Hiring Picks Up in July, but Data Gives No Clear Signal

America added more jobs than expected, a pleasant surprise after months of bad news. But the underlying details from July ranged from unimpressive to outright discouraging.

Comments: 256

  1. Mitt Romney and the GOP need to tell the 5 million Americans hired in the last two years that those jobs "aren't enough." The American economy is moving in the right direction. Contrary to the lies and exaggerations of an out-of-touch Mitt , Obama has not made the jobs picture "worse." Millions of new jobs have been added over the last three years and the needle continues to point forward. But America will never be able to fully recover until conservative lawmakers and Republican politicians stop their strategy of jobs sabotage and get on the page of helping this country, not just their own political aspirations. http://www.sunstateactivist.org

  2. But what kind of number do you get when you have 5 million people being hired, but 7 million losing their jobs..... yeah, thats a net loss of 2 million jobs in the private sector since January 2009.

  3. "... until conservative lawmakers and Republican politicians stop their strategy of jobs sabotage.", is a great way to put it.

  4. Or, to put it another way, "America will never be able to fully recover until conservative lawmakers" are voted out of office en masse. What's been depressing the employment figures? Massive public sector layoffs--especially in the states that elected tea party GOP governors in 2010.

    Robert Lion & Mpp are right: You pick arsonists to run your fire department.

  5. For the first time perhaps, news of a rising unemployment rate warns us of a problem greater than the obvious of people being out of work. As a result of these numbers, we run a greater risk of responding to this jobless crisis it in such a way that will only greatly exacerbate the problem: electing Mitt Romney.

    There will likely be a blind knee-jerk reaction by many voters to blame the Obama Administration. But a careful and simple analysis -- if one can look at things objectively -- clearly shows that Mitt Romney will support policies that will only worsen the predicament we're in.

    Romney's Party is directly responsible for America's credit rating downgrade. The GOP's willingness to play a game of chicken with the debt ceiling clearly shows they are not the party to look to to steer America out of this mess.

    It's sometimes great to see a Hollywood movie in which the Captain goes down with the ship; that's admirable and heroic. But in a situation where there is still a chance to prevent the (economic) ship from sinking, it makes no sense to throw overboard the person that gives you the best chance of survival.

    Rommey's record clearly indicates a person that has no compassion or respect for the American worker. He has proven to be more adept at exploiting rather than improving conditions of the American worker. Couple that with a Party that has proved to put it's own aspirations in front of the welfare of the country, and our choice in November remains as clear as ever.

  6. Well written and accurate. I agree.

  7. As long as Obama refuses to take partial blame for a situation he has made drastically worse with his ill conceived, rushed-through stimulus, Americans will vote for Romney. Bush was wrong and so is Obama.

  8. Robert - Good analogy on the sinking ship. Captain Obama's ship is sinking and the solution you offer is to give him another four years because that's the best we can hope for. I have a different take on things. Captain Obama's policies don't work. There is nothing to show for his policies other than 8% + unemployment, record deficits and debt. I'm not interested in going down with the ship.

  9. Seems like the planet is in a late stage of capitalism where, with productivity per worker up (due to automation),...there are starting to be less jobs than are needed to produce things that are essential to daily life (e.g., shoes, refrigerators so food will keep more than a day). So when economists say "where's the recovery?" , they are missing that the entire situation has changed. Comparing this economic contraction in the Western economies to the Great Depression of the 1930's is neither helpful nor relevant.

  10. No Dana, it is actually in the;late stage of socialism.

    Despite some excellent efforts by the American left wing to turn America into a retrograde, socialist nation, Americans refused to allow that to happen, hence the gridlock we are seeing.

    Once America jettisons ths laughable notion that socialism can work anywhere, we can get back on track and get back to work.

  11. Robert Cicero, why don't you just go all the way and claim Obama is trying to turn us all into Kenyans?

    The USA is nowhere close to being a socialist country. We're a capitalist society with elements of socialism, such as the farm support programs and Medicare. Same as Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Norway, Japan, Australia and dozens of countries around the world. Saying that anyone has saved us from socialism is hyperbole.

  12. Yes, American small business, which employs a huge amount of Americans, and has slowed to hardly any Job Growth, Are concerned with European, Debt, and Government cuts to the military, and not concerned at all about the impending Tax hike supported by this administration, or worried at all how thiere insurance cost are being increase (maybe who knows? since no one who even voted for it bothered to read the damn bill) That unsertanty has nothing to do with the week recovery at all. It has to be the Greeks because it can't possibly be the complete lack of leadership, and failed policies of our own government.

  13. Brian please explain the impending tax hike you're referring to? And as to the ACA please tell me which provisions are adversely affecting small business'? Actually there aren't any. Perhaps you should spend a little more time reading the actual legislation which is the constitutional law of the land, and a little less time having it explained to you by FOX News! It is very easy speaking in general platitudes, but when you get down to the nuts and bolts of the policies put forth over the last 3 years the facts bear out the argument that the Obama administration has been quite successful in stemming the crisis of 2008 and the recession which resulted in its wake! Have we recovered anywhere as quickly as we would like? No of course not. But despite the complete obstructionist policy directives of the GOP and the right the country is slowly but surely recovering. In November this underlying theme added to Mitt Romney's likeability deficiencies will be the ultimate demise of the Republican hopes for the Presidency!

  14. Dear D.P.,

    The Iimpending Tax Hike, first a definition of terms, if the tax rate you are paying increases that is a hike in your taxes. Tax hikes can happen through increases in the rate or Bracket Creep caused by inflation. When a temporary rate reduction expires your tax burden increases and that is a Tax Increase. When the Government passes a new entitlement program with more than 20 new or increased taxes in it that is a Tax Increase. (Think A.C.A. Here).

    I hope this helps.

  15. It appears that about half of the country wants to return to the policies that got us in this mess in the first place. Are Americans really stupid, or are Republicans far more adept at communicating than Democrats? Or both?

  16. A majority of Americans choose to operate by faith over facts. And yes that makes them stupid.

  17. Yes and yes. Win win.

  18. Let the mindless trashing of President Obama begin. The fact is, the anemic growth is the result of the GOP's forced austerity measures. The uptick in unemployment can be laid squarely at their doorstep.

  19. Big Business is getting exactly what they want. Equivalent production with drastically produced payrolls. Welcome to the new reality.

  20. It's a very good month for 163,000 people. Perhaps now that the vacation and plant shutdown period is winding down, hiring will pick up.

  21. The seasonal adjustment factors add even more to the automotive manufacturing sector because of the lack of "normal" maintenance shutdowns.

  22. Why is the unemployment rate going up? I thought the private sector was doing fine. And what about the real unemployment rate, factoring in the people who have given up looking for work? How can it be that we are moving in the right direction when the unemployment rate is going up and the economy is barely treading water?

  23. Look at Table A-1 of the report. In July 2011 the unemployment rate for men 20+ years old was 8.5, now it is 7.7. For women in was 8.6. now it is 7.5. This is why we can say the economy is improving.

    If you want a greater reduction in unemployment, call you representatives and ask them to support President Obama's American Jobs bill. This bill will give funds to state governments so they can rehire most of the 600,000 people they have laid off. It will also fund infrastructure projects. It is the quickest way to lower unemployment.

    We have been trying the Republican policies of smaller government, lower taxes, and fewer regulations for two years now and it just isn't working. It is time for Congress to pass President Obama's policy proposals.

  24. I should have added the reason the current overall unemployment figure is 8.3 is because teenage unemployment is currently 23.8%, down from July 2011's 25.6%.

  25. I consider 8.3 percent unemployment manageble but still troubling. Looking on the bright side, unemployment during the great depression was about 30 percent.

    We're doing OK and getting better!

  26. well yes, by that logic 8.3 is rather low. So can everything else be spun into an argumetn to justify the market being sky high.

  27. In the Depression they actually counted all the unemployed. Now we only count some of them according to fluid criteria.

  28. The unemployment rate isn't calculated the same way as it was back then. If you use the old way of calculating unemployment, the true rate is much higher than 8.3%. Currently if you are unemployed longer than a certain amount of time then you are not counted as part of the workforce and you are no longer "unemployed"

  29. The economy is producing more goods and services than 2007???????? Where did you get that fact??? As a manufacturer of goods, our business (and all the companies we supply and buy from) is down 30% from 2007. Two key drivers, housing down from 1.5 MM starts to 0.6 MM and automotive builds down from 16.5 MM to 14.5 MM units. The economy has been stuck in neutral since October of 2008.

  30. Picture Obama in a sinking life bragging about how much air he has blown in to the raft to keep it afloat. The only problem is that even more air has leaked out of the hole in the bottom so the raft will eventually sink. That's what these numbers show. Not enough jobs have are being created to stem the damage and eventual collapse.

  31. Oh for Petes sake. Nothing will change until you "blamers" start to think for yourselves and do something constructive. It's too bad whining and blaming aren't olympic events, as America would certainly win the gold, silver and bronze medals, then complain that there aren't more medals.

  32. Amazingly this only has a few "recommends". America that once stood for liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the American dream, rebirth and pioneer spirit, is now known to the world as the land of the spoiled, stupid, lazy and arrogant, and that's not just since Romney's comments to the Brits. If anyone believes that either party being in control of the country doesn't have both positive and negative consequences as to our future, then they don't deserve the right to vote, or drive or procreate, because Skeeter at least sees the forrest for the trees. We need leaders, doers, builders and dreamers that believe in: the betterment of mankind, mom and apple pie, yes, good old fashion values, morals and pride, the stuff that makes people actually want to sing the words to the national anthem, especially when they just won a medal representing it, not just at sporting events, but in our public schools (where tagging was voted as most likely to become the next olympic event) and at any event where the national anthem is sung or played. Politics and government are businesses, and no different than any other corporation.They're iIn business to make a profit for themselves as individuals first, then their company and then what ever is left over for the people their product or service they provide.

  33. Forward with Obama.

    Or the radcals, the extremists.

    That's our basic choice this November.

  34. Forward with Obama - into the Abyss......

  35. I'm no cheering fan of President Obama, but I marvel how some people can try to lay all the blame for the slow recovery at his feet. It is not as if he can wave a magic wand and create jobs. Normally, the president would work with the Congress to drive the economy in the right direction through focused policy and legislation. Obama has tried to engage Congress; the Republicans, however, are sitting on their hands, hoping that by doing nothing they can make him look bad, and thus regain the White House in 2012. If you are not happy with the pace of this recovery, then you should be blaming the Congress, particularly the House. Seen any jobs bills coming out of there lately? Of course not. That might make things better.

  36. And yet you can blame Bush for the economy without laying any of the blame on Congress in 2007 and 2008.

  37. Corey - it says we're nowhere where we need to be and there are 2 million fewer people putting money back into the economy.

  38. Wall Street is cheering the news because not only are more companies hiring, but more people are looking for work. The unemployment rate is not a static figure -- it is relative to active employment demand. All things considered, this is not a bad jobs report.

  39. Well someone is playing 'hockey puck' with the math on this jobs and unemployment report. How does 163,000 new jobs raise the unemployment rate when only 64,000 jobs for June (and a similar number for May) left the rate unchanged?

    I realize that many factors influence the overall figures but this 'jobs' number is almost three times the previous two months average. What we also know is that the public sector jobs for teachers, firefighters, police, sanitation, and others have been deliberately either purposefully cut or not refilled by most republican controlled states, and, most conservative minded corporations are also holding back, to collectively deflate the economy. So these jobs should be cut out of the statistical model.

    At the previous level of saved jobs under President Obama and the democrats original stimulus package the unemployment rate would be well into the low 7 percentile range.
    Why do the republican bean counters get to always have it both ways without a strong pushback from the 4th estate?

