This is White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Austan Goolsbee’s last week on the job, and he decided to leave us with some nonsense on the employment picture, which worsened today.
That’s right, worsened. Don’t believe the headlines or the White House. Definitely don’t believe the White House.
Let’s start with what actually happened. The economy in July generated 117,000 jobs and the unemployment rate declined from 9.2 percent ot 9.1 percent.
This is nice until you remember that the economy needs to create about 150,000 jobs just to keep pace with the growing work force. The decline in the unemployment rate was not due to the new jobs, but to people giving up searching for jobs. They are then not counted as unemployed, since they are not even looking.
Now, July was better than June, and the numbers were better than expected. But overall, we’re in worse shape than we were.
Let’s look at how Goolsbee spun this in his statement out of the White House today, which opens as follows:
Today’s employment report shows that private sector payrolls increased by 154,000 in July and the unemployment rate ticked down to 9.1 percent. The economy has added 2.4 million private sector jobs over the past 17 months, despite a slowdown in economic growth from substantial headwinds in the first half of the year.
Whoops! Read carefully. Looks like job creation got above the magic 150,000 number. But Goolsbee is talking about private sector jobs. The public sector is loosing jobs, particularly in states and localities, which are strapped for cash.
The overall number, 117,000 jobs created, is buried lower in the statement.
The White House does this every month – focusing on private sector jobs. Public sector employees would probably be surprised to discover that they matter less to President Obama.
In an interview with Bloomberg today, Goolsbee amped up the deception. Again, read closely. You really have to watch these people.
I believe that puts us at around 2.4 million jobs created over the last 17 months . . . If we are growing, adding 2.4 million jobs over 17 months, those are not the things a double-dip recession looks like.”
He means, as he said above, 2.4 million private sector jobs. The overall number created is less.
Goodbye Austan, and good riddance.