The McJob recovery

posted at 12:01 pm on August 31, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Eight years ago, when John Kerry tried to defeat the incumbent George W. Bush, he accused Bush of leading a “jobless recovery.”  When the economy started creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, Kerry and the Democrats then claimed that Bush was creating mostly “McJobs,” low-wage positions rather than higher-paying jobs for people with significant skills.  The nominal median income level rose in 2004, though, as jobs were created, and Bush ended up narrowly winning re-election.

Today, the Obama administration keeps claiming to have added 4.3 million jobs by choosing to start from February 2010 rather than the start of the recovery in June 2009 or the passage of Barack Obama’s stimulus package in February 2009.  The Obama recovery in full has only added less than 65,000 jobs per month, far below the level needed to keep up with population growth (125K-150K per month), and the civilian population participation rate has fallen to a 30-year low this spring.  A new study now shows that even those jobs that have been added are the “McJobs” that Kerry inaccurately accused Bush’s recovery of generating:

While a majority of jobs lost during the downturn were in the middle range of wages, a majority of those added during the recovery have been low paying, according to a new report from the National Employment Law Project. …

The report looked at 366 occupations tracked by the Labor Department and clumped them into three equal groups by wage, with each representing a third of American employment in 2008. The middle third — occupations in fields like construction, manufacturing and information, with median hourly wages of $13.84 to $21.13 — accounted for 60 percent of job losses from the beginning of 2008 to early 2010.

The job market has turned around since then, but those fields have represented only 22 percent of total job growth. Higher-wage occupations — those with a median wage of $21.14 to $54.55 — represented 19 percent of job losses when employment was falling, and 20 percent of job gains when employment began growing again.

Lower-wage occupations, with median hourly wages of $7.69 to $13.83, accounted for 21 percent of job losses during the retraction. Since employment started expanding, they have accounted for 58 percent of all job growth.

The occupations with the fastest growth were retail sales (at a median wage of $10.97 an hour) and food preparation workers ($9.04 an hour). Each category has grown by more than 300,000 workers since June 2009.

First, the job market has not “turned around since then.”  We’re not even keeping up with population growth in this recovery.  The average jobs added per month since January has been 83,286 according to the BLS (Table A-1 seasonally adjusted), still a long way from keeping up with population growth.  That’s not a recovery in jobs at all, which anyone looking at the participation rate (63.7%) would instantly recognize.

The data shows that even the paltry job creation of the Obama recovery has done little to advance the economy.  Businesses won’t invest in job-creating activities that require more expensive labor until they can reliably calculate future costs, which in this regulatory and tax environment, they cannot do.  That’s why companies are sitting on their capital, and why we won’t get anything but McJobs in significant numbers until those policies change.  The only thing we can get with this job-creation environment is fries with our meal.


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Obama is awesome.

rob verdi on August 31, 2012 at 12:01 PM

“No man is ever so perfect as when he’s writing his resume’.”

AubieJon on August 31, 2012 at 12:04 PM

“These businesses really just need to step up their game”

–Obama

search4truth on August 31, 2012 at 12:04 PM

I think we’re in the worst economy since the depression. I’m trying to decide if it is worse than the depression. The problem is that with the outrageous government spending/borrowing, this economy will not get better any time soon.

And though Obama would make it worse, I have seen nothing to make me think Romney will make it better.

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 12:05 PM

McJob

It’s spelled MyJob

faraway on August 31, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Of course, this doesn’t mean you’re allowed to eat at McDonalds…

Gingotts on August 31, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Slightly OT:

Romney to Visit Areas Damaged By Hurricane Isaac
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/08/romney-to-visit-areas-damaged-by-hurricane-isaac/

The White House has not announced any plans to visit the storm area.

Colbyjack on August 31, 2012 at 12:05 PM

that picture pretty much says it all…

RedInMD on August 31, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Wait. Never mind my last post. The private sector is doing great. I keep forgetting my marching orders. Has anyone seen my decoder ring?

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Has anyone seen my decoder ring?

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Don’t … forget … to … drink … your … Kool-Aid.

Ed Morrissey on August 31, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Ed, you didn’t write that. Someone helped you write that. You didn’t do it on your own.

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Has anyone seen my decoder ring?

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 12:06 PM

You dropped it in your choom bong.

faraway on August 31, 2012 at 12:09 PM

McPresident

Lost in Jersey on August 31, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Of course, this doesn’t mean you’re allowed to eat at McDonalds…

Gingotts on August 31, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Only if you dare to incur the wrath of Mama Moochelle and her Veggie Vigilantes.

pilamaye on August 31, 2012 at 12:10 PM

McLoser…

right2bright on August 31, 2012 at 12:11 PM

And though Obama would make it worse, I have seen nothing to make me think Romney will make it better.

