When the monthly unemployment figures come out, we become a nation of economists. But it doesn’t take a degree in economics to realize that things are bad in the economy right now.
Unemployment last month reached 9.2%, and those are just the people who still want to be in the labor force. The actual percentage of people without jobs might be almost twice that.
Third District Rep. Erik Paulsen took to the floor of an empty U.S. House of Representatives this morning to offer his solution…
A close look at the economic argument reveals a complexity — in the sense that a chicken-and-egg scenario is complex — that most politicians’ speeches don’t address. Lower taxes and lower spending by government means smaller government. Smaller government requires fewer employees. Fewer employees requires more unemployment.
That’s the reality behind the numbers released today.
According to the Labor Department, private businesses added jobs last month (though it was the fewest number in a year):
Within professional and business services, employment in professional and technical services increased in June (+24,000). This industry has added 245,000 jobs since a recent low in March 2010. Employment in temporary help services changed little over the month and has shown little movement on net so far this year.
Health care employment continued to trend up in June (+14,000), with the largest gain in ambulatory health care services. Over the prior 12 months, health care had added an average of 24,000 jobs per month.
In June, employment in mining rose by 8,000, with most of the gain occurring in support activities for mining. Employment in mining has increased by 128,000 since a recent low in October 2009.
Employment in leisure and hospitality edged up (+34,000) in June and has grown by 279,000 since a recent low in January 2010.
What sector of the economy is shedding jobs like there’s no tomorrow? Government. According to the Labor Department:
Employment in government continued to trend down over the month (-39,000). Federal employment declined by 14,000 in June. Employment in both state government and local government continued to trend down over the month and has been falling since the second half of 2008.
There’s no question that private hiring could be much better than it is. But at a time when Congress is debating whether to increase the national debt, it’s difficult to see how the private sector is going to add jobs, government spending is going to drop, and taxes are going to be lower, all while avoiding enough pink slips for government workers to make the unemployment rate in the nation climb.
It didn’t happen in June.