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Patrick J. O'Keefe Discusses August Employment Report


For the first time in a year, the United States economy showed no job growth, according to the August employment report released by the Department of Labor on September 2. With no new jobs, the unemployment rate remains at 9.1 percent.

On Fox Business Network's Lou Dobbs Tonight, Pat said, "This was a uniformly negative report." He also discusses whether the Federal Reserve will act, saying, "The way in which we create jobs is by increasing the demand for goods and services, giving employers confidence that they will be able to sell the goods and services that they hire people to produce." Click here to watch the interview.

He also appeared on Bloomberg Radio's Hays Advantage to discuss the report:

  • In segment one, Pat points out, "Since the jobs recovery began in March of 2010 [in the private sector], we've gained only about 1.2 percent in that period of time."
  • In segment two, Pat says that in the case of this report, "When we look at the details, the report doesn't get better or worse because it's a weak report across the board."
  • In segment three, Pat said, "There is no evidence that the last round of quantitative easing did anything to stimulate job creation." He also emphasized that is not to say a third round of quantitative easing should not be undertaken, but he says, "We have to be clear on why we're doing it."
  • In segment four, Pat sums up by saying, "Anything we do has to recognize that the horizon is more than just the next election, we've got long-term problems here."

In The New York Times, Pat points out, "We have virtually the same number of jobs as we did in January 2000. "Were jobs to continue to grow at the 2011 monthly average, it would take more than four years to return to the prerecession employment level." Click here to read the article.

In a CNNMoney.com article, Pat said, "We expected a weak report, and what we got was even weaker." The article points out that the report was impacted by 22,000 state workers in Minnesota returning to work after a temporary government shutdown in July, and by 45,000 Verizon workers on strike in August.

However, Pat says, "When our attention is drawn to the Verizon strike and the Minnesota situation, it's akin to saying that a skunk had bad breath, and then it took a dinner mint. That doesn't suddenly change the fact that it's still a skunk and it still stinks." Click here to read the article.

In advance of the employment report issued today, Patrick J. O'Keefe, J.H. Cohn's director of economic research, spoke to several media outlets, including Reuters where he said, "We do not expect the economy to slump, but rather to slouch and stagger." Click here to read the article. Pat also made a repeat appearance CNBC Asia on September 1 where he shared expectations for the report. Click here to watch the interview.

Published date: 9/2/2011

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