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.

 

Mixed Economic News Because Of The Hurricanes

Generally speaking, the economic news is good–the workforce participation rate is up and unemployment is down. That is a good thing. The only negative is the fact that according to CNBC America lost 33,000 jobs in the month of September. That loss is attributed to the hurricanes that hit Florida and the Gulf Coast states.

CNBC further reports:

Even with the surprise jobs number, the closely watched hourly wages figure jumped higher, to an annualized rate of 2.9 percent.

 Economists surveyed by Reuters expected payroll growth of 90,000 in September, compared with 169,000 in August. The unemployment rate was expected to hold steady at 4.4 percent. It declined even as the labor-force participation rate rose to 63.1 percent, its highest level all year and the best reading since March 2014.

“The lousy returns from the September jobs report will make little impression on observers, who essentially gave the labor market a free pass due to the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” said Curt Long, chief economist at the National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions.

An alternate number that includes discouraged workers as well as those working part-time for economic reasons also tumbled, falling from 8.6 percent to 8.3 percent, its lowest reading since June 2007.

The Workforce Participation Rate increased to 63.1. The following chart showing changes in the Workforce Participation Rate is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

As you can see, the rate is slowly inching upward.

According to Bloomberg News, Americans are going back to work.

Bloomberg reports:

Americans are coming off the labor market’s sidelines at a pace that intensified in September.

The number of people going from out-of-the-labor-market into jobs jumped to an all-time high last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s employment report showed on Friday, even as the number of people flowing into unemployment fell. While these numbers can be volatile, they provide the latest confirmation that Americans are being pulled into work as the labor market tightens.

The positive changes in the economy are the result of the deregulation that has been going on since President Trump took office. There is still more deregulation needed. If all or part of the President’s tax reform proposals are put into effect, those reforms will also help encourage economic growth.

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.

A Quick Summary Of The Trump Economy

Elections have consequences. Thank goodness that one of the consequences of the 2016 presidential election is a rollback of some of the regulations that were crippling the American economy. The Gateway Pundit has a summary of what has happened to the American economy under President Trump:

The DOW daily closing stock market average has risen nearly 14% since the election on November 8th. (On November 9th the DOW closed at 18,332 – on May 19th the DOW closed at 20,804).
* Since the Inauguration on January 20th the DOW is up 5%. (It was at 19,827 at January 20th.)
* The DOW took just 66 days to climb from 19,000 to above 21,000, the fastest 2,000 point run ever. The DOW closed above 19,000 for the first time on November 22nd and closed above 21,000 on March 1st.
* The DOW closed above 20,000 on January 25th and the March 1st rally matched the fastest-ever 1,000 point increase in the DOW at 24 days.
 * On February 28th President Trump matched President Reagan’s 1987 record for most continuous closing high trading days when the DOW reached a new high for its 12th day in a row!
* The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ have both set new all-time highs during this period.
* The US Stock Market gained $2 trillion in wealth since Trump was elected!
* The S&P 500 also broke $20 Trillion for the first time in its history.

Somehow this news has escaped the mainstream media.

The article also includes the following:

The article goes on to list job statistics and home sales statistics. I strongly suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article.

The article concludes:

In Summary

President Obama left President Trump with a weak economy and all sorts of domestic and foreign policy nightmares.  To date President Trump has had little time to address all of these messes but if he handles these as well as he has the economy Americans will soon be in a much better and safer place.

Overall based on the above data it is clear that President Trump is doing a solid, if not excellent job.

The mainstream liberal media won’t report this, but when looking at the economy, President Trump the businessman thumps the former community organizer Barack Obama.

Despite what the media is telling us, this does not sound like a White House in chaos. It sounds like a White House that is getting the country back on a solid economic footing despite tremendous opposition from the media.

While You Were Watching The Political Circus…

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported that at the beginning of May the total continuing claims for unemployment benefits ran at the lowest level in 28 years. The workforce participation rate in April was 62.9 percent (in March it was 63.0). That number has been hovering at 62 and 63 percent since January of 2012.

The article reports:

Over the past month, the average number of continuing claims per week has clocked in at 1.95 million, the lowest number in 43 years.

Those numbers were released as part of the department’s weekly jobless claims report, which is valued by investors and government officials because it provides a frequently-updated indication of new claims for unemployment benefits, a proxy for layoffs. Fewer layoffs means more job creation.

Thursday’s report showed just 232,000 new claims, adjusted for seasonal variations, for the week ending on May 13. That was the lowest number in nearly three months, and an extremely low mark by historical standards.

…At 4.4 percent in April, the unemployment rate is already below where Federal Reserve officials thought it could sustainably go if the economy were fully healthy.

