Three years of “stimulus”

It has been three years since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed. Feel stimulated yet?

Three years later, the net change in jobs (since March 2009, through January 2012) is -428,000.

Last year, months after the recovery was to have taken hold, the economy created 1.8 million jobs. That might sound impressive if you don’t follow the labor market closely, but at that rate — monthly job creation of 152,000 — we won’t return to the previous employment peak of 146.6 million jobs until October 2014. That would be almost halfway through a second Obama term, and almost exactly seven years since that peak.

The unemployment rate, still well above the levels the Obama administration predicted when the stimulus was passed, has fallen in recent months in large part because between
3 million and 5 million Americans have grown discouraged and stopped looking for work. (The range owes to how retiring baby boomers are accounted for.) After rising for nearly six decades, the labor force participation rate in January was at a level not seen in that month since 1982. It has fallen 2 percentage points in Barack Obama’s first three years in office, the largest such drop of any president since the federal government began keeping the statistic in 1948.

If the participation rate had only held steady, the unemployment rate would be about 11 percent, not the official rate of 8.3.

My guess is that the millions of Americans counted in the unemployment numbers, along with the millions who aren’t, don’t buy the “saved” part of the “saved or created” artifice. They’re not fooled into thinking things are better than their circumstances demonstrate they are.

We’ve spent a lot of time in recent months talking about the flaws of the Republican candidates, and rightly so. But whenever that race wraps up, we’ll hear plenty about the shortcomings of the Obama presidency. And the lackluster results of the stimulus will be one tough albatross for him to shed.

(Note: Poll Position will be posted later today.)

– By Kyle Wingfield

290 comments Add your comment

saywhat?

February 17th, 2012
10:31 am

Considering the economy was shedding 750,000 jobs PER MONTH (multiply THAT by 36) when Obama took office, I would say that a net loss of 428,000 over three years is pretty damn good. What was the net loss/gain over the past two years, I wonder?

I know that I and many, many other people predicted a 8-10 year recovery time from the mess left by Republicans in Washington. That it could happen in only 6 years is nothing short of a miracle.

Bart Abel

February 17th, 2012
10:52 am

It has been three years since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed. Feel stimulated yet? Three years later, the net change in jobs (since March 2009, through January 2012) is -428,000.

The day that President Obama was inaugurated, our economy lost nearly 800,000 jobs in that month alone. Millions of jobs had already been lost, and given the depth of the recession, there was nothing any new president could do to prevent hundreds of thousands more being lost in the coming weeks.

Also, I don’t recall the exact numbers, but it turned out that the economy had actually contracted three or four times more than economists knew at the time. The Obama administration had to work with the smaller, incorrect numbers that were available at the time.

Obama’s policies slowed the boulder that was rolling down the hill, then stopped it, and have since been pushing the boulder back up the hill. Kyle blames the guy who hasn’t pushed the boulder all the way back to the top of the hill instead of the guy who pushed the boulder down the hill in the first place (the guy who he voted for).

In fact, it was anti-regulation ideology that got us into this mess in the first place. So it’s ironic that those who continue to maintain this failed ideology now complain that those who are tasked with cleaning up their mess aren’t cleaning it up fast enough.

Do what??????

February 17th, 2012
10:56 am

How many jobs did Obama claim that the stimulus packages would create?

Stephenson Billings

February 17th, 2012
10:58 am

Just think, we only need the participation rate to drop to about 55% (for those of you who recently went to public school that’s a little more than HALF of the “eligible” work force working) by the fall to get the unemployment rate to about 7%-ish.

Bart Abel

February 17th, 2012
11:00 am

JKL2

February 17th, 2012
11:02 am

Nothing but rainbows and unicorns here in obamaland.

Vote obama: Free money for Everyone!

You See The Tarnish, I See The Gleam - You See The Glass Half Empty, I See The Glass Half Full

February 17th, 2012
11:07 am

3 million and 5 million Americans have grown discouraged and stopped looking for work.

I cannot believe that anyone would stop looking for work.

Are they on welfare, being supported by someone else, do they have a family?

That dog just don’t hunt that people would stop looking for work.

I would like to meet some of those people.

Linda

February 17th, 2012
11:10 am

The highest monthly unemployment rate under Bush was 1/09 when he left office.
The lowest monthly unemployment rate under Obama was also 1/09 when he took office.
The unemployment rate under Obama has been higher every single month for 3 years than it was under Bush for 8 years.

