’s employment report—dark clouds with an even darker lining. Employers added only 96,000 net jobs. That does not keep pace with population growth. Additional data also showed the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) earlier estimates had been too optimistic. Revisions subtracted over 40,000 jobs from the June and July estimates. Average monthly job growth is now lower in 2012 than in 2011. The economy is moving in the wrong direction.
Economy & Budget
Today, the U.S. Department of Labor reported more disappointing news. The economy created only 96,000 jobs in August, the unemployment rate remains above 8 percent, and more than 350,000 Americans have dropped out of the work force. While some may focus on the jobs that were created last month, this jobs report is nothing but horrendous. I welcome any jobs, but American workers giving up on employment in the weakest recovery since the Great Depression is cause for alarm, not celebration.
As Congress crafts the 2012 Farm Bill, large food manufacturers are lobbying to let foreign sugar supplies flood the U.S. market, which they say will lower prices and improve competitiveness.
These arguments match those made by industrial sugar users in the European Union before it overhauled its sugar policy in 2006, but the unintended consequences since that reform have included job loss, higher consumer prices, and increased taxpayer cost.
The lingering effects of the recession have made job creation a persistent struggle for the American economy. The U.S. economy added just 163,000 jobs in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Lawmakers in Washington should be doing everything they can to accelerate economic growth and job creation.
A recent op-ed in favor of a higher federal minimum wage begins with the stories of two separate single mothers—each supporting two children—who are struggling to get by on the minimum wage alone. These anecdotes make a compelling emotional case for raising the minimum wage. Unfortunately, the stories aren’t complete. The authors of the op-ed left out crucial details that, when properly accounted for, paint a very different picture of the effects of a higher minimum wage.
While the law and its rules and regulations are overreaching, and not cost benefit contributions to jobs or economic growth, a repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act would not be a feasible approach to financial reform. A more reasonable and achievable approach would be for President-Elect Mitt Romney (should that be the result of the November election) to take early action to bring the members of the Financial Stability Board together in a meeting with his transition team.
Next Monday we observe Labor Day. This federal holiday originated as a day to pay tribute to the contributions of the American worker and their achievements. Unfortunately, this Labor Day will not be a day filled with picnics and parades for the 8.3% of Americans that are unemployed. Still, President Obama states that the private sector is “doing fine” while the unemployment lines get longer and longer. It is painfully clear just how out of touch the president is with both the workers of our country and the small business owners who can create the jobs we need for economic recovery. While the economic climate is bad now, it could get worse very soon.
At a New York hearing on raising the state minimum wage held in May of this year, Tammy Bove, mother of two, testified that after she found a job at Burger King making $7.25 an hour, she earned so little she qualified for public assistance, though at a reduced rate. She said still struggled to pay her bills.
Recent positive news on house prices, released by the Federal Housing Finance Administration, has many economists declaring the housing market has bottomed and that home prices appear to be on a healthy rebound. After being pummeled continuously for the past six years, any good news regarding the housing market is welcomed.
There is not a day, it seems, that goes by without yet another grim assessment of the U.S. drought that is now reaching historic proportions.
The combination of searing heat and virtually no rain has shriveled our typically abundant fields and ignited our nation’s forests. As Americans, this is in stark contrast to what we have been used to: Year after year, American farmers provide a plentiful supply of high-quality, low-cost food. We’ve gotten used to it and as a nation we have counted on it.