The Trump Economy Continues To Make News

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the growth of the American economy under President Trump.

The article reports:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released some remarkable economic data today. There are more than seven million current job openings [See Here] and the year-over-year average wage gains are 3.3% [See Here]

I suggest you follow the link and read the entire article. It is a fairly detailed analysis of what has happened due to de-regulation and tax cuts.

The article concludes:

The investing class economy, ie. another name for a ‘service-driven economy’, has been the only source of historic reference for approximately three decades. These talking heads convinced themselves that a “service driven economy” was the ONLY economy ever possible for the U.S. in the future.

Back in January 2017 Deutsche Bank began thinking about it, applying new models, trying to conceptualize and quantify MAGAnomics, and trying to walk out the potential ramifications.  They began talking about Trump doubling the U.S. GDP growth rate when all U.S. investment groups couldn’t yet fathom the possibility.

It’s like waking up on Christmas morning every day to see the pontificating Fed struggling to quantify analysis of their surrounding reality based on flawed assumptions. They simply have no understanding of what happens within the new dimension.

Monetary policy, Fed control over the economy, is disconnected and will stay that way for approximately another 12-14 months, until Main Street regains full operational strength –and– economic parity is achieved.

As we have continued to share, CTH believes the paycheck-to-paycheck working middle-class are going to see a considerable rise in wages and standard of living.  How high can wages rise?… that depends on the pressure; and right now the pressure is massive.  I’m not going to dismiss the possibility we could see double digit increases in year-over-year wage growth in multiple economic sectors in several regions of the U.S.

Remember, as wages and benefits increase – millions of people are coming back into the labor market to take advantage of the income opportunities.  The statistics on the invisible workforce varies, but there are millions of people taking on new jobs in this economy and the participation rate is growing.

It is time that the average working American got a few economic breaks. President Trump is providing those breaks.

Good Economic News

Trading Economics is reporting today:

Labor Force Participation Rate in the United States increased to 62.90 percent in June from 62.70 percent in May of 2018 as the civilian labor force grew by 601,000. Labor Force Participation Rate in the United States averaged 62.99 percent from 1950 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 67.30 percent in January of 2000 and a record low of 58.10 percent in December of 1954.

CNBC is reporting today:

The employment part of the economy continued to power forward in June, adding another 213,000 jobs though the unemployment rate rose to 4 percent, according to a government report Friday.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected a nonfarm payrolls gain of 195,000 and the jobless rate to hold steady at 3.8 percent, which had been tied for the lowest since 1969.

Another solid month of job gains provided little help to wages. In addition to the payroll gains, average hourly earnings rose 2.7 percent year over year, a bit below expectations of a 2.8 percent increase.

Despite increasing talk about the economy being near full employment, hiring continues to grow. Along with June’s upside surprise, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised April’s count up from 159,000 to 175,000 and May’s from 223,000 to 244,000, a total of 37,000 more than initially stated.

The report at CNBC also states:

While the meeting summary indicated a belief that the labor outlook “had continued to strengthen,” there also was concern that businesses are having a hard time filling jobs. While some of the Fed’s contacts indicated they are raising pay, the overall feeling was that wage pressures remain subdued, which was confirmed by Friday’s report.

The bottom line here is that the economy is improving. It may not be as rapidly as some would like, but it is moving in the right direction at a brisk pace. As Americans, we might want to look at the statement that businesses are having a hard time filling jobs. If businesses are having a hard time finding qualified workers, where is the problem? Have we created a society where it is more lucrative to stay home than to work, or is the problem in our education system? Why are our schools not turning out more skilled workers? What do we need to do to change that? Is it time to bring back vocational schools and apprenticeships? Answering those questions might create an economy that continues to thrive.

Sorting Through The Latest Jobs Numbers

The unemployment numbers just released are good–they are not great because of some of the underlying factors. Investor’s Business Daily reported that in April the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent. That is good news, but there are some other numbers that are cause for concern.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the workforce participation rate in April was 62.8 percent. That number has roamed between 62.7 and 63 percent since the end of 2015.

The article at Investor’s Business Daily reports:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the economy added 164,000 jobs in April, and the unemployment level dropped to 3.9%. It was 4.8% when President Trump took office.

Since Trump took office, the economy has added a total of 2.7 million jobs, and since his tax cuts took effect we’ve seen an average 200,000 new jobs each month. Initial jobless claims are at decades long lows as well.

That’s unquestionably good news.

The report also finds, however, that wages rose slightly less than expected in April — with hourly earnings climbing at a 2.6% annualized rate.

…According to the Census household survey, the biggest contribution to the drop in the unemployment rate wasn’t people getting jobs — that survey registered a gain of just 3,000 in April. It’s due mainly to the fact that 410,000 dropped out of the labor force — and no longer count as unemployed.

