Scary jobs report

Ominous new job numbers, and scary trends in job creation, out today.

A lot of signs are pointing to a slowdown in the economy, and that’s even before the impact of the government shutdown, which analysts have said will certainly cut economic growth this quarter, by perhaps 0.6 percentage points.

And the WSJ reports that there are concerns that the shutdown, and budget uncertainty, are creating an even more conservative spending climate, which will further depress jobs creation:

The ramifications of the Washington dysfunction could influence the course of the economy—and economic data—for months. Several recent surveys show business executives are restraining their hiring partly because of concerns about how the budget fights could influence the economy and markets.


employment, unemployment, jobs, economy

Jobs via Shutterstock

Reuters reports that even before the shutdown, the economy was starting to lose momentum:

U.S. employers added far fewer than expected workers in September, suggesting a loss of momentum in the economy that supported the Federal Reserve’s decision to maintain its monthly bond purchases.

More troubling conjecture, and evidence, from a series of Tweets I just read about the troubling jobs numbers:

I remember talking to a friend in the jewelry business, during the near-government-shutdown of 2010. They said it was killing their business. Consumers were worried about the economy, and the impact the shutdown might have on it, and they stopped spending, right before Christmas. And that’s what the current budget deal, to reopen the government and avert a GOP-forced default on the national debt, has set us up for again – a budget showdown during Christmas.

The official date of the next possible shutdown is January 15, but the budget wrangling will be going on long before that, leading, I fear, to uncertainty during the Christmas shopping season, which is hugely important to the overall economy.

The Christmas holiday generates 20% of all retail sales (on average – in some industries, it’s up to 40%).  So the ongoing, year after year, GOP hostage-taking of the economy takes it toll.  As does the incessant effort to cut the budget.  Every time we cut spending, we cut jobs.  Everyone said it would happen, and it has.  And now we’re talking about cutting again, in a (predictably) weak economy.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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51 Responses to “Scary jobs report”

  1. Bill_Perdue says:

    There is no deep end when it comes to rejecting the warmongering, union busting, pro austerity and anti-Bill of Rights measures of the Democrats and Republicans. The are the enemy.

  2. navyvet50 says:

    You started to make some good points…then you went off the deep end…as for Obama being an 1980’s Republican …all DEms are because the midpoint has moved so far to the right.

  3. Bill_Perdue says:

    People who ignore the confrontational nature inherent in the class war by the rich do so at their own risk.

    All violence comes from the right.

  4. Indigo says:

    The Hiawatha Belt teaches us that we must all live together in this long house, our nation. I understand your sentiment but it has that Euro-centric ring of confrontational politics that does not harmonize with my thinking.

  5. Bill_Perdue says:

    Wrong. (Again.)

    It seems that you can’t count, or perhaps you’re just ignorant about the political habits and aspirations of working people. I’m not surprised – you’re a Democrat, soon to be a Whig.

    “Amid the government shutdown, 60% of Americans say the Democratic and Republicans parties do such a poor job of representing the American people that a third major party is needed. That is the highest Gallup has measured in the 10-year history of this question. A new low of 26% believe the two major parties adequately represent Americans.”

    All of them are your enemies because they’re not mired in sectarian partisanship. The vote count in the last election had 40% of eligible voters boycotting the elections. That trend has been increasing because of the vast radicalization caused by Clinton’s Depression.

    “A report estimating the percentage of eligible voters who cast ballots in Tuesday’s election shows the rate was lower than in the past two presidential contests, though it surpassed the rate from 2000.

    The report, from the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, put 2012 voter turnout at 57.5% of all eligible voters, compared to 62.3% who voted in 2008 and 60.4% who cast ballots in 2004.”

    Poor you. You have 126 million working class enemies – and counting.

  6. Badgerite says:

    That would equal about 65 – 75% of the country that would be on your enemies list. I imagine independents on on that list too, so I’m guessing that would add up to about 98% of the country which would be included on your enemies list. Really, well thought out politics, I have to say.

