If the topline numbers of today’s jobs report weren’t depressing enough, consider some other facts that, taken together, strongly suggest that we are in a serious economic crisis. Let’s start with the basics. The unemployment rate crept up to 9.2% in June. Only 18,000 jobs were added to the economy. Manufacturing gained 6000 jobs. Combined with May’s revision to a 2000 manufacturing job loss, that means that the manufacturing jobs recovery has topped out—we’re stagnant after a period of sustained manufacturing job gains.
Now, the rest of the story. Wages fell last month, which is a horrible sign. The percentage of adults working is at an all-time low. There is fresh evidence that the manufacturing rebound is a mirage—the product of a weak dollar and monetary stimulus by the Federal Reserve. The jobs market in America is behaving like we are in an economic contraction, not a recovery.
Meanwhile, there is no sign that the Administration, Congress, or any Republican running for President has a credible plan to create jobs in America. House Republicans want to slash job-supporting infrastructure investment. The President and congressional leaders are engaged in an austerity race that will only lead to more job loss, given the fragile state of our economy. No one seems to understand that the best deficit reduction mechanisms are creating manufacturing jobs and slashing our trade deficit.
One last thing. While everyone would like to see the budget deficit trimmed, the American people want jobs first. Why is that so hard for our leaders to understand?