The article cites some figures explaining changes in the Workforce Participation Rate in various age groups:

The labor force participation rate in Dec. 2000 was 67%. Today it is just 62.8%.

The employment-to-population ratio then was 64.4%. Now it’s 60.3%.

The population not in the labor force — they don’t have jobs and aren’t looking — has climbed a stunning 25.3 million over those years.

Think about it this way. If the labor force participation rate were the same today as it was in December 2000, the unemployment rate wouldn’t be 3.9%. It would be 10%!

Yes, many who’ve left the labor force over the past 18 years are baby boomers entering retirement. But that doesn’t come close to explaining the massive increase in labor dropouts.

For example, the labor force participation rate among 20- to 24-year-olds was 78% in December 2000. It’s just 71% today. For those 25-34 years old, the rate declined from 85% to 83%.

In contrast, among those 55 and older, the participation rate increased — going from 33% in December 2000 to 40% now.

From my perspective, there are a number of reasons for this change–the federal government has made not working too comfortable. Our safety net has gotten too comfortable for many people, creating multi-generational welfare recipients. We did go through a recession after the housing bubble burst, but we are coming out of that now, and it is time for people to resume their job searches. Another reason for the fact that the workforce participation rate is so low might be that we are graduating students from college with no marketable skills or with the idea that since they just graduated, they can start their careers at the top of the corporate ladder. Some of these graduates refuse to look for jobs outside of their chosen degree field or refuse to begin any place other than at the top. There is also the matter of whatever work ethic students may or may not have learned in college.

The economy is looking better, but we have a long way to go before we can be considered actually prosperous–we need to deal with the debt and we need to shrink government drastically.

The Entry-Level Job Is Going The Way Of The Starter Home

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article today about the impact of raising the minimum wage. Traditionally the minimum wage job has been a place for those young people who are just entering the workforce to learn the basic principles of holding a job–showing up on time, being there when you are supposed to, treating people with respect, integrity, etc. Most of these concepts should have been covered during the school years, but many of them are not. The entry-level job was the last place a potential employee would be able to learn them. An entry-level job was supposed to encourage the employee to work hard in order to get a better paying job and advance his/her career. Well, I guess that concept has gone out the window.

Investor’s Business Daily reports:

Twenty-one states and Washington, D.C., will raise their minimum wage this year, under the misbegotten notion that it will help the poor, in particular struggling minority youth. It won’t.

As a new study from the American Action Forum shows, not only will most workers not be better off, they will take a huge hit.

Why? Common sense tells you that when you raise the cost of something, anything, less of it will be used or consumed. It’s a fundamental precept of economics. And labor is no different.

Coercive minimum-wage hikes this year, the AAF estimates, will kill 261,000 jobs held mostly by poor, undertrained, undereducated, young suburban millennials and minority teens.

But it’s even worse than that: Once the minimum-wage increases are fully phased in, some 1.7 million jobs will be lost. As the Daily Caller helpfully notes, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated last year that the U.S. economy will add 11.5 million jobs over the next 10 years. So that’s roughly 15% of a decade’s worth of jobs destroyed.

The complaint has been that you can’t support yourself on the current minimum wage. You’re not supposed to—you are supposed to use the opportunity of a minimum-wage job to become a better worker and be promoted or educate yourself and move on to a better job.

The article concludes:

Yes, some people will do better because of the “Fight for $15,” the organizing shibboleth used by activists who want a national minimum wage. But many small businesses struggle to stay open. Labor is their No. 1 cost, taking up more than two-thirds of total costs. If you raise the minimum wage sharply, they have to lay off people or raise prices to stay in business. And some won’t make it.

The job losses are already happening. Just last month, the food chain Red Robin announced it would eliminate busboys at 570 restaurants to “address the labor increases we’ve seen.” For “labor increases,” read “minimum wage hikes.”

Other restaurant chains take a slightly different approach, automating to offset rising labor costs. Neighborhood mainstays Chili’s and Applebee’s,  for instance, are replacing front-end wait staff with computer tablets for placing orders. Since a tablet entails a one-time expense of roughly $200, the investment pays for itself in a little over 13 hours at minimum wage.

It’s sad that just as the tax-cut boom gets going, one big group is going to be cut out of the action entirely. Whenever government sets the price of anything, distortions occur. In this case, the “distortion” is millions of lost jobs. It’s cruel, racist and devastating to lower-income people who depend on entry-level jobs to make ends meet.

The Jobs Report Is Out

CNBC posted the numbers from today’s jobs report on December 2017. Overall it is a positive report, although some numbers are not changing as rapidly as we might hope–the labor force participation rate is holding steady at 62.7.

