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. DazedAndConfused

    I KNOW it is too early to celebrate the job market but is it POSSIBLE that all the negative reporting about jobs in this country could be just political posturing by conservatives hoping to regain control of Congress?? Look to see if the propaganda machine called Fox News reports this as a postive or debunks it as fake numbers from the administration..

    September 3, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • randy

      ask the 17% un (and under) employed if its posturing?

      September 3, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • james

      So, Fox is manipulating the Democratically controlled House, Senate, and Presidency into making reports of the negative economy ? Progressive conspiracy theorist..................

      September 3, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      You seem to have an appropriate on line name because you certainly are.

      September 3, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • JR

      Hey Guys, think of all the jobs that we have "saved" though. *sigh

      September 3, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • 101stAfganVet

      Yeah, the market is about confidence, and the right is doing everything it can to destabilize that confidence inorder to get lower economic numbers so they can get elected in Novemeber. They do not care that they let this crash happen, and they let the greatest surplus turn into what was then the largest deficit. They never complained about that, but that is how they operate. They are not smart enough for a plan, or their plans never work i.e. see who caused the great depression, great recession, and 80's recession, so they sink to those kind of tactics. They even relabled themselves as the Tea Party to get elected becase they did such a horrible job. But of course the government job loss is horrible, but the news about the private sector, the strength/heart of our economy is a great sign of the economy, which hopefully means we can get these people hired again. It sucks that we are in this I hate it, everyone does, but uncertainty doesn't help. We need confidence and team work for the US economy and your fellow citizens. Ideas are what helps, not scare tactics. If you look the economy has been improving for a good period now (slowly) and if Europe didn't happen it would be a lot better than it is today.

      September 3, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • J L

      Three of my four closest friends have been out of work for more than a year. They were employed as a Marketing Rep for a very large distributor, a Chemical salesman, a Senior Engineering Consultant and a Safety Engineer. The Safety Engineer now has a Contract job no benefits. The marketing rep is having the hardest time because he was so specialized. The rest have stayed unemployed and do not have insurance for their families. They are all actively job searching and they are all 49 years of age. It is not political posturing on one side...I think both sides are pretty much saying what their own parties want to hear. I wonder if the numbers reflect all of the unemployed? What is the true percentage. Ny the way, I have no political favorite and I watch CNN, MSNBC and Fox everyday so that I can stay well informed and not one sided.

      September 3, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • 101stAfganVet

      Oh yeah and look at the fact that the GOP doesn't even want to vote on the jobs bill to help small buisnesses. They can't come up with an excuse why either except political statements and scare tactics. I guess it is just not that important to them. Oh yeah and the whole fincial aid reform they did not want to vote on becuse...of the scare tactics and lies they made up and they don't want to regulate big buisness and let them do what they want.

      September 3, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • james

      And just what has this administration done to foster confidence in the private sector ? Nothing, they have done the opposite. Business sees the massive Obama-care fiasco approaching and it is already taxing them. They see the mandate that requires all transaction of $600 or more to be cataloged and sent to the IRS, they see the end of the Bush Tax cuts, they hear the President call them "fat cats." the list goes on and on. It is easy to see why business is holding their money, they know the Government will take a huge chunk in the near future.

      September 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      Well if you are out there TRULY searching for work then you WILL notice more job openings recently and that cannot be denied. There is just alot of people in need so it will be quit a while before the numbers improve to the levels Americans expect to see over night. I have immediate family and friends in numerous fields of work searching and they all are saying the same are starting to show! Funny, Career Builders just posted a long list of companies hiring. The "Change" IS working. Rome wasn't built in a DAY

      September 7, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Don

    Is this guy kidding???? The economy is in the tank, unemployment is up again, but I guess he makes alot of money, so as long as he does, why would he think the economy is bad. It stinks and out president contunues to bail out the wrong companies. His stimulus package didn't stimulate a damn thing except big business, and the little people continue to get stepped on. Get a clue!!

    September 3, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      He is kidding (and the media is reviving its "help Obama at all costs" mode!)

      September 3, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • josh

      Well, it is at least interesting to realize that the same people that want less government are so shocked when the government sheds jobs... You would expect that an increase in jobs in the private sector combined with a decrease of government jobs should make most conservatives happy... Then again, maybe government jobs are not that unimportant 😉

      September 3, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      Nice picture of Mr Velshi, great big smile. I wonder if 15 million unemployed americans see the reason fpr his happiness. No wonder more people watch Fox News

      September 3, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Bert in UT

      Wait, private sector jobs are up by 67,000; government jobs are down by 121,000 (saving tax dollars) tell me again why the conservatives aren't jumping for joy? Oh, yes, they'd have to give Obama credit.