See graph (2nd figure) from Bureau of Labor.

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000

You See The Tarnish, I See The Gleam - You See The Glass Half Empty, I See The Glass Half Full

February 17th, 2012
11:11 am

@JKL2

February 17th, 2012
11:02 am
Nothing but rainbows and unicorns here in obamaland.

Vote obama: Free money for Everyone!
***************************************************************

Don’t start spewing your racist hatred it is too early in the morning for hate.

Using that type of language supports your racist view.

You can disagree without being evil and racist.

Does evil, hatred and ignorace ever TAKE A HOLIDAY?

carlosgvv

February 17th, 2012
11:12 am

And yet, when extending the debt ceiling was being debated, the Tea Party congress said we should just let our Country go into default. If we had followed that advice, just how “stimulated” do you think we would feel now?

MarkV

February 17th, 2012
11:16 am

Kyle,

A simple question: What evidence you have that the job situation would be better under a Republican Administration?

Bart Abel

February 17th, 2012
11:18 am

My guess is that the millions of Americans counted in the unemployment numbers, along with the millions who aren’t, don’t buy the “saved” part of the “saved or created” artifice. They’re not fooled into thinking things are better than their circumstances demonstrate they are.

The Republicans have balked at extending unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed throughout the recession and recovery. In fact, the compromise UI extension that came out yesterday was a compromise to reduce the length of UI benefits, as demanded by Republicans.

They’ve also been trying to bully the Fed into ignoring its legal mandate to limit unemployment. In addition, they’re now trying to pass legislation to make the unemployed take drug tests, provide free labor in exchange for benefits,…

Republicans have essentially been demonizing the unemployed since the beginning of the recession while doing everything possible to block unemployment benefits . So, it’s hard to buy this faux empathy for the unemployed when using them to criticize the Obama administration.

If so concerned about the unemployed, why not put people back to work fixing our crumbling infrastructure? Why do Republicans block up-and-down votes in the Senate to pass legislation that would do exactly that? We know why. Because, as far as Republicans politicians are concerned, the lower the unemployment rate, the worse it is for their election prospects.

“GOP seeks to cut unemployment benefits” http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/1007-other/198327-gop-seeks-to-cut-federal-unemployment-benefits

jconservative

February 17th, 2012
11:19 am

“We’ve spent a lot of time in recent months talking about the flaws of the Republican candidates, and rightly so. But whenever that race wraps up, we’ll hear plenty about the shortcomings of the Obama presidency.”

Depending on who the Republican nominee is the election will still be about the “flaws of the Republican candidate”.

By their run toward ideology Republican voters seem determined to give Obama another four years.

Hillbilly D

February 17th, 2012
11:37 am

There’s another factor at work that doesn’t show up in statistics. That’s the number of people who now work part time instead of full time, because they’ve been cut back, those who have a job but don’t make as much money as they use to. There’s the people who work for temp agencies, which have exploded in the last couple of decades. Working class wages have been stagnant for about 30 years, in real dollars, and that downward pressure continues and will continue for the foreseeable future. Things aren’t going to get any better for a long time, if they ever do.

We were sold out by the globalists and both parties were willing players in that transaction. They both point fingers and play the game but the joke is on us.

Dusty

February 17th, 2012
11:38 am

It does NOT matter what unemployment was when Bush left office.

Barack Obama declared that he could do BETTER than Bush and he has NOT done so. Not after THREE years.

The stimulus was the “magic wand” to bring higher employment. It has not worked even after several tries.

The only thing growing is the national debt. Every “stimulus” cost the USA more and more and that result is not good.

Stimulus=almost zero jobs! Stimulus = larger national debt. .

Conclusion: Obama leadership has proven itself ineffective. We need new leadership.

resno2

February 17th, 2012
11:40 am

Maybe they should go back to the way it was in 1947, and stop keeping those stats. That way they can be honest (a stretch I know) and say that they don’t have those actual numbers.

jconservative

February 17th, 2012
11:43 am

Is this the result of the stimulus?

“Interracial marriage in the United States has hit an all-time high, a new study suggests, with a record 1 in 12 marriages taking place between people from different racial backgrounds.”

resno2

February 17th, 2012
11:45 am

jconservative: Not likely, but if you can spin it in a positive light, I’m sure the obama and his camp will try to make it look that way.

