Sideways is Not the Right Direction

I’m not really sure why the White House thinks that positive spin is going to substitute for meaningful labor market progress, but it’s difficult to interpret this presidential statement in any other light:

[The June employment report] reflected the planned phase out of 225,000 temporary Census jobs. But it also showed the sixth straight month of job growth in the private sector. All told, our economy has created nearly 600,000 private sector jobs this year. That’s a stark turnaround from the first six months of last year, when we lost 3.7 million jobs at the height of the recession. Now, make no mistake: We are headed in the right direction. But as I was reminded on a trip to Racine, Wisconsin, earlier this week, we’re not headed there fast enough for a lot of Americans.

If the right way is up and the wrong way is down, then what we’re doing right now is heading sideways, adding jobs at roughly the rate of labor force growth:

This is what it is and it’s not good enough.