What Job Numbers Surging REALLY Means 1

Job numbers “surging” and what that really means.

I read with interest across the NFM how the jobs numbers were surging, and that more people were entering the workforce and more employers were offering jobs.  Of course, Obama was given much of the credit.  And it’s good that jobs are available.


However, every month jobs numbers have been revised downward, and this trend has been going on for at least two years.  Sometimes the revision has been so large, it doesn’t even match the number of new labor market entrants.  When the Great Recession began, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated we would need 125,000 new jobs per month to have a recovery.  They have since revised that number to 208,000 per month.  Plus, June’s numbers “surge” means we only beat the need by 80,000 jobs.  That’s good news.  However, June is a month with a lot of seasonal hiring, so the jobs aren’t permanent.  So not much good news there, after all.


This creates a “jobs gap”.  That’s the difference between our workforce pool and number of actual people who have jobs.  There are several reasons for this jobs gap.  First, older workers are retiring.  Second, millions are going on disability.  And third, people are simply not trying to find work.  They have given up trying to be employed.


Historically, about 100,000 people enter the workforce every month.  That should be good news.  Especially with 288,000 new jobs added.  However, with the massive unemployment from before, coupled with the anemic recovery, what it means is even at the current pace of job creation, it will be another 10 years before we recover to pre recession levels. That’s not good news on anyone’s scale.


Adding fuel to the fire, anywhere between 40% (business insider) and 66% (Washington TImes) of the new jobs went to immigrants, either legal or illegal.  That means American citizens are not getting these jobs.  That also tells me that the jobs created are low skill/low paying jobs.


I’m happy we are adding jobs.  But to get our economy back on track, we need to do more to support small businesses, something this administration does not do.


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One thought on “What Job Numbers Surging REALLY Means

  • Brian

    So why the huge push for higher education? It might make some $ sense for Sally Mae if the graduating students were able to make payments on their never ending loans. But if the majority of “new jobs” are (less than?) minimal wage labor jobs, then what are we educating ourselves for?