There is a lot of good news in the report.

Breitbart also posted an article about the jobs report.

Here are some of the highlights from that article:

…the unemployment rate for black Americans dropped to just 6.8 percent, which is the lowest ever recorded. Prior to this month, the previous record was 7.4 percent in 2000.

The Hispanic unemployment rate remains at a near record low of just 4.9 percent, up just a bit from the record of 4.7 percent in November of last year.

White unemployment sits at 3.7 percent, while only 2.5 percent of Asians are unemployed.

The overall unemployment rate is just 4.1 percent.

The article at Breitbart concludes:

With unemployment so low, job growth should mean wage gains. More jobs than people looking for them puts employees in the driver’s seat. Also good news for workers is the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration. This can only mean better wages and more job opportunities, especially for unskilled, entry, and blue-collar workers — those who have been left behind more than any other group.

That is good news for all Americans. As wages rise, it becomes less attractive to collect welfare. Hopefully, we will see the welfare rolls decrease as the tax cuts and wage increases take hold.

The Numbers Are Good, But They Need To Be Better

The American economy is slowly improving. It is not racing along, but it is improving. Investor’s Business Daily recently posted an editorial explaining that although we have a 4.1 percent unemployment rate, we are not yet at full employment. As the article explains, there are other numbers that need to be considered when looking at the economy.

The editorial reports:

But look at the numbers more closely and you see that we are far from full employment.

First, the 0.1 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate in October was almost entirely the result of the fact that 968,000 dropped out of the labor force that month.

That’s right, for every new job created, nearly four people left the labor force.

The broader measure of unemployed — which combines those actively searching for a job with those working part time but want to work full time or are “marginally attached” to the labor force — show the jobless rate to be 7.9%.

And the IBD-TIPP poll shows that there’s likely even more slack than that. The October survey — which asks those polled whether they or anyone in their household is looking for work — shows that the share of job seekers is currently above 10%. This number, by the way, has consistently tracked higher than either of the BLS’s two measures.

Here’s another way to look at it. Back in December 2000, the unemployment rate was 3.9%. But that month, the labor force participation rate — the share of the population that’s either working or looking for a job — was 67%.

The current rate: 62.7%.

If the labor force participation rate were the same today as it was in 2000, the official unemployment rate would be more like 10%.

The 10% unemployment rate would be better than what the actual rate has been in recent years, but obviously, it is not good.

The editorial concludes:

There is clearly still a need for pro-growth policies to get millions of workers sitting on the sidelines back to work.

Those pro-growth policies need to begin with the passage of President Trump’s tax proposal followed by a complete repeal of ObamaCare. If the Republicans in Congress want to be re-elected, they need to do both. It is time to put away the fear of a political outsider succeeding as President and begin to work together to move the country forward.

An article on

An article on the website of the JFK Library includes the following paragraph:

The president finally decided that only a bold domestic program, including tax cuts, would restore his political momentum. Declaring that the absence of recession is not tantamount to economic growth, the president proposed in 1963 to cut income taxes from a range of 20-91% to 14-65% He also proposed a cut in the corporate tax rate from 52% to 47%. Ironically, economic growth expanded in 1963, and Republicans and conservative Democrats in Congress insisted that reducing taxes without corresponding spending cuts was unacceptable. Kennedy disagreed, arguing that “a rising tide lifts all boats” and that strong economic growth would not continue without lower taxes.

I wonder if John Kennedy would be welcome in today’s Democratic party.

 

Good News On The Job Front

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released its jobs numbers for June this morning. CNS News posted the numbers.

This is the Labor Force Participation Rate chart taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

As you can see, the Labor Force Participation Rate is fairly steady and moving upward.

Meanwhile, the article at CNS News reports:

The U.S. economy added 220,000 jobs in June, the best showing since February and well above analysts’ expectations of 174,000.

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics also said the number of employed Americans — which set records in February, March and April — set another record in June, at 153,168,000 employed.

And the number of Americans not in the labor force — after four straight monthly gains – dropped a bit to 94,813,000.

There is still a lot that needs to be done to put Americans back to work, but we are moving in the right direction. Cutting back on federal regulations should help stimulate the economy, but that impact of cutting those regulations may not be immediately felt.

The article further reports:

Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 194,000 per month.

In a June 29, 2017 update, the Congressional Budget Office said it expects the U.S. labor market to tighten in the next two years, as greater demand for workers will push the unemployment rate down and the labor force participation rate up.

The projected demand for workers will encourage more people to participate in the labor force, temporarily offsetting the projected decline in participation arising from such factors as the ongoing retirement of baby boomers.

