First, someone asked me this morning, “wouldn’t it have been better if the jobs report were terrible, so as to force policy makers to do something?”
I don’t think so. Even after yesterday’s crash and the spate of weak reports—and this jobs report is really not that much better, btw–I seriously doubt a worse report would have moved these folks, and frankly, we really need the jobs.
The federal government right now is like a fire truck outside a burning building, with the firefighters leaning on the truck looking at the flames and saying, “what a shame…too bad we can’t help.”
And don’t try to tell me they can’t help because they don’t have any water in their tanks…they do, and they can borrow more at very low rates right now. At this point, the best way to reduce the deficit is to get more people back at work, earning paychecks and paying taxes.
Second point: I noted in my earlier post that state and local employment continues to tank. Though this month was made worse by the partial state government shutdown in Minnesota—hey, state legislators do the self-inflicted wound thing too!—the long-term trend is clear, and in stark contrast to the private sector jobs trends (state/local employment is on the right axis). Private sector job growth is too slow, as I noted earlier, but at least its moving the right way.
(Graphic by CBPPs Hannah Shaw)
This X is a function of the fact that states and towns are still cutting and laying off teachers, cops, sanitation workers, etc., because they must, by law balance their budgets. Two lessons here: 1) they need federal help, and 2) that line going down: this is your job market on a balanced budget amendment, another great Republican idea.