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.

Economic Policies Have Consequences

The really good news is that the labor force participation rate has increased from 62.7 in January percent to 6.3 percent in February. It’s a small increase, but it is moving in the right direction.

According to Townhall:

The rate of layoffs in the U.S. fell again in late March and dropped to the lowest level since 1973. Initial U.S. jobless claims declined by 12,000 to 215,000 in the seven days ended March 24,

…Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast claims to total 230,000. The more stable monthly average of claims dipped by 500 to 224,500…The revisions erased the previous low in jobless claims, a reading of 210,000 last month that would have been the lowest since 1969. But no matter. Layoffs in the U.S. is extremely low, as reflected by a 4.1% unemployment rate that is the smallest in 17 years…The labor market is so strong that it’s even drawing back in people who’ve been out of the workforce for years. And it doesn’t show any sign of letting up. The economy added 313,000 new jobs in February and economists predict another solid gain of around 200,000 in March.

Like him or not, Donald Trump is an experienced businessman who understands economics. I am not happy with the spending that is currently going on in Washington, but I suspect that will be dealt with in due time. Until then, President Trump’s economic policies have improved the lives of many Americans.

The Democrats have already stated that they want to repeal the policies that are causing the current economic growth. If they are elected in the House and Senate in November, they will do that. This is something to consider when voting.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It lists some of the specific companies who have passed their tax savings on to their employees. That is good news.

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.

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.

 

Looking Past The Obvious

President Obama has touted the ‘economic recovery‘ as one of his accomplishments. He might want to be a little quieter about that as the latest jobs figures and the numbers behind them indicate a very slow recovery.

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about the jobs numbers just released.

Some highlights from the article:

While last month’s overall gain of 38,000 jobs, including a 25,000 rise in private payrolls, was dragged down temporarily by the labor strike of 35,000 Verizon (VZ) communications workers, the weakness was broad-based. On net, just 51.3% of industries added jobs, the lowest since February 2010, Labor Department data showed.

…One decent bit of news in the employment report is that the trend of firming wages remained intact, as hourly pay rose 0.2% from April and 2.5% from a year ago. That’s consistent with anecdotal reports of companies having to pay more to attract or keep good workers, and many finding qualified workers in short supply.

…The drop in the unemployment rate to 4.7% from 5% in April appears at first to be consistent with a tight labor market. Still, the sudden drop in joblessness, which reflected fewer people in the workforce rather than an increase in employment, should be taken with a grain of salt, given the household survey’s higher margin of error.

…The reality portrayed by the weak jobs report got some confirmation from the Institute for Supply Management’s survey of non-manufacturing industries, with the index slipping to a 28-month low of 52.9 in May from 55.7 in April — well below expectations. The employment gauge fell into negative territory, dropping 3.3 points to 49.7, just below the neutral 50 level.

…Somehow, the retail sector has seemingly defied gravity when it comes to employment, adding 11,400 jobs last month and 323,000 over the past year. The explanation may be that the workweek has shrunk, since aggregate hours of work in the retail industry are down 0.3% over the past three months.

So what is the bottom line? Workforce participation is down, job growth is slow, and the number of hours people are working has gone down. That doesn’t sound like a robust economic recovery to me. It is definitely time for a change of direction. As I have previously stated, I am not a Trump supporter, but I will vote for him because I believe that he may have the business experience to turn this mess around.

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.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Zero Hedge has posted nine charts that clearly show what President Obama’s economic policies have done to the American economy and those of us who try to exist in it.

Here are the charts:

EconomicCharts2015

If you follow the link above to the site, you can make the charts larger. It really is not a pretty picture.