  7. The_Fixer says:

    Speaking of redefining numbers, Inflation is one that they also keep fudging. We have nowhere near 2% inflation. They just keep arbitrarily excluding the stuff that rises in price so it doesn’t get counted against the inflation rate. They’ve been doing this for quite a while, too.

    The other way that the inflation numbers have gone down is through offshore manufacturing. Does anyone really think that if TV sets were made in this country by union workers that they’d be so cheap? It’s more than just economy of scale. It’s cheap labor and no environmental regulations that let them get away with making this stuff so cheap.

    As they say, “liars figure and figures lie”. Any time they revise the methodology they use to arrive at any one of these statistics, you know someone, somewhere is getting screwed.

  8. Bill_Perdue says:

    Hillary Clinton is an agent of the rich, a lap dog. She will get the job done for the rich, and that’s why she will be opposed by workers and the left. She’s our enemy.

  9. Indigo says:

    That’s remarkably comprehensive. Thank you. I don’t challenge any part of it but I would point out that similar, equally comprehensive dossiers could be assembled on virtually every power person in the nation. Mother Teresa is not exempt and the current apparently kindly pope was also apparently a collaborator with the military government of Argentina. The bottom line, as I see it, is that all power people are almost equally corrupt, regardless of reputation, nice vestments, or rhetorical skill. I suspect there is no one in public life who has not betrayed trust in favor of backroom skullduggery.

    Sure, the lesser of two evils is still evil. To snag a nomination from either one of our political parties is already evidence of considerable evil doing. I don’t think that’s the point, I think that the question is can the official get the job done. And yes, Hillary, through all her Machiavellian pathworking, can most likely get the job done.

    I don’t plan to vote for her but I wouldn’t let a little thing like a dossier of evil get in the way. That’s not really the point because all political decisions are based on expediency, not the well being of the public. We don’t live in a utopia, and I think utopian analyses are misleading because in making our way through the dark days of the early 21st century, we need to be careful not to kid ourselves into supporting a knight in shining armor. There are no knights in shining armor, unless we ask Mrs. Romney to tell us all about her dear hubby. Now there’s a knight in shining armor who would have done American Horror Story on our government and called it righteous.

    Regardless, that’s quite a dossier you assembled on Hillary. She’s captured a lot of your attention. That says something very powerful about her. I’m not sure what, but you make her sound even more powerful than I suspected of her.

  10. Bill_Perdue says:

    In his last months Thomas Jefferson worried about the contradictions between slavery and what he hoped would be a democracy. Speaking of the Missouri Compromise he said “this momentous question, like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once as the knell of the Union. it is hushed indeed for the moment. but this is a reprieve only…

    The capitalists have yet to hear their fire bell and when they do. they’ll ignore it and privatize the fire department.

  11. Bill_Perdue says:

    The nomination of Hillary Clinton, a hard right, union busting, pro-war Dixiecrat with a mean streak of ignorant, superstitious religious bigotry is an excellent way to point the utter insanity of the theory of the lesser evil.

    “Clinton served on Wal-Mart’s board of directors for six years when her husband was governor of Arkansas. And the Rose Law Firm, where she was a partner, handled many of the Arkansas-based company’s legal affairs.”

    David Nassar of the AFL-CIO’s Wal-Mart Watch said “We respectfully disagree with former President Clinton’s characterization of Wal-Mart as a benign, benevolent corporation striving for self-improvement either during Sen. Clinton’s tenure on the board or at present…” and “while
    we don’t have any insight into what Sen. Clinton advocated for while on the
    board of Wal-Mart, we do know that Wal-Mart has made no meaningful progress regarding the company’s poor business practices, including gender discrimination, low wages, inadequate health care, overseas sourcing or environmental degradation…”

    The Clintons are subsidized by Wal-Mart and other .01%ers through their ‘contributions’ to the Clinton Foundation. It’s the corporations way of saying thank you for NAFTA, DOMA, DADT and deregulation. Hillary Clinton learned about ‘labor relations’ when she spent years on the Board of Drirectors of Wall Mart. She’ll bust unions just like Bill Clinton, Bush and Obama.