Jobless claims below 300,000, economists calculate, go along with steady or declining unemployment, meaning that the unemployment rate could fall further still.

Deregulation, efforts to repeal ObamaCare, and the development of America’s energy resources have a lot to do with the economic growth that has begun under President Trump. Note that all three of these things involve an undoing of President Obama’s policies. Elections do have consequences, and the 2016 election has had very positive economic consequences.

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.

 

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.

From The Young Conservatives Website

The following cartoon is from the Young Conservatives website:

branco min wage cartoon

The article below the cartoon states:

A survey of American economists found that 90 percent of them regarded minimum wage laws as increasing the rate of unemployment among low-skilled workers. Inexperience is often the problem. Only about two percent of Americans over the age of 24 earned the minimum wage.

Advocates of minimum wage laws usually base their support of such laws on their estimate of how much a worker “needs” in order to have “a living wage” — or on some other criterion that pays little or no attention to the worker’s skill level, experience or general productivity. So it is hardly surprising that minimum wage laws set wages that price many a young worker out of a job.

Support of an increase in the minimum wage is political–it is  not based on economic realities. Unions support it because it allows them to negotiate for higher wages. Eventually this cycle leads to inflation and hurts low-income wage earners the most.

Some Pictures From The Latest Jobs Report

On August 29, Breitbart.com posted a story about the current labor force participation rate. The chart below tells the story:

Although the unemployment numbers look good, they don’t tell the whole story:

The labor force participation rate is the lowest it has been in 34 years.

The article at Breitbart contains this rather chilling quote:

“Following the Great Recession, we’ve entered into the Great Shift,” says Express Employment Professionals CEO Bob Funk, who previously served as chairman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank. “This is a period defined by the Boomer retirement, Millennial frustration, and growing reliance on government programs. All indicators suggest this shift is not sustainable.” (emphasis mine)

The economic policies of the Obama Administration have not worked. If President Obama will not reverse them, we need to elect people who will. Our future depends on it.

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Some Oddities In The Unemployment Numbers

Breitbart.com reported today that the the unemployment numbers reported by the Gallop polling organization jumped from 7.7% on July 21 to 8.9% today.

The article reports:

At the end of July, the BLS showed a 7.4% unemployment rate, compared to Gallup‘s 7.8%. Again, a difference not worthy of note. But Gallup’s upward trend to almost 9% in just the last three weeks is alarming, especially because this is not a poll with a history of wild swings due to statistical anomalies. Gallup’s sample size is a massive 30,000 adults and the rolling average is taken over a full 30 day period.

Gallup also shows an alarming increase in the number of underemployed (those with some work seeking more). During the same 30-day period, that number has jumped from 17.1% to 17.9%.

It will be interesting to see how this lines up with the numbers that will be released shortly.

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Underneath The Jobs Numbers

Yahoo Finance posted an article today that included the Labor Force Participation Rate in the latest jobs numbers.

According to the article:

The civilian labor force decreased by 37,000 to 155.80 million in July, while those not in the labor force rose by 240,000 to 89.96 million.

The decrease in the percentage of Americans in the labor force–63.4% last month from 63.5% the month before–is one of the main reasons for the drop in the unemployment rate–to 7.4% in July from 7.6% in June.

Many of the jobs added were part time jobs and many jobs changed from full time to part time. ObamaCare has created some serious problems for the American economy (ObamaCare is responsible for the growth of part time jobs) and will continue to do so until it is defunded and stopped. I am not sure if the Republicans in the House of Representatives are going to get anywhere with their attempts at defunding it, but I give them credit for trying.

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The Numbers Behind The Numbers

The Stock Market climbed and the media rejoiced–the unemployment rate dropped to 7.5% in March–down 0.4 percentage points since January. At least it did not go up.

The New York Times reported yesterday that in spite of the fact that unemployment decreased and the economy added jobs, that since 2010 the number of Americans with jobs has stayed between 58.2 percent and 58.7 percent. Hot Air reported yesterday that the civilian workforce participation rate remained at a 34-year low of 63.3%.

Hot Air also reported:

…the number of people not in the workforce declined slightly in the Household data from March by 31,000. It’s still 632,000 higher than in February. Discouraged workers rose by 32,000 and marginally-attached workers rose by 21,000, both of which are relatively narrow shifts.

The New York Times reported:

Baby boomers are aging into retirement. Even before the recession, the government projected in 2007 that participation would decline to 65.5 percent by 2016, from 66 percent. But the April rate of 63.3 percent means the labor force has lost roughly five million additional workers.

Furthermore, the projections were wrong. Participation has actually risen among people older than 55. The decline is entirely driven by younger dropouts.

