The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

Subscribe to the blog

Discussion: (12 comments)

  1. Eric Johnson

    The Democrats will forget to mention that those gov workers got PAID while not working! Meanwhile many gov contract workers at the base commissaries, other base services, Lockheed, and many other businesses shutdown for 3-20 days and will not get back pay.

    1. You are being misleading. Gov defense contract workers worked during the shutdown and got paid because the contracts were still in force. Only 18% of the Gov was shutdown. Yawn

      1. mesa econoguy

        Only 18% shut down?


        So why you bitch & moan so much about Tea Party opposition, Idiot Domain?

      2. Eric Johnson

        Larry, Try again when you have the facts. Base commissaries in the states were closed for 5 days and the non-gov staff (roughly 70%) did not get back pay. My wife can attested to that small paycheck.

        Lockheed closed various segments of their military production lines when they couldn’t continue without government payments, inspections or other actions. They reported closures of 3 to 8 days in several news stories. I’m pretty sure every defense contractor dealt with the same issues.

        FYI. That 18% number was calculated AFTER 400K Defense Dept civilians went back to work along with the 400K that never stopped working. The minimum of gov civilians working was likely in the 50% to 55% range.

  2. Eric Johnson

    Remember how so many folks wanted to delay return of Social Security’s temp 2% reduction because that $100 per year for average American was going to hurt the economy? And it did slow things down.

    What’ll happen when folks are paying an extra $100, $200, $500 for health insurance monthly to our economy? This is going to seriously hurt consumer discretionary spending at restaurants, malls, etc!

    Job numbers are going to dive over the next 6 months as this black hole called Obamacare starts up.

  3. The government shutdown also failed to shutdown the government. 83% was determined “essential” with the park service doing more work during that 16 days than they ever do during normal operations.

  4. mesa econoguy

    The drop in Labor Force Participation Rate is shocking.

    Back to 1978 levels, and that is not explained at all by demographics.

    It is explained by massive welfare dependency and use of SSDI, about to go completely broke.

  5. Ricky Vee

    The author states that these are ” decent numbers “. maybe on another planet but here on planet Earth, USA they are horrible. These jobs are mostly seasonal and the labor participation rate is the real true indicator. If the fed lets off the QE throttle anytime soon there will be a crash of epic proportions. The economy is very sick..

  6. Why is no one talking about how these numbers are being affected by the implementation of Obamacare…this smokescreen of the evil GOP causing the shutdown and how it cripples the economy for months and months will be the perfect cover for the beginning of the disembowelment of the US economy due to Obamacare. Buckle your seatbelts, and pray people wake up before it’s too late.

  7. Even with the house GOP trying however they can to bring down the economy to prove a point, we are in a recovery. Pre- recession jobs as a measure don’t count. People were building houses, furniture and appliances for a bubble.The economy is slowly growing. The deficit is going down, 20-45 million people will begin to see health care professionals. Sorry folks, but the Dems know how to make the economy work. Reagan cut taxes and spent like a drunken sailor raising the debt limit 17 times. Clinton had to clean up his mess and Obama is now at work cleaning up the “W” mess. After the GOP loses the house in 2014, perhaps they will decide to be part of the solution instead of the problem. The sky is not falling.

  8. It is always a mistake to put too much emphasis on a single month’s data. That is especially true for October where the two surveys show disparate results. We will have to see what happens between now and the end of the year and beyond to see if the shutdown affected any employment trends.

    That is why I prefer the total employment data ( Here you can see that we have been adding jobs for almost four years, but that we are still down about 1.5 million jobs versus the prior peak. In addition, we have added about 1.5 million people to the labor force in that time. That leaves us short about 3 million jobs or a little less than two years of jobs growth. Figure the labor force will grow by another million during the next two years and we need to add four million jobs during that time.

    @mesa – The labor force participation rate is on a long term downward trend, which can be seen most clearly by looking at the data for men ( Adjust the start year to 1948 and you see that the rate has been falling since we started tracking the statistic. This was masked by large numbers of women entering the work force after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made discrimination illegal. But the rate for women has been going down for over ten years as well. The combined rate will continue to decline going forward.

  9. This is a stupid premise and the economy vis a vis “jobs” did not improve in any measurable sense. In fact, if one takes the time to divest themselves of the government propaganda/disinformation tit, you can discover that the real U6 unemployment rate is above 14%. It’s only a matter of seeking information. If you know how to use a library, a declining skill in this era, it is a simple matter to also seek this information on the internet. Please, people, stop being propagandized/indoctrinated. If you wish to believe something, go for it, but by all means, in these times, verify it. We are being lied to on an astronomical scale. Don’t trust one thing you hear or are told. Grab the reins, dig, find out for sure. You will be amazed by what you discover. God Bless

Comments are closed.

Sort By:

Refine Content:


Additional Keywords:

Refine Results

or to save searches.

Refine Content