MEDIA ADVISORY: Heartland Institute Experts React to Latest Jobs Report

Published July 8, 2011

The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that the unemployment rate rose to a six-month high of 9.2 percent, with nonfarm payrolls rising only 18,000 in June.

The following statements from experts at The Heartland Institute, a 27-year-old free-market think tank based in Chicago, may be used for attribution. For additional comments, please refer to the contact information below.

“Since the Great Depression, recessions on average in America have lasted 10 months, with the longest previously being 16 months. Yet here we are 42 months, or 3 ½ years, after the recession started, and unemployment is still rising. Moreover, historically the deeper the recession the stronger the recovery. By these historical standards, we should be in the second year of a booming economy by now.

“Instead, we are suffering no real recovery at all. That is because Obama is following exactly the opposite of each of the four planks of Reaganomics – cut tax rates to maximize incentives for production, cut government spending to reduce the drain on the private sector, deregulation to reduce costs for businesses and consumers, and restrained monetary policy to establish a stable dollar without inflation. Restoring these four planks of Reaganomics is the only answer to how to ignite the long-overdue recovery and restore booming economic growth.”

Peter Ferrara
Senior Fellow for Entitlement and Budget Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

These issues are discussed further in Ferrara’s new book America’s Ticking Bankruptcy Bomb, released by HarperCollins in June.

“The U.S. economy is still feeling the effects of the great recession of 2008. But now, the impact has moved to the government sector. Last month, private businesses added 57,000 jobs while government jobs shrank by 39,000. This shrinkage of the public sector will continue until states, and the federal government, can effectively balance their respective budgets during these slow economic times.”

John Skorburg
Lecturer in Economics
University of Illinois at Chicago
Associate Editor, Budget & Tax News
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The lousy employment report is another in a long list of examples of how the government’s manipulations of the economy have failed. The government since 2008 has done multiple ‘economic stimulus’ experiments; launched mortgage, auto, bank, and insurance company bailouts; and spent, borrowed, and printed money like there’s no tomorrow. And still unemployment rises, housing values fall, and inflation climbs.

“The government interventions have been worse than wasteful. They’ve been harmful.”

Steve Stanek
Research Fellow, Budget and Tax Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor
Budget & Tax News
[email protected]

“The big surprise to me came earlier in the week, when the news media and pundits were crowing that the employment numbers were looking good and that this week’s official jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics would confirm U.S. job growth was on the upswing. Instead, the numbers showed the economy added only 18,000 jobs in June, as opposed to the predicted 160,000 to 170,000 – about one-tenth of what was predicted. And even the low official number may end up being revised further downward, if recent history is any guide.

“This should be both embarrassing and frustrating to the Obama administration, but the big-spending habit of the president and congressional Democrats is the cause of the problems. The gargantuan drag on this economy is government spending and regulation, and no amount of tinkering – and especially no amount of further debauching of the dollar under “quantitative easing” – is going to overcome that basic fact. Spending must be cut, and significantly, and tax rates reduced. Until that happens, the nation will continue to suffer such ‘surprising’ bad news.”

S.T. Karnick
Director of Research
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The latest jobs report is truly dismal in that it shows only a slight gain in jobs. However, it isn’t the ‘death blow’ or sure sign of a double-dip recession that might send President Obama packing even against a very weak Republican candidate. While two straight months of bad jobs reports creates a real opening for the GOP, the problem is that with few exceptions neither the Republicans in Congress nor those on the campaign trail have any novel medicine for what ails the nation or any thought-out plans to create jobs.

“A default on the debt just shouldn’t be an option and certainly isn’t a jobs plan. Republicans need to do a lot more to convince voters that they can govern, and a legitimate jobs plan would be a much better start than default on the debt.”

Eli Lehrer
Director, Center on Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate
Vice President, DC Operations
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida; and Columbus, Ohio. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.