It is good that the unemployment number is down to 7.5%; however, we have a long way to go before we actually have a healthy economy. The two biggest challenges to the economy in the coming months will be the implementation of ObamaCare and the increased taxes that go with that implementation. We won’t really understand the financial impact of ObamaCare until late this year when people begin to plan for the tax rates of 2013 and when people begin to see ObamaCare directly affect their health insurance and health insurance premiums.

The article at Hot Air quotes Reuters:

Still, details of the report remained consistent with a slowdown in economic activity. Construction employment fell for the first time since May, while manufacturing payrolls were flat. The average workweek pulled off a nine-month high, but average hourly earnings rose four cents[.]

The New York Times article concludes:

There is always some unemployment. Millions of Americans are out of work at any given moment even in the best of times. But the economy is still roughly 10 million jobs short of returning to normal levels of unemployment and labor force participation. That’s a lot of missing jobs.

Some of those losses may be permanent. The number of Americans receiving disability benefits has increased by 1.8 million since the recession began, and people on disability rarely return to the work force, even if they would have preferred to keep working in the first place.

And as the economy improves, it is likely that labor force participation among older workers will finally begin to decline.

But the evidence suggests that the majority of the 10 million are just waiting for a decent chance.

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How Much Of Our Tax Dollars Goes To Fraud

Newsbusters posted a story today about numbers released by the St. Louis Federal Reserve last week on unemployment fraud. Their research found $3.3 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims in 2011.

This is a chart from the article:
Scarier still, there were people in this country making in excess of $100,000 a year that received unemployment benefits in 2011:

Considering the media’s panic over $85 billion in supposed sequestration cuts, you would think they’d be interested in this.

The only media that covered this were the Wall Street Journal on Friday and a Huffington Post on Sunday.

It seems to me that this is something that American taxpayers might be interested in. Not only do we have a spending problem, we also have a dishonesty problem.
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There Were Some Things Left Out In The Unemployment Numbers

Yesterday Breitbart posted some of the facts the media seems to have missed in reporting on the jobless numbers this week. The article quotes James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI):

The labor force participation rate fell again as potential workers stopped looking for work.  … [I]f the LFP rate was where it was in January 2009, the unemployment rate would be 10.8%. …

The share of the unemployed out of work for 27 weeks or longer increased to 40.2% from 38.1% in January.

The employment-population ratio is exactly where it was a year ago, at an almost rock-bottom 58.6%.

This really doesn’t look like much of an economic recovery to me.

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The Law Of Unintended Consequences Strikes Again

The Wall Street Journal posted an editorial today entitled, “ObamaCare and the ’29ers.'” When I first looked at the title, I thought it was about the unemployment rate of the twenty-something generation. It’s not. It’s about how ObamaCare is affecting the number of hours employers allow their employees to work.

The article reports:

The law (ObamaCare) requires firms with 50 or more “full-time equivalent workers” to offer health plans to employees who work more than 30 hours a week. (The law says “equivalent” because two 15 hour a week workers equal one full-time worker.) Employers that pass the 50-employee threshold and don’t offer insurance face a $2,000 penalty for each uncovered worker beyond 30 employees. So by hiring the 50th worker, the firm pays a penalty on the previous 20 as well.

Is Washington capable of making anything simple?

The article explains how the mathematics of employing people under ObamaCare work:

The savings from restricting hours worked can be enormous. If a company with 50 employees hires a new worker for $12 an hour for 29 hours a week, there is no health insurance requirement. But suppose that worker moves to 30 hours a week. This triggers the $2,000 federal penalty. So to get 50 more hours of work a year from that employee, the extra cost to the employer rises to about $52 an hour—the $12 salary and the ObamaCare tax of what works out to be $40 an hour.

This chart from the article shows the number of people currently working part-time:

image

It’s time to repeal ObamaCare, replace it with something that has actually been thought through, and get the American economy working again.

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Both Sets Of Jobs Numbers For January 2013

Yesterday CNS News reported that the number of Americans not in the labor force grew by 169,000 in January. Meanwhile, aol.com reports that 157,000 new jobs were added in January 2013.

The article at aol.com reported:

Federal Reserve officials said on Wednesday that economic activity had “paused,” but they signaled optimism the recovery would regain speed with continued monetary policy support. The Fed left in place a monthly $85 billion bond-buying stimulus plan. Economists polled by Reuters had expected employers to add 160,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 7.8 percent last month.

…Job growth in 2012 averaged 181,000 a month, but not enough to significantly reduce unemployment. Economists say employment gains in excess of 250,000 a month over a sustained period are needed.

We are losing jobs as fast as we are gaining them. This really does not look like a strong economic recovery.

Elections Have Consequences

On Saturday, Breitbart.com posted an article about the impact Obamacare is having on jobs.