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 12:05 PM

In my conversations with the utility and railroad industries, one thing has become clear to me: Corporations – large and small – are holding cash in large amounts because they will not commit to funding projects with Obama and his anti-business policies in office. Romney knows the first thing to do is put their minds at ease from day one by shifting policy to growing the economy, getting out of the way of businesses, and settling the questions about taxes.

He will do it

AubieJon on August 31, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Um, were those goalposts hard to move?

lorien1973 on August 31, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Don’t … forget … to … drink … your … Kool-Aid.

Ed Morrissey Lil’ Orphan Annie on August 31, 2012 at 12:08 PM

antipc on August 31, 2012 at 12:11 PM

The last thing Obama or the modern democrat party wants is the creation of lots of good paying jobs.

People with jobs=people who aren’t subjects of Hussein and people who aren’t dependent on the STATE.

That’s the last thing they want.

wildcat72 on August 31, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Don’t … forget … to … drink … your … Kool-Aid.

Ed Morrissey on August 31, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Obama’s hope is that enough states drink the purple kind.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 31, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Slightly OT:

Romney to Visit Areas Damaged By Hurricane Isaac
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/08/romney-to-visit-areas-damaged-by-hurricane-isaac/

The White House has not announced any plans to visit the storm area.

Colbyjack on August 31, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Team Romney needs to remind people of Barry’s epic fail in handling the BP oil spill.

bayview on August 31, 2012 at 12:12 PM

No Ed, it’s apple slices, not fries… Now Let’s Move!

kringeesmom on August 31, 2012 at 12:13 PM

But,but..look at the mess Obama inherited/

vcferlita on August 31, 2012 at 12:13 PM

You better not mention the McRib or they will unleash that racist machine (LOL “machine”) at PSMBC.

Tbone McGraw on August 31, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Odd, but I don’t hear anybody in the media talking about “McJobs” like they did back on 2004.

forest on August 31, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Romney knows the first thing to do is put their minds at ease from day one by shifting policy to growing the economy, getting out of the way of businesses, and settling the questions about taxes.

He will do it

AubieJon on August 31, 2012 at 12:11 PM

I hope you’re right. I’m in the energy sector – evil, oil patch drilling (we call it exploration and production or upstream). I have moved to Dubai because of the restrictions. In my world, Obama just made it imperative for me to move overseas for a variety of reasons.

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Obama is “creating” McJobs while Moochelle is killing the fast food industry…

Are they insane or do they have a plan?

Roy Rogers on August 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM

I have seen nothing to make me think Romney will make it better.

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Optometrists can work wonders these days. Maybe if you put down the bottle and did something, you too could advance.

cozmo on August 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Three letter word — McJobs.

The Rogue Tomato on August 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM

OT: Dems are giving away Tim to watch Preezy, and Paulians plan to scoop them up and protest !!

http://dunwoody.patch.com/articles/dems-giving-away-tickets-to-obamas-speech-9af17d66?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001

pambi on August 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Don’t … forget … to … drink … your … Kool-Aid.

Ed Morrissey on August 31, 2012 at 12:08 PM

A crummy obama commercial? Son of a b***h!

Lost in Jersey on August 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM

* tix

pambi on August 31, 2012 at 12:16 PM

And in related news, a local labor leader here in DC just announced that there would be lots more jobs if businesses were not hoarding their money so Obama will lose. Really, they had it on the noon news broadcast.

These people are truly unhinged. They thought they had nailed down reelection victory when the GOP made Romney the presumptive nominee. Then they thought they had it in the bag when Ryan came on as the VP candidate. Now after the GOP convention they can see a path to victory for Romney and that has the morons who were chanting O-BAM-A just three years ago more than a little rattled.

Happy Nomad on August 31, 2012 at 12:16 PM

One of the features of socialism is that leveling the playing field makes everyone equally poor.

antipc on August 31, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Supply side economics has, in the eyes of the public, been totally denounced.
 
libfreeordie on March 31, 2009 at 11:26 AM

rogerb on August 31, 2012 at 12:17 PM

When Rick Perry first entered the race, Krugman, the Obama camp and all of the MSM folks were quick to point out that all those newly-minted Texas jobs were of the low-paying McJob variety.