    The news media either buys into the effort to allow for billionaires to own the country, or do their job to report the facts in the storyline and not just on the editorial page. How else are people going to be informed? Digging for the truth should not be the responsibility of the news consumer.

  40. Possible explanation for the math: there many new labor force entrants after graduation in May/June. The new jobs added likely took some of them. However, there are likely many more still not employed, and they wouldn't have been counted in previous months' reports.

  41. If you compare workplace participation today with participation in 2007 prior to the recession our unemployment rate would be 13%

  42. I'm not surprised at all. The jobless rate is a direct reflection of the still moribund real estate market. The recession was a real estate induced recession. The economy would have to grow unusually fast in other areas in order to make-up for the the loss of economic stimulation in the real estate market. Or, something new would have to come along, like the Internet in the 1990's or cell phones before that. Obama has tried to stimulate investment in green energy but Republicans have fought him at every turn. Worse yet, they have brought nothing to the table beyond tax cuts for the rich and broken economic policies.

  43. The dirty little secret of employment numbers is that unless the economy adds an average of 150,000 new jobs every month, the unemployment rate will still rise. That number is needed simply to adjust for population increase and provide for new workers entering the job market.

  44. Not to mention the increased longevity and activity of older people.

  45. Steve,

    You rase an interesting point, perhaps in the opinion of those in Government we have reached a point where those Older People are not a plus and are in fact a negative?

  46. With GDP growth we would have the sustained hiring we need to put all those back to work who want to work and then some. That won't happen with GDP at 1.5.

    GDP will not have sustained growth in the environment we are in today. The factors are the uncertainty of our tax situation, the uncertainty of the regulations that are still being written, the uncertainty of the cost impact of Obamacare on businesses - regulations and requirements also not completely written. The only certainty about Obamacare is that the first 3 to 5 years of the program will increase medical costs - CBO. That increase will be passed on to businesses and you and I and increase the deficit. These are not factors that create a growing economy.

  47. The economy is making steady progress in recovering from a severe financial crisis. Recessions caused by financial crises always take longer to resolve than those due to the usual business cycle. There are in addition secular trends related to technological changes, globalization, and increased productivity that have enabled growth without job creation. The response to these trends must be thoughtful and long-term, and it won't be cheap, either. Under very difficult and complex circumstances Obama has implemented a center-left response that has at least not made matters worse.

    As great as government spending is, the part that is truly discretionary is tiny relative to the size of the economic disturbance caused by the financial crisis. The size of fiscal stimulus needed to really alter the intrinsic course of the recession is far greater than would ever be politically possible.

    The ceaseless negative campaigning - Republicans' worse - is tiresome and insults the intelligence of American voters. The Republicans are hopeless in this regard, but Obama could and should go positive while focusing some serious effort on preventing his opponents' unscrupulous efforts to deprive millions of citizens of their legitimate right to vote. Without voter suppression the Republicans will lose.

  48. The second-to-last sentence tells a huge story. If the GOP were truly interested in people and jobs, they would pass the President's program aimed at creating those jobs in areas like infrastructure and education -- both areas vital to our long-term success and growth. Instead there is obstruction at every turn, based in the plan, as Mitch McConnell stated publicly right after the 2008 election, to do everything possible to deny Barack Obama a second term -- the core, public priority of the Republican legislators. Even that administration proposal is too timid, in my mind, but it sure beats the universal problem solution: "Cut taxes."

  49. Adding more teachers is not the solution -- it is government employment and spending. The problem with our education system is too many bureaucrats and no one cuts those.

    From just a local perspective I am totally against adding more teachers until out local board of education stops wasting money. And cuts executive compensation. They have too many teachers as it is -- some classes only have 4-5 people in it but they refuse to drop those classes. They don't deserve more money wasted on them. I suspect this is true of BOE's around the country.

  50. I see your argument often. Yet the Democratically controlled senate has not passed a budget since Obama took office. Without a budget, how does anyone reasonably allocate money? And with all those Democrats sitting on their hands, what's interesting is how you and the Times repeatedly blame Republicans for "blocking" the president's legislation. Please tell us, how many senate Democrats have voted for the president's budget proposals?

  51. "If the GOP were truly interested in people and jobs, they would pass the President's program aimed at creating those jobs in areas like infrastructure and education"

    Maybe if obama and the democrats did not demand that all of the infrastructure jobs go to union workers, who kickback most of their union dues to the democrats, the GOP just might support infrastructure spending. Otherwise, why should they support spending that results in more kickback money to the democrats?

  52. Here is a look at some interesting behind-the-headlines unemployment data that show how difficult it will be to reduce the number of unemployed Americans:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2012/08/solving-americas-long-term-u...

    Only a small fraction of American workers are finding work within a month of losing their jobs, well down from historical norms. This has led to a new record level of long-term unemployed Americans and the longest continuous period of long-term unemployment greater than 3 percent.

  53. The 163,000 gain beat the estimate of 100,000 new jobs in a survey of economists taken by Reuters.That's good.

  54. Now that's funny. Despite all their repeated failures to successfully predict the future you still want to go to the bank on an economist's word? What's so good about failure?

  55. Robert, you are confused about the meaning of this jobs report. Rising unemployment coupled with good hiring number has to mean more people are looking for jobs (i.e they are encouraged to look). Obama should interpret this positively.

    Your flawed logic here permeates the rest of you biased screed.

  56. After 41 months of recession, this is horrible news, perhaps a prelude to higher increases in unemployment. Interpret this positively? No, that is just spin. The unemployment rate is 100% if you're out of work.

  57. If liquidity in the housing market does not improve, the middle class goes bye bye. Just heard a horror story yesterday about a jumbo loan being pulled two days before closing. Jobs picture is getting better but fear index must remain high among most people.

  58. It's hard to imagine the economy picking up while governments at just about every level are cutting back. Smaller government inevitably translates into fewer jobs. No way around it. Those public workers are consumers of private-sector services and goods, so it stands to reason that government austerity will likely keep growth to a minimum for the foreseeable future. We might as well get used to it, until we can elect officials who know how to intelligently deploy government resources for the greater good.

  59. How do you explain the first 180 years of America's history, when government employment was miniscule, and we accumulated all the wealth that we spent the last 40 years spending into the deficit.

  60. England demonstrates what Romney's policies will do to us: 3% annual reduction of GDP.

  61. jac2jess, every dollar paid to a public employee came from taxes paid by someone else. This is simple to understand because "government' earns no money of its own while it takes money from others. Yet the left extremists repeatedly offered the false notion that public employees are the driving engine to our economy when realty is the other way around. Without the private sector there would be no government jobs!

  62. The so-called "job creators" are not exactly out there creating jobs. And why is that? Not because they aren't sitting on piles of cash. Could it be because at a certain point you've got so much money that there isn't any reason to splash out and hire people? This is a great argument for a fairer distribution of wealth.

  63. job creators are not creating jobs because they can't sell their "stuff". They have no customers. When people start spending , there will be more jobs. Nothing to do with tax rates.

  64. Or could it be that they don't know if they are going to need that cash to pay additional taxes?

    Have you ever thought that the job of a CEO is to predict the future and manage a company based on those predictions? What CEO in his right mind would hire people when he can't predict an increase in demand?

    When CEOs don't know what to do, they sit on cash until the way forward becomes clear. Say after November 2.

    I figure that if Romney is elected we will see a huge boom as the CEOs release that cash and start hiring.

    Why? Because they hate Obama?

    No.. They hate uncertainty.

    If they know that Obama care is going to be repealed then they can better predict their costs and let the cash flow.

    If Obama is reelected they will either sit on the cash or end up spending it on existing employees. Either way. No new jobs..

    The left may hate it, but they cannot 'force' businesses to spend money nor hire people.

    They are not "so called" job creators. That title is exclusive to politicians.

  65. They are not creating jobs because they have no certainty on anything. What is the tax policy going to be next year....nobody knows. What are the health care costs going to be next year for employers...nobody knows. What is the tax rate on dividends going to be next year...nobody knows. Will congress ever implement a budget that will address the competing issues of medicare/medicaid costs versus tax rates...nobody knows. Is the economy expanding or contracting...nobody knows. Any CEO that doesn't hoard cash until there is some resolution, or at least indications of the direction of policy does so at his peril.

  66. "...ticked up..."
    Can't help but wonder if the reporter would've used that term of diminution had McCain been president.
    Why do I think the answer's no?

  67. Easy to understand the statistics here: American manufacturers are producing more with fewer employees. Some were replaced with robotics, but many were replaced by people working extremely long hours every day and week. Weekends off for many have become a distant memory. Holidays, vacations just words. Lunch hour is spent on the job. Work days are 10 plus on a daily basis and much longer during emergencies or important projects.

  68. I guess that helps to limit the number of people to whom business needs to provide health insurance.

  69. As I understand it 160K jobs is figure needed to keep pace with new entries in job field so this figure, increase in unemployment rate and falling GDP are discouraging. Market will likely move up since it was not worse. I think the President should continue his plan to make Romney the issue rather than focus on his record these last almost four years.

  70. I don't generally subscribe to conspiracy theory, but it seems to me the way the markets are, that many more jobs should be being created. Is there some undergound Norquist-like edict afoot to get Mr. Obama out of office? I mean I don't trust the big money people anymore- why wouldn't they try to pull something like that? (Koch brothers)

  71. Markets have little to do with unemployment and a lot to do with profits. They respond to unemployment numbers on the theory that employed people have more money to buy stuff and therefore increase corporate profits.

    So, if companies can figure out how to increase profits without hiring more people - or at least more Americans - then profits will increase, output will increase (as the article points out, economic output is now where it was before the crisis), and markets will go up. Offshoring, automation, and longer hours are three reasons this could happen.

    So, no, I don't think there is a conspiracy, but nor do I think higher market numbers necessarily spell better times ahead for many Americans.

  72. I think this too. Not just Koch brothers, but Romney and his extended Bain network have lots of friends in private sector influential places.

  73. If Romney is elected expect to see Congress suddenly find the ways and means to pass the transportation bill and others to jump start the economy.

  74. I'm surprised the reporter who wrote this article didn't explain that the up tick in the unemployment rate was a result of mathematical rounding.

    The actual change was approximately 1/100 of one percent; a possible rounding error which could be the result of a statistical household survey error. Therefore, the up tick in the unemployment rate is most likely a statistical error.

  75. The ink that has been wasted on speculation as a result of the monthly job reports is just phenomenal - and the idea that the stock market went up today because of this jobs report is just ridiculous, and shows again that Wall Street, rather than being the "forward looking, rational barometer" of the economy, is populated by gamblers, nitwits and crooks.
    One month of data means NOTHING, especially as the wild fluctuations in the jobs reports over the past several months does not establish any trend whatsoever. All analysts and pundits generally reflect their wishful thinking into these numbers, and for some reason the media seem to feel that they must put a positive spin on these economic reports, no matter what.

  76. ah, the data means more than nothing because the birth/death factor and the "seasonal adjustments" added 429, 000 vapor jobs. If you go on real jobs created, you know, the kind that generate paychecks, we had a loss month over month well over 100,000 jobs.

    All this smoke and mirrors is getting to the point of absurdity in order to preserve the myth of a recovery. Thing is, vapor jobs don't pay taxes, so.....Bernanke can't play this game forever.

  77. The gist of your comment is, as the Brits say, spot on. Unfortunately, as this week's latest news from the equity "casinos" demonstrates, the reaction from Wall Street doesn't represent anything more than the fact that the "algorithms" woke up to "better-than-expected" news and decided each algorithm decided to shoot off a few million buy orders before any other algorithm could get a head start.

    We are in the "Blade Runner" world of finance capitalism.

