A new report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicated that job growth that began in 2010 has ended, bolstering potential claims that more needs to be done by the government to spur job creation. August marked the first time in the past eleven months that nonfarm payroll employment did not increase. Unemployment did not improve either, remaining at 9.1 percent.
According to the New York Times, "the report added to the pressure on the administration, on Republicans who have resisted any new stimulus spending, and on the Federal Reserve, which has been divided over the wisdom of using its limited arsenal of tools to get the economy moving again." Next week, President Obama will deliver the Administration's proposal to increase employment, and Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis claimed the President would appeal to the population directly if Congress was unreceptive to his plans. Republicans, however, were quick to blame President Obama's economic policy as the cause of the negative news, even dubbing him "President Zero." Economists had anticipated that 65,000 jobs would be added in August, less than the 85,000 jobs that were added as recently as July. But the report showed the situation was worse than expected. Economists took aim at low consumer demand and political inefficiency, suggesting that "both sluggish demand for goods and services and the heightened uncertainty over the economy’s direction...[led to] the slow pace of job creation," and "saying that political deadlock was creating economic paralysis."
Next up is the question of whether extended unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut should be renewed for the upcoming year.