Saturday, September 11, 2010

67,000 Jobs -- No Big Whoop

The government estimated that 67,000 net new private sector jobs were created in August -- a truly dismal number. The administration, of course, has attempted to put a good spin on it by pointing out that, at least, things are headed in the right direction. And, indeed, they're not lying.

But it's important to note that of those new jobs, 17,000 were temporary and 28,000 were in health care. Of the temporary jobs, enough said -- employers aren't ready to hire permanent employees; and health care expansion is hardly an indicator of incipient economic growth.

Job growth in the medical sector is often touted as one of the ongoing bright spots in the economy and an industry which is only likely to grow. But it's important to remember that health care doesn't create wealth, it consumes it. An expanding health sector is either the result of a growing economy or expanding government regulation and mandates. Absent the former, the latter must be the cause.

Now, there was some good news in mining (9000 net jobs created) and construction (19,000 though 10,000 of those were a result of a strike's having been resolved). Overall, though, the numbers are dismal. Good news, certainly, for those who found work, but pretty thin gruel if you're looking for signs of real economic growth.

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