80,000 New Jobs. Not Enough.

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 4 2011 9:33 AM

80,000 New Jobs. Not Enough.

The good news: The new figures from the BLS are going to let press flacks have an easy Friday, then kick off. Mitt Romney's campaign previews a line: "October marked the thirty-third consecutive month that the unemployment rate has been above 8%." In the House, supercommittee member Jeb Hensarling points out that we've had twenty-three months of unemployment above 9 percent. Romney's jab is a sneakier criticism of the stimulus; point goes to him.

A topline number of 80,000 new nonfarm jobs is not good. The one note of optimism:

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised from +57,000 to +104,000, and the change for September was revised from +103,000 to +158,000.

That's good! BLS's modeling is more pessimistic than the reality out there. A note of optimism, if you're a Republican:

Government employment continued to trend down over the month (-24,000), with most of the October decline in the non-educational component of state government.

That's how austerity is supposed to work -- a shrinking public sector, growth in the private sector. Not enough growth, sure, and if we remember the hay Republicans made out of the month there was "zero" job growth, they are happy counting the lost government jobs in the overall number.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



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