Richard

February 17th, 2012
11:47 am

Kyle, not saying you’re wrong (you may be 100% correct), but there’s one thing your argument doesn’t account for. We have no idea what would have happened without the stimulus. Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing either.

For example, if I were to tell you that without the stimulus bill, unemployment (a totally misleading number I know) would be at 21%, maybe you’d have a different take. Unfortunately, we don’t know what would have been.

Linda

February 17th, 2012
11:49 am

IF, IF, IF the economic stimulus bill created or saved 3.3 million jobs, isn’t that almost $250,000 per job? Could we have just written those job seekers/holders exactly than many checks for $50,000 each & saved the taxpayers $635 B or checks for $100,000 each & saved the taxpayers $315 B? Should we have left the almost trillion dollars in the economy & allowed the private market to work without government red tape & interference?

ragnar danneskjold

February 17th, 2012
11:50 am

The economy began to collapse when it became evident that leftists would control both Executive and Congress. And certainly the economic results have proven that businesses knew what they were doing when they began to cut back. With the prospective new business taxes from ObamaCare, and potential new regulation from a “consumer protection” agency not subject to Congressional oversight, why would anyone expand a business in the United States?

The disastrous “stimulus” wealth transfer from taxpayer to “friends of leftists” has left a precious few people in good fiscal shape, but at cost of a tremendous debt service requirement for the public for the foreseeable future. Government expansion is always the reciprocal of expansion in the private economy.

Georgia, The "New Mississippi"

February 17th, 2012
11:54 am

Georgia has collected more FDIC bank bailout money than any state in our nation. We lead the nation in bank failures. We have grown into a state noted for its embrace of low moral character. Georgia is near the top in unemployment, children in poverty, home foreclosures, obesity , % of children that never finish high school, lawmakers under indictment that will not resign , pill mills, illegal drug activity, etc..etc etc. …. and the only thing republiCons like Kyle are concerned with IS……………undermining the president ????? ……. The problems Georgians face can be linked to 9 years of using Johnny Reb Logic to run our GOP controlled state.

Intown

February 17th, 2012
11:55 am

I have not forgotten the near hysteria in the fall of 2008 (Bush presidency) as the economy nearly collapsed. I have also seen with my own eyes the stimulus actually stimulating things. Sewer work was accelerated, transportation projects are breaking ground, teachers and cops were retained, etc. Republicans will hate the stimulus regardless of the facts. This has created employment in the short term, and at least some of these investments will create a healthy infrastructure for our long term economic future.

ragnar danneskjold

February 17th, 2012
11:55 am

Dear Richard @ 11:47, until the Great Depression, government never attempted to “manage” a recession back to health. Until the Great Depression, no recession/depression ever lasted more than 18 months. While the current depression supposedly ended years ago – more below – the jobless recovery is a unique element, and a direct function of the legislation leftists enacted to “manage” the recovery.

Macro economic performance is conventionally measured by Gross Domestic Product, a formula that replaced the older, more traditional Gross National Product a couple of decades ago. The only meaningful difference between the two is that government expenditures are included in GDP and not in GNP, as if government spending has a consumer choice. Thus, if you wanted to give an illusion of GDP growth where there is truly none, you could theoretically pump up government spending to a level large enough to corrupt the traditional measure. And they did.

Dusty

February 17th, 2012
11:59 am

jconservative 11:43

You win the “wild goose chase” prize of the day. Tying interacial marriages to the stimulus is a great venture of imagination but devoid of reason.

Anything else you want to suggest? Unemployment in the USA is caused by lazy locusts in the Middle East?

Dusty

February 17th, 2012
12:08 pm

Georgia, the new Mississippi @11:54

Sooo, you say “Georgia is noted for its embrace of low moral character”.

Is that why you came here? Is that why you stay?

Rubbish!! Please help Georgia improve itself in many ways. LEAVE!!!

bu2

February 17th, 2012
12:12 pm

Texas had a worse recession in the 80s. It was estimated 1 in 4 people in Houston lost their job in 1986 alone. Unemployment rate was over 13%. Within 3 years, everything was back to normal. And there was no mutil-billion $ stimulus.