    Hillary Clinton is a hard right religious nut case. “Hillary’s Prayer:
    Hillary Clinton’s Religion and Politics For 15 years, Hillary Clinton has been part of a secretive religious group that seeks to bring Jesus back to Capitol Hill. Is she triangulating—or living her faith?”
    “In fact, Clinton’s God talk is more complicated—and more deeply rooted—than either fans or foes would have it, a revelation not just of her determination to out-Jesus the gop, but of the powerful religious strand in her own politics. … Through all of her years in Washington, Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as the Fellowship.”

  12. Bill_Perdue says:

    That’s not the case historically in terms of money and wealth.

    Stalinism was a bureaucratic, anti-democratic deformation of thee USSR the eventually destroyed it. It and Maoism developed in economically backward countries. Maoism is a good deal worse. concentrating both money and power in the hands of the CCP.

    The US is not an economically backward country and the prospects for workers gaining and holding power are very good. Fortunately the impetus to destroy capitalism comes from the rich who pauperize workers and all the exhortations of liberals will not stop the fight for socialism and against capitalism.

  13. Clevelandchick says:

    You don’t institute deep spending cuts during a recession…as the GOP, Blue Dogs and Obama have done and intend to keep doing. The debt and deficits will solve themselves if you have low unemployment with enough living wage jobs available. The social safety net puts money back into the economy. It hasn’t worked in Europe, it’s not working here. When will these morons wake up?

  14. Ford Prefect says:

    While there’s no doubt the shutdown hurt the economy, just as they always have, the fact remains the economy has been moving sideways for five straight years now. That is because of Austerity, which is nothing more than the gratuitous inflicting of pain on people for no good reason, save economic sadism.

    As long as we have a president who believes, “Government can’t create jobs, only eliminate them,” then this trend will continue apace. The quoted piece above thinks “dysfunction” is the cause, but that’s not true at all. The fact is, both parties have their disagreements, but the one thing they both agree on is the need to lower the standard of living in this country. On that score, the only differences go to matters of style or relative politeness in the way they throttle the economy.

    Socio-economic decline is the buy-partisan, “Centrist” consensus in Washington. That’s why it’s called The Washington Consensus.

  15. Ford Prefect says:

    High unemployment puts downward pressure on wages and the power of workers more generally. Declining wages and working conditions help push profits up. So for Wall Street, social pain = bigger dividend checks. Happy times for them.

    Once in a blue moon, they also realize that means people can’t buy stuff, which is bad for business. So they just move money into areas that don’t depend on consumers buying stuff. Things like the defense and medical-industrial complexes, both of which are command economies they can always reap higher profits from.

  16. Whitewitch says:

    Thanks Nicho! I thought the goal businesses was to sell their product – silly me.

  17. BeccaM says:

    Unfortunately, with what’s been tried so far is those who are empowered to perform the confiscation usually keep the wealth of the rich and the power for themselves.

  18. Indigo says:

    I see. In that case, how do you feel about Hillary?

  19. Bill_Perdue says:

    The attempt to keep the left (which does not include any Democrats) off the ballot is pretty successful.

    Democrats are the enemy (and so are Republicans).

  20. Badgerite says:

    How’s that voter suppression effort going, dude?

  21. Bill_Perdue says:

    Workers parties and a workers state that confiscates, without compensation, the wealth of the rich and insures democracy in the workplace.

  22. Bill_Perdue says:

    No, Obama says he’s a Republican. “The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican.” Obama, in an interview with Noticias Univision Canal 23. ABC News, 12 15 2012

    I take him at his word. He’s a mad dog warmonger. He ordered the extra judicial, racist murders of these American citizens – Anwar al-Aulaqi, Samir Khan, ‘Abd al-Rahman Anwar al-Aulaqi and Jude Mohammed. One was a sixteen year old boy from Denver Colorado. Remember their names, who killed them and what it means.

