The Real Skinny on Jobs in America

Curtis Ellis,

Obama touts a ‘growing economy,’ but the kind of jobs his economy is producing aren’t made to last.

The monthly jobs report for June is out and the administration’s apologists are spinning it as great news. The underlying reality is not so pretty.

The offshoring of better-paying U.S. jobs and the replacement of American workers at home with lower-paid foreign labor … has destroyed upward mobility, consumer purchasing power and the tax base of state, local, and federal governments.

We’re told the economy added 265,000 private sector jobs in June — but we need to look at what kinds of jobs were added. Look below the top line number and we see plenty of low-wage, low-skill jobs that won’t support the middle class, provide for a family, or pay for a college education.

We see few jobs producing the goods Americans consume or would export to the world to reduce the exploding trade deficit. You can blame globalist policies that have offshored US industries and brought in lower-paid foreigners on work visas.

The Labor Department tells us the economy added 59,000 jobs in restaurants, hotels, and amusement parks in June. Thirty thousand jobs were added by department stores and other retailers. These are largely the kind of jobs that can supplement an income or, as entry-level jobs, impart an important work ethic — but they won’t support a family.

Americans were told with much ballyhoo that the “jobs of the future” were in “New Economy, information-age industries.” The New Economy added only 44,000 jobs in June — and two-thirds of those are Verizon strikers returning to work.

In June, America added 58,000 jobs in “health care and social assistance” — non-tradable services that do nothing to reduce our ballooning trade deficit. And there’s no guarantee the jobs being created are going to Americans rather than illegal immigrants.

jobswhere_small-2 The Real Skinny on Jobs in America

Research from the Pew Charitable Trusts reveals many of the industries adding jobs, such as restaurants, construction and services, are more likely to hire immigrants. The New Economy information sector is also likely to employ immigrants, thanks to Silicon Valley importing low-paid workers on work visas.

As for manufacturing jobs — the key to the middle class for past generations of Americans — the nation added only 14,000 in June. Fully 13,000 of those were in “food manufacturing.” We shed jobs manufacturing the computers and electronic equipment the New Economy relies on.

The percentage of total jobs in the manufacturing sector hit a new all-time low last month. There are 3.415 million fewer manufacturing jobs than December 2001 when China joined the World Trade Organization, and 4.5 million fewer manufacturing jobs than January 1994 when NAFTA went into effect.

Though we are in the summer construction season, no jobs were added in that sector. More than 2,000 jobs were lost in home construction, long a driver of economic growth. Mining, oil, and gas lost over 6,000 jobs.

Bottom line: The June jobs report is the latest example of a long-term trend — the Obama/Clinton economy continues to fail to produce better-paying jobs in goods-producing industries. Many of the jobs that are being created are more likely to be filled by illegal immigrants.

The offshoring of better-paying U.S. jobs and the replacement of American workers at home with lower-paid foreign labor, whether illegal or on work visas, has destroyed upward mobility, consumer purchasing power, and the tax base of state, local, and federal governments.

The middle class that was once the emblem of the American standard of living is now seeing its way of life in another American Standard — the toilet. When we count the 15.4 million Americans who’ve given up looking for work or are forced to take a part-time job but want full-time work, the real unemployment rate is 9.6 percent.

This is far higher than the 4.9 percent the Pollyannas in the Clinton campaign and Obama administration tout. And even the lower number represents a rise from May’s 4.7 percent, when the economy added only 11,000 jobs.

It is only by returning to policies that put America and Americans first that we will put America back to work and Make America Great Again.

Curtis Ellis is the Executive Director of the American Jobs Alliance, an independent non-profit promoting pro-jobs and Buy American policies.