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.


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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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