Back in May the economy added over 400,000 jobs, and Fox News' purported business expert Stuart Varney made sure we knew that “the vast majority” of the new jobs created “were temporary government Census workers, which will be gone by the late summer.” From the June 4 edition of America's Newsroom:
VARNEY: I have to tell you, Martha [MacCallum], this is an extremely disappointing unemployment report. Yes, the unemployment rate went down to 9.7 percent -- got it -- but the fact that of all these new jobs created, the vast majority were temporary government Census workers, which will be gone by the late summer -- that is very bad news indeed because after spending a trillion dollars on stimulus, we only have tens of -- just a few ten thousand -- basically it's 20,000 new private sector jobs. Very disappointing.
Well now it's “the late summer” and the federal government has been shedding those “temporary government Census” jobs for the past three months. The following chart of the monthly change in government jobs clearly shows the impact from hiring several-hundred-thousand Census workers and the subsequent end of their employment:
So of course Varney will explain that the loss of those jobs in June, July and August tells us as little about the economy as their addition did in May, right? Well here's Varney today, guest hosting for Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
VARNEY: A recovery summer? One hundred and seventy-five thousand jobs lost in June; 54,000 lost in July; another 54,000 lost in August -- well, summer's up, so where is that recovery?
Welcome, everyone, I'm Stuart Varney in for Neil Cavuto. Eight hundred and fourteen billion dollars in stimulus and still no jobs? Another 54,000 lost just last month. Yet, the president says he has no regrets, continuing his push today for another $30 billion in tax breaks for small businesses.
To drive home this unbelievably misleading point, Fox added up the jobs lost in June, July and August and declared: “283,000 Jobs Lost During 'Summer of Recovery'” :
Varney's claim echoes Fred Barnes, who said during the August 30 edition of Fox News' Special Report that “the ultimate embarrassment may be, and I think this will happen, the so called summer of recovery will probably wind up with net loss of jobs in June, July, and August, a net loss of jobs in the Obama administration so called summer of recovery” (accessed via Nexis).
Again, these “283,000” jobs lost in June, July and August can be attributed entirely to the Census employees' completion of their work, as any credible newsperson would explain. While the job growth isn't as strong as anybody would like, the private sector has added jobs every month this year.