That talking point appears to have gone out the window.

bleakdaze on August 31, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Add a chocolate shake with that will ya?

cmsinaz on August 31, 2012 at 12:18 PM

pambi on August 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM

I saw that earlier and it sure is funny poor widdle bho can’t get people to come see him tell the same old lies!
L

letget on August 31, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Retail Sales and Food Prep.
Somehow, I expected a bit more from the stimulus.
Not much prosperity to share there.

Jabberwock on August 31, 2012 at 12:19 PM

I would like to see the monthly job numbers reported as a net figure.
IE. Population growth 125,000. New jobs created 65,000.
Net -60,000

oldernwiser on August 31, 2012 at 12:20 PM

You dropped it in your choom bong.

faraway on August 31, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Obama: INTERCEPTED!!!

Turtle317 on August 31, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Food Stamp President

Wait.

Romney says we can not say that.

Because.

Democrats lie that only minorities are on food stamps thus it is racist to say that.

Romney believes everything Democrats say.

McJobs President.

3 . 2 . 1

Can not say that Democrats say mostly minorities work at McDonalds so it is Racist to say that.

This so much reminds me of McCain.

Steveangell on August 31, 2012 at 12:23 PM

And in related news, a local labor leader here in DC just announced that there would be lots more jobs if businesses were not hoarding their money so Obama will lose. Really, they had it on the noon news broadcast.

Happy Nomad on August 31, 2012 at 12:16 PM

These people have absolutely no clue:

Businesses exist to make money, to make profit.

They aren’t holding cash reserves so Obama will lose. They’re holding cash reserves because they know he’s dangerous to the economy

All Obama has to do is relax on businesses and remove the sense of uncertainty.

He doesn’t want to do that, and that’s why he’ll lose.

AubieJon on August 31, 2012 at 12:24 PM

This so much reminds me of McCain.

Steveangell on August 31, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Bless your heart, Palin isn’t the VP nominee.

cozmo on August 31, 2012 at 12:25 PM

I hope Romney-Ryan starts pushing energy hard. And start pushing science and engineering hard in terms of education.

One other thing on education: terminate federal aid to colleges that offer multicultural studies programs. Let’s get the country back to reading, writing, and artithmetic.

And while were at it, cut federal funding to schools with diversity positions.

BuckeyeSam on August 31, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Team Romney needs to remind people of Barry’s epic fail in handling the BP oil spill.

bayview on August 31, 2012 at 12:12 PM

The Federal Government was directly responsible for the majority of the tragedy that occurred. Prior to the Feds and the Coast Guard “taking over” a whole lot of boats and ships showed up and began pouring water on the rig, which up until that point had a blowout and resulting high pressure stream of burning hydrocarbons going pretty much up in the air.

Conventional wisdom would have been to call in the oil well fire specialists and have them cut down all of the steel and junk in the way to clear the plume so that it would burn straight up and out of the way. Once that was done, time would allow for the relief well to be drilled and plugged.

Instead, inaction by the Feds in charge allowed the “firefighting” boats to continue to pour water on the fire while Nero postulated. This rig was essentiallly a boat. The filled the boat up with water and it turned over and sank. The dril stem was still attached to the rig and the wellhead on the seabottom. When the rig sank the drill stem broke and the crude then began to leak directly at the wellhead. Up until the rig sank nearly everything was salvageable.

NO one told them to stop filling up the rig with water.

Spectacular and epic failure of leadership. If Obama was looking for an a$$ to kick he should have started with his own.

Has anyone heard this version of events? I am waiting for the book.

Tenwheeler on August 31, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Something

Slightly OT:

Romney to Visit Areas Damaged By Hurricane Isaac
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/08/romney-to-visit-areas-damaged-by-hurricane-isaac/

The White House has not announced any plans to visit the storm area.

Colbyjack on August 31, 2012 at 12:05 PM

.
.
Sounds familiar.

listens2glenn on August 31, 2012 at 12:32 PM

As Clint Eastwood reminded us so well last night, “if someone’s not doing their job, you gotta let ‘em go.”

TXUS on August 31, 2012 at 12:34 PM

McDumba$$

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on August 31, 2012 at 12:37 PM

The White House has not announced any plans to visit the storm area.

Well bho will be going Monday! Guess R&R got bho’s skinny hind end in gear having to act like a president?
L

letget on August 31, 2012 at 12:38 PM

This campaign is seriously messing up Obama’s golf schedule.

Roy Rogers on August 31, 2012 at 12:45 PM

letget on August 31, 2012 at 12:38 PM

I heard that on the radio.

