October 17, 2013: The jobs debate is well overdue

Posted by mmcmullan on 10/17/2013

Good morning,

Well, there you have it: The great government shutdown wrasslin’ match has come to a close after 16 days, and the federal debt limit ceiling was lifted only hours before we were set to hit it. Congressional Republicans are pretty sore that they didn’t get any of the policy concessions they wanted, and the economy (if we may personify it) is pretty cranky that Capitol Hill's latest round of principled debate cost it a cool $24 billion.

But now that the DC melodrama has come to a temporary end, what will all of the very smart people we elected to not negotiate with one another talk about before they begin relitigating these arguments in January?

Jobs? Yes! Let’s talk about job creation, or a lack thereof. One of the many casualties of the shutdown circus was last month’s jobs report, which didn’t go out as usual on the first Friday of the month. America has been flying blind, unable to gauge the health of its labor market. And without a jobs report, we missed out on one of the few days policymakers could be counted on to talk about what many were actually elected to work on: job creation.

Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul put it thusly in a Huffington Post opinion just last night: “It's not acceptable to simply shrug off the stories of millions of struggling Americans who have no voice in the current debate.” So no jobs report? No problem. AAM is issuing its own, but we need your help to do it. Have you – or your friends, family, or neighbors – started looking for work recently? Have you stopped? Send in the jobs report from your town to info [at] aamfg [dot] org, tweet it to us at @keepitmadeinUSA, or contact us via Facebook. And read the ever-updating report right here.

Elsewhere around the web:

The Federal Reserve’s 12 district banks released their summaries of U.S. economic conditions across the country, and the New York Times rounded them up. The possible effects from the shutdown, Annie Lowrey, Nathaniel Popper and Nelson D. Schwartz note, have yet to come:

Even with the shutdown of the United States government and the threat of a default coming to an end, the cost of Congress’s gridlock has already run well into the billions, economists estimate. And the total will continue to grow even after the shutdown ends, partly because of uncertainty about whether lawmakers might reach another deadlock early next year.

Up in the Pacific Northwest, universities in Washington and Oregon plan to create a “regional innovative manufacturing facility” in each state to help small- and medium-sized manufacturers apply advanced technologies during production. Steve Wilhelm reports for the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Over across the water, the Chinese government is warning that export growth may slow. Aileen Wang and Natalie Thomas report for Reuters:

Analysts say fears of possible U.S. monetary policy tightening has hurt demand for Chinese goods as investors withdrew their money from emerging Asian economies -- China's fastest-growing export market for the past year.

And seriously, don’t forget:

Because last month’s government update on America’s employment situation was considered nonessential, AAM is asking our supporters across the nation to send in a jobs report as they see it from their communities. We’ve gotten some illuminating responses so far, and we want to hear more.

So no jobs report? No problem. Help us tell the jobs story by sending in the jobs report from your town to info [at] aamfg [dot] org, tweeting it to us at @keepitmadeinUSA, or contacting us via Facebook.

Happy Thursday, America.


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