Zero August Job Growth Reflects Anti-Business, Red Tape Climate in Washington

Washington, D.C., September 2, 2011 — Today’s job numbers from the US Department of Labor are downright dismal: the economy failed to add new jobs in August, marking the first time in nearly a year that there has been zero increase in net jobs. The unemployment rate remained stubbornly fixed at 9.1 percent in August.

CEI experts offered comment today on the news.

Vincent Vernuccio, CEI Labor Policy Counsel:

Today’s dismal job numbers show the continued failure of the Obama administration’s policies.  The latest bad news comes on the heels of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decisions this week, which were nothing more than an attack on business.  This continued anti-business climate in Washington hampers job growth, and until those policies are changed, we will not see the economic growth we need.

Iain Murray
, Director of CEI’s Center for Economic Freedom

If anyone still needed it, the August job numbers provide final proof that Keynesian stimulus has failed.  The massive amount of taxpayer money pumped in to the economy has failed to generate the growth it should have if the theory on which it was based is correct. It’s time to look again at supply-side solutions, particularly privatization and deregulation, to remove the government-imposed blockages in the system. Unfortunately, this Administration refuses to contemplate these proven policies, to the detriment of the American people.

One thing that should worry people particularly is the extremely high number of long-term unemployed.  Measures have to be taken to try to make these victims of the recession employable again. For example, federal and state governments could exempt firms hiring the long-term unemployed from much of the paperwork usually associated with new hires. We can’t afford to condemn so many people to welfare dependency.

John Berlau
, Director of CEI’s Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs

Fannie and Freddie’s hypocritical planned suit against U.S. banks – revealed in today’s New York Times – for making soured loans that the GSEs helped design and that the government continues to encourage through laws such as the Community Reinvestment Act illustrates the uncertainty business are facing that is making them reluctant to expand and hire.

Myron Ebell
, Director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment

A key factor in the unemployment numbers is President Obama’s disastrous environmental and energy policies.  The EPA is regulating jobs out of the economy by raising energy prices.  Higher energy costs take money out of consumers’ pockets, scare investors away from the U. S., and push manufacturing abroad.

Ivan Osorio
, Labor Policy Expert

The Obama administration is bending over backward to advance organized labor’s agenda ahead of the 2012 election, at the expense of the nation’s unemployed and underemployed. Having failed to get card check through Congress, the administration has turned to the National Labor Relations Board to enact pro-Big Labor policy changes, creating great uncertainty throughout the economy. From the Board’s targeting of Boeing for opening a plant in a right to work state, to its support of shortened elections periods and remote electronic voting (“e-card check”), to its pro-Big Labor rulings this week, is it any wonder businesses aren’t hiring?