    Obama also killed health care reform, made sure Prop 8 passed, refuses to sign an ENDA EO or fight for ENDA, supports the Paytriot Act. FISA and NDAA and is a mad dog union buster. And did I mention that he wants to gut Social Security and Medicare.

    The problem is that there are nothing but cosmetic differences between Democrats and Republicans and their endless string of lesser evil scams.

  23. Indigo says:

    The jobs report is scary enough without drawing a critique of capitalism into the mix. But truth to tell, there is a problem with the corporate form of capitalism currently riding the bull. Neither end of the capitalist-socialist spectrum is especially accurate anymore, if it ever was, in describing what’s happening in our economy but the over-riding effect of impoverishing the public is happening. That should not be dignified with any label other than piracy.

    Hang ’em all from the yardarm!

  24. Bill_Perdue says:

    No, Obama says he’s a Republican. “The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican.” Obama, in an interview with Noticias Univision 23. ABC News, 12 15 2012

    I believe him, or rather, I don’t see any real differences between the two parties on union busting, wars of aggression, attacks on the Bill or Rights, LGBT rights, the absolute right to a federally funded abortion for women of all ages and immigrant bashing.

  25. Bill_Perdue says:

    He’s pretty obsequious. He does as he’s told and he’s willing to betray anyone and anything and a much cheaper political sellout than Clinton ever was. $20 million to betray health care is pretty cheap.

  26. AnitaMann says:


  27. Indigo says:

    More of a watch dog than a lap dog.

  28. Bill_Perdue says:

    I’m a socialist. You don’t really have to ask.

    And again. it depends on which side you choose – capitalism enriches the rich and pauperizes workers.

    Where, except in Cuba, are capitalists excluded from politics?

  29. nicho says:

    Capitalism, and some forms, works. What doesn’t work is corporate capitalism as we have here. Once you go into corporatism, as we have in the US, you’re done for.

  30. nicho says:

    You say that as if there’s a difference between Republican and Democrat.

  31. nicho says:

    Wall Street responds to short-term profit. If your quarterly profit goes up, your stock price goes up. The best way to boost your quarterly profit is to lay off a bunch of people. When you do that, your profit goes up, and then your stock price goes up. The goal for most managers today is to “drive out cost.” That’s a euphemism for “get rid of workers.”

  32. navyvet50 says:

    So you are saying he is a Republican.

  33. BeccaM says:

    When it was created, the U.S. Federal Reserve had two policies in its “dual mandate” — low inflation (2% or less) and full employment (5% or less).

    Ever since 1980 and the Reagan administration, the latter half of that has been forgotten. Monetary policy seems now to be geared exclusively towards low inflation — and guess what tends to help it stay that way? High unemployment. Desperate, frightened workers don’t ask for raises; in fact, they’ll often accept pay cuts. This is why, in my opinion, they’ve been redefining unemployment numbers so they don’t seem to be nearly as bad as they are.

    (Why? ‘Choco ration increased to 20 grams’ and all that. It keeps the proles from revolting.)

    The newer measures don’t include the chronically under-employed or the long-term unemployed — a change which happened in 1994. They don’t measure wage stagnation. And even the “new jobs created” numbers rarely if ever quantify those jobs as to whether they’re good-paying middle-class type jobs or just another dozen Walmarts opening. The U-6 number, which includes people who’ve given up looking but do want a job or have settled for one of those Walmart greeter jobs when in fact they’re a college grad and qualified for office work is more like 15%.

    If the long-term unemployed are added back in, we actually have an unemployment rate more like 23-24%.

  34. BeccaM says:

    They’re trading more than a quadrillion dollars now in invented wealth. Employment is irrelevant to the plutocrats now.

  35. Naja pallida says:

    Because Wall Street isn’t about employing Americans anymore, it’s about shifting stocks and commodities around, and juggling numbers on paper with fuzzy math.

  36. BeccaM says:

    I would disagree. Laissez-faire capitalism doesn’t work. Well-regulated capitalism usually does, especially when capital is restrained from interfering in the political process.

    I have to ask: With what do you propose replacing capitalism?

