The Road to 4 million (May jobs report)

Jobs gained / (lost) in May 2009 per the US Dept of Labor :                       (345,000)

Jobs gained / (lost) in April 2009 per the US Dept of Labor  (revised):          (504,000)

Jobs gained / (lost) in March 2009 per the US Dept of Labor (revised):        (652,000)

Jobs gained / (lost) in February 2009 per the US Dept of Labor (revised) :    (681,000)

Number of jobs promised by the Obama administration :                            4,000,000

Number of jobs remaining to hit goal :                                                      6,182,000

Link to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Losses have slowed and both April and March were revised with slightly fewer losses, but it’s probably a bit premature to start popping the champagne corks just yet.  Note that May figures include a one-time hiring binge of 70,000 in the Census Bureau to ramp up the preparation for the 2010 population counts.  Also these figures obviously don’t include any of the upcoming losses for the newly announced GM plant closures which are estimated to cost about 20,000 jobs through the end of 2010.

Unemployment rate in May leapt to 9.4% from 8.9% in April, prompting alarm bells by the Obama administration which said in February that without the stimulus, we could be facing an unemployment rate as high as 8.8%.  Now that we’re 0.6% higher than their dire prediction even with the stimulus, they’ve decided that’s only proof that the stimulus money isn’t being spent quickly enough.


  1. Number of jobs promised by the Obama administration has varied between 3.5 – 4 million.  He promised 4 million early, and then started easing off on that.  I’m sticking with his original promise. (also “The road to 4 million” sounds a little better than “The road to 3.5 million).
  2. The above is tracking only new jobs created / lost as tracked by the Department of Labor through its Bureau of Labor statistics.  Obama team has repeatedly said the 4 million represents jobs created or saved.  Since a “saved” job is highly subjective and can’t be calculated by any consistent standard, they are not accounted for above.
  3. Obama administration would likely dispute that the current job losses should be held against them, but that is life in the big city when you’re President.  The last economic recession started in March 2001 when George W Bush had been in office for 1.5 months.  Democrats were only too eager to hang that around his neck (ignoring the fact that it is economically impossible to drive the economy into recession in that short a time period).  Also, it is only fair to assume that Obama’s pledge involves a net gain of 4 million jobs as of the point when his administration took charge .  If we lose 4 million jobs at the beginning of his tenure only to gain 4 million jobs later to end up where we started, I hardly think that fulfills his promise.
  4. Updates to continue monthly

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