  78. The jobless rate has been above 8% for 41 months. At what point does that become a trend?

  79. Obama is only as successful as the amount of taxpayer money he has to spend. What did people think would happen to government jobs when the money ran out? Surely, republicans weren't the only people to see how that story ended.

    As for more stimulus, the single biggest obstacle to more stimulus spending is the way the last stimulus was mismanaged. Democrats appeared to be acting like drunken sailors (no offense to sailors) and Obama sat by like a spectator watching the stimulus money steamroll by him. No budget checks. No checks at all, in fact. Nothing even remotely resembling the responsible stewardship what he promised when he was campaigning.

    Blame republicans for thwarting democrats. But democrats brought this on themselves by completely damaging their own credibility when it came to stimulus spending.

  80. The electorate continues to be punished by so-called "job creators" for electing a Democrat into the White House.

    After all, the Democrats are the reason why said creators have to dig into their profits to follow those pesky little laws that require a minimum wage, over time pay, and workplace safety.

    How dare the electorate expect anything for its back-breaking labor and for paying taxes into an infrastructure that permits entrepreneurial growth. Aren't the crumbs enough for the traitorous unwashed? Sheesh. The whiners.

  81. The issues of the unsuccessful growth in the job market are because of politic involvement, poor judgment creating jobs. I have worked in the filed of Human Resource’s for years and all I see taken place is absolute disaster. As the “chief economist at Credit Suisse, said. If you’re not scared by that, then you’re not paying attention.” Politics are heavily affecting the economy because of the poor coordination to decide in how to correctly handle the job market. Second, I had never seen so many people work where not one person knows what they are doing. The Department of Labor is poorly managed and coordinated by people who have no clue in what they say or do. The critical issue is that the employees at the Department of Labor absolutely have no experience in human resources to correctly advice and assistant people with the right jobs. It’s like a prison in that place. Third, the feds are mismanaging the money in creating jobs that cant produce economy growth because they are creating jobs that hold no benefit to what society correctly needs in the twenty first century. Lets be real if you continue to keep selling the same merchandise and serve the same food and services how much can a person take? That’s why “As a result, the unemployment rate remained mostly unchanged” This is the outcome to a very clear tragic ending when you have the wrong people working in the wrong field at the wrong time in a time of need.

  82. "Government payrolls, which have been shedding workers almost every month for the last two years, have been a drag on overall employment growth."

    A one-sentence paragraph at the end of this article. The Republican idea that government is the problem and that austerity is the way to go in this bad economy translates to firing public employees including much needed teachers, policemen and firemen. If states and municipalities could hire back these employees and be fully staffed, the employment numbers would look much, much better. Of course, this means that the federal government would need to help out financially. Yes, send money to states and municipalities specifically for this purpose.

    Also, the federal government must fund infrastructure projects. This would employ private contractors and improve employment numbers even more.

    How to pay for it? Borrow money at the current no interest rate. This will add to the deficit, but it is more important to get the economy going right now. We should work to reduce the deficit, but have those plans kick in later.

    Paul Krugman is right. I hope I've been consistent with his views. This is not a matter of liberal vs. conservative, just a common sense solution to the problem.

  83. Jeff, so true. In the 1950s, we spent 32 cents per dollar on infratructure and 14 cents on entitlements. Today we spend 15 cents on investment and 46 cents on entitlements. The problem isn't just that investment has declined so much, it's that much of it has gone to new projects, so existing infrastructure is not being adequately maintained or upgraded.
    It's a myth that government employees are lazy and inefficient and that firing them will save a ton of money. With a $1.5 trillion defecit, we could eliminate the entire Federal government aside from defense and still run a $1 trillion defecit. I think elected officials forget they're among the "lazy and inefficient" government employees they demonize. If government "can't create jobs" and is inefficient, why is defense spending sacrosanct? By their logic could we not turn to the private sector to provide us with a mercenary defense force that is cheaper and superior? Perhaps they could find folks willing to die for minimum wage and no health or retirement benefits. (Disclaimer: I'm in the military, and that was sarcasm.)
    It may feel good to fire a government employee, but what good does that do anyone if there is no private sector job for them to transition to? All we've done is taken someone who was at least producing some kind of output and added them to the unemployment rolls. In my case, the government employees who work on my team are indispensible. The notion that they are either lazy or inefficient is offensive.

  84. Right On!!

  85. Why should the federal government send (our) money to Illinois so that Illinois can hire public workers? Let Illinois spend its own money (their taxpayers) to hire their own workers.

    Why should a taxpayer in Indiana have to ship money to California? Maybe California should cut its overly generous public pensions and get its own financial house in order before looking for a bailout from Uncle Sam. Or Governor Moonbeam should cancel his high speed train to nowhere.

    As for the Fed funding infrastructure -- wasn't that the "shovel ready" jobs Obama promised that never materialized? How 'bout the Keystone XL pipeline that would be producing jobs right this second (union jobs BTW) if Obama hadn't nixed it?

    How to pay for it -- borrow money and let future generations (our children and grandchildren) pay for Obama's inability to get this economy moving -- I don't think so!

  86. It's difficult to stimulate job growth when the Republicans are against it. Their trump card is to sabotage growth so that they can blame Obama for the economic slowdown. First the Republicans caused Obama to waterdown his Recovery Act in 2009 and since they have filibustered all jobs bill in the Senate and voted against them in the Republican House. Meanwhile, the states have been firing people and cutting back on spending, further slowing down job growth. One thing Obama can do is fire the Bush holdout DeMarco so that the housing problem can be addressed. The only other answer is to vote Republicans out in November and remove those politicians who want the economy to fail so that they can gain control of the government.

  87. Somehow your are conveniently forgetting the first two years of the Obama administration, where both houses of Congress were solidly Democratic.

  88. Regarding below; many conveniently forget the senate supermajority requirements regarding congressional control. Even with 60% majority in the senate in early years congressional action has been like pulling teeth.

    Another reality for deadlock going forward.

  89. If that is true then the "Great Sin" of the Obama Administration is losing control of the Congress in 2010. They will pay for their "Great Sin" in November.

  90. Corey, this the kind of shell game that gets us nowhere. You have missed MPP's point entirely. The Tea Party Congress has not acted in America's interest. They have blocked every idea, every bill every effort to fix the economy. They will not compromise. They and perhaps you want things to be so bad that the voters elect more Tea Party politicians. This is not courage. It is not leadership. It's throwing sand in the eyes of the American voter who just want to see some effort at getting things accomplished. I am an independent. The Tea Party is killing the GOP. If you really don't want a liberal government you and other conservatives or reactionaries should consider the damage that the TP is causing.
    But most important--let's have an intelligent debate--not an exercise in distraction.

  91. That's right the Tea Party has not acted in American's interest. They have acted in the interest of your children and grandchildren, that is if you have any. They are trying to contain the amount of debt the next generations will be paying for, that is unless you envision the US defaulting on its obligations. The day of unbridled spending must end.

    Take a look at Greece, another example of we'll pay later.

  92. The Republicans will continue to spin until they becoming terminally dizzy (if they aren't already). When Obama took office the economy was losing 800,000 jobs a month and he took immediate action which reversed the process (but not instantly). We've now had two years of slow but steady job growth (which would have been far more robust if the many Republican governors hadn't been busy cutting teachers, police, firefighters and other public employees...all the while cutting taxes). The austerity preached by the Republicans is being practiced in the U.K. by their Conservative led government resulting in a double dip recession. When Romney met with PM David Cameron he should have asked him "How's that austerity thing working for you?". The answer would have been "not so much". We do not need a Back to the Future President Romney as the cure he prescribes is snake oil.

  93. Talk about a silly, misleading headline! It should be:

    US Jobless Rate Rises to 8.3%
    Obama Polices Fail; Americans Suffer

    Just for the record...on the day Obama took office, the unemployment rate was 7.8% It has never been lower, not once, in his whole failed presidency. Nothing he ever did improved it. Not one darn bit.

    How could Obama have done worse? It's time for him to pack for retirement. Americans know incompetence when they see it.

    Liberal apologists in this chain need to recognize the truth and stop playing like things are okay. America is stuck, slowly sinking into permanent stagntion because Obama can't led anybody anywhere, and wouldn't know the right direction if he could. Millions are suffering terribly. This is NOT America's normal state.

    It's time for a change. We've got to get out of this mess. Judge by results. Obama's are terrible.

  94. When Bush inherited the economy from Clinton in 2001 unemployment was in the 4-5 percent range...when Bush left it was a whopping 7.8% or even 9% and getting larger due to massive layoffs that continued under Bush's and Republican watch and afterwards during the first year of Obama's governnance. The Bush years saw a 3 to 5 percent growth in unemployment... You only have a 0.5 percent increase under Obama...after he had to turn around an economy about to go over the cliff...

  95. I guess you don't understand free fall or momentum - as in George W was losing 750,000 jobs per month in the free fall of 2008. So you thought Obama could just turn it around his first full month in office? Do you actually know any facts or do you just go with your gut?

  96. Too many corporations and smaller employers are using temps rather than creating jobs and hiring people. This recovery, already destined to be slow for many reasons, is thus even slower. Corporations are sitting on trillions of dollars but not investing enough or hiring.

  97. Robert & all other commenters: it does not matter which party gets into the white house in October. The Fed and the other central banks of the world have hi-jacked]our country and are out to totally wreck it, financially, economically, scientifically, so on and so forth. The Fed produces fiat currency that has no intrinsic value. It is not backed by gold or silver as in the past. It is not federal and there are no reserves. Since Glass-Stiegal was removed, the banks have declared open season on the citizenry, and have done everything in their power to defraud us of our wealth. They
    have signed us on to the derivatives fraud and claim we must foot the bill through taxation. Iceland is the only country to throw those bums out and have made a signigicant recovery in a remarkably short time. We need to follow their lead and return our country to it's rightful owners-"We The People"
    As far as the politics, both sides are owned by the very central banks that are ruining the world's economy. They openly brag that they have taken over Europe and their eyes are now turned towards us. CNBC's Kudlow, had several analysts on, and they all agreed that we are under a global finacial dictatorship. They are focusing on destroying our sovereignty, our Constitution, and our lives in general, creating a Nanny state in which the majority of the dumbed down public will beg for big government to save them. This must never be allowed to happen. We've been warned. The Founders knew it

  98. Actually the rate rose from 8.217% in June to 8.254% in July. Acting BLS Commissioner John Galvin noted in his statement that the unemployment rate was “essentially unchanged” from June to July. Except of course for the172,000 private sector jobs created.

  99. Jerry: you are hiding behind rounding errors. Even the small change in % represents about 40,000 of people who lost work. Does that make up for those who found new jobs?
    You are right: economy is essentially unchanged, but who wants it to remain thus? Is this something to be happy about?

  100. The increase in hiring is pitiful: way not enough to get us out of trouble.
    But the increase in jobless is meaningful, showing the economy hasn't shown any chance of real improvement.
    So, very politely, I ask NYT: why do you trumpet the insignificant and shove the real problem to second place? Just to make Obama look good? Again?

    Some people wonder if jobs aren't being created purposely. Well, very likely they are, since people with a lot of money aren't willing to risk it, either exanding current business or starting a new one. Why? They no longer trust this administration to relieve them of the crushing regulations. So, they sit on cash. Doesn't this theory make sense?

  101. "They no longer trust this administration to relieve them of the crushing regulations."

    Would you please give us some examples of real world "crushing regulations". We have had regulations since the beginning of our nation--how is it that all of a sudden, the Obama administration has produced such a mountain of paper work? Here is a president who can't even get his nominations for cabinet posts approved by congress much less push through a mountain of paperwork, that he personally can't have written because ONLY congress can propose legislation. The president can sign or veto only.
    learn about your government please.

