August DOL jobs figures showed no net gain, but part of that bad news was attributable to a strike at Verizon. Moreover, as I've mentioned before with respect to prior months' reports, it is important to remember that gains in the private sector--and we are still seeing some gains--are being offset by continued massive losses of public sector jobs. I'm sure it's just a coincidence that ever since the Republicans took over the House of Representatives and forced everybody to talk about austerity instead of talking about economic growth, jobs growth has slowed to a crawl. Since I try to keep the tone positive on this site, however, I'd rather talk about how to solve the problem than about whom to blame for it.
Somebody needs to explain to me how we are going to increase employment in this country if we keep laying off more and more public sector employees. Where in the world has anyone ever increased employment by reducing the number of people who are employed? It seems to me that unless you are ideologically committed to the notion that anyone who takes a paycheck from the government somehow does not qualify as doing work--which is pretty insulting to teachers and soldiers and police officers and even to politicians--you would have to admit that firing people does not reduce unemployment. As a matter of fact, the more people you fire, the more you increase unemployment.
If we want to increase employment, shouldn't we stop laying off public sector employees? Otherwise, we are just making our task harder, because we would not only have to figure out how to employ people who are already out of work, we also have to figure out how to employ all the people the government is laying off.
It would be unseemly for Congressional Republicans to blame the Obama administration for lackluster jobs growth while they are busy trying to make sure that the federal, state and local governments continue to fire more and more employees. They will no doubt continue to blame the administration for the problem they are exacerbating, however.