CBO projects that the unemployment rate will remain around 4.3 percent by the end of 2017 and then drop further to 4.2 percent in early 2018.

The ADP National Employment Report Was Released Today

The ADP National Employment Report was released today.  Yahoo News posted a story about the report.

The report includes the following:

The Report states:

“May proved to be a very strong month for job growth,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “Professional and business services had the strongest monthly increase since 2014. This may be an indicator of broader strength in the workforce since these services are relied on by many industries.”

I am waiting for the workforce participation rate numbers for May to come out. Those numbers will provide more insight into what is happening with the American economy.

There Is A Certain Amount Of Irony In This

The political left spends a lot of time complaining about income inequality. They place the blame for that on CEO’s of large companies that are compensated well. Yes, CEO’s are compensated well. They also work a lot of hours a week and have spent a lot of time getting the education that qualifies them for the job they hold. But somehow, they are the villains that are responsible for wage inequality. Well, we have another villain,

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article yesterday about the compensation paid to union officials.

The article reports:

Leading union officials earned an average salary of $252,370 in 2016, outpacing the average salary of private sector chief executives, according to a new report.

The Center for Union Facts compiled the salary information from federal labor filings of 192 of the largest national, state, and local unions. The report found that labor presidents enjoyed nearly a $60,000 advantage over the take-home pay of the nation’s business leaders, who earned an average of $194,350, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The average compensation of union officials, which includes salary and other perks, was $283,678, according to the report.

One of the complaints of the unions is the ratio of the average CEO’s salary versus the wages of the average worker.

The article further notes:

Airline Pilots Association President Timothy Canoll was the highest-paid union official, according to the federal data. He earned total compensation of $775,829 with a base salary of $526,292. The union, which is a member of the AFL-CIO, gave Canoll about $250,000 in perks in addition to the take-home pay, including $24,000 in allowances and $29,000 in official business expenses, such as meals and entertainment. He was given $196,534 in compensation classified as “Other.”

The claim of wage inequality is bogus to begin with. Like it or not, people are paid according to the scarcity of their skills and their value to a company. It is also noteworthy that somehow when the discussion of wages comes up, athletes, and movie starts are not generally mentioned. How much do they make in relation to the wages of the people who work for them?

Wage inequality is a fake issue, and the hypocrisy of those on the political left regarding union executive wages makes that very obvious.

The March Economic Figures

The March Jobs Report was released today. Breitbart posted the numbers.

The article reports:

The United States created 98,000 jobs in March, and the unemployment rate dipped to 4.5 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The number to watch is the Labor Force Participation Rate. That number has remained steady. It needs to go up, and I suspect that it will in the coming months.

This is the graph of the Labor Force Participation Rate since 2008:

It is my belief that as President Trump begins to remove the regulatory burdens from American industry, the Labor Force Participation Rate will increase. That will be the evidence that we are finally recovering from the recession that we entered eight years ago. The original recession was not the fault of President Obama, but the actions he took during his administration were not actions that were going to facilitate a strong recovery.

The Impact Of A President On The Economy

Reuters is reporting today that U. S. weekly jobless claims have recorded their biggest drop in two years.

The article reports:

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000 for the week ended April 1, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The drop was the largest since the week ending April 25, 2015.

The prior week’s data was revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Claims have now been below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labor market for 109 straight weeks. That is the longest stretch since 1970 when the labor market was smaller.

The labor market is currently near full employment.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast first-time applications for jobless benefits falling to 250,000 last week.

A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors influencing last week’s claims data. Claims for Louisiana were estimated.

The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 4,500 to 250,000 last week.

The article reminds us that last week’s data will have no impact on the March unemployment report due out on Friday.

The article further reports:

According to a Reuters survey of economists, nonfarm payrolls likely increased by 180,000 jobs last month after rising 235,000 in February. The unemployment rate is seen steady at 4.7 percent.

Thursday’s claims report also showed the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid decreased 24,000 to 2.03 million in the week ended March 25. The four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims fell 7,750 to 2.02 million, the lowest level since 2000.

This is good news. The number to watch in the report coming out tomorrow will be the Labor Force Participation Rate. If the unemployment rate stays low as more people enter the workforce, then we are on our way to an actual recovery. The unemployment number was kept artificially low during the Obama Administration by not counting people who had given up looking for work. As those people begin to look for work, it is quite possible that the unemployment number will rise slightly. In order to get a true picture of what is actually happening to employment in America, you need to look at both the unemployment rate and the Labor Force Participation Rate. The unemployment rate needs to be low and the Labor Force Participation Rate needs to be high. I will be posting both of those numbers as soon as I get them.