  102. dave: please don't try to win your argument by assuming your adversaries know less than you do.
    Now, to say we have had regulations for decades says nothing about the extra crushing regulations imposed by Obama. Before him, under Bush, businesses were doing fine and unemployment was low. But that's history. Bush did overspent, and along with Reid/Pelosi did start the recession in 2007.
    The main question: are you telling us Obama did not impose many regulations on business since he took office? I merely suggested at removing all of those for starters. And my focus is on the future, not past.

  103. "are you telling us Obama did not impose many regulations on business since he took office?"

    That is exactly what I'm saying. Unless you can demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Obama created, passed and enforced all these " crushing regulations" (which by the by you didn't elucidate) I can only say that you need to look to your congressperson for relief if you believe that you are under crushing regulations.
    For the most part, it would seem that ALEC (the lobbyist group) is responsible for the majority of legislation in both the US congress and various state houses. According to numerous articles and often times verified by congresspeople, they didn't read bills they voted on because they were 1800 pages long and anyway, who cares, because they know what the outcomes were going to be. See NYT past editions for explanation about ALEC. To suggest that Obama is responsible is to misunderstand the office of the president. He has no such authority or control. Look at the legislation and view the voting records--I'll bet the majority or "crushing regulations" were passed by republicans, during the BUSH era.

  104. The unemployment rate was 7.8% when President Obama took office and is now 8.3%

    President Obama looks good, makes great motivational campaign speeches and promises. This does little to help those who are unemployed.

    Putting everyone on welfare, government healthcare, food stamps and raising taxes is not the solution.

    Any business would terminate a President with the track record of President Obama. Let's do the same in November.

  105. Unemployment rate was 5.4% when Obama cinched the democrat nomination in June 2008, it was 6.5% when he got elected, 7.8% when he took office, and 9.4% only four months into his presidency - before his policies could have any effect on the economy. Unemployment reached a peak in October 2009 (10%) and has been falling since.

    You have to stop a truck before you can switch it into reverse gear.

  106. It's just shocking how republicans can't tell the difference between cause and effect.

  107. The unemployment rate was 7.8% when President Obama took office and is now 8.3%

    The president has absolutely no power to create or destroy jobs--that is the work of both houses of congress and of course, private industry where most people work. The president cannot stop jobs from being shipped overseas. Government can only interfere by setting up higher duties on imported products. Please learn something about how your government operates.

  108. This is better than what George Bush was doing. This is better than Dick Cheney's wars. This is better than voo-doo trickle down economics. This is peacetime building from the middle out. This is NOT unlimited credit, this is not overnight solutions, this is conservative step-by-step process of creating jobs. This is good news that may not be the torrential boom that Republicans produce, and when I say BOOM I mean radical Republican bubble bursting disasters Republicans produce and bombs being dropped on small countries. This is how real conservative thought out plans work for the American citizen.

  109. Corey has the facts correct
    This strait from the labor statistics jobs

    2008 - 3,644,000 jobs lost
    2009 - 5,060,000 jobs lost
    2010 +1,027,000 jobs gain
    2011 +1,840,000 jobs gain
    2012 +1,048,000 jobs gain
    Total -1,145,000 jobs lost

    Romneys website says he will mirror Reagans recovery plan (not Bush)

    1980 + 136,000 jobs gain
    1981 - 52,000 jobs lost
    1982 -2,128,000 jobs lost
    1983 +3/454,000 jobs gain
    1984 +2,672,000 jobs gain
    Total +3,948,000 jobs gain

    Under Reagans revovery 5,093,000 more jobs created at this point in time

  110. Because Reagan had big government spending and expanded the size of government. The Reagan years at that point in time saw the largest increases in the Federal budget deficit ever and the largest expansion in the size of government than any other previous administration.

  111. To add to RML's points. The Reagan years also had a significantly higher tax rate on the wealthy, the top rate was 50%. Your man promises to lower it from 35% to 20%. Under Reagan the number of govt jobs increased by 3.1%, under President Obama they have been cut by 2.7% and your man promises to cut them even more.

    Mr. Romney lies all the time. He is lying when he says his policies will "mirror" Reagan's.

  112. Janet,

    Yet even with that "Higher Tax Rate" the Democrat Congress spent it all and more. They spent all the Social Security money too!

    So what are you saying? That this time you "promise" to do the same if given another chance?

  113. The positive spin by the liberal media on these anemic job numbers is laughable. Come on, already. Many if not most of these 163,000 jobs are seasonal. They will disappear at the end of summer, and we will revert to the dismal June numbers again. The official 8.3% unemployment rate is much worse, and everyone knows it. And the constant wailing by Democrats about Republican obstructionists in Congress is just plain lies. We do not need more temporary government funded jobs, paid for with taxpayer money. That's what we got with the first stimulus, when government and teacher jobs were "saved" by Obama and the Democrats. When the funding ran dry taxpayers were left holding the bag to pay for them again. No thanks. Only private business can create real, productive, and lasting jobs.

  114. By any measure the current administration policies have eroded corporate confidence to the point of be paralyzed. Obama was successful at creating a new mountain of regulation for employers to address while attempting to execute on their business plan. Until corporate job creating america has confidence that the administration has taken the bulls eye off their back you can and should expect a continuation of non action. Corporate America likes visibility and clarity to create the confidence to execute on plans. All of Obama's actions work against that need. His policies and now his words all underscore his hostility toward employers of any size.

  115. "Obama was successful at creating a new mountain of regulation for employers to address while attempting to execute on their business plan."

    Really? do you actually believe that the president Created a mountain of regulation or did Congress with the help of lobbying groups create the mountain of legislation. It is well known that members of congress are nearly totally ignorant of creating laws and regulations, much less reading the bills that they vote on. And you have the gall to suggest that Obama alone has done this? You should read some basic text on how government actually works, my friend. You are clearly out of touch with modern governance.
    Don't you know that we have the best government money can buy?

  116. New regulatory activity under Obama is roughly the same as it was under GW Bush. According to the OMB's regulatory expert, many of the new regulations "have benefited people's lives more than they've cost them."

  117. Oh baloney!

    The "good news" the Times sees in the July report is just statistical adjustements.

    *377k jobs were "created" with seasonal adjustments.
    *The birth/death model created another 52k jobs.

  118. CNBC reported yesterday that the true unemployment rate - U6 - for CA is 20.3%. It would be much appreciated if the Times would report on what it's really like out there for Americans instead of reporting the lowest unemployment figure they can find, obviously for political purposes.

  119. The Democrats are slowly destroying the American economy with continued high unemployment trend. The unemployment rate of 8.4% is way too high. According to the more esteemed Wall St. Journal, they report the broader measure of unemployment—which includes job seekers as well as those in part-time jobs—rose to 15.0% in July from 14.9% the previous month. Why is it the NY Times and the rest of the lame-stream media consistently leave out this little tidbit of detail? I conclude they have been instructed by the Obama White House and Media Matters not to mention the broader index. Is this fair and balanced reporting?

  120. The phenomenal financial boost the Nation got while Bill Clinton was in office was more than erased by George W. Bush and his loose cannon behavior. Barack Obama was never happy about having to inherit this burden from Bush. Tarp was originally aimed at helping average Americans weather the storm created by Bush, but Congress would have none of that, they turned it into a corporate bailout, without any of the original helping measures aimed at individuals. If you believe that any president can create jobs outside of initiating a federal public works operation, you are greatly mistaken. Yes, it is likely true that Willard M. Romney might be able to get more cooperation from Congress to try his ideas, but as many of our best minds have pointed out, his ideas range from misguided to deadly dangerous.

  121. What I would like to know is: What would the unemployment rate be if government was not shedding jobs?

    Republicans like to say that government is the problem, and in this respect, I believe they are correct - the private sector is hiring but not at a fast enough clip to overcome the fact that government keeps slashing employees.

  122. Non political person here: I find it hilarious that Romney thinks he can swoop in and magically fix USA's unemployment. Obama may be in way over his head and a tad clueless, but Mr Romney, that's a whopper of a fib.

  123. Am I the only one who has noticed that the pundits and economists are wrong over 77% of the time in either the direction or amount of their calls?

  124. "For context, the economy now produces as many goods and services — more, in fact — as it did before the downturn officially began in December 2007. But it does so with almost five million fewer jobs."

    This is crucial. In other words, companies are squeezing more productivity out of fewer workers to maximize profits. If corporations refuse to hire more people how can any president, or even Congress, make them? The corporate tax rate could drop to zero and they still wouldn't hire more workers. The only solution is a public works program that fixes our crumbling infrastructure, something that must be done, funded by higher taxes on the wealthy. This is so self-evident it's shocking anyone would argue against it.

  125. "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong … somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises. … I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. … And an enormous debt to boot." -- Henry Morgenthau, Jr., FDR's treasurer.

  126. "The only solution is a public works program that fixes our crumbling infrastructure, something that must be done, funded by higher taxes on the wealthy."

    And of course all of these jobs will be restricted to union workers who will kickback most of their union dues to the democrats. The more infrastructure spending the more kickbacks to the democrats; is there any wonder that the GOP is against it.

  127. Ok so how does this work--complete some road or bridge projects-- short term work at best--jobs that are unsustainable--temporary in the long run. Without private sector growth --real jobs producing, real products that people want or need--jobs that stand the test of time-- it just won't work.

  128. Welcome to Tea Party America! Krugman has it right - the Republican party is doing everything in its power to keep unemployment up and jobs growth down so they can blame Obama.

  129. In the economy of the 21 st century countries can create wealth without creating jobs (look at corporate profits).

    This is a problem that no politician (Republican or Democrat) knows how to address.

  130. countries create national wealth through taxation which seems to be anathema to the GOP as that stiffles business. SO, which is it-they create or destroy wealth. It can't be both ways.

    Private business is another matter entirely. Yeah, look at the 440 million dollar trading loss that Knight incurred only 2 days ago by using computer driven trades. That means that there was NO tax generated for government to run on,thus destroying the ability of government to function.

  131. Normally I would vote for the more liberal, open minded and or populist candidate ie. ThE President. However, when I and so many others are hurting, economically it is hard to re-elect someone who has proved weak and ineffective in dealing with the opposite party. In my mind the republican rivals have been downright Insensitive if not in fact treasonous in trying to derail Obama's initiatives, but the president has been sorely lacking in pointing this out thus playing into their hands in making him appear weak and ineffective. I do believe that Mitt Romney is not as conservative as the right-wingers he is pandering to, but rather then take a chance on his learning the lessons Barak Obama has apparently taken four years to absorb, I agree with Abe Lincoln's comment before the 1864 elections, "that it's better not to change horses while crossing a stream.". However, I do not know about you but for myself and many who I know; we are drowning!

  132. Mike,

    How is the President different after 4 years? He is still blaming The Bush Administration while following most of their Policies including their Tax Policy. His "Major Accomplishment" is the A.C.A. Which adds or increases more than 20 taxes and he is doing his best to spend as much as possible. The President is the "quintessential Tax and Spend Democrat".

    What did he learn that is "New"?

  133. Conservatives want, and have insisted on, smaller government, yet that is exactly what is dragging down the economy. This apparent contradiction is further proof that the only thing conservatives really want is a bad enough economy to get them elected. In other words, failure for the U.S. success for the GOP. Sounds kind of like treason to me, but regardless it is astonishing that people would vote for the very people who A) caused the problem, B) want to repeat those same policies, C) insist on preventing US from taking any positive steps to solve A or B.

  134. For many decades the eurozone managed 7 - 8 percent unemployment, until a new crisis hit and the percentage is now 11 percent. While 163,000 is a good number, it will most likely be revised downwards in coming weeks and the revised number will not make Page 1. More troubling, 150,000 left the workforce. Where did they go? Retirement? Disability? Welfare?

  135. Govt payrolls have been dropping, but I wonder if some of that reflects a move to contract out more services that used to be done by direct-hires; anyone know?

