I admit that I was a little suspect of the 873,000 increase in the number of employed people in the United States between last August and September. A report in The New York Times.com suggests that a portion of the additional employed workers may be self-employed or engaged in household employment activities. Based on my reading of the U.S. Department of Labor’s employment summary, these numbers may also include people who had to settle for part-time work after their search for full time work failed.
Republicans should be happy with the report, especially those who believe in the old Ronald Reagan bootstrap theory of pulling yourself up by your own initiative. Also, those who believe any job growth is happening in spite of the President’s policies, ala Speaker John Boehner and Governor Mitt Romney, should be out touting the resilience and ingenuity of the American worker. Instead, they have chosen the low political road.
While I am happy to see improvement in the jobs numbers and was initially suspect of the 873,000 increase, I am still not convinced of the impact any of Mr. Obama’s policies may have had on any of the job growth we are seeing now. If the Times’ analysis is correct, the unemployed are simply taking more initiative. Even the Obama Administration has not made an argument linking their policies to the growth in the number of self-employed.
Can anyone out there argue on the Administration’s behalf? Have their attempts at labor market intervention worked?