What a difference two years makes

Below is a graph depicting trends in job creation in the private sector. Significantly, the turn around can be attributed primarily to the President's economic recovery act (and to other stimulus measures like aid to the ailing auto industry, increases in unemployment comp., and stimulus to states). However, ongoing state and local budget cuts has meant job losses that have offset much of this new job creation for much of the past year.

That isn't a good thing. Those are people with families. They are our neighbors. They pay taxes, shop and the local stores and restaurants, and their work provides essential services we unconsciously rely on everyday.

Some economists have explained the higher unemployment rate for April as resulting from new growth in the labor force and the number of people seeking work.

When looking at graphs like this and Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers it is easy to forget that behind the numbers of individuals and families and children that still need help. It is easy to forget the 6 million or so who are long-term unemployed. It is easy to forget the lost homes and struggling communities.

Republicans in Congress have taken more stimulus off the table and have forced consideration of harmful cuts (including elimination of Medicare and the unemployment insurance program) that will undoubtedly worsen the economic picture.

Two years ago the debate was over how big the stimulus should be and how to design additional helpful programs (like healthcare). Today the big debate is over how much to cut. What a difference two years makes. It clarifies the nature and consequences of the political struggle in the next 18 months as the 2012 elections approach. No time for inaction.














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  • I'm not sure if you read the article all the way through. Mathematically speaking there were about 260,000 private sector jobs created in April and a net gain of 244,000, which means that recently anyway, public sector job losses aren't "wiping" out job gains. But as the article in fact notes, public sector losses due to cuts are in fact have hurt the overall picture over the recent period.

    Posted by Joel Wendland, 05/11/2011 2:30pm (11 years ago)

  • This is very misleading at best. The increase in private sector employment is being pretty much wiped out by a corresponding decrease in the public sector. Both Republican and Democratic politicians have been responsible for the budget cutting frenzy.

    As to the slight drop in unemployment, that, unfortunately can be explained by the increase in workers giving up hope of finding a job and dropping out of the labor force.

    Posted by Mike, 05/11/2011 2:21pm (11 years ago)

  • Thanks for this. In my opinion, we can't talk enough about the jobs crisis. I understand that we need 13 million jobs to get the rate back to where it was, and nothing like that is on the horizon. Nor are any government programs really addressing it.

    Next month, the "easy money" government policies are supposed to end, leaving the unemployed helpless as we move toward the next great capitalist economic downturn.
    --Jim Lane in Dallas

    Posted by jim lane, 05/10/2011 12:01pm (11 years ago)

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