  136. There is a general trend toward out-sourcing, but the downsizing that's occuring now is because the tax base (the real estate market) hasn't rebounded to 2006 levels and the stimiulus funds are all spent. Take a look at the news about localities in California and Pennsylvania going bankrupt. Real estate prices nationwide today are about what they were in 2003.

  137. The temptation to ascribe flat job-growth numbers to malevolent actors such as "Wall Street" and "Corporations" is overwhelming. However, it might be more constructive (or at least less frustrating) to recognize that whether in the manufacturing or service sector, in the globalized economy of today meaningful employment will generally be generated in areas that your country can do better than any other. The difficulty lies in determining what these are and making a concerted effort to promote them.

    As we are lacking a rational debate on how best to support growth industries, we will not see a dent in unemployment anytime soon.

    Government intervention has become anathema to both parties: to the Republicans out of ideological conviction; to the Democrats out of a desire to win elections. Yet only long-term government investment in training, R&D, etc. will revitalize American industry.

    danschorr.blogspot.com

  138. What we have been very good at over the last couple of decades is importing uneducated, low-cost labor, most of whom are here illegally. And still Obama and his liberal apologists believe we should give them the jobs that Americans need. That's the most contemptible 'American jobs' policy I've ever seen!

  139. That's fine, Steve B. So where is the jobs bill the Republicans promised us two years ago?

  140. Conservatives will use the low growth (or diminishing) of corporate profits to justify a call for lower taxes on the wealthy. Which is unfortunate, because that does nothing to alleviate the burden of the middle and lower classes, who are the real drivers of economic growth.

  141. What strikes me reading through all the comments is just how diverse opinions are regarding the problem of unemployment, some of them silly and some of them seemingly intelligent. However, when rolled up into one big ball, you realize that there is no ability to single out the CORRECT answer to the problem, since both sides make their case and everybody can't be right, and everybody can't be wrong. I suspect the real answer is: cross your fingers, close your eyes, hold your breath, and believe in magic and miracles, and maybe someday in the future life will be good. I can only hope.

  142. Unemployment went up to 8.3. 42 straight months of unemployment over 8%. House prices hit by sharpest drop since 2009 Nationwide building society figures show a 0.7% decrease in July and a 2.6% annual fall. Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation's economic health, grew at an annual rate of 1.5% from April to June. Obama: "We tried our plan, and it worked"

  143. The first guy says " careful and Reasoned" and the secind guy says millions of jobs have een added. Two coolade drinkers.

    If government stimulus was the answer, we would not have had the Great Depression or the current one. In a normal ( average ) recovery, we would have had about 10 million new jobs by now. The growth rate, contrary to the comment in this "news" article, "barely able to absorb the growth in the labor force" , is dead wrong. It has not even come close to keeping up with the growth in the labor force, which requires about 150,000 new jobs per month and a growth rate of about 2.5%+, and that is just to break even, not make up for any of the lost jobs. Everyone knows the real unemployment rate is closed to 15% than 8.3%.

    What has the current administration done, other than make excuses. The currently tepid recovery began in June of 2009, well before any stimulus money could work its way into the economy. With overwhelming majorities in both house, for two years, Obama had his way with it and failed miserably. Blaming Republicans for the failures of an unprepared president is just political trash talk.

  144. "For context, the economy now produces as many goods and services — more, in fact — as it did before the downturn officially began in December 2007. But it does so with almost five million fewer jobs. "

    Read this part of the article until you understand the words. It basically says that other than filling the open, existing jobs, we don't NEED to create any new jobs.
    So it won't make any difference who is in the WH, because they have NO CONTROL over what is going on. The President, BTW, has no authority to create jobs--that would be the Congress who has the power of the purse and the legislation to make it happen. So , if the GOP thinks that we "deserve" and can do better" let them propose legislation that would create jobs programs or sponsor jobs in private enterprise as they did through CETA.

  145. If the rise in unemployment rate is primarily due to loss of government jobs at federal, state and local levels as stated in the article, then Republicans should be thrilled, not critical. This is exactly what the tea party has been advocating for - a smaller government. and the better than expected job numbers is from the private sector. I don't see how Repubs can have it both ways - want a smaller government but be critical of a larger unemployment figure [although we all know that Romney and the GOP are secretly thrilled that the unemployment number is up].

  146. bj: yes, I would be thrilled if I knew for sure that jobs lost were at government levels. But alas, so far I haven't seen a breakdown.
    Smaller government, fewer regulations, easier to build and do business, and more jobs, and in turn, more tax receipts. Sound like a simple formula for success. So why are the Replicans wrong?

  147. "For context, the economy now produces as many goods and services — more, in fact — than it did before the downturn officially began in December 2007. But it does so with almost five million fewer jobs."

    This seems to show that the Republicans' "job creators" aren't really going about their business of creating jobs. Instead, they're keeping the gains from productivity and benefits of a weak labor market for themselves (see: record corporate profits and rising inequality). The way to remedy this is definitely not by handing them over more cash through tax cuts.

    "Government payrolls, which have been shedding workers almost every month for the last two years, have been a drag on overall employment growth."

    This just goes to show that this is not the time or place for fiscal austerity. Republicans want to cut spending, leading to laid-off workers, and then turn around and blame President Obama for a high unemployment rate. And that may well be what lies behind their sudden mania for fiscal austerity and the deficit.

    “Truly, what I’m worried about is that corporate profits have not been as good in the last six months as they had been before,” Mr. Soss said.

    This is what happens a tiny percentage of the population controls ever larger shares of wealth and capital, leaving the remaining populace to make do with shrinking or at best static budgets. Trickle-down Economics? More like Trickle-up Impoverishment.

  148. Private businesses in the U.S. are now more efficient, lean, and more profitable. The rich are doing very well and now hoarding the money they've made, lost, and then made back. It's unfortunate that congress is so divided and uncooperative at this critical moment. Uncertainty, is poison for a slow growing economy. If congress could agree, every consumer, business, and investor would be more calm and more confident- Exactly what America needs about now.

  149. Nobody is more acutely sensitive to their money earning nothing when deposited in banks than the modestly rich who got that way by practicing thrift.

  150. Okay, so here in is the issue I have with people on both sides of the aisle that choose to politicize these numbers. What policies are causing employers to hire? Stimulus spending is gone ( ran out last October, so what Federal Policy is causing hiring since then? Low taxes? That was a Republican creation, one that Obama and the Democrats are deeply in favor of removing.

    The truth is that REGARDLESS of who is president right now, or in November, the economy will continue to improve. It feel FAR too far in 2008 and 2009 to a knee jerk reaction of pessimism that the sky was falling ( figuratively speaking of course ). Of course you can claim it is because of the tax cuts, which is a form of stimulus spending, or you can claim it is because of increased regulation, which is highly unlikely as regulation is like a well regulator on the flow of water it restricts growth, not encourage it.

    I love those that say, it is due to x, or y, or z. The truth is people are TRYING to create commerce. It is a hard thing to do currently. I personally have three companies that I am running all start ups, all employing people. I am going to have to choose which one to go with and shut the others down soon, meaning I will have a few dozen people leaving my employment as I am testing the waters. But hey they are employed right now... sigh...

  151. the math is easy. folks who were out of the pool see more chances for jobs and are coming back on market. making the job seeker and unemployed numbers higher. reporting it that way is hard.

  152. The Obama policies continue to stifle business investment and hiring. Strange that the liberal commenters have gone from blaming Bush to blaming Romney. I guess they didn't notice the guy in the middle? Don't they realize that the Dems had full control of the presidency and the congress for 2 years? How could this be the fault of the GOP?

  153. The stimulus passed in those years stopped the worst economic down turn in 50+ years. Logic would dictate that another round of stimulus would be passed as needed. Then the republicans were elected and the rest is history.
    Ps with stimulus some 200k jobs wet being added per month. Once that ran out growth slowed dramatically.

  154. How about filibustering the rest of the four years including all but eight months when the majority was not filibuster proof in the Senate. Time to let the deep south secede again. They. Have been on the federal dole for eighty years and think they have some kind of self made economic program.

  155. It took eight years for the Republicans under Bush to devastate the economy. The time it's taking to restore it is a mark of how crippling Republican rule was.

    To expect the Republicans, the original wreckers of the economy and the saboteurs of every attempt to revive it, is misplaced faith at best, utter stupidity at worst.

  156. Yet another "opportunity" for the opportunistic Candidate to pounce.

    But, wait ... private industry sits on three trillion dollars in assets and enjoys among the lowest marginal tax rates in recent history, whining all the while about "uncertainty" even as they should be re-training Americans and putting them back to work.

    Jobs ameliorate uncertainty and full employment pays down debt.

    Seems like a no brainer, but those without brains have chosen instead to sit on their disreputable Tea Party buns, allowing the President's "American Jobs Act" to languish, after a grueling session crying 9/11 all over again because women will have free access to birth control.

    Now, the know-nothings have departed the Congress for a much need "vacation."

    And we should vote for Republicans, why?

  157. So there are no Democrats working in private industry? Private industry is entirely Republican and devoted to seeing Obama lose the election? News to me, seeing as I know lots of Obama supporters who work in prominent roles in big business.

    What you wrote is unreasoned paranoia, not any kind of analysis.

  158. Notwithstanding the July figures of 1,63,000 new jobs, the persisting unemployment rate at 8.3% for the past 3-years, with bleak prospects of further improvement in the situation, does strengthen the impression that the post-recession weak recovery, with no fresh policy initiative in sight, might lead to a double dip recession. Moreover, it appears now that, the unemployment situation is turning out almost structural in nature.

  159. Professor: but why is it structural? Are we being beat up by other large countries or by ourselves? After all, on global scale money goes where the returns are best or safest. So why isn't enough coming here?

    Are we so poor that we can no longer can pay for modern living or are we rich but refuse to expand or invest? Perhaps the later is the answer, and it's up to our government to relax regulations significantly to encourage the "money", wherever it may be, to "do what it does best" - in here, in our country.

    As I see it, too many rich are sitting on their cash and refusing to do anything until after the election. Do you agree?

  160. rimantas,

    You to should look into the Treasury Bond Market. There is so much money coming into U.S.Treasury Bonds that the real yield is Negative. While France, Spain, Italy, Greece, and others are paying 6+% interest we in the U.S. and Germany are being paid to keep other people's money safe. Money is not the problem. Opportunity is the problem. There are too few new opportunities. When one surfaces all the money pours in and we have another bubble.

    The Government is incapable of making opportunity and they are very capable of killing opportunity. That is one of the major problems today.

    For those who wonder why U.S. Treasury Bonds when the yield is negative? U.S. Treasury Bonds are also tax exempt no matter what your tax rate is. That can't change no matter how high the rates go. The people in Treasury Bonds are betting on masive tax increases in the future.

    Who knows they may be correct?

  161. Obama is now hiding behind a "rounding issue" to explain away the rise in unemployment.

    People and corporations (the real job creators -- not the government!) will not risk their capital while future tax rate increases and the cost of Obamacare hang over their businesses.

    We'll see an explosion in job creation come November once Gov. Romney is elected.

  162. If only Gov. Romney could start tomorrow!! Jobs would just start pouring in like manna from heaven. Immediately....tomorrow. If only.

  163. It's the obstructivist Republicans fault!

    Unless of course things improve, then Obama is solely responsible...

  164. So you don't have a problem with Republicans voting over and over again to repeal the ACA while they fail to do anything else?

    What about their "jobs, jobs, jobs" chant as they took office with no work done on anything to do with jobs?

  165. Well Construction unemployment figures in the States June 12.8% and July12.3% haven't really moved and talking to a Headhunter.. there is no work in Construction(NYC). Try spring next year is the saying..
    Thanks Bush, Banking system/Wall Street can regulated themselves!
    12 months later collapse.. and we are still feeling it.

