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. Kurt H

    What a scam and what a liar. The numbers you are quoting are a story the government tries to foist off on us to think they are doing their jobs. These numbers do not address people who are underemployed, it does not address part time workers who want full time work, it does not address older workers who are "retired" but need to work, it does not address people who have stopped looking for jobs "officially", and it does not address college students looking for real jobs and on and on and on. If the BEST the storytellers can do is 54K jobs lost then we are in deep trouble.

    September 3, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dave in Denver

    Mr. Velshi & CNN Editors:

    I have attempted to stick with CNN for many years after being impressed wtih coverage of Gulf Wars I & II...after reading this Orwellian propopaganda piece of non-journalism, I'm through.

    Fox news may be partisan to a point, but this article is nothing but left-wing puffery at it's lowest form...yellow-journalism. Papers and media in the 19th century were almost always controlled and often owned to perform mouth-piece duties for the tentacles behind them...even Ted Turner would be appalled by this bit of tripe (Ted, are you there...or just 100% checked out on ludes ridin' around Montana??).

    Not that CNN 'cares' about the opinion of one lonely reader, but my household does consume products from your advertisers...and I am taking my business elsewhere until Mr. Velshi retracts his venal and false-fact opinions that have been foisted on a once-trusting audience he assumes will 'always be there.' Mr. Velshi, I'm here to tell you that you've lost me and many like me- possibly for good.

    Dave in Denver-
    (P.S., not a tea-partier, not unemployed, and NOT gunning for a job in the Obama Administration like Mr. Velshi seems to be)

    September 3, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • DAryl S

      I am a tea partier but I also recognize that Foxnews does lean right. I acknowledge that. But there is a much higher degree of scrutiny to both parties than you'd ever find on CNN. They have absolutely zero objectivity now. Screw 'em.

      September 3, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. DAryl S

    Really Velshi? REALLY???? Is being an advocate for liberal causes THAT important to you? Do you have a soul man? Wake up pal. The American people have seen through your BS. Look at your ratings bro. We know BS when we hear it. You may believe your own BS but we don't. You're a hack.

    September 3, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. Scott G.

    Ali obviously hasn't tried to find a job lately. Liberal media propaganda doesn't cut it in the real world.

    September 3, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bill Sanford

    geez... more CNN propaganda... "in the tank for obama" idiocy.

    No wonder NOBODY watches cnn anymore – real news is gone from it.

    September 3, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joshua

    I am a recently discharged {honorably} veteran with a masters degree and haven't been able to find work going on 7 months. Currently, the unemployment rate for veterans of the Afghan and Iraq wars is hovering around 15%. Thats way above the national average. Military experience just isn't translating into the civilian field.

    I hope you are right and the jobs picture improves. I know a lot of guys thats feel like they've earned the American dream through service, but it's yet to pay out.

    September 3, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. Red

    Over 15 million out of work. And 67,000 jobs created. Wow. We're pulling out of the recession boys. At this rate 224 months to go before we're out of the red. Accentuate the positive.

    September 3, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. Gord

    Pumping out the tired, government sponsored message.

    September 3, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. Burbank

    Private sector jobs gained and fewer surly, lazy, incompetent government workers that the tax payer doesn't have to support anymore is very good news indeed! I for one am especially sick and tired of having to pay taxes for all these extra paid holidays government workers get while the rest of us that have to pay for it are inconvenienced, sometimes very badly as in parents that have to pay for extra day care with the schools closed, no post office, etc. It's text book discrimination but it's allowed to continue.

    September 3, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Are you Kidding Me

    This must be a joke. I know people want to prop up the Dems prior to the election, but this gives fuzzy math a bad name. A 54,000 net loss of jobs is still more unemployed than last month. That is not a good thing. More people lost their jobs than were hired plain and simple. Not something to celebrate. This guy needs to put the crack pipe down and CNN needs to get a smarter group of contributors.

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

      Sorry, but I think the guy actually has a point. The reason we had a negative jobs number was because the government let 121,000 people go {temporary jobs under the stimulus and census}. The private sector added 67,000 new jobs. Lets say the government was spending $30k a year on each of those workers {a very conservative estimate} that means the government is saving 3.6mil a year {much more if you include benefits}. To summarize – the government is spending less and the private sector is spending more {because they are making more}. This is exactly what Republicans {and everyone else} wants... why are you complaining? Because, the Dems look good? If their policies improve the country they deserve to look good.

      September 3, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. DrMantis

    YYYAAAAAHHHHHOOOO, its "RECOVERY SUMMER" out there, all you Obamabots

    September 3, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  12. marquisdelafayette

    sorry propaganda machine , your no longer fooling the american people ... simply read the comments , time to move on to plan B .

    September 3, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. Big Nel

    I've been looking for a job for 1 year now. I did get 2 offers, LOW BALL OFFERS. Yes, I will get a job again, but the pay is only 60% of what I used to get. This guy knows nothing! He should get laid off and then make 50-60% of his old salary.

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

      That's capitalism, get used to it.

      September 3, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      So you turned down the job offers? Why? Because they don't pay to your standard? I hate to tell you, but it's a global economy now. We're not competing just amongst ourselves for these jobs, we're competing against a lot of lower cost regions like Asia and Eastern Europe.

      In my opinion, you should have sucked it up and taken one of the jobs. You want a higher salary? Prove it to them that you're worth it. I took my job at 20% below what I considered to be market value, but I've proven myself and I'm now making what I feel is appropriate.

      September 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Alejandro Robles

    No matter how bad the republicans wanted to see a worst unemployment number; it did not happen. NO DOUBLE-DIP, mayben in 3010.

    September 3, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Not a Voter

    Peeps here who commented based on their emotions shows a lot of shallow mindedness when it comes to ECONOMY. I perceived they spend majority of their times being a victim of scare mongering by faux news the propaganda machine of repuglicans. As recent as a couple of weeks ago faux news executive contributed a significant amount to repuglican party which is an indication of being "non-partisan media" to political process. Thing is not easy as it may look like nowadays. Better look at the two sides and the root causes of all the ills of current economy before you re echo faux news propaganda to destroy the country instead of giving both sides of the REAL story. Be innovative and start to live like a REAL AMERICAN.

    September 3, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4