to 16.2 percent.
The economy needs to create at least 150,000 jobs a month just to keep up with gains in population – which it clearly isn’t doing. As a result, a total of 14 million Americans are currently unemployed – including 6 million who have been without a job for more than 27 weeks.
For U.S. President Barack Obama, the job report is positively awful news. In promoting the passage of his so-called “stimulus” bill in 2009, Obama’s economic advisors claimed the measure would keep U.S. unemployment below 8 percent. That clearly hasn’t happened … in fact, with the exception of February and March of this year, the unemployment rate has remained above 9 percent since the recession “ended” in June 2009.
For the unemployment rate to drop below 8 percent in time for the November 2012 elections, the economy would need to create 272,000 jobs each month.
That is looking increasingly unlikely – yet rather than accepting responsibility for the unmitigated failure of his socialist policies, Obama is seeking to shift the blame for America’s ongoing economic malaise on Congressional Republicans.
Of course the GOP controls only one half of the U.S. Congress – and the last time we checked its leaders have been more interested in cutting deals with Obama than standing up to him. Meanwhile Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke – who is also looking to shift the blame for the failure of his policies – appears poised to make matters even worse by further debasing our currency.
Obviously the “blame game” strategy is a far cry from Obama’s “hope and change.” It’s also a far cry from the triumphant rhetoric his administration was spewing forth last spring, when the artificial economic uptick created by the largest Keynesian intervention in human history
“We can say beyond a shadow of a doubt today we are headed in the right direction,” Obama said last May. “All those tough steps we took, they’re working, despite all the naysayers who were predicting failure.”
Prior to Obama’s comments, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said that America would enjoy a “Summer of Recovery” in 2010 that would include the creation of “between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month.”
Obviously those jobs never materialized … in fact they still haven’t.
In South Carolina, things are even worse. The Palmetto state’s unemployment rate is currently 10.9 percent, while its underemployment rate is 18.3 percent. Also, South Carolina is one of a dozen states that has officially slipped back into a recession.