Gong towards the official end of summer this weekend, Democrats scramble to re-work their failed economic message known as “recovery summer.” While the private sector added 67,000 jobs, it’s a drop in the bucket, considering unemployment rose to 9.6 percent. As usual, the administration and its friends in Washington over-promised under-delivered on any strategy that could help improve America’s economic environment.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics just released the following report this Friday morning:
The number of unemployed persons (14.9 million) and the unemployment rate (9.6 percent) were little changed in August. From May through August, the jobless rate remained in the range of 9.5 to 9.7 percent. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men (9.8 per- cent), adult women (8.0 percent), teenagers (26.3 percent), whites (8.7 per- cent), blacks (16.3 percent), and Hispanics (12.0 percent) showed little change in August. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.2 percent, not season- ally adjusted. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) de- clined by 323,000 over the month to 6.2 million. In August, 42.0 percent of unemployed persons had been jobless for 27 weeks or more. (See table A-12.)
In August, the civilian labor force participation rate (64.7 percent) and the employment-population ratio (58.5 percent) were essentially unchanged. (See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes re- ferred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 331,000 over the month to 8.9 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)
Back in mid-June, Vice President Joe Biden launched the administration’s “Recovery Summer” tour. The idea was to highlight all the jobs that had been created as a result of the stimulus-funded package.
The administration spoke about “shovel-ready” jobs that would put Americans back to work, and took shots at Republicans in the process for not supporting the stimulus package (H/T Politico):
David Axelrod, a senior adviser to the president, said: “This summer will be the most active Recovery Act season yet, with thousands of highly-visible road, bridge, water and other infrastructure projects breaking ground across the country, giving the American people a first-hand look at the Recovery Act in their own backyards and making it crystal clear what the cost would have been of doing nothing.”
Axelrod continued: “In the face of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, Republicans in Congress chose to play politics with economic recovery and declared the Recovery Act a failure before it even began. They made a cynical bet that if the President fails, they win. Democrats chose to act by tackling the crisis head-on. Just over a year later, the Recovery Act is putting millions of Americans to work and helping the economy grow again. But our work is far from over.”
When it became apparent that the stimulus did nothing to grow the private sector, the administration began talking in terms of a metric that could not be measured at all, known as “jobs created jobs saved.”
This phrase was simply a crafty marketing tool for the White House to have a see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, approach to any real questions about why Americans remain un-employed. Is it any wonder why President Obama likes his vacations?
Representative Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat, was right about one thing back in August. It was “dumb” for the administration to pin a prediction of no more than 8% un-employment as result of passing the Democrats’ stimulus package. Unfortunately, for Democrats, this realization has come too late.