Home Budget, Economy Democrats Turn Economy Around; Best Jobs News Since 2007

Democrats Turn Economy Around; Best Jobs News Since 2007

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As the Washington Post reports, the U.S. economy added 162,000 “non-farm” jobs last month, representing “the biggest one-month jobs gain in the past three years.”  And in other good economic news, “[t]he Institute for Supply Management reported that manufacturing activity was up for the eighth consecutive month, with a rate of growth faster than any since July 2004.” But wait, there’s more:

…Factory orders, particularly in durable goods, are so positive at a 0.6% month-to-month rise that they are beginning to merit the description of  “robust.” And retail sales at chain stores were also up 0.6% for the week, which means they are on target to top 3% or more for the whole month compared with last year’s dismal record.

Motor vehicle sales were up as well, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 11.8 million, a vast improvement over February…

And let’s not forget the stock market, which just had “its strongest first quarter since 1999.” Great news, and we have Democrats – who passed a huge economic recovery package, as well as several other jobs measures, with essentially no Republican support – largely to thank for this (the graph above tells a powerful story). So, where’s Eric Cantor and his Party of no this morning to talk down America’s economy and to tell us that the economic recovery package passed a year ago “isn’t working?”  No comment on the above graph, which shows the economy cratering under a Republican administration and coming back strong with Democrats in charge? Apparently, the cat’s got the Republicans’ (forked) tongues so far today, but give ’em time, I’m sure they’ll think of something bad to say soon enough.

UPDATE: Analysts weigh in.

  • kindler

    The Dems can, if they choose, knock out all the legs holding up this stale and bitter tea party rebellion with facts on the ground like these, and thereby fire up the base and win back independents this November.

    Or they can run whimpering from the president with their tails between their legs and fruitlessly try to pander to the Palinist mob.  Which will it be?

  • Susan Mariner

    And I’m proud of it.  Go Democrats!  

  • “In March, the number of unemployed persons was little changed at 15.0 million, and the unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent.”

    “The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) increased by 414,000 over the month to 6.5 million. In March, 44.1 percent of unemployed persons were jobless for 27 weeks or more.”

    That’s horrible. Almost half of the folks who are unemployed have been unemployed for over 6 months.

    “Job growth continued in temporary help services and in health care. Federal government employment increased

    due to the hiring of temporary workers for Census 2010. Job losses continued in financial activities and in information.”

    In terms of job creation, of the 162,000, the largest block was the addition of 42,000 temporary census workers.

    Other than the census, the other largest sectors of jobs we are gaining are temporary jobs and some health care jobs (we are always gaining health care jobs it seems like). That’s not good. Temp jobs aren’t good jobs. They don’t provide living wages and they don’t provide benefits. And government jobs are a wash – they don’t provide the same benefit to the economy a private sector job does. Government jobs cost taxpayer dollars to generate so they are a net negative on the economy.

    It’s not all bad news – “Manufacturing employment continued to trend up in March (17,000); the industry has

    added 45,000 jobs in the first 3 months of 2010. Over the month, job gains were concentrated in fabricated metal products (9,000) and in machinery (6,000).

    Employment in construction held steady (15,000) in March. The industry had lost an average of 72,000 jobs per month in the prior 12 months.”

    That’s great to hear. I love seeing manufacturing jobs being added, and I also like to see construction jobs being added, especially reversing a year long trend in construction.

    Overall, these numbers are not good. They’re not horrible, but they leave much to be desired. I hope we start to see some good, long-term private sector job creation in the next few months.  

    • Mainly because I was writing Secretary Chao’s responses. And the one thing we always tried to do was not waste anyone’s time polishing a turd. If the numbers were bad, we said so.  

  • Teddy Goodson

    as the comments here have acknowledged, and there are some really scary things going on world-wide which can end up aborting the fragile domestic turnaround (which is uneven to say the least). Example: We have a burgeoning sovereign debt problem, of which the PIIGS are just the tip of the iceberg, for example. The fact is, we are in the midst of changing the economic system in the world, and it is not going to happen easily.

    This does not take away the beneficial results achieved by Obama so far, which, IMO, would have been bigger and sooner had the initial stimulus been larger, but that attempt was strangled by conservative opposition.

  • TomPaine

    Not only was the stimulus too small, but also too much of it was for things that had little or no real impact on job growth.

    That, with the failure to obtain management concessions on the bank bailouts or to adequately regulate the banking and investment community, is going to lead to more problems in those areas.