  37. Whitewitch says:

    Can anyone explain to me why the Wall Street is going up when the jobs report is this ominous? I am so confused…so this mean Wall Street’s plan to have us all live in fear is good for them?

  38. Bill_Perdue says:

    Obama is a lap dog of the rich, the polluters, the bigots and the warmongers.

  39. Bill_Perdue says:

    It absolutely does show that capitalism doesn’t work for working people, just for the rich. It all depends on whose side your on, Obama, lap dog of the rich, or working people.

  40. The_Fixer says:

    I largely agree with what you say.

    But the last line “Obama suffers from excess integrity and intelligence” is something I disagree with. Oh sure, he’s intelligent and all that. But that’s not his problem.

    What I think Obama suffers from is excess influence by corporatists and the financial industry in particular. And I find that particularly troubling, considering that they weren’t exactly exhibiting stellar performance in their operating of their own industries.

  41. Bill_Perdue says:

    Not an answer.

    He could propose and campaign to end unemployment but he won’t. What he does is propose and campaign for are gutting Social Security.

    He said he want to gut them from 2008 to 2012 and despite that some voted for him. Anyone who voted for Obama, McCain or Romney voted to bust unions and make life awful for retirees.

  42. The_Fixer says:

    This is exactly the kind of thing that Krugman and other economists warned us about, the lack of government investment in the economy.

    Bush’s banker rescue deal (and Obama’s subsequent enactment of and expansion of it) could have almost been excused if it had been matched by equal government spending in real economic stimulus. We heard a lot of talk about “rebuilding America’s infrastructure”. Fine, but where is that happening? We still have giant infrastructure problems.

    Infrastructure rebuilding is only part of what’s necessary to stimulate the economy. Where are other programs to promote clean energy research and the small business stimulus?

    Well, we know the answer to that one. The austerity crowd has been all to willing to starve the economy, and they want to starve it further.

    These are the results of that set of policies. I think we all know that unproductive debt is a problem. We also know who and what made the lion’s share of this unproductive debt, and their party symbol is an elephant.

    Their policies gave us the most unproductive debt in history. It’s time for Obama to ditch the austerity fans in his cabinet and let the adults who know what they’re doing run the show.

  43. emjayay says:

    There are all kinds of reasons you could name about why there is a continuing high level of unemployment.

    But what is the underlying problem making everything worse? Could it be the sending of the increasing proportions of national income to a small group of people who don’t have to spend much of it to live on and are living in many cases at an unimaginable level? Well that’s what I’m thinking is probably the basic problem. Everyone below the very top take home a smaller and smaller proportion of the profits of the whole economy. More and more people get left off of the whole thing. The financial sector takes a larger and larger proportion of profits of the economy just for a relatively few number of people playing with money.

    The solutions are of course extremely simple. Make capital gains income taxes equal to earned income taxes. Eliminate tax giveaways, including the mortgage deduction which is a reverse progressive tax. Forbid states and localitiies from bribing corporations. Raise the upper income tax rates. And the deficit problem is solved at the same time.

    Too bad the situation with Congress is similar. Not only can’t they do anything, but they have to occasionally stop the whole thing. It’s kind of like the unemployment rate. They have to stop the federal government from even working 7.5% of the time. Besides, since they work for the sectors stealing all the money, they are highly unlikely to do anything about it even when they do decide to do something about anything. And they are also unlikely to do anything structurally about campaign finance or taking political commercials off TV or anything likely to reduce the power of money.

    I don’t see any way out, except a president on the basis of personality and leveraging personality with modern advertising to con people into some changes. This was the genius of Reagan that Obama admires. Too bad he doesn’t seem to really get it. Besides his natural tendencies and beliefs, Reagan was an actor willing to do whatever acting was necessary, and really couldn’t tell the acting from reality in the first place. Obama suffers from excess integrity and intelligence.

  44. emjayay says:

    If only Obama really was a dictator. He isn’t.

  45. emjayay says:

    Nothing in all of that shows that capitalism doesn’t work. Germany seems to work. The US used to work. We have a political problem, not a mixed economy problem.

