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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press 150,000 Jobs Per Month Is Not Robust Growth

150,000 Jobs Per Month Is Not Robust Growth

Saturday, 01 September 2012 08:02

Okay, some cheap WAPO bashing this morning, an article on Bernanke's speech at Jackson Hole, described a rate of job growth of 150,000 a month or more as "robust." Sorry, that isn't close to right.

The economy is down by more than 9.5 million jobs from its trend path. We need roughly 100,000 jobs per month to keep pace with the growth of the labor force. This means that at 150,000 jobs per month, we are making up the jobs shortfall at the rate of 50,000 a month. At this pace it will take us close to 16 years to get back to the economy's trend job growth path. A rate of job creation that gets us to full employment in 2028 is not robust.

For the young'uns out there, or those with bad memories we created 250,000 jobs per month over the last four years of the Clinton administration, and that was starting with an unemployment rate below 6.0 percent. We should not subject our economic policymakers to the soft bigotry of low expectations.

Comments (7)Add Comment
Thank you Dean
written by Richard, September 01, 2012 10:43
As one of the long term un/underemployed I try to make some sense of things at my own sucky little blog but it helps when you repeat the same points.

Redefining language does not help matters.
my blog
written by Richard, September 01, 2012 10:49
written by Jay, September 01, 2012 12:51
I wonder what things would have been like without the stock and housing bubbles. Would things have been this bad earlier without those bubbles? It makes it seem like we need to address our trade deficit sooner than later.
150K Job Growth/Month IS Robust
written by Paul, September 01, 2012 1:36
When you consider that the housing industry has been a net negative for job growth.

According to the C-S Real House Prices National Index, from 1/98 to 1/01 real house prices increased 20%. But from 1/09 to 1/12 real house prices declined 14% and are now back to the level they were 14 years ago.

Since consumer demand constitutes 70% of total demand and most of consumer demand goes to housing, it should be obvious why job growth, which is driven by increasing demand, is far below what it should be.

Unfortunately, economists are virtually united in their opposition to any government action to stimulate housing demand. Therefore, we are stuck with 150K/month job growth as "robust" in the circumstances.
"We Will Create 12 million Jobs" Just Like "I Ran A Full Marathon In sub-3"
written by James, September 01, 2012 3:36
"I had a two hour and fifty-something" marathon, Ryan said last week an interview. "I hurt a disc in my back, so I don’t run marathons anymore."

But the Ryan campaign confirmed to Runner's World that he has only run one marathon, the 1990 Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota, which he finished in just over 4 hours.

This isn't the first time Ryan has come under fire this week for stretching the truth. His RNC speech was chastised for misleading claims about Medicare and the 2008 closing of a Wisconsin plant.

The running fib "sounds trivial," wrote the New York Times' Paul Krugman. "But I remember the 2000 campaign, when Al Gore was constantly hounded by claims of fibbing on trivial issues — claims that, by the way, were all, as far as I could tell, fabricated. These alleged fibs supposedly showed some deep defect in his character. So if Ryan is making false claims about his physical prowess, this is absolutely fair game."

Bishop Romney said that's ok bc Book of Mormon actually does NOT require followers to speak the truth.
Ryan's marathon time shrinkage may display delusional behavior
written by John Wright, September 01, 2012 9:10
As I have looked at Ryan's Pathtoprosperity2013 and came away convinced he is some mixture of deluded, simple, or cynical, but perhaps delusion explains his behavior most charitably.

He may be deluded enough to remember the past, including his marathon time, in a better light than it merits.

He may be deluded enough to believe, per his Path, it will be easy to remove highly treasured tax loopholes that have been in place for years.

Remarkably, in Pathtoprosperity2013 Ryan has some graphs that extend past 2077, so perhaps the future is Ryan's strength not the past.

Speaking of the past, why doesn't the economic profession pull the effects of the internet/housing bubbles and misguided war efforts out of earlier USA GDP numbers and calculate the de-bubbled/de-warred GDP and employment rate for those years?

That would help show the population that the American economy has not been in great shape for many years (maybe since 1999) as we have had destructive financial bubbles and foolish wars pumping up GDP and employment statistics.

The sad part is if the USA had invested instead in infrastructure such as roads, electrical grid and high speed internet, we would be in much better structural shape at a lower cost.

Maybe emphasizing infrastructure is all wrong, as I could find no mention of it in Ryan's Path...

written by Steve Bannister, September 02, 2012 8:15
The shameful abandonment of job-creation programs forced by Republican intransigence/attacks requires a response-in-kind:

400,000 jobs a month, hell and high water. If the private sector does it, great; if not, the public sector must make up the shortfall. Just start saying it, and say it over and over and over.

I am beginning to view this as an NGDP-type program for jobs.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.