The Road to 4 million (June jobs report)

Jobs gained / (lost) in June 2009 per the US Dept of Labor  (prelim) :      (467,000)

Jobs gained / (lost) in May 2009 per the US Dept of Labor  (revised) :      (322,000)

Jobs gained / (lost) in April 2009 per the US Dept of Labor  (final):          (519,000)

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

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


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

Number of jobs remaining to hit goal :                                                  6,641,000

Link to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

No word yet from the Obama administration of just how many jobs were “saved” this month.

After a few months of declining losses, the pace of layoffs picked up again in June.  Additionally, job losses in May were revised from (345,000) to (322,000), however this pickup was largely offset by an increase in the final count of April losses which came in at (519,000) vs the previously estimated (504,000). 

Unemployment rate in June edged up to 9.5% from May’s 9.4%, marking the highest rate in 26 years.  

It’s important to note that the jobs losses and the unemployment rate are determined through separate surveys.  Job losses come from Establishment Survey Data, while the unemployment rate comes from Household Survey Data.  While the two measures should be directionally consistent, differences in the methodology can occasionally lead to what might appear to be disparate results.  For example, you could have a month with little to no job gain / loss activity, but the unemployment rate could still move up or down.


  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.  Following the spike in the unemployment rate after the release of the initial May jobs report, Obama claimed he would renew efforts to ramp up stimulus spending which would lead to 600,000 jobs being “created or saved” this summer.  To that point, he was claiming that the stimulus had helped to “save” 150,000 jobs.
  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