Obama doesn’t even understand the cause of the recession. He blames it on Republican policies and tries to put the disastrous Carter administration poliicies back in place. Its a classic real estate recession. Yet he keeps trying to drag out the absorbption of the underwater mortgages which serves to drag out the recession. Millions are unemployed today simply because of his mouth. He constantly belly-ached for months about how bad things were and how they were going to get a whole lot worse. By destroying consumer confidence he personally caused unemployment. Bill Clinton had to finally tell him to just shut up about it (I sent him an e-mail the 1st week of his presidency telling him the same thing-in a nice manner-not that I thought anyone would pay attention). But he still doesn’t get it. He started talking about fat cats going to Las Vegas and lots of people cancelled conventions. So Las Vegas, one of the worst hit cities, gets hit even worse because Obama still doesn’t understand his job. He did the same thing to small aircraft manufacturers.

We’ve never had such a clueless president. He’s hung up in his narcissism and pre-conceived class warfare notions.

saywhat?

February 17th, 2012
12:13 pm

Given that 8 years of Bush tax cuts created ZERO net jobs, I suppose you are opposed to keeping those as well Kyle, since we are trying to reduce the defict and all?

Better yet, lets give stimulus the same 8 year opportunity that we gave tax cuts, so we can make a fair comparison.

saywhat?

February 17th, 2012
12:14 pm

“deficit”

MarkV

February 17th, 2012
12:15 pm

As Richard wrote, nobody knows what would have happened without the stimulus. Also, nobody can prove that the unemployment and economy would be any better if we had a different Administration. To calculate cost of the job created from the stimulus amount and the number of jobs saved or created is a completely ridiculous argument.

ragnar danneskjold

February 17th, 2012
12:18 pm

The “stimulus” is to economics what the underwear bomber is to jihad.

Linda

February 17th, 2012
12:19 pm

The only thing created by the economic stimulus bill was the Tea Party. Thousands of taxpayers could see the immediate future of America, i.e. that the cost of the bill would need to be repaid. Taxes would need to be raised for what was not paid for by printing money out of thin air.
Three years later, we have Occupy Anything & Everythingers who flit from tent to tent, park to bank to port to city hall, mad at everyone without a clue who to blame for what. The rest of the liberals can not relate that every resident is paying for the funny money (inflation) in the price of ground beef & milk & gas & blue jeans.
The Tea Party was astute & saved the country to a great degree in the 2010 elections.

Tommy Maddox

February 17th, 2012
12:22 pm

I’d start looking for info starting January, 2007, when the Democrats took control of the entire Congress.

reebok

February 17th, 2012
12:22 pm

Gee, think how much better off we would be now if we had just let GM and Chrysler fail, taking down their pension plans and all their suppliers with them.

Tommy Maddox

February 17th, 2012
12:24 pm

Do what??????

February 17th, 2012
12:24 pm

“I cannot believe that anyone would stop looking for work.”

When there aren’t any jobs…..

Some people moved in with family, went bankrupt etc…

Linda

February 17th, 2012
12:25 pm

bu2@12:12, Obama is extremely intelligent & highly educated. It’s been 3 years. If you think Obama does not “understand,” “doesn’t get it” & is “clueless,” then so are you. Wake up. Obama knows EXACTLY what he is doing to America. What you are witnessing is the goal of progressives.

Do what??????

February 17th, 2012
12:25 pm

“Gee, think how much better off we would be now if we had just let GM and Chrysler fail”

GM makes garbage cars and a lot of their numbers are inflated. The Chevy Volt was a massive failure. The government also buys a lot of cars.

Chrysler is owned by Fiat. Not exactly American.

Do what??????

February 17th, 2012
12:26 pm

“Don’t start spewing your racist hatred it is too early in the morning for hate.”

What is it with left wingers that make them see everything as a race issue?

Do what??????

February 17th, 2012
12:27 pm

“CBO: Stimulus added up to 3.3M jobs”

Is this the same CBO that said that the health care bill wouldn’t cost a lot?

The same CBO that stated that SS would not top a million in debt?

Do what??????

February 17th, 2012
12:28 pm

“And yet, when extending the debt ceiling was being debated, the Tea Party congress said we should just let our Country go into default”

Stop lying, liar.

Dusty

February 17th, 2012
12:30 pm

Ragnar,

You say it so well. I’m impressed. (Could you make it just a little bit more simple!)

————————–

Intown 11:55

I hope you have recovered from the hysteria you mentioned in your post. I missed that.