  166. "For context, the economy now produces as many goods and services - more, in fact - as it did before the downturn officially began in December 2007. But it does so with almost five million fewer jobs." So why would you hire more people? You don't.
    Job creation has been lacking. Fiscal stimuli have been applied repeatedly but to no avail. Wrong tool applied for a solution.

  167. Negative interest rates = Time to borrow money

    Tell your congressman, today: Increase the deficit!

  168. We are mired in a long term downward spiral of lower quality, poorer paying jobs. The upturn, if it could be described as such, during the Bush years was a construction bubble that created huge wealth for a few but accomplished little for long term job growth. U.S. workers are now competing with rising economies around the world and much smarter, sophisticated job killing technologies that fueled the 90's boom but has already turned on U.S. workers.
    Until we actually get serious and look for real solutions, and that seems unlikely in the polarized political environment that exist today good, solid job growth and a healthy middle class will remain a whimsical dream of the 1950's.

  169. The complete inability on the part of the American voting public., first in 1980, to recognize it, then differentiate fiscal conservatism and fiscal Neo Libertarianism., then what it gave birth too in the 90’s and subsequently over the past 32 years… the simple racketeering partnership between the government and Wall Street’s Global Ponzi Schemes shrouded euphemistically by such terms and processes as “Exotic Products”, “Synthetic/Collateralized Debt Obligations”, “Credit Default Swaps” and “Arbitrage”. WE NEED GSA & BHCA TO BE UPDATED, STRENGTHENED AND ENACTED AS C.A.'S. Nothing is going to happen except recurrences of this stuff until we re-separate Commercial & Investment Banking and prohibit Wall Street from taking depositors money, houses, savings and jobs to the roulette wheel.

  170. The unemployment went to 8.3%. President Obama continues to disappoint the American people without any real solutions for how to turn this country around. Instead, he continues to campaign full time and ignore the dismal reality facing most families. It is simply unacceptable.

    "Last week President Obama said, 'We tried our plan, and it worked.' With the unemployment rate going up again, it's obvious that plan didn't work at all," Be that likely voter and go to the polls on November 6th 2012 and vote the Blamer/Complainer/Campaigner-in-Chief out of office!

  171. I agree with you actually. But I have every confidence in the world that Mitt Romney is a no-nothing showman with far less concern for helping the middle class in this country than President Obama, and I will encourage everyone I know to re-elect him. I think he has done very well in other areas and will turn things around in a second term.

  172. And you think Romney has a better idea of the dismal reality facing most families? Funniest thing I've read today.

  173. Get the context of this quote; it's referring to the Clinton years:

    From Obama's July 24 speech:

    "...I’m also going to ask anybody making over $250,000 a year to go back to the tax rates they were paying under Bill Clinton, back when our economy created 23 million new jobs -- (applause) -- the biggest budget surplus in history and everybody did well.

    Just like we’ve tried their plan, we tried our plan -- and it worked. That’s the difference. "

    That plan, increasing taxes on the top earners to what they were under Bill Clinton, has not been tried yet by Obama - thanks to the Republicans.

  174. "For context, the economy now produces as many goods and services — more, in fact — than it did before the downturn officially began in December 2007. But it does so with almost five million fewer jobs."

    While not the whole story, this should be the point of our focus. So many of our goods are now produced, at least in part, overseas and by machine, that we can have the same output without the labor or jobs here. I've been advocating tariffs to bring the jobs back here. Unless we bring back and protect some major industries, the way that Germany does, we will continue to lose jobs to lower wage countries.

    Our high standard of living includes middle income wages, environmental protections, work rules (like the 5 day work week), etc. At a minimum we should require that these rules apply to all goods and services sold in our country. That would level the playing field for our workers and guarantee that those progressive victories are not eroded during the period of globalization.

  175. But DO NOT forget how many people were layed off by the government. The sheer number adds to the unemployment figure. We should spend the money to rehire teachers in order to improve our education, as well as rehire policemen and firemen. Unfortunately the Republins woud never agree with that because their only aim is to make sure, as promised, that President Obama is a one term president! It behooves the Republicans NOT to hire teachers so the "dumbing down" of the nation can continue.

  176. This uptick could have been predicted given the large oihort of newly graduated college students who can't find work. Certainly that is a factor. Given that, I am afraid that the Republicans will use this as proof of the Obama adminstration's failure, and that is even more dangerous. The latest analysis of the Romney tax plan prhints that he hurt our consumer based economy by putting more tax burden on the middle class while cutting services available to help those in need. The small percentage of the rich will benefit. I hope the spin meisters don't help him along, but I am afraid that is just what will happen.

  177. juliusa: the Republicans don't need this particular statistic to prove Obama has been a failure. Just look at his promises, and then look at what he has actually done, and the assessment will be obvious.

  178. The gov't is cooking the labor participation rate numbers. The U-3 number should be 11%, not 8.3%.

  179. In the face of record high sustained unemployment and underemployment, why do we continue to admit vast numbers of legal and illegal immigrants? Is there a labor shortage here that the Times has failed to uncover that we need millions of more immigrants to address? And what is the point of the H1B visa program - is it to enable employers to fill slots for which no American worker can be found (even if it might require some additional training), or is it simply to provide yet more relatively inexpensive labor?

  180. Most important information is:

    "For context, the economy now produces as many goods and services — more, in fact — than it did before the downturn officially began in December 2007. But it does so with almost five million fewer jobs."

    Classic example of the business cycle - when things are good (like 2007), people are hiring to keep up - the longer the the good times run, the more the business is driven by increasing sales and market share. However, once the downturn comes, focus turns to survival, and restoring efficiency and productivity comes to the forefront.

    Now, we have a sort-of turn up, but there are so many fears and issues that businesses are all being very careful and efficient. We are still focused on survival and the uncertainty.

    A weak labor market and the need to survive, means that no one needs to "hire up". This extends to credit. Companies that banks want to lend to, are currently shedding debt, not adding it. Companies that need to borrow, banks won't touch.

    Bottom line - it is going to take time for businesses to repair their balance sheets (read - no debt!) and to see enough clarity coming from Washington to provide confidence to expand and start hiring. Lower interest rates won"t make us borrow, and tax deals won't make us hire.

    Full disclosure - I am not an economist - I am a business owner, with employees and debt and tax bills. We are not hiring, but making due, and yes, we have higher sales than 2007 with a smaller payroll.

  181. Great idea, nominating Romney, whose money was made by converting corporate equity to debt.

  182. Conventional methods are not going to be enough to reverse the long time loss of jobs. Jobs will continue to be lost due to competition from the rise of smart machines and rising foreign economies. Until we admit this and look for methods, like shorter work weeks, good jobs will be very difficult to find and we will be mired in a sluggish economy with a background of social disquiet.

  183. Too bad the robots who took our jobs can't experience the emotion of triumph for having done so.

  184. FALSE!

    Rising foreign economies mean larger markets for American goods.

    Social disquiet will come from rapidly expanding populations in countries that cannot sustain them.

    Look at India's broken power grid, crumbling roads, deadly trains, water shortage, land mismanagement, etc., etc.

    And their population is exploding.

  185. Romney has already announced that, were he to be elected president, his policy program (i.e., reduction of regualtion and tax burden) would result in the creation of over 12 mn jobs in 4 years. Yet the NY Times does not even mention this. Why the liberal bias?

  186. Uhmm - how is he going to create 12 million jobs and where considering he is talking about gutting government more - which is where we are bleeding jobs.

    Sorry math don't add up.

  187. Any half-wit can say that they have a plan to create 12 million jobs in 4 years but if you can't actually describe the plan in any detail other than more tax cuts for the rich and government spending cuts, there is nothing to report. In order to reach 12 million new jobs over four years the US economy would have to add 250,000 jobs every month for 48 straight months starting in January. If you believe that is going to happen, then you are certainly no Yoda.

  188. It's not liberal bias at all! Why report on the fantasies that Romney perpetuates in order to get himself elected? The idea of getting rid of regulations and lowering taxes has already been tried much to the republican depredation of the American middle class.

  189. Jobs jobs jobs as Rachel Maddow says was and is the promise of the Republican Party though the only...ONLY bills they introduce in Congress concern abortion, religion & more tax cuts for the wealthy.

    It's amazing that Obama has gotten anything done with hundreds of obstructionist Republicans hanging on his back like so many leaches. About half of US voters pretend to not notice Republicans in Congress running out the clock by introducing and voting on silly & often hateful bills that eat up time & prevent our government from doing things that might end this Great Recession someday.

    If Ken Starr hadn't already turned me from a Republican to a Democrat in the late 1990s the jobs jobs jobs Republicans of the Obama era sure as shooting would have done it. I especially don't understand how any American woman could cast a vote for a Republican after all the anti-female bills the Republicans have introduced & passed in the last 3 & 1/2 years. Barefoot & pregnant is the Republican plan for you, dear.

    The obstruction coming from the Legislative Branch of our government coupled with the non-help of the Judicial Branch of our government makes it almost impossible for the Executive Branch of government to pull our ox from the mire. As an adult I can see & understand this. Apparently this does not compute for the Chick-fill-A voting block.

  190. It's true, after three generations of Americans grew up reciting that America is under God every day in school, we now have a population that believes all troubles trace back to God's anger about some aspect of public policy, and demands some form of idolatry to appease God about it.

  191. To DeathbyInches: why do you call Republicans obstructionists? In 2010 they were elected specifically to stop or slow down Obama's unrestrained spending, but it was Obama who insisted continuing this path.

    So, in effect, the Republicans are doing the will of the people as newly expressed in 2010. Do you have a problem with that?

  192. There should be an analysis made that shows the effect of technology,all forms, on the labor market. Today we learned that total goods and services are higher now with 2 million fewer workers than in pre recession times. What is the percentage of unskilled workers in the unemployed labor pool? I am afraid that we will never see 4-5% unemployment figures again.

  193. I was reading recently about the Great Depression and it's causes when the stock market crashed. Most people assume the depression ended with the election of Roosevelt, but in fact, it continued for well over a decade. This has been a SERIOUS recession, and it is good to see things continue to head in the right direction, albeit more slowly than anyone would want. Romney simply stating "it's Obama's fault" and "I would have done better" yet without giving verifiable SPECIFICS is no solution. Government policies giving entitlements to the very rich at the expense of the middle and lower economic groups will NOT provide any trickle down. Corporations are sitting on record piles of cash and workers are being squeezed to death to make profits for those with the power and money to buy influence.

  194. Yes and on top of that companies are squeezing workers for as much production as possible, hence little to no hiring. Don't like it? They'll get a new body in to replace you. We've become disposable parts. Welcome to the new America.

  195. And yet when Obama blames Bush, Obama has had the opportunity to say what he would do to fix the Bush "problem" and the ability to accomplish it. Yet, the economy is still in recession and the unemployment rate has remained over 8%, notwithstanding Obama's promise that it would not reach upt to 8% if Congress passed his $800 billion stimulus, which Congress did. Maybe Romney should give specifics, but Obama has had 3.5 years to give specifics. Maybe Romney will not be great, but we KNOW that Obama has failed to turn the nation around.

  196. ok then - well what's Obama's plan for the next four years? More of the same - we've already had stimulus #1 - another one would just dig us deeper in the hole with no certain income......what plan does Obama have going forward?

  197. Whatever happened to that $800 billion stimulus that Congress had to pass right away, the stimulus Obama promised would create millions of shovel-ready jobs and keep the unemployment rate under 8%?
    Oh, Obama later said there was no such thing as shovel-ready jobs, and then Obama spent the money funding venture capital and private equity businesses sponsored by campaign contributors, like Solyndra.

