September 3rd, 2010
10:47 AM ET

Velshi: Job numbers show economy not as bad as you think

As badly as so many people wanted today's job numbers to confirm predictions of a double-dip recession, they didn't.

For perspective: most economists say the U.S. needs to add at least a couple hundred thousand jobs EVERY MONTH. America lost 54,000 jobs in August - that's bad. In fact, the government alone shed 121,000 jobs.

So why the heck am I so pleased? Because the private sector (-i.e. Businesses) ADDED 67,000 jobs. Here I'll do the math: 67,000 private sector jobs created minus 121,000 government jobs lost equals 54,000 jobs lost.

But I'm almost blind to the 121,000 government jobs lost (not, by the way, to the people and families affected by those lost jobs), because job creation is supposed to come from the private sector.

The private sector - private businesses - are the engine of economic growth in this country, and in any free market system. Government spending, and government jobs, help fill the gaps when times are tough and companies pull back, but the economy lives or dies, ultimately, on the strength of its businesses, small or large.

Here's another reason I'm feeling good: every month when we get these numbers, we also get revisions to the previous couple of months, and even THOSE improved. The job loss numbers for July, it turns out, are MUCH lower than we first thought.

Look, enough people out there will disagree, and you'll read and hear lots about why this economy is stuck firmly in the tank. There are some who will scratch their head at the mere idea that a single lost job can be seen as a positive development.

But I see a trend growing here, and its a trend in the most important part of the economy: jobs.

To me, today, the glass is one-quarter full.

Post by:
Filed under: Economy • Jobs
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Rob Toews

    Mr. will be interesting to see what you have to say about "the economy not being as bad as we think" in about 6 months from now when the bulk of federal government stimulus is no longer masking reality. It will not be politically feasible to pass another spending bill before the November elections, and after the GOP make inroads into the House and Senate, a post-election spending bill won't be feasible either. As a result, the true test of our economy's strength and stability will come in 2011. I'm betting on the "double-dip" because the government's intervention has prevented the economy from finding its natural bottom.

    September 3, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. turntexblue

    If you want your job back you can always move to India or Communist China,thats where your job went, or agree to take fifty cents an hour like a good little Globalist should.Hows the Corpocracy thingy workin out for all of you now?

    September 3, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. shaddow caster

    im still wondering econocrats how the u.s. is ever gonna pay off the national debt -that the obamabots plan on hikeing another 9 trillion in the next decade -wonder if they forgot winters coming -seasonal job loss – and wait add the un general secretary talking yanking the dollar of the resevere world bank imf fund -then theres iran russia china talking pulling the dollar off the petro dollar oil standard .so yea – my spin on the economy is the same as "pimcos you" spin " the fed is one big ponzi scheme waiting for the people to wake up and see how falsly the economy is supported .

    September 3, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • shaddow caster

      oh wait i forgot -how much is the dollar gonna devalue of we require more stimulus packs -how much will it devalue when the fed puts the interest rate raye back where its supposed to be :} . how much will the dollar drop then in value -how much will the fed govt halph to pay the chinese or russians in t-bill bonds interest ??

      September 3, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TexVet

    Let's get another 121,000 government employees off the payroll!!!!!! There's at least that many more on the payroll that sits around doing NOTHING but drawing a paycheck!!!

    September 3, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brendan

    Kurt H has it right at 9/3 11:36 am.
    No need to call anyone names, though.
    The fact is that we are heading into a second, or the second dip of a double-dip, recession. Foreclosures are still at astounding levels and corporations have yet to loosen the flood gates on their capital reserves because they won't take on the risk in this environment.
    A much bigger stimulus is needed to avoid a deeper, second recession.
    The power of capital is the ability to withhold itself from circulation in bad economic times. This prevents the business cycle from resuming because no one will invest and take on the risk, and this insures that the economy will not recover. The Government HAS to take the lead , deficit spend, and tie some strings to stimulus in the right ways to at least get the market going again.
    If you ask me, our faux 'free-market' is a stupid and immoral way to run an economy because it just insures that the rich get richer and the state becomes an instrument of their protection. I am for a free market, but because markets tend toward monopolies and can't deficit spend in down times to keep people paid and their stomachs full, they need to be regulated. Markets by their nature MUST fail, due to the monopoly tendency.
    The whole thing is so transparently set up to be to the advantage of those who have against those who don't it's shameful people don't organize and demand better wages, health care, etc.
    And now Wall St is mad at Obama and turning against him. They should thank him for not nationalizing the banks and firing the whole lot of losers that they are. Yes, losers. Wall St. failed. And yet these same failures are taking home even bigger bonuses than before. If you ask me, if the market were truly free, it wouldn't reward losers like those who systemically invested in high risk mortgages and brought us on the verge of collapse.

    September 3, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Alan

    To try and compare what CNN does to what Fox news channel does is completely ludicrous. Both are a business but CNN doesnt lie and fearmonger and spread propaganda to the degree that the 100% right wing Fox news does. CNN opinion is opinion Fox News opinion trie to be passeded off as news.

    September 4, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ty

    It amazes me how President Obama is referenced as some outsider who is hell bent on destroying America. I am disheartened with the support for our President. Former President Bush invaded a country without just cause, ran the economy into an abyss, and gave the public no warning of any sort, but instead attempted to convince us that the economy was strong. We didn't know until the twenty third hour that we were already in the creek. Is this really what America has become? Help me to believe that I don't live in a society filled with hypocritical bigots.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mary

    I have been unemployed for over a year. I had worked for a company for 9 years and was let go because they were down sizing. I have been actively looking for work. I am out in the field and using the on line job searches twice a day. More than once in the past three months I have seen my former employeer listing jobs open only to find out that they did not have any openings. This past week I have seen it again. They list four jobs open and when I talk to two people still working there, they are not hiring. I know that they are not the only company doing this. This is giving the unemployed false hope, and many of us cannot handle anymore let downs. I would also like to know where government officials get their "numbers" for people hiring. If they are going by what is in the job searches, those numbers are terribly wrong. All I know is that something needs to be done to help the legal tax paying citizens of this country.

    September 9, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
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