The PJ Tatler

The Job Numbers say Zero - but Why Do I Think they are Better and Worse Than That?

I’m currently sitting in the O’Hare Airport, on my way to Iowa.  After a quick lunch, I saw the latest job numbers – 0. It is the first time since World War II that there has been no jobs created in the United States. That got me thinking – WWII ended officially on August 15th, 1945.  The date of writing this is September 2nd, 2011.  That is 66 years, 19 days.  Or, in just days, 24,125 since we last had a time where no jobs were created.

As I looked at the numbers, I came across something that somewhat inspired, and left me crestfallen, all at the same time.  I read in the CNBC report:

Private payrolls actually rose 17,000, but that was offset by continued shrinkage in government. The number of people unemployed remained unchanged at 14 million.

Private payrolls up?  Shrinkage in government?  Isn’t this a banner day for the advocates of the Free Market?  This is, as a most simple snapshot, wonderful!  Private enterprise is building while the government is shedding jobs.  While it is the basic math (private sector up + government sector down) that gets us the “0” job growth, could this be a sign for a prosperous future?

Then, I did more math.  17,000 more jobs in the private sector, and 14 million unemployed.  If we were to get to 0 unemployment, it would take 823.5 months to get there. (14million/17,000)  But let’s go with a more realistic number, and aim for 4.5% unemployment (one half of where it is right now.)  That would take, at 17,000 jobs per month, approximately 412 months – or 34 years! Or, 12,360 days.

I used a very simplistic formula, and statisticians can correct me if need be.  But, by any standard, those numbers are awful, and simple untenable.  If President Obama is going to offer his thoughts about jobs, they must focus around these numbers and how to allow true entrepreneurship and capitalism to drive the train towards upward employment. Any jobs plan must involve making it easier for business to thrive – including the removal of undue regulations and an end to even the idea of FED or other governmental interference in the marketplace.  If Obama’s statement involves stimulus, QE3 or government hiring, then it becomes even more obvious that the President has no idea about what he is talking about regarding the economy.  The numbers don’t lie.

(NOTE – did I make a mistake in my math?  Let me know!)