Yes, the “stimulus” must have caused great things. I, too, have seen some of them.. There were three lil’ pot holes filled on my street last year. Praise Obama! Asphalt in every pot hole! A chicken in every pot! The shovel ready stimulus is with us!!!!

Now I’m gone to get some stimulants. Lunchtime!

Do what??????

February 17th, 2012
12:32 pm

“Sewer work was accelerated, transportation projects are breaking ground, teachers and cops were retained, etc.”

All government programs.

On another note, a big time Obozo supporter cuts ties.

Obama losing financial backing of big S.F. donor

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/02/15/MND61N71MS.DTL#ixzz1mf4KFmhi

ragnar danneskjold

February 17th, 2012
12:36 pm

Dear Dusty @ 12:30, thanks.

Dear Linda @ 12:25, I am not yet ready to agree (”Obama is extremely intelligent & highly educated.”) Even if he is theoretically competent as a community organizer, it does not logically follow that he understands brain surgery, rocket science, economics, or baseball.

awallstguy

February 17th, 2012
12:37 pm

You guys are all wasting your time pointing fingers at each party..This was a 25 year Credit bubble popping in 2006/07 that started in 1980 or so…The develaraging cycle has just gotten started. none of the idiots in DC get this. it wont matter who is president, only the degrees of pain for most will depend upon policy-and in most cases over the history of time you can always count on the leaders to do the exact WRONG thing at the WORST time…

The Worst Generation (baby boomers) had it easy, years of rising asset prices with no downside risk due to low rates and hot money. and most of them thought it was their sheer brilliance…Wake up people, its going to be years before things “go back to how they were”

Stephenson Billings

February 17th, 2012
12:38 pm

Uh oh, from the Libs favorite source:

CBO: Real Unemployment is %15

“The Congressional Budget Office released a report Thursday that showed real unemployment in America at 15 percent for the month of January, a figure considerably higher than the White House’s oft-cited 8.3 percent figure that does not include part-time workers seeking full-time work or those who have given up hope of finding a job altogether.

From the CBO:

‘Many people would like to work but have not searched for a job in the past four weeks, or are working part-time but would prefer full-time work. If those people were counted among the unemployed, the unemployment rate in January 2012 would have been about 15 percent.’

Furthermore, the CBO reported that the “United States is experiencing the longest stretch of high unemployment since the Great Depression” with no end in sight through 2014.

Worse, the CBO reports that the ravages of the Obama Economy have created an unprecedentedly high rate of long-term unemployment, which the CBO defines as a person who has been seeking work for over 26 months.

‘Over 40 percent of people who are currently unemployed have been out of work for more than half a year, as compared with about one-quarter during the 1981–1982 recession. The extent of long-term unemployment is much greater than would be expected on the basis of its historical relationship with the overall unemployment rate.’

That means that during the 1981-1982 recession President Ronald Reagan led America out of–which was the only other time in the post-World War II era that unemployment rose above 10 percent as it did in October 2009 under Barack Obama–long-term unemployment was 15 percent less than it presently is today under Barack Obama.”

Linda

February 17th, 2012
12:39 pm

I have heard that when Obama is retired from politics, he is aspiring to become a general contractor, specializing in roof leaks, plumbing leaks & leaky basements. He wants to drive around in a panel truck full of only one product: band aids. He will “transform” from band aid economics to band aid construction.

carlosgvv

February 17th, 2012
12:40 pm

Do What??????? – 12:28

You must really have to work hard to be so ignorant.

http://www.tea.party.org

jconservative

February 17th, 2012
12:42 pm

Well the Republican House and the Democratic Senate have approved the “payroll tax bill” and sent it to the White House for signing into law. “The cost of the full package approved by the House… is roughly $143 billion.” Most of it not paid for by offsetting spending cuts.

I guess we can call it a “stimulus” and that will make it OK.

What’s that I see riding off on the horizon? Oh yeah, it is the tea party riding off into the sunset.

awallstguy

February 17th, 2012
12:43 pm

Linda is right, Obama knows exactly what he has to do toimpose the will of Progressives. He is clueless on economics though to the point of being dangerous. And he surrounded himself with corrupt useless Idiots like Rahm and Valerie Jarrett…we joke all the time, Obama would have been killer as an investment banker/salesman on Wall St. He is the best kind, the one who really believes his own BS and is so clueless he doesnt event realize what kind of peril he is putting clients$$ at. He would have been a billionaire by now….