 

Somehow A Lot Of The Media Missed This

On March 20, The Washington Times posted an article about the impact of HB2 (also known as the bathroom bill) on the North Carolina economy. Despite much of the media in North Carolina telling you that the bill has hurt the state economically, the actual numbers tell a different story.

Here are some basic facts taken from the article:

Tourism has thrived: Hotel occupancy, room rates and demand for rooms set records in 2016, according to the year-end hotel lodging report issued last week by VisitNC, part of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

Meanwhile, North Carolina ranked fourth in the nation for attracting and expanding businesses with the arrival of 289 major projects, and seventh in projects per capita — the same as in 2015, according to Site Selection magazine, which released its 2016 rankings in the March edition.

North Carolina finished first for drawing corporate facilities in the eight-state South Atlantic region, said Site Selection, which uses figures tracked by the Conway Projects Database.

And in November, both Forbes and Site Selection magazine ranked North Carolina the No. 2 state for business climate.

Also unscathed was the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, which registered at 5.3 percent in January 2016 and 5.3 percent in January 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The figures released almost exactly a year after the bill’s passage appear to fly in the face of predictions of economic doom made by opponents of HB2. The Center for American Progress estimated in April that the state would lose more than $567 million in private-sector economic activity through 2018.

Obviously the predictions of gloom and doom if HB2 passed were not true. I have stated before that I truly believe if you asked parents of high school children whether or not they wanted members of the opposite sex in their children’s high school locker rooms, the answer would be a resounding NO. I understand that there are a small number of people impacted by this law, but the answer is simply to allow them private changing and restroom facilities. The same people who support ‘safe spaces’ for college students because their candidate lost the last election should at least support private spaces for students and others struggling with their sexuality.

The Number of Americans In The Workforce Has Dramatically Increased

On Friday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the latest workforce participation rate.

The article reports:

The number of Americans either working or looking for work in the past month hit a record high of 160,056,000, the first time this number surpassed the 160,000,000 mark, according to numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last month, there were 159,716,000 Americans in the labor force.

There were 340,000 more Americans who joined the labor force in February, while 176,000 left. The number of Americans not participating in the labor force declined from 94,366,000 in January to 94,190,000 in February. The bureau counts those not in the labor force as people who do not have a job and did not actively seek one in the past four weeks.

The labor force participation rate, which is the percentage of the population that has a job or actively looked for one in the past month, increased from 62.9 percent in January to 63.0 percent in February.

Because the number of unemployed also went down, the unemployment number also went down from 4.8 percent in January to 4.7 percent.

The article also reported:

The “real” unemployment rate, otherwise known as the U-6 measure, was 9.2 percent in February, which declined from 9.4 percent in the previous month.

This is what the U-6 number has been from January 2005 through January 2016:

This is the true unemployment number, and it needs to continue to decrease.

The Business Optimism That Surrounds President Donald Trump

President Trump has been in office for about two weeks. He has issued a number of executive orders that he believes will help restart the American economy, but he really hasn’t been in office long enough to see very much in terms of results. However, what he has done is increase optimism, which does influence the business climate.

Yesterday the January jobs report was released. Hot Air posted a story.

Here are some of the highlights:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 227,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in retail trade, construction, and financial activities. …

After accounting for the annual adjustments to the population controls, the civilian labor force increased by 584,000 in January, and the labor force participation rate rose by 0.2 percentage point to 62.9 percent. Total employment, as measured by the household survey, was up by 457,000 over the month, and the employment-population ratio edged up to 59.9 percent.

…U.S. job growth surged more than expected in January as construction firms and retailers ramped up hiring, which likely gives the Trump administration a head start as it seeks to boost the economy and employment.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 227,000 jobs last month, the largest gain in four months, the Labor Department said on Friday. But the unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.8 percent and wages increased modestly, suggesting that there was still some slack in the labor market.

This is the chart on the workforce participation rate since 2007:

It may be a slow climb, but we are at least moving in the right direction.

Don’t Be Fooled By The Low Unemployment Rate

Bloomberg.com paints a very rosy picture of the December jobs report. They note that the unemployment rate is 4.7 percent.

The article notes the following:

The 156,000 increase in December payrolls followed a 204,000 rise in November that was bigger than previously estimated, a Labor Department report showed Friday in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 175,000 advance. The jobless rate ticked up to 4.7 percent as the labor force grew, and wages rose 2.9 percent from December 2015.

Please note in the statistics below that the labor force participation rate rose by a tenth of a point–hardly enough to account for the uptick in the jobless rate. The economy is improving, but not currently at a rate that would indicate a recovery during the time that President Obama has been in office.

CNS News has a more balanced report:

The final jobs report of the Obama presidency, released Friday, shows that the number of Americans not in the labor force has increased by 14,573,000 (18.09 percent) since January 2009, when Obama took office, continuing a long-term trend that began well before Obama was sworn in.