    Obama said we tried it his way and it worked. He must have been talking about the spin, not jobs. Yes, the spin worked. The unemployed support Obama.

  198. Was that stimulus law passed by the dems in the senate or the repub majority in the house, can't remember and why did our great republicans agree to go along instead of doing what was right for our business owners. which would have been a massive economic deleveraging much akin to the great depression with 25-40% unemployment and deflationary economic slowdown? Don't the Congresspeople know anything about economics?

  199. Whatever happened to it? Are you kidding me? Within a few months of it passing we went from LOSING 750+ THOUSAND JOBS/MONTH to GAINING jobs.
    Where are the millions of jobs? There have been over 4.5M jobs created since the stimulus. If you knew anything about our economy you would know that the financial crisis was severely underestimated.
    Turn off Faux News and listen to more than half of one sentence of his speeches. The speech he gave when he said that was CLEARLY in reference to the Clinton years. Tell me Clinton's economy sucked. Tell me adding 23M jobs sucked. Tell me that the unemployment well under 5% (or the 4 straight months of 3.9% at the end of his term) for Clinton's second term sucked. Really, what rock do you live under?

    Do your homework before you espouse complete garbage next time.

  200. Tony:

    You are right but everyone missed the fine print where Obama said non of his plans would work or promises come true because of President Bush.

  201. There is job growth. I am sure the 163K folks hired and their families are extremely happy. Job creation is going in the right direction...its just slow. As long as the private sector sits on $2.1 trillion dollars in assets gained from the US government economic stimulus that bailed them out to impact the upcoming election...we will see a slow trickle in job growth. It just goes to prove that lower taxes and cutting government expenditures to reduce the size of government do not lead to job growth. Also, government should have targeted the stimulus to efforts that actually create jobs rather than be an insurance option for bad business decisions.

  202. This article illustrates how the media have been duped by the "administration" and the Fed. By transferring trillions of tax dollars to the banking industry, the self-serving Fed has suppressed interest on savings, which in turn has inhibited spending and jobs. This massive wealth transfer targets particularly the middle classes and seniors, is responsible for the recession, and is also a major factor in emerging public pension problems.

  203. President Obama has provided steady, consistent leadership that has stabilized the American economy and improved the manufacturing base. Real manufacturing jobs are being created as opposed to the decades of job erosion from the GOP outsourcers.

    The GOP supported every effort for corporations to strip American workers of their jobs, told the workers that this is the future- better get used to it and handed to the government all the costs associated with the outsourced jobs. These costs are the tax deductions corporations used to ship the jobs overseas, the unemployment benefits, the shattered communities when major employers flee, any retraining to get workers ready for a new job.

    This positive report about the continued, steady progress that the economy is experiencing despite every and any effort by the GOP to disrupt, derail and put an anchor onto this recovery. The only way that the GOP can lose is if America fails. This is the only tactic the GOP has.

    The housing industry will return to normal without the illegal and shady dealings like predatory sub prime mortgages, Lo Doc- No Doc liar loans. A more regulated and closely watched banking industry will be finally implemented despite every and any effort by the GOP to stop this action. The GOP are an anchor to the American recovery. Re-elect President Obama and get rid of the tea driven GOP. America cannot afford the obstruction of the GOP.

  204. What stifles growth KennyR is when banks take massive risks with our money and lose OUR money on those bets and the banking industry collapses. Thanks to this President our country has stayed above water until more favorable global conditions exist. The banking crisis was not just a GOP issue. Bill Clinton was one of the biggest enablers of terrible banking and investment practices that crippled our economy. His own regulator Brooksley Borne warned Clinton, Summers, the Fed, Congress, and the world that shadow banking practices would lead to disastrous consequences and she resigned after she was told to pipe down during the roaring 90s. This was and is an institutional caused crisis. now the institution is dumbing down Dodd/Frank to take the teeth out of it. the Volker Rule says that Banks cannot take your deposits and use that money to invest in risky investments. Lobbyists have got the banks to water down that provision.

  205. So when unemployment rates drop it is because people are dropping out of the job market. But when jobs rise and the rate still goes up the Repsj claim it's bad because the rate is still higher. How about there are people coming back to the job market? Whichever way they spin it. The Reps are living all the time!

  206. Both sides may be right that the other side caused the problems. It is too bad that you all don't realize that the continuing failure of BOTH administrations economic policies are to blame, letting the Fed manipulate the dollar, and congress' lack of a backbone to mandate a balanced budget .

  207. Do the economists and policy makers need to rethink work, unemployment and growth as well as the way people are valued? As of now we value those who work. Our society places more value on those who make money hand over fist. We ridicule teachers, social workers, nurses, janitors, scientists, and those who are outside the mainstream of American life which includes more people than it should. We don't to give them too much aid lest they have no incentive to look for a job. What kind of illusions are we fostering by doing that?

    We've seen over many years, nay, decades, that older workers have a very hard time finding jobs if they are fired or "downsized". We've seen entire classes of jobs eliminated or sent overseas (think entry level and mid level). We've watched as employers have said that they can't find Americans to fill jobs so they have to hire foreigners and we know that isn't true. I've experienced this myself when I was working in research. Employers do not value their people. They want to hire cheap, fire at will, never train and reward as little as possible.

    What needs to change is the attitude towards employees, training, and short term profit. In addition, we need to stop allowing CEOs to receive outrageous compensation when they fire loads of employees. All that does if offload their problem onto the taxpayers. If jobs are that important and better education is needed, why aren't corporations willing to contribute their fair share to make it happen?

  208. Could it be..just a maybe...that our economic system as we know it, the neo liberal policies that drive it...aka hard edge capitalism, has reached the end of the road and simply does not work... and that just as the Soviet Union had to throw communism down the gutter and start anew, we need to look for a new paradigm?

  209. well, the new paradigm in the Soviet Union is a pretty poor one. So maybe we both need to meet in the middle 'a la western europe'???

  210. These posts get so predictable ---It's the Reps, fault It's the Dems. fault
    There are just certain facts you can't avoid--they are true and they do not change.
    Governments do not creat jobs. They can put people to work for short periods of time but if these jobs produce NOTHING of value the jobs just become a drain on society. If we cannot find a strategy to create sustainable growth then all the Gov generated jobs are doomed to fail or at least go away in short order.
    New jobs come from creative, risk taking, innovators--producing a product people want to buy-.(.i.e. Apple.) not bureaucrats pushing paper for a pay check. Why this is so difficult to understand is baffling.

  211. And how do innovators know how to read, write, do math, take risks, and be creative?

    Because teachers have taught them and trained them. Teachers paid by our governments.

  212. It's baffling because you don't make sense.

    CONSUMERS create jobs, including jobs in the public sector, in that consumers are taxpayers who fund the salaries of teachers, cops, firefighters, sanitation workers, park rangers, staff who process Medicare claims, etc., etc. ad nauseum, etc.

    In other words, government DOES create jobs, and ones that typically require at least a Bachelor's degree or place demands on those who work them that most workers in the private sector don't encounter, e,g, staring down the barrel of a gun for a living.

    STOP COMPARING GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESS.

    Just STOP it. The two are diametrically opposed in their assumptions, purviews, and responsibilities. Whether you realize it or not, the relatively stable and civil society enjoyed by the US doesn't just magically appear. It has to be paid for, and that requires government jobs.

    Gah - I am so sick and tired of the misinformed gullibility that is taking this nation down in flames.

  213. Governments don't create jobs? That is almost as entertaining as saying there is no global warming.
    Teachers don't have real jobs?
    College professors at public universities don't have real jobs?
    First responders, police, air traffic controllers, highway workers don't have real jobs?

    I could go on but just tell me what our brave men and woman in the military do for a living?

  214. When President Obama took office in 2009, he inherited an economy halfway through shedding 8.8 million jobs and minus 9 GDP when he took office. It was burdened with much more public and private debt, hamstrung by budget deficits; he had to deal more than any president in U.S history. On top of that, he has to deal with GOP policies that destroy government jobs across cities, counties, and states in America.

    Despite U.S jobs performance, growth in U.S has outpaced that of other advance economies affected by the global crisis: Europe’s volcanic sovereign-debt crisis, Japan’s earthquake and worries about China and emerging markets. Under president Obama’s leadership, we have positive 2 GDP and over 29 months job growth consecutively, manufacture continue to hire, and and my 401K have double since the low of 2008. We still have much to clean up from the mess that Bush & GOP took 8 years to create, and it will take longer than 3.5 years to clean them up, especially while GOP has been sitting on job bill since last summer.

    Mitt Romney is not a fresh start, he's a rerun of the Bush economic policy that led to 2008 financial crisis by deregulate Wall Street & big banks and tax cut for super rich like him by screw up the working poor and middle class tax hike.

    Romney's M.A Record:

    Jobs: 47th out of 50 states in job creation

    Taxes & fees: Increased more than $750 million per year

    Long-term debt: Increased more than $2.6 billion

  215. You forgot to mention RomneyCare, which was the model for ObamaCare. You forgot to mention that Mitt Romney is the intellectual godfather of ObamaCare. Doesn't that tell you what you need to know about Mitt Romney?

  216. Barack Obama’s plan to save the economy with a new New Deal has failed utterly, as will whatever plan Romney offers. What now? There is not enough gold to confiscate (Roosevelt's solution) to make a difference and Washington is already in debt for sums impossible to repay. The Federal Reserve Corporation has proven itself capable only of creating bubbles, booms, and busts that occur in an ever tightening time span. The stability in the economy that Americans were given as the primary reason for enacting the Federal Reserve Act is now revealed as the illusion it was and still is. The entirety of western civilization is embroiled in a leverage crisis, which the FED, BOE, and ECB are attempting to cover up with more debt. So what will the real solution be? A simple default on the debt without a world war would be a win for the American people and a loss for the FED. Liquidation of the debt through inflation will destroy the life savings of millions of Americans as the US dollar would be destroyed. Regardless, with no money, Washington continues to plant false flags to start new wars that will eventually lead to a world war involving China and Russia — a solution that would leave the same criminals in charge after the killing and dying.

    And, still, the American people remain divided over republican/democrat, conservative/liberal, left/right, and other false paradigms designed only to conceal our true enemy and keep us fighting each other over scraps from the table of our rulers.

  217. This is one of the more insightful comments on the Times blog. Thank you.

  218. Mitt Romney in 2004 about blaming a President for job market conditions:

    " The people of America recognize that the slowdown in jobs that occurred during the early years of the Bush administration were the result of a perfect storm. And an effort by one candidate to somehow say "Oh, this recession and the slowdown in jobs was the result of somehow this president magically being elected..." people in America just dismiss that as being poppycock. And they recognize it as that. Every indication is that the economic policies adopted and pursued by this president are creating jobs at a very high pace. And so the people of America have to ask, "Do I stay with the president, who is rebuilding the economy, who is creating jobs, or do you want to stop mid-stream and find someone new?"

  219. Another good sign of economic recovery. We've made a lot of progress to be proud of. Yes, still work to be done. Here is the rub. "For context, the economy now produces as many goods and services — more, in fact — as it did before the downturn officially began in December 2007. But it does so with almost five million fewer jobs." How do you get companies who can produce more with less people to hire more?? And what about all the businesses (box retail) that became obsolete when everyone starting buying online? the trick is for Americans, with some assistance from the POTUS and Congress, to create new job realms AND bring jobs here from oversees.

  220. 4.5 Million jobs created while the Republicants blunted President Obama's efforts to right the Bush debacle is no small feat. Given the pledges to Republican leaders and underlings, alike, President Obama has shown leadership, tenacity and a great sense of being a true American. He fights for all Americans, everyday. That includes the 1%, who he wants to give the chance to do the right thing, by America!!

