If nothing else you have to admire the perseverance of this administration. No matter how bleak the news, the White House continues to put on a happy face and the December 2007 employment report is no exception.
The fact that only 18,000 jobs were created in December 2007 is basically set aside by the White House to remind us that more than 8.3 million jobs have been created since August 2003 and 1.3 million jobs have been created during 2007.
"Since August 2003, more than 8.3 million jobs have been created, with more than 1.3 million jobs created throughout 2007. Our economy has now added jobs for 52 straight months – the longest period of uninterrupted job growth on record."
You'll note the 8.3 million dates back to August of 2003, not January of 2001 when President Bush took office. Do you think it may have something to do with the fact that jobs were lost during the first 30 months of his presidency? The number may be correct for the period indicated, but the period indicated is not an accurate representation of job growth during the Bush presidency.
What the White House also fails to mention in their focus on the economy is the overall decline in job creation in 2007 v. 2006. During calendar year 2006 payroll employment growth averaged 189,000 per month, compared to 111,000 per month during 2007, or a decrease of 936,000 jobs.
A decrease in jobs equates to an increase in unemployment with the number of unemployed at 6.8 million in December 2006 rising to 7.7 million in 2007.
The number of discouraged workers has also increased over the year and is now at 1.3 million. Discouraged workers are those that do not bother to look for jobs during the reporting period because they don't feel jobs are available for them.
While the White House is gloating over the 8.3 million jobs created since 2003, Standard and Poor's economist David Wyss is suggesting the December jobs report brought the chances of recession to 50-50.
"After this report, I'd have to say the chances of recession are about 50-50," said economist David Wyss, of Standard & Poor's in New York."
One dismal jobs report may have the power to put the DJIA in a tailspin, but alone it should not have the power to increase the chances of a recession to 50-50. The fact we continue to lose jobs in the manufacturing sector is what will increase the chance of recession and losing a million jobs, in total, during a one-year period definitely increases the possibility.
Although 212,000 manufacturing jobs were lost in 2007, only 30% of the lost jobs were attributed to industries that provide home building materials.
The winner for 2007 is the healthcare industry gaining 381,000 jobs. Based on 1.3 million jobs created in 2007, this means one out of every three new jobs added in 2007 was in healthcare.
Unless the U.S. is planning on becoming the healthcare capital of the world, we need to start taking serious steps toward creating more jobs in this country. This administration, faced with the possibility of a recession, is doing what it does best - thinking about a tax cut.
Apparently they still haven't figured out that tax cuts are part of the reason the economy is in the shape it's in now, but that's not surprising - after seven years in office they still haven't figured out a lot of things.