When you are the one reacting, you are behind.

cozmo on August 31, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Numbers, schnumbers. If you’re one of the 23 million people who doesn’t have a job or you know one of those people, the number of jobs Ozero claims to have created based on questionable statistics doesn’t mean squat. You KNOW things are bad. You KNOW that this is not a recovery. And all the glowing verbal unicorn farts issued from Ozero’s pie hole do not change that.

natasha333 on August 31, 2012 at 12:51 PM

My Fortune 100 company (railroad) still has people furloughed (laid off subject to recall) nationwide…

We are a leading edge indicator going into and coming out of recessions…

Our volume isn’t picking up = NO RECOVERY… maybe 2013 or 2014 after Romney gets elected…

Khun Joe on August 31, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Every calorie Obooba consumes is wasted.

Akzed on August 31, 2012 at 1:00 PM

The two things that deserved more emphasis from the RNC were Obama’s words:
“You didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

and
“We’ve tried our plan and it worked!”

albill on August 31, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Yeah, that’s it.
.
Buy into the left/media hive’s narrative again by using the word ‘recovery’.
.
It’s freakin’ Great Depression v2.0.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on August 31, 2012 at 1:04 PM

I heard that on the radio.

When you are the one reacting, you are behind.

cozmo on August 31, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Yes, after being caught flat-footed.

bayview on August 31, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Let’s do some math here to find out where each third stands now versus where they stood in 2008:

- “High-end” jobs – A low of 81% pre-recession levels times 20% recovery growth (or 0.81 * 1.20) means the employment level in the “high-end” jobs is only 97.2% of pre-recession levels.

- “Mid-level” jobs – A low of 40% pre-recession levels times 22% recovery growth (0.40 * 1.22) means the employment level in the “mid-level” jobs is only 48.8% of pre-recession levels.

- “Low-level” (aka McJob) jobs – A low of 79% pre-recession levels times 58% recovery growth (0.79*1.58) means the employment level in the McJobs is 124.9% pre-recession levels.

Tell me again who is destroying the middle class?

Steve Eggleston on August 31, 2012 at 1:15 PM

This is rather funny.
The Daily ShowGet More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook

Steveangell on August 31, 2012 at 1:19 PM

I remember how the liberal haters really beat up on Reagan, saying all he created were “hamburger flipper jobs”. At the time, the liberals damned those jobs as being “menial” and keeping folks in poverty. Today it’s a major economic achievement? And Obozo is claiming those very same jobs as proof that his policies are working? I’d better re-read the article. I must be confused or something.

rpjkw11 on August 31, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Or to put it another way…

Everybody has to eat and buy staples. When money is tight, as it is when government is threatening to take half of it away from those who have it, not nearly everybody can afford constructed goods.

Steve Eggleston on August 31, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Are they insane or do they have a plan?

Roy Rogers on August 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Oh yeah, they got a plan all right….

BallisticBob on August 31, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Are they insane or do they have a plan?

Roy Rogers on August 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM

The two are not oxymoronic. It is possible they have no plan, but are not insane. A simple explanation could be that they’re both just stupid.

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Not sure if anyone else has made this connection, but with the number of jobs in the retail and food service industries increasing at a greater rate than middle or upper income jobs -AND- the exceedingly high rate of unemployment among teens and young adults, this probably means the vast majority of the “McJobs” -as it were- are being filled by grossly overqualified applicants.

BKeyser on August 31, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Has anyone seen my decoder ring?

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 12:06 PM

…check your stools for the next 8 hours…or up to 8 days!

KOOLAID2 on August 31, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Supply side economics has, in the eyes of the public, been totally denounced.

libfreeordie on March 31, 2009 at 11:26 AM

rogerb on August 31, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Problem with that and ocommie is that in ocommie’s little mindless world the gubmint is the supply side. Where does it come from above ocommie?

The printing presses, silly.

Wolfmoon on August 31, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Has anyone seen my decoder ring?

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 12:06 PM

…check your stools for the next 8 hours…or up to 8 days!

KOOLAID2 on August 31, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Oh man. THAT’S what’s wrong today. I lost my dog whistle, but couldn’t figure out why it is that dogs have been following me around all day and nearly mangling me every time I fart.

Wolfmoon on August 31, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Don’t … forget … to … drink … your … Kool-Aid.

Ed Morrissey on August 31, 2012 at 12:08 PM

…that’s not nice! I’m not liquid!

KOOLAID2 on September 1, 2012 at 12:20 AM