Unemployment jumps to 9.7%

Consider this a part of Barack Obama’s August horribilis.  The White House desperately needed good news on the employment front after spending the last five weeks getting hammered by angry constituents in almost every Congressional district in the US, and especially after Joe Biden spent yesterday bragging about the economic policies of the administration.  Instead, unemployment hit a new high in August:

U.S. employers cut a fewer-than-expected 216,000 jobs in August, while the unemployment rate rose to a 26-year high, the government said on Friday in a report showing a still fragile labor market.

The Labor Department said the unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent after dipping to 9.4 percent in July and the decline in payrolls was the smallest in a year. The department revised job losses for June and July to show 49,000 more jobs lost than previously reported.

ADP found more than 80,000 more job losses in its report yesterday, based on private-sector payrolls.  Maybe the government is hiring?  That seems to have stopped, too:

Manufacturing employment fell by 63,000, with a total of 2 million factory jobs lost since the start of the recession. Payrolls in construction industries dropped 65,000 after falling 73,000 in July.

The service-providing sector purged 80,000 workers in August, while the goods-producing industries shed 136,000 positions.

Education and health services continued to add jobs, with payrolls increasing 52,000 in August after rising 21,000 in July. Government employment fell 18,000 after slipping 28,000 in July.

The US still bleeds jobs across all sectors, and now unemployment has hit a new high.  July and June numbers also got adjusted upwards after the Obama administration used them to argue that they had turned the corner on the recession.  Retail numbers continue to drop, which means that hiring won’t commence for several months out yet.

Recall the argument made by Obama and his economic advisers when they demanded a $787 billion slush fund to “stimulate” the economy?  Recall this curve?

Now we’re here:

We’re still cresting, only far above what Christine Romer and Barack Obama used as a scare tactic to get the cash, and much farther above what they promised from their top-down economic policies.  It’s not getting better at all, despite Joe Biden’s blathering.  The problem is getting worse, and it will continue to worsen as government eats up capital that could have gone to job creation.