The first of this week's three big employment numbers was released this morning. Tomorrow, we will learn the first-time claims number. Friday, the unemployment number and rate for the previous month. As this item from Reuters indicates, the signs are not good:
Private employers added 119,000 jobs in April, well below economists' expectations in the latest piece of data to suggest the economy is encountering a soft patch, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.
As well, March's private payrolls were revised down to an increase of 131,000 from the previously reported 158,000.
And according to Zero Hedge, even that does not paint the full, dismaying picture:
This was the 5th month in a row of declines excluding the small bounce in February data. It also means that the combined miss to expectations including March (original estimate +200K) and April (estimate 150K) is precisely 100K.
With the latest jobs report, it is now the case that "Under Obama, Food Stamp Growth [Is] 75 Times Greater Than Job Creation," according to statistics compiled by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee. "For Every Person Added to Jobs Rolls Since January 2009, 75 People Added To Food Stamp Rolls."
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the biggest change in employment over the last month affected black workers. In September, the unemployment rate for blacks was 13.4 percent. In October, that number jumped to 14.3 percent, an almost a full percentage point change, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Unemployment for whites remained steady at 7 percent.
Likewise, the unemployment rate remain unchanged for teenagers (23.7 percent) and adult men (7.3 percent).
Until now, most forecasters have been framing the assumptions underlying their projections on what they assume a reelected Barack Obama would do about taxes, appointments to the Federal Reserve Board, spending, the deficit and a host of other policies. Suddenly, they are back to the drawing board. Polls are showing something inconceivable to the American media and foreign observers: Mitt Romney is closing in on the president, and might even hold a slight lead.
“Well, we’ve gone through a tough four years.” That line from Tuesday night’s presidential debate wasn’t particularly surprising. It was, after all, exactly what one would expect Mitt Romney to say about President Obama’s tenure in office. What was surprising was that it wasn’t Romney who uttered those words. It was Obama.
A new chart from the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee details the fact that, since January 2009, for every person added to the labor force, 10 have been added to those not in the labor force. Here's a chart showing the dwindling labor force:
This morning's jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is being met with skepticism. The report found that, from August to September, the unemployment rate dropped from just above 8 percent to 7.8 percent.
In fact, when Labor Secretary Hilda Solis appeared on CNBC this morning, the first two questions for her were whether the books have been cooked:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate has decreased to 7.8 percent. The biggest drops in unemployment, from the report on August to the report just released on September, is among teenagers, blacks, and Asians.
In one of President Obama's TV ads, Bill Clinton says that the key question in this election is which candidate can figure out how "to return us to full employment." But as the federal government's own figures show, Obama might want to start by first figuring out how to get us back to the level of employment that we had during the recession.