Will job growth in U.S. stall ’til fall?
Moves in the economy, no matter how minuscule, are amplified this presidential election year. The jobs report for June, issued Friday by the Labor Department, was the latest indicator that the economy is sluggish, showing lower-than-expected job growth and a flat unemployment rate. This news typically would not bode well for a president seeking reelection.
The unemployment rate, 8.2 percent in June, was unchanged from May and hasn’t moved much the first half of the year. Only 80,000 new payroll jobs were added, below projections, and private payroll growth was the weakest it has been in 10 months.
One takeaway from the new numbers is that efforts by the president and Congress to jump-start the economy and spur job growth have been of little help and, arguably, have hindered employment.
“Policies, favoring bank consolidation and financial schemes, alternative energy and high technology, and government expansion of health care are hampering jobs creation in core-manufacturing, resources and many service activities,” wrote Peter Morici, an economist and professor at the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.
“Those policies encourage more off-shoring, push down wages, pad big bonuses and dividends and skew income toward the wealthiest in Manhattan, the Silicon Valley and other bastions of privilege,” Morici said. We agree.
Many employers are likely sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the election, after which there will be at least some certainty as to policy direction. If the policies of recent years continue, regardless the winner in November, expect similarly disappointing job reports month after month.
Reprinted from The Orange County Register