Readers participating in the real world will be quite surprised to learn that, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, "It's very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine."
At The Hill's Floor Action blog, reporter Pete Kasperowicz, writing as if the world began in early 2010, supported Reid's contention: "Private-sector jobs have increased over the last 19 months, while government jobs have lagged." I hope both gentlemen don't mind if, after excerpting a few paragraphs from Pete K's report, we look at some real numbers after the jump.
Here is the excerpt, which includes a "Blame Bush" sighting:
Reid signals government jobs must take priority over private-sector jobs
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday indicated Congress needs to worry about government jobs more than private-sector jobs, and that this is why Senate Democrats are pushing a bill aimed at shoring up teachers and first-responders.
"It's very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine; it's the public-sector jobs where we've lost huge numbers, and that's what this legislation is all about," Reid said on the Senate floor.
... Reid reiterated his emphasis on creating government jobs by saying Democrats are looking to "put hundreds of thousands of people back to work teaching children, have more police patrolling our streets, firefighters fighting our fires, doing the rescue work that they do so well … that's our priority."
... Private-sector jobs have increased over the last 19 months, while government jobs have lagged. They've also seen cuts in several states that are struggling to balanced their books.
... Democrats who support the bill have said it would help save 400,000 teacher jobs and thousands of first-responder jobs that have either been cut or could soon be cut. Reid said Wednesday that these layoffs are "rooted in the last administration," but did not explain further.
Now let's look at the data (all figures are seasonally adjusted):
From its January 2008 peak to February 2010, private-sector employment fell by over 8.8 million. Since then, 2.58 million jobs have been added. Even before considering population growth in the meantime, over 6.2 million jobs haven't come back yet. Reid's suggestion that "private-sector jobs have been doing just fine" is delusional. Excuse me for believing that reporter Pete K would have dug back a bit further if a Republican or conservative had made a statement similar to Reid's.
Meanwhile, federal government employment growth began very shortly after September 2007, which "just so happens" to be when the budget year associated with the final session of Congress under Republican control ended. Federal employment is up by 238,000 in the past four years. Maybe those jobs could have been given to local first-responders.
Speaking of local education, employment grew by 290,000 from January 2005 to September 2008, and has since fallen back to where it was. That would seem to be a terrible development, but the fact is that public school enrollment in 2010 was virtually the same as it was in 2005. Thus, the crying need for hundreds of thousands more teachers above the ones we already have is unconvincing -- even before looking at which states might be avoiding teacher layoff's (e.g., Wisconsin) and which ones are having to do so.
Suffice it to say that Pete Kasperowicz's coverage at the Hill was particularly pathetic.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.