In December, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, a record 95,102,000 Americans were not in the labor force, 47,000 more than in November; and the labor force participation rate was 62.7 percent, a tenth of a point higher than in November.

Hopefully as regulations are removed and small businesses are encouraged to grow rather than facing more regulations if they grow, the economy will improve. However, to claim that President Obama presided over an economic recovery is to stretch the truth to the point where it breaks.

The Real Unemployment Numbers

The Obama Administration has proudly announced an unemployment rate of 4.6% for November 2016. That’s nice, but that isn’t the real story.

CNS News posted a story yesterday explaining the 4.6 % number and using some other numbers to put that number in perspective.

The article explains:

Although the “unemployment rate” in the United States for November is 4.6% — a rate last reached 9 years ago in August 2007 – the “real unemployment” rate is much higher, more than double at 9.3% nationwide. 

Real unemployment, or the U-6 number, as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes “total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers” and part-time workers age 16 and over.

As the BLS explains on its website, the “unemployment rate,” or U-3 number, “includes all jobless persons who are available to take a job and have actively sought work in the past four weeks.”

The other number that is important is the workforce participation rate. The chart below from the Bureau of Labor Statistics illustrates how that number has changed during the Obama Administration:

workforceparticipationrate1

The article at CNS News concludes:

While the unemployment rate for November 2016 was 9.3%, the last time it was at a level close to that, 9.2%, was in April 2008. From June 2008 through September 2015, the real unemployment rate was in double digits, fluctuating from 10.1% to a high of 17.1% and finally back down to 10.0% (in September 2015).

The real unemployment rate has been in the 9’s since October 2015

The 4.6% unemployment rate sounds wonderful, but since it does not include those Americans who are out of work and no longer looking for work, it is not a meaningful number. The American economy has not prospered under President Obama. Hopefully, putting a successful businessman in the White House will change the American economy for the better.

The Number Behind The Low Unemployment Rate

A good statistician can make numbers say anything he wants them to say. The people currently working for the government are not good statisticians–they are great statisticians! We have all been told that the unemployment rate for Americans has dropped to 4.9 percent. Wow! That is wonderful. But wait a minute–let’s look a little more closely.

The Washington Free Beacon posted a story today about the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their reporter does a good job of putting the numbers in context.

The article reports:

There were 94,609,000 Americans not participating in the labor force in October, an increase of 425,000 people from the previous month, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.

The bureau counts those not in the labor force as people who do not have a job and did not actively seek one in the past four weeks.

The labor force participation rate, which is the percentage of the population that has a job or actively looked for one in the past month, declined from 62.9 percent in September to 62.8 percent in October.

The unemployment rate for all Americans declined to 4.9 percent from 5.0 percent in the previous month. This measure does not account for those individuals who have dropped out of the labor force and simply measures the percent of those who did not have a job but actively sought one over the month.

The economic recovery under President Obama has been very weak.

The article concludes:

“This so-called-recovery has been extremely weak,” said National Federation of Independent Business president Juanita Duggan. “Small business, which represents 99.7 percent of all U.S. employers and employs 58 million Americans, is the engine of job creation. Until small business owners have a clearer sense of what the future will bring, they’ll keep their foot on the brakes.”

“Small business owners are paralyzed by uncertainty,” she said. “The combination of record uncertainty, rising labor costs, and a shortage of qualified workers is depressing small business job creation.”

This is America under President Obama. President Hillary Clinton will bring more of the same. I would like to note that the people cramming Common Core down our throats are not helping the shortage of qualified workers. Standardized test scores of American students under Common Core have gone down–not up. It is time to clean the swamp in Washington and begin again.

 

How To Lie With Statistics

Ever wonder where the unemployment numbers come from? Ever wonder why you don’t seem to be moving forward and Washington is telling you how great the economic recovery is? Every wonder why you know a lot of Americans who have been unemployed for a long time and have given up searching for a job when the government keeps telling you that thousands of new jobs are being created every month? Ever wonder why your reality does not seem to agree with the reality you see reported on the news? Well, the world most of us live in is a little different from the world that the people writing the news, reporting the news, and working for the government live in.

This article doesn’t need words–it just needs charts and graphs.

From CNS News, the real unemployment picture:

BLMJobStatisticsThese are the real unemployment numbers–not the ones the Obama Administration is releasing–these numbers take into account the workforce participation rate.

This is the workforce participation rate taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

WorkforceParticipationRateSo why are those in Washington painting such a rosy picture of the economy? They are doing great. Here is a list of the wealthiest counties in America from Wikipedia. The list is from 2012, but I seriously doubt much has changed. Note where they are located:

wealthiestcountiesinAmericaOur representatives no longer represent us. Nor are the bureaucrats in government serving the American people. It is long past time to clean house!