      September 3, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Don

    Look at the numbers, unemployment is up!!! No one is spending because they can't afford to. If Mr. Obama really wanted to stimulate the economy, try giving back some of the money you continue to take from us little people.

    September 3, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      You mean like those tax cuts Obama pushed through last year?

      September 3, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • ynotgetalong

      Again, 121,000 less government employees? Isn't smaller government the goal?

      September 3, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Speedy

      Not sure what money he is taking from us little people. He hasn't come to my door asking for a bag of gold coins or any other form of payment.

      Also, there are jobs out there... tons of places around here are hiring. It may not be the job you want but a job is a job. People need to get with the program and realize that the Bill of Rights doesn't include a "Cushy Management Position for All" clause and you can't live above your means for an extended period of time. My wife has 3 job offers at this very moment and we are weighing our options on what would be the best fit for her and the family.

      September 3, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      I got back every bit of taxes I've ever paid in my life due to Obama tax cuts/credits. Enough lies already. This president has cut taxes significantly. If you really cared about "our children and grandchildren" you should be asking for a tax increase.

      September 3, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • james

      You do know nothing in the law prevents you from paying more in taxes if you want ?

      September 3, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Seymour

      @John Congratulations on joining the ranks of those paying no income taxes. I have received no cuts/credits under this administration.

      September 3, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • maxx013us

      errr...are you proposing sinking us further into debt by reducing tax revenue and tomorrow you'd say this president is creating a hole for our children and grand-children. Wake up and see the reality, you have no way out of this without increasing taxes. On one front you want government to do everything that it does and at the same time you don't want to pay for it. Like the saying goes "No free rides in this world!!" (ofcourse unless you have a sugardaddy).

      September 3, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      So you have gotten back every bit of taxes that you have ever paid John – interesting. I'll be waiting here for you to thank me for the tens of thousands of dollars I pay each year in taxes. No, I won't hold my breath.

      September 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      lol..Yes, because the previous administration (And current plan of GOP still) is to continue with that Trickle down effect that never ever ever ever worked. Jobs are coming, slowly but they are showing. Ask anyone who is actually searching. There by no means where they used to be and alot of folks out of work so the numbers are going to show slowly. To say there not appearing is naive

      September 7, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bill

    Great...only 54,000 MORE people on government assistance this month. I'm a little slow sometimes, but help me understand why this is good again.

    September 3, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • ynotgetalong

      Lets see – as he explained, 121,000 people came off the government payroll.....54,000 went on to unemployment...
      Seems like net government shrinking to me? That means GROWTH in the economy took 67,000 off of the government payroll? Is that not the goal of every American?

      September 3, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • rashinal

      unemployed are not on "government assistance" . unemployment compensation is something that people PAID into while employed. it's a safety net, and those that suddenly find themselves in need of it have every right to collect (again, because they paid for it). in a very real sense it prevents them from becoming a burden on society and requiring "government assistance".

      September 3, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Independent NCO

      The 1st 26 weeks of unemployment are paid for by YOU, the recently unemployed worker. It's called unemplloyment INSURANCE, which YOU as an individual, pay for while you're working. Your payment for the 26 weeks is based on how much you paid into the insurance, divided over 26 weeks. The extensions are where you get into what other taxpayers paid.

      September 3, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. Seriously

    Are you crazy, stop drinking the Kool Aid! Please start posting the unemployment numbers that take into account people who have stopped looking for a job, I am pretty sure they are still UNEMPLOYED!!

    September 3, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I lost a full time job 5 months ago and now I am working part time and making much less. I'm no longer included in the unemployment number, but I sure won't be making much of a contribution to consumer spending over the next few months.

      September 3, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Taioseach

      @ Dan

      If those who are unemployed would take the jobs illegals jump at the chance to take, then we'd kill two birds with one stone. Unemployment would drop and we wouldn't have to worry about the illegals coming here because there would be no jobs for them.

      And before anyone retorts with "Mowing grass isn't a career," well then take more than one job. Do whatever it takes to meet your obligations and quit whining.