  221. I don't know where you get your numbers but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 316,000 fewer jobs today than when Obama assumed office in January 2009.

    Obama has burdened us with trillions of dollars of debt and has fewer jobs as a result.

    But his golf game has improved and Michelle's having a great time at the Olympics!

  222. I'm glad that Obama's plan is working. Unemployment increased, the debt increased, gas prices increased, food stamps increased, and food costs increased. This is the worst "recovery" since the Great Depressions, but only the NYT can put a positive spin on Obama's plan.

  223. The US is letting in a million plus legal immigrants annually, who take jobs, and this article doesn't mention that???!

  224. Legsl immigrants create many more jobs than they take. Look at Google. Or Apple. Or Microsoft. Or Oracle. Or Intel.

    I've got 3 immigrants working for me in highly technical positions that I was unable to fill for 3 years with an American (at any price). And because of them another 18 Americans have jobs. All paying over $60K/yr. Some over $100K.

  225. Jobs aren't zero sum. Immigration has next to nothing to do with the unemployment rate.

  226. Maybe you haven't heard, illegal immigration has slowed almost to a standstill and the number of illegals in the country is dropping, down almost a million since 2007. So what you wrote, it's actually the opposite.

  227. How about more abortion bills from GOP to create job for the economy?

  228. Let's not forget the repeated votes to overturn the ACA.

  229. "Most (new July) jobs were seasonal."

    I just heard that on the CBS economic news.

    Bummer!

  230. The job numbers are seasonally adjusted, so they don't know what they are talking about.

  231. Bush's recession has become Obama's depression.

  232. Wrong. It's the Boehner-Cantor-McConnell Depression (and throw in Larry Summers for good measure).

  233. If by depression you mean the way the Republicans feel about the (slowly) growing economy despite their earnest attempts to destroy it, then yes there is a depression. Otherwise...

    Slow growth (Obama) > recession (Bush)

  234. Job creators? No! In recent years, corporate leaders have been job destroyers to maximize shareholder value. Their success is undeniable. Technological changes now allow employers to get much more work from employees than they once did. Cell phones, computers and the internet have created a world where many workers are never really off the job. Workplaces have invaded people's private lives. Some are able to maintain clear boundaries between their professional lives and their private lives, but many would say that those boundaries have become blurred and are constantly violated. For some, the boundary has disappeared: the job IS the life. This has become a common meme in cultural discourse. I used to hold a position in which no matter how much I did, how fast, how well, the work was never done and the stress was never relieved. After a small stroke and stepping back, I can definitely say that this is not healthy for individuals or for society. Both Mom and Dad work. Neither is ever really off the job. Child rearing suffers. Mental/physical health of many is harmed. Employers have always higher expectations, not because these are advisable but because they can. Workers bow to ridiculous productivity demands under continual threats of downsizing and unemployment. Employers now believe that their extremely high productivity demands are reasonable when they are not. They need to dial back productivity expectations to humane levels by hiring more people. It's that simple.

  235. You are right Llyn,

    I am so glad, I am old enough to retire soon If I choose to.

    I am most fearful for coming generations of young peoples.

  236. I know some who had dropped off the unemployed rolls because of long-term unemployment have started trying to find a job again. There does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel. I wish the Republicans had not blocked the Return Jobs to the USA Bill in the Senate. It would have removed the tax benefit to companies moving their plants off-shore, and would have given 120% tax benefit to those moving their plants back to the USA.

  237. Romeny's announced he'll created 12 million new jobs in the next four years. He didn't say where! The 163,000 is a start, but the rate uptick is troubling. A lot of this blame has to do with this do nothing Congress and GOP/Tea Party obstruction.

    To update the fellow in 2000 who said I trust Bill Clinton with my job and George Bush with my wife, I say that I trust Barack Obama with both and Romney with my wife.

  238. 12 million new jobs in 48 months is just 250,000 a month, an improvement from 163,000, but not earth-shaking in itself. I suspect Romney's real plan is just to continue Obama's policies for awhile, and take credit for the housing market recovery-fuelled rebound that is coming anyway.

  239. Although the July jobs number was better than many anticipated, the unemployment rate inched up to 8.3% from 8.2%

    Still, the economy has now added private sector jobs for 29 straight months, for a total of 4.5 million jobs during that period. While there is more work that remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the US economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. We need to continue the policies that build an economy that works for the middle class as we climb our way out of the deep hole caused by the severe recession beginning in December 2007.

    To build on the progress of the last few years, President Obama has proposed an extension of middle class tax cuts that would prevent the typical middle class family from facing a $2,200 tax increase next year. In addition, to create more jobs in particularly hard-hit sectors, President Obama supports the elements of the American Jobs Act that have not yet passed, including further investment in infrastructure.

    Manufacturing employment continues to expand and manufacturers added 25,000 jobs in July. After losing millions of manufacturing jobs in the years before and during the recession, the economy has added 532,000 manufacturing jobs since January 2010 – the strongest growth for any 30-month period since June 1989. Within manufacturing, motor vehicles and parts added 12,800 jobs in July, its strongest monthly growth since January 2011.

  240. How to lie with statistics! That would be a great title of the aforementioned statement. The unemployment rate is closer to 15% because it does not take into consideration, those people no longer looking for work after 27 weeks. Also, we know the type of jobs created are low-paying, service sector jobs that CANNOT contribute to our stagnant economy. Obama owns this debacle and to give in to his proposals would bankrupt us even further! Don't try to pull the wool over our eyes!

  241. The economy needs to add 150,000 to 175,000 jobs per month just to stay even with population growth. Obama's miserable jobs performance won't cut the mustard as my old man used to say. Oh, and by the way, why is Obama suddenly in favor of retaining some tax cuts for the middle class when he told us for the first three years of his presidency that the Bush tax cuts were only for the rich?

  242. "For context, the economy now produces as many goods and services — more, in fact — as it did before the downturn officially began in December 2007. But it does so with almost five million fewer jobs."......
    “We’ve now gone 42 consecutive months with the unemployment rate above 8 percent,” Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, said in a statement. “Middle-class Americans deserve better, and I believe America can do better.”

    If this is truly the case for employment, that we can and do produce everything we need (and presumably import the rest) despite huge numbers of continuous unemployment, then

    Romney isn't going to provide anything any better because this looks to be a permanent situation.

    There is simply NO NEED for more people, it would seem the only jobs are jobs being REFILLED, rather than jobs newly created.
    We may d"deserve" better, but that isn't going to change the facts that it doesn't look like it will get better.

    If we are producing all that we need , where is the incentive--either under Obama or Romney--to create jobs?

    What should also be published is how many REAL jobs there are unfilled, and how much of the eligible work force is actually unemployed.

  243. No one said we are producing "all we need." The article said we are producing at least as much as we did before the downturn began, 4 years ago. We have a larger population than we did 4 years ago. A lot of people who might have made major purchases like cars and houses and appliances during the past 4 years have deferred those purchases because they don't have the money, they prefer to pay off debt or they are afraid to commit to major purchases in a bad economy. The lack of demand for goods and services is what keeps economic growth low.

    No business adds people unless it sees demand growing at such a pace that it can't fill demand for its goods or services without adding people. Tax cuts can do nothing to solve this problem. Even if its taxes are zero, a business will not gear up to produce more if it believes it will not be able to sell more. When consumers and businesses spend less, the only way to increase demand is to increase government spending. Instead, state and local governments have cut spending and Washington pols talk only about how to spend less at the federal level.

    Demand will increase eventually. As the population increases, so does the demand for housing. People can put off replacing their cars and appliances longer than they did in the past, but not forever. It will simply take much longer to get demand back to a level that fuels decent economic growth than it would take if government did what is needed.

  244. It's the economy, stupid!!! Time to stop the blame games and actually do something other than stimulus (payoff's). One trillion dollars disappeared in the last four years, the national debt has more than doubled,and we are now saddled with new bribes for votes by those that will never carry their own weight. Obviously we didn't get the change we were promised! Time to get real and get a real change.

  245. Slashing spending to cut the deficit is only going to put us back into recession, which we will get out of only thru more stimulus. The only intelligent thing to do to reduce debt while minimizing impact on economy is to raise taxes on the well-to-do.

  246. It is the economy, stupid. And it is starting to show some form of strength. As for the trillion that has disappeared, much has to do with two big tax credits/deductions: child tax credit and mortgage interest deduction. Republicans refuse to consider dropping either because they want to lower top marginal rates.

  247. The US Government (local, state, federal) spending is about 35 to 38 percent of GDP , which is far lower than our peers in the 50-30 club (fifty million citizens, GDP per capita of 30000 dollars plus). The President and Congress have less control over the economy than other wealthy states. Although politicians on both sides of the aisle talk about how evil big government is, austerity measures do not grow an economy out of recession (see Greece, Italy, and Spain for how well that plan has worked).

    Also, unemployment, as compared to Europe is at, slightly above, or far above 8 percent. Its the new strucutural norm, at least for the next 5-10 years. Then, when the baby boomer cohort retires en masse, their will be a huge demand for medical and other services and a substantial opening up of the jobs market.

    If we really want to tackle the recession, we need to grow the economy by making long term loans so we can spend now and pay later. Social security also needs to be completely rewritten, to match the model in Singapore - everyone has an individual account in which they are required to place a portion of their earnings, so they don't become dependent on the government to care for them when they are old.

    Then government can spend a substantially larger part of money collected in taxes to create jobs and build the economy.

    Politicians and everyday Americans need to stop complaining, compromise, and get creative. That's the only way to restore this great nation.

  248. I bet citizens in most European Union member states would cheer these type job numbers. But we here in America much prefer magical thinking to real-world improvment.

    Voodoo economics brought America to its knees - and voodoo economics is the very last thing that will restore us to our feet.

  249. The US economy needs to create about 160,000 to 200,000 jobs per month just to replace the normal rate of worker turnover, e.g. retirement, military enlistment, career change.

    These job numbers will not 'move the needle', and are nothing to cheer about given the size of the national deficit from stimulus spending and the duration of this recession.

  250. Obamanomics has produced 8.3% unemployment, a $1.5 trillion budget deficit, and GDP growth of less than 1.5% annually. How's that working out for you, and for America? Reganomics produced the longest and largest economic boom in the history of this country, and Presdient Regan had time left over to defeat the Soviet Union and tear down the Berlin Wall. I'll take the optimism and growth of the 1980's over the misery of the last 4 years, hands down.

  251. @Francois
    The debt from the stimulus is nothing compared to the debt from the Bush tax cuts and two unfunded wars.

  252. I'm optimistic about our economic future...We as a nation are paying our dues for a 3-4 decade long credit expansion via a deflationary credit deleveraging. There's not much which either a President or Congress or Central Bank can do about this because debt must be tossed and an aging population must save for retirement.
    Although real wages have been stagnant and fallen for the middle class for over a decade, I believe Romney and the Republican Congress's commercials that they will make the economy in this nation stellar again and I eagerly await the specifics of the republicans economic plan so that it can be evaluated by economists and the American public...waiting, waiting. I certainly hope that the secret republican plan is not just a rehashing of GHWB's economic genocide placed upon the American public years ago which only served to accentuate the decades old credit expansion of our nation.

  253. Are you bet on Republican Congress?

    May be Romney can come up with something other then current policy.
    But I am afraid ,his hands also tied by his fellow Republican.

    I don' trust either party.

    This country future is all depend on us, as of citizen of great nation.
    We will come though .

    Go, Vote!

  254. Romney is offering the same economic policy as the GOP has since Reagan, and you think that is going to make our economy better? You do realize that insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly expecting different results. Please explain how more of the same is going to change things?

  255. Your evaluation of alternative plans for reviving our economy are based on Republican advertising? I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

  256. what happen to GOP job creator slogan who benefit from the Bush tax cut for super rich?