  46. Monoceros Forth says:

    Pres. Obama has been a disappointment in many ways but none so disheartening as his failure to address or even acknowledge the severity of the nation’s economic woes. He seems to take a bloodless and technocratic satisfaction in minor and superficial improvements, small upticks in economic numbers, while even those who have employment are struggling to live on their meager salaries and always in fear for the security of their jobs.

  47. Mike in DC says:

    Something that I believe people should be aware of is the effect of the shutdown on spending in the next quarter by Federal employees and contractors. With the looming Jan 15 CR issue, and after experiencing October (where things got tight and many of us were negatively impacted even with the back pay) spending for Christmas will undoubtably be down. From talking with my fellow Feds, we are all looking to increase our savings because we are very concerned that in one of these Congressional games we are going to be left out in the cold.
    While long term employee morale is taking a great hit too, the short term buying power of thousands of Feds and contractors will lessen this year. That has to have an affect on the economy.

  48. Bill_Perdue says:


    The refusal of the Obama Administration to do anything real about unemployment, like a massive Manhattan Project to green the economy – industry, infrastructure, agriculture – under union control would end unemployment, end the depression, bring wages back to normal and be an important step in limiting the unavoidable damage caused by the Obama administrations refusal to take an aggressive anti-pollution policy.

    Republicans are for ignoring the plight of the unemployed and those in poverty. They encourage austerity measures and bust unions. And so do Democrats who are much better at it.

    Democrats are the enemy (and so are Republicans).

  49. Bill_Perdue says:

    Καλώς ήλθατε στην Ελλάδα! Welcome to Greece.

    Capitalism doesn’t work.

    Even though they own the commanding heights of the economy, the judiciary, both political parties and government officials from top to bottom. the society or the rich DOA. It’s built-in problems are insurmountable.

    The problem is not just massive long term unemployment and underemployment shown in the blue graph below the U6 rate (1) but a huge drop in wages shown in the second graph. That drop in wages is caused by union busting by Republicans like Walker and Kasich and by Democrats like Cuomo, Brown and above all by Obama. As in the depression that began in 1929, this depression is being fueled by low wages. Working people cannot consume what they make. The U6 rate does not count those who have given up and are no longer looking for work because The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in June of this year that the number of unemployed people per job opening was 3.0. The jobs available of short on hours, pay and benefits.

    Obama-Teabag austerity measures like attacks on Social Security and Medicare will only make things worse. It’s no wonder that galup shows a huge increase in the need for third parties (third graph). It’s time to consign the two parties of the rich to the dust bin and create a workers party.

    (1) From the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U6 unemployment rate counts not only people without work seeking full-time employment (the more familiar U-3 rate), but also counts “marginally attached workers and those working part-time for economic reasons.” Note that some of these part-time workers counted as employed by U-3 could be working as little as an hour a week. And the “marginally attached workers” include those who have gotten discouraged and stopped looking, but still want to work. The age considered for this calculation is 16 years and over

  50. Badgerite says:

    I have never heard any reputable economist say that when the private sector constricts, it would be a good idea for government spending to constrict as well. When the private market fails, and it did fail, where else is money going to come from to fuel the purchasing power that will help the economy grow. For private sector and government sector spending to tank at the same time is just a prescription for a downward spiral of recession. With the GOP’s control in both the Statehouses and the Congress, they are pulling money out of the economy at a time when the economy badly needs it. And that was before the ‘shutdown’ bullshit.

  51. GlennF says:

    Also, don’t forget the impact the sequester is having in hurting the American economy.

    Everyone keeps saying how much the rethuglicans hurt themselves in the opinion polls with their government shutdown. But the rethuglicans are succeeding with their economic terrorism in one important area. As these latest jobs numbers show, the rethuglicans are succeeding in sabotaging the American economy as they have been doing for the last four years.

    And President Obama and the mainstream media haven’t been helping either with their incessant quest for a “grand bargain” which no doubt will lead to more budget cuts including unnecessary cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

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