 

Who Is Actually Working?

The economic recovery under President Obama has been weak. The Heritage Foundation posted the following graph of our unemployment situation:

EmploymentInTheUSThat tells part of the story, but there is another part that is not being widely told. The Washington Free Beacon posted a story yesterday showing that more foreign workers are employed in America than Americans. That is not encouraging news.

The article reports:

A record-high average of 24,963,000 foreign-born workers were employed in the United States in 2015, according to data released Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to the bureau, foreign-born individuals include legally admitted immigrants, refugees, temporary residents such as students and temporary workers, and undocumented immigrants.

The bureau began recording this data in 2002. At that time, there were nearly 19 million foreign-born workers employed in the United States. The number has increased by 31.4 percent since then.

While the average number of native-born workers employed also reached a record high in 2015, it did not increase at the same rate as foreign-born workers. In 2015, there were an average of 123,871,000 native-born workers employed, up from 117,487,000 workers employed in 2002, an increase of 5.4 percent.

Additionally, the bureau found that the unemployment rate for foreign-born persons was 4.9 percent for 2015, lower than the 5.4 percent unemployment rate for the native born.

I suppose there are a lot of reasons for hiring foreign-born workers–foreign-born workers are generally willing to work for a lower wage than American workers, foreign-born workers may have a better work ethic than the one we have been teaching Americans, and foreign-born workers may be more inclined to take jobs Americans are not interesting in doing. It may be in a company’s best interest to hire foreign-born workers for the above reasons.

So what is the solution? One thing that might help would be to link the number of visas available to foreign-born workers to the number of jobs available. I have no objection to a legal alien working in America as long as he is not taking a job away from an American. Disney is the poster child for replacing American workers with foreign workers (see article in the Orlando Sentinel).

Meanwhile, until the American people stand up to our government and ask them to limit the number of foreign-worker visas so that it corresponds to the jobs available, Americans will be out of work. Corporations have lobbyists, and those lobbyists strongly encourage Congress to allow more foreign workers in so that corporations can cut their cost of doing business. That is why no one has closed our southern border–corporations make more money by hiring illegal aliens as workers. Until we have someone in Washington in power who is not bought and sold by corporate interests, we will not have a secure southern border and American workers will not be secure in their jobs.

 

How Many Americans Are Actually Working?

We don’t hear a lot about the Labor Force Participation Rate, but it is an important part of the American economy. It is an indication of how many Americans are actually working. The current unemployment rate is somewhere around 5 percent, but without looking at the Labor Force Participation Rate, that number really does not mean much. The 5 percent does not include those people who have given up looking for a job, that is why the Labor Participation Rate is important.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics website includes these two charts that give a clearer picture of the American economy:

LaborForceParticipationLaborForceParticipation2As you can see, we have been losing ground since 2007. It is time to shrink government, limit government regulations, and allow Americans to prosper. Consider this as you decide how to vote in the upcoming election in November. Hillary Clinton would be the third term of President Obama. If we want the above numbers to change, we need to vote for someone who will change our economic direction.

When You Look At The Entire Picture, It Does Not Look Really Good

Chances are that someone in the news today is going to celebrate the fact that the unemployment rate has dropped to 4.9 percent (he lowest since February 2008, the Labor Department said on Friday). That sounds really good until you start looking at the entire picture.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today that shows the entire picture. Here are a few inconvenient facts from the article:

Looks like the 2015Q4 GDP results told a broader story than some credited. The Associated Press called the results from today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reporta sharp deceleration from recent months” (later removing “sharp” from that description), paralleling the sharper deceleration of production. The US economy added only 151,000 jobs, a miss on expectations and barely enough to tread water on population expansion.

…Numerous news services heralded the a drop in U-3 rate of unemployment to 4.9%, but the number of people not in the workforce also rose by 360,000 people from last month (table A-16). That follows an increase of 284,000 the previous month. Those not in the labor force who want a job increased by 461,000, and that follows an increase of 379,000 in the previous month. The latter measure had been falling in 2015, but has reversed itself by 840,000 in two months — both in the 0.7%-growth-rate Q4.

The article concludes:

The sharp reversal on exits from the labor force should be the greatest concern from this report. The 151,000 added jobs pales in comparison to those numbers, and those added jobs only account for population growth anyway. Combined with last quarter’s GDP growth rate, it appears that 2016 is off to a tough start, and may signal a very tough year.

