Analysis: Slashing Government Jobs Hurts the Unemployment Rate
Today, the Labor Department announced that the U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged in May at 7.6 percent. After the news, I caught the following exchange on Twitter between the Wall Street Journal's Justin Lahart and University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers.
Unemployment rate with same number of govt jobs as at end of 2008: 6.9%-- Justin Lahart (@jdlahart) June 7, 2013
@justinwolfers Back of my envelope, 6.5%.-- Justin Lahart (@jdlahart) June 7, 2013
That's the long and the short of what I find to be the most infuriating aspect of this jobs recovery. The U.S. economy has been steadily adding jobs, but were it not for government layoffs -- made at a time where Washington has been capable of borrowing money essentially for free -- we'd be in better shape. We've been self sabotaging for about four years now.