Factory orders fell 1.4 percent in May. Meantime, total national payroll employment fell 125,000 in June -- a drop the administration said was partly expected because of the layoffs of some 200,000 temporary Census workers.
The biggest number in the month-end job statistics, though, was the report that some 2.6 million Americans were classified as "discouraged workers" last month, up from roughly 2 million in May, and up from only 1.4 million when the recession began in December 2007.
Ironically, because "discouraged workers" -- those who have no longer seek work -- are dropped from the count of the "unemployed," the fact that an additional 600,000 Americans have given up hope of ever finding work was actually used to reduce the administration's official reported June unemployment rate, from 9.7 percent to 9.5 percent.
Nationally, America has lost 7.5 million payroll jobs and the unemployment rate has more than doubled, despite a year and a half of "stimulus" spending that has run up debt and inflated the currency, all on the guarantee that it would (at the least) keep things from getting this bad.
Yet on July 2, Christina Romer, chair of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, advised: "Today's employment report shows continued signs of gradual labor market recovery. ... These continued signs of healing are important, particularly given the recent volatility in world markets and the mixed behavior of other recent economic indicators."
Hello? Earth to Ms. Romer: What planet are you reporting from?
To her credit, Ms. Romer does admit that "much stronger job gains are needed to repair the damage caused by the financial crisis."
Well, yeah. Given that the current reported rate of "job gain" would take about eight years just to get us back where we started, it might be fair to say the massive interventions of the past 18 months to protect government union jobs are not getting the job done, any more than they did in the 1930s.
What would work is to slash taxes and job-killing regulations. But of course, President Obama dismisses those solutions as the "failed policies of yesterday."