Eight years of President Obama’s economic policies have had consequences. The over regulation, the war on coal, the war on fracking, the decision to stop the Keystone Pipeline, and ObamaCare have all had economic consequences. If Hillary Clinton is elected, we will have more of the same. If a small government Republican is elected, he will be in a position to set the American economy free. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

The July Employment Numbers

This is the chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

BureauofLaborStatisticsJuly2015

So what does this mean? Breitbart.com posted a story about the numbers today.

The article reports:

July’s labor force participation rate however remained the the same as June at 62.6 percent. Before last month the labor force participation rate had not been that low since October 1977, when the participation rate was 62.4 percent.

The BLS reports that the civilian labor force did experience a slight uptick from 157,037,000 in June to 157,106,000 in July after the month of June saw it drop by 432,000.

While the labor participation rate remains at the lowest its been since the late 1970s, the BLS highlighted that the unemployment rate remained at 5.3 percent and nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 215,000.

The labor participation rate is a concern. The unemployment rate does not take the labor participation rate into consideration–it is based only on the number of people actually looking for work that are unemployed. The current labor participation rate is not indicative of a healthy economy.

 

Looking Past The Obvious

Breitbart.com posted an article today about the June jobs report. Most of the mainstream media is trumpeting the fact that 237,000 jobs were created in June. That is good, but what they fail to mention is that the civilian labor force shrank by 432,000.

The article reports:

The labor force participation rate also decreased 0.3 percent from last month to 62.6 percent.

The country has not seen a labor force participation rate that low since October 1977 when the participation rate was 62.4 percent.

The BLS reports that the civilian labor force also shrank by 432,000 in June, from 157,469,000 in May to 157,037,000 in June.

While people dropped out of the workforce the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) highlighted that the unemployment rate declined to 5.3 percent and payroll jobs increased by 223,000.

The number of people who dropped out of the labor force was higher than the number of jobs created. That is not a good thing.

The Jobs Report In Wisconsin

Right now, Scott Walker is the top Republican fund raiser in the Presidential primary. He is also a favorite of the conservatives, which makes him a prime target of attack for the Clinton machine and anyone out there on the liberal side of the spectrum that has designs on the presidency. Get ready for the attacks–here are some of the facts.

Today’s Wall Street Journal posted an article about his record on employment in Wisconsin. Scott Walker took office in 2011. He faced a recall almost immediately, which he won. Despite the opposition, he continued his policies of cutting spending and lowering taxes.

The article reports the results:

Yet Wisconsin’s employment-population ratio has jumped 2.5%—significantly more than the national improvement rate. Wisconsin is also gaining ground against other states. In February 2011 Wisconsin ranked 12th in employment-population ratio. It now ranks ninth.

The U.S. employment-population ratio has grown 1.5% since Mr. Walker took charge.

The article further explains:

Some will rightly point out that the unemployment rate fails to account for people who can’t find a job and stop searching. And so a low unemployment rate is more meaningful if it is accompanied by high participation in the labor force. Since February 2011, the national labor-force participation rate has dropped to 62.7%, from 64.2%. Wisconsin’s rate, much healthier than the national average, has also declined but by significantly less, to 68.4% from 69.1%.

Wisconsin’s current 68.4% labor-force participation rate is particularly noteworthy because it represents an uptick over the past year from a low of 68.1%. Nationally, the average labor-force participation rate has declined to lows last seen during the Carter administration.

Given that Wisconsin’s unemployment has dropped to 4.6% from 5.6% in the past year, the state is in the enviable position of having lowered unemployment while increasing labor-force participation. Not surprisingly, this has helped Wisconsin move up to eighth place in state labor-force participation, from 12th in 2011.

Keep these figures in mind as you hear the attacks on Scott Walker that will be coming from the political left. I have not yet made up my mind as to whom I am supporting in the Republican presidential primary, but these are impressive statistics.

Lying With Statistics

Yesterday The Federalist posted an article about the latest unemployment numbers from the Department of Labor. There was rejoicing that the unemployment rate had dropped to 5.5 percent. You might want to hold off on that rejoicing for a bit.

The article includes a chart showing what the unemployment number actually is when you add in the labor force dropouts:

Unemployment Rate With Labor Force Dropouts March 2015

As you can see, the actual unemployment rate is closer to 10 percent. So, if you know anyone who is unemployed and can’t understand why it is so hard to find a job, show them the real numbers. It might make them feel better.

The article explains:

This decline (the decline in the labor force participation rate) has significant effects on the official unemployment rate. People who are unemployed and eventually stop looking for work are no longer counted as being part of the labor force, which means they’re no longer counted by U.S. statistical agencies as being unemployed (you can read in detail about the math underlying this dynamic here). The result? An artificially low official unemployment rate.

It is an unfortunate fact of life that you can make statistics say pretty much anything you want them to say.