      September 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Charlie-Chicago

    Sounds like Ali is warming up to be Obamas next employment czar. Guess things look pretty good from your safe vantage point at CNN 'eh Ali?

    September 3, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. ChollyGee

    Another cheerleader and gatekeeper heard from. What has journalism turned into? THIS is where "shame" should be resurrected. To apply to willful and purposeful shills like Velshi.

    September 3, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • ChollyGee

      At what point in time will the ruling elite realize that everyone knows that their "numbers" are trash? Based on guesses from "experts" who somehow weren't able to predict this Depression in the first place?

      September 3, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. Nachoman

    This article is pure leftist fluff. The economy is as bad as the numbers show it is. It may be improving but at not nearly the speed it should. Velshi is simply attempting to put the most optimistic spin on this which is good in some ways but lets look at the facts - at the numbers rather - and not gloss over the reality that this country is in trouble.

    September 3, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  9. Don

    This guy is a tool

    September 3, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • DAryl S


      September 3, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. BD

    I see things improving around the area (PA) People are finding jobs, the malls are doing is getting better. Peole are expecting a magic wand but the truth is the economy moves slowly and it is getting better. Faux news wants everyone to be fearful thus reorts the false news of a tanking economy. Obama is doing a great job!!!

    September 3, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Yup, only lost 54,000 jobs last month. Accelerated the ridiculous spending rates of the previous administration. Sure sounds like he's doing a good job to me! Maybe you should actually spend some time listening to Fox News, looking at the facts from a variety of sources and then deciding for yourself if we are better off now.

      September 3, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. David

    Economists say we need 150,000 jobs each month to make up for population growth. But the population growth is coming at the tune of immigration – about 120,000 each month. Why doesn't CNN drive home this point? Why give most of the new jobs to immigrants, when there are plenty of Americans who want them? "American was built by immigrants" is a worn out excuse. We don't need tradition we need action. Cut immigration and unemployment will go down.

    September 3, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  12. David

    Economists say we need 150,000 jobs each month to make up for population growth. But the population growth is coming at the tune of LEGAL immigration – about 120,000 each month. Why doesn't CNN drive home this point? Why give most of the new jobs to immigrants, when there are plenty of Americans who want them? "American was built by immigrants" is a worn out excuse. We don't need tradition we need action. Cut legal immigration and unemployment will go down.

    September 3, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • BD

      Your worn out excuse "cut immigration and unemployment will go down" is laughable. Americans don't want to do those jobs and you know it. Get real!!

      September 3, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • josh

      One of the problems is that most americans actually do not want those jobs... Or are willing to work for the salary those jobs pay... I am not saying there is no job problem but to say that it is the immigrants fault is rather silly.

      September 3, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • sickofitall

      Excuse me BD but...

      "Your worn out excuse "cut immigration and unemployment will go down" is laughable. Americans don't want to do those jobs and you know it."

      Illegal immigrants don't just take jobs picking lettuce or apples, the jobs that once paid living wages that used to be available in the construction industry have gone their way as well; why pay a US citizen to plaster a wall or rough frame a house $20.00 an hour when some Mexican will do it for $5.00. Look at construction especially in the Southwest. Even industries like meat packing. Democrats tell us they are pro labor and they're in the "little guys" labor if your union contributes millions they continue to obstruct efforts to shut the border down (as have some republicans). Illegal immigration has done more damage to wage levels in many industries than any union busting boss could ever hope to do.

      September 3, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. BD

    Don, why so hateful? America is moving in the right direction. The lettle people are doing better.

    September 3, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  14. Scott

    Its only a reccession when your neighbor loses their job but it is a depression when you lose yours. I wonder if Velshi has ever been out of a job? it sucks.

    September 3, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • ChollyGee

      When he was in college @ Queens U. in Ontario

      September 3, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Lynn Smith

      Actually Ali Velshi only has a "Religious" Degree with no Business Degree Nor Pertinent Experience. What do you expect from an uneducated person reporting on a subject he lacks competence in?

      September 3, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  15. Lucy

    EXCUSE ME!!!! My husband has been out of work for 16 months! How is it better? What foolish drivel!

    September 3, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • BD

      What are your husband's qualifications? So many jobs are now obsolete -never to return to the job sector. We need to encourage training for new jobs.

      September 3, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Kraznodar

      Tell him to get off his butt and start a business and stop being such a loser parasite.

      September 3, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
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