Another Anemic Employment Report Confirms: No Recovery Summer

Another bad jobs report demonstrates that the "recovery" is an illusion for many people.

Not surprisingly, July’s unemployment report shows that the economy continues to languish:

With the American economic recovery hanging in the balance, private employers added 71,000 jobs in July, up from a revised 31,000 in June but below the consensus forecast of 90,000. The unemployment rate stayed steady at 9.5 percent.

Over all, the nation lost 131,000 jobs in July, more than expected, but many of those losses came as federal Census Bureau workers left their temporary posts. The government also sharply revised the overall June number, saying the economy lost 221,000 jobs instead of 125,000.

Figures released last week confirmed that the United States economy slowed down in the spring, and the Department of Labor’s monthly statistical snapshot of hiring pointed toward a stall in hiring this summer, as employers failed to add jobs at the rate they were earlier this year.

With some economists predicting a “double dip” back into recession and the political stakes for the Obama administration rising as the weeks tick closer to the midterm elections, Friday’s unemployment report renewed pressure on lawmakers to consider the next steps they might take to bolster the economy.

Of course, it’s unlikely that anything that Congress does not will have a significant impact on the jobs market for months to come, which means that, politically, this is yet more bad news for President Obama and the Democrats. There are now only two unemployment reports left to come out before the November 2nd election, and it seems incredibly unlikely that we’ll see significant improvement in the August or September numbers. We may not be in another recession, yet, but the Administration’s much-touted “Recovery Summer” is turning out to be an illusion.

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, Economics and Business, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. JKB says:

    For all those looking for work or helping out someone who is looking for work, there is no illusion, just DC delusion.
    Here’s your sign:  Want a job?  Something has to change in Washington!
    And the only way to bring even hope of a jobs recovery within the next year, is to cut taxes to encourage business investment.  The one thing they will not do.

  2. Gerry W. says:

    That cannot be the only answer. How can you create jobs if your are sending jobs overseas? How can you stimulate if you already stimulated with the Bush tax cuts? How can you stimulate if the fed already has 0% interest rates. And how can you stimulate in small towns in which the factories have left? Small businesses need the traffic, and with factories closed – you cannot have small business. And what widgets can be made in America and not in China or some other country?
    Our problem is with 2 billion cheap laborers that want our jobs. It is putting pressure on the middle class jobs and wages. There are no new jobs to go to. On top of that, Reagan relaxed anti-trust laws that create more consolidation and mergers and that creates more loss of jobs.
    So, we need answers instead of the same talking points by republicans.

  3. Steve Plunk says:

    Name one thing this administration has done to inspire confidence in business or consumers.  Name any one of the things things this administration has done to put fear in business and consumers.  See how those scales balance?
    $29 billion for states that have proven to be poor stewards of our tax money but a payroll tax holiday isn’t on the table for those of us who could put that money to good use.  Roll back Obamacare so businesses can have some sense of stability for the future.  Kill cap and trade for the same reason.  And how about a grown up energy policy that recognizes the need for stable energy prices and secure domestic supplies?
    There are answers but our current leadership is clueless.

  4. Gerry W. says:

    Seems like both democrats and republicans are clueless. Even economists, for which, most are shills for business and the middle class loses.
    And I am for any and all energy. You need to invest in your country, in your people, and in the future. Something republicans have forgotten.

  5. Tom Mathers says:

    Hey Gerry,
    From your response, I’d guess you’ve come up with the null set for anything the BO administration has done to inspire confidence or promote private enterprise?
    Seems about right.

  6. JKB says:

    First off, tax cuts are more a concrete signal that the administration has their head screwed on straight.  As Steve outlined, it is about confidence in investing in the future whether that be building a factory or taking on additional payroll.
    As for jobs going overseas, it would beyond unfair, after their recent economic skill revelations, to expect Obama or any of his people to solve the problem of human economic evolution.  Beyond destroying almost all of the history of human transportation, there is no way to stop jobs from chasing cheap labor.  Take textiles, they were in England, but then moved to the US in New England due to cheap unskilled labor and declining shipping costs, then they moved to the South, for the cheap unskilled labor…, then they moved to China, etc. for the cheap, unskilled labor… and I’ve read that some are already moving out of China for cheaper labor pools.  Unfortunately, trade is what made us what we are.  There is evidence that without trade, societies regress as happened with the people of Tasmania after the island separated from Australia.
    The amount of oppression that would be required to force people to forget that just over the horizon they could buy products that are just as well made or better at cheaper prices than the ones they’re allowed to buy is genocidal in scale.  They can’t even keep this knowledge out of North Korea and those people have never known freedom or free trade.

  7. Gerry W. says:

    Well Tom, I don’t think we have a system that works. All the politicians are paid off with interest groups and lobbyists. I would rather appoint a Donald Trump for a few years and have a board of directors for the middle class. As it is now, we are losing the middle class, and that started a long time ago. We are becoming a nation of just rich and poor. And republicans so far, has not come up with any adequate answers. Just a party of ideology.

  8. Gerry W. says:

    Nothing wrong with tax cuts, but just like the fed, if you overuse it or cry wolf, then no one listens. Our economy was overstimulated and at the same time our problems mounted. We need both confidence in spending and confidence to know if we are going to have the jobs or some other country will. Again, we have 2 billion people who want our jobs and there is no new jobs to go to.
    Yes, we cannot stop jobs from going to cheap labor. That is not the problem. The problem is, is our country going to invest in the future for new jobs so that we can save the middle class. You cannot ignore what globalization is doing to our country. While advocates support free trade, we lost the jobs. Now, those same people say we need to create jobs. LOL. We could fix the anti-trust laws, we could invest in the people (per the Hudson Institute), and we could invest more in the future with more preliminary science.
    Is America Losing Its Mojo? | Print Article |
    But typical of republicans, is that they only have tax cuts, which is for the ‘here and now’, and then it is neglect (laissez-faire) of the country. So, we are where we are. And it will take 10 to 20 years to fix the Bush mess.

  9. Drew says:

    Speaking from a telepromptor on the White House lawn, President Obama noted that the policies bequethed to him from Herbert Hoover to GWB had hamstrung him, and prevented the world from seeing the absolute magnificence of his Administration, and their most excellent economic policies.

    He noted that he would take his arguments to the real intellectuals, and book a session on The View, send his wife on a boondoggle to Spain, and then – after 18 holes at Congressional CC –  announce a new package of tax increases and health care regulations.

    That’s the ticket.

  10. john personna says:

    Steve, I believe there are about a trillion things the administration tried, to inspire confidence.
    As far as posturing that this is a recovery, Animal Spirits matter.  A good story helps those spirits.  Of course, a story too far out of sync with fact may have a hard time gaining traction.  FWIW, I think the citizens (Zorro’s “Peoples”) kind of buy, or hope for a recovery, so hopeful talk isn’t too far out of line.  It may get old though, if this soft spot proves to be a true double-dip (IMO still undetermined).

  11. Pete says:

    I’m a small business owner. I am sitting on cash. I am not investing in additional vehicles, advertising, office space, or new employees. I wonder why.

  12. Gerry W. says:

    Well, we are trapped in a corner. After years of tax cuts and ignoring the globalization problem, running up deficits and debt, and ignoring our own infrastructure, we can’t afford more tax cuts, but that is what we have to do. Whatever stimulus we had in the past is lost. Now, we know how depressions happen. It is party before, ignore all problems, and now we have nothing to work with. Nobody is doing anything in my town. We lost three major factories and more. You cannot start a small business. You need that support level and we lost it. It means tightening the belt, but it does business no good. All you can do is hang on.