The article explains:

The Obamacare employer mandate doesn’t go into effect until January 1, 2014, but the government requires businesses to track worker schedules for three to 12 months in advance.  That means many employers plan to get a jump start on avoiding Obamacare’s $2,000 per-worker fine by firing workers now, reducing employee hours, or replacing full-time employees with part-time workers.

The article lists companies in various industries that have been forced to layoff employees or cut employee hours in order to avoid the fines that will be imposed on them by Obamacare if they do not meet the specific requirements of Obamacare in the health care they provide.

The article reminds us that unemployment is currently much higher than it normally is during a ‘recovery’ from a recession:

The looming Obamacare layoffs and hiring freezes come as a Labor Department report announced today that the unemployment rate remains at 7.8% (revised up from the originally reported 7.7%).  Presently, 22.6 million Americans are either unemployed, underemployed, or marginally attached to the work force. 

If we want to see the economy grow, we need to take a serious look at the policies of the federal government and the impact they are having on businesses.

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Between The Lines On The Jobs Numbers

Breitbart.com posted an article today about the latest jobs report. The article points out that the dip in the unemployment rate was the result of over a half-million people dropping out of the workforce.

The article also points out:

Over the last five months, 73% of all jobs created were government jobs. Moreover, the unemployment rate for government workers plunged to 3.8% in November — which is considered full employment.

Logically, when the civilian workforce is smaller, fewer people are paying taxes, and the money to fund the government shrinks.

The article reminds us:

Even though deficits rule the day at every level of government, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the 847,000 new jobs created since June, a full 621,000 were government jobs. In November alone, 35,000 new government jobs were created.

In other words, as the labor participation rate plummets to a thirty year low — which means we have fewer taxpayers — we’re not only increasing the number of taxpayer-funded jobs, but the government is using the creation of these jobs to juice the employment numbers in a way that makes it look as though the job situation is actually improving.

I would be very surprised to see any of these numbers reported in the mainstream media.

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Where Did The Wonderful Unemployment Numbers Come From ?

Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line explaining the sudden wonderful drop in the unemployment numbers released today.

The article reports:

But there’s a problem with the report: it doesn’t make sense. As Kevin Hassett points out, the 114,000 net jobs created in September is well below the average for this year (146,000) and the average for last year (153,000).

So how did the Department of Labor come up with an unemployment rate that indicates significant improvement in the jobs picture? It found the alleged improvement through its survey of households. As Hassett explains, the Labor Department’s jobs report is always based on two surveys, one of households and one of establishments.

Professional economists and the press usually emphasize the establishment survey because it is considered less volatile. This month, that survey continues to show the usual weakness in the job market. But the household survey purports to show massive improvement.

This sort of mathematical trickery was totally predictable to anyone who understands President Obama’s roots in Chicago politics. Over the next four weeks, we may actually be told that there is no unemployment actually remaining in America. These numbers are about as reliable as your teenage son telling you that there was a unicorn standing in the middle of the highway, and traffic slowed to a crawl to avoid an accident so he was late getting home.

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Sifting Through The Jobs Numbers

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about the jobs numbers just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The news that you will probably hear Democrats talk about is that the unemployment rate has gone down to 8.1 percent. Obviously that number is nothing to brag about, but at least it went down. But when you take a look at the numbers that are part of that number, unemployment is a problem.

The article mentions that the workforce shrank by 368,000.

CNBC reported:

But job reports for June and July were revised lower. The June count fell from 64,000 to 45,000, while July’s number came in at 141,000 from an originally reported 163,000.

Despite hopes that job creation would be better than expected, the monthly report fell short of economist expectations that 125,000 jobs were added for the month. The government said private payrolls increased by 103,000, about half the 201,000 that ADP reported Thursday.

The article at Hot Air explains that the decline in unemployment was due to people leaving the workforce. The employment-population rate in August was 58.3 percent.

The article at Hot Air points out:

That’s a new 30-year low in the civilian participation rate, lower than April’s 63.6%.  That’s the reason for the decline in the jobless rate.  The workforce decline artificially depresses the official unemployment rate.  If we had the same level of civilian participation as we did at the beginning of the recovery in June 2009 (65.7%), we’d be looking at a jobless rate of well over 10%.  The employment-population ratio dropped to 58.3% in August, not as low as last year’s 58.2%, but still bouncing along a generational bottom.  That measure was 59.4% at the beginning of the recovery.

There is talk of another quantitative easing (it would be QE3) by the government, but considering that QE1 and QE2 were not overly popular, it is questionable whether this will happen.

There is a political class in Washington that wants to remain in power–it includes both Congress and the Executive branches of government. There have been a few cracks made in that power by the Tea Party, but it remains to be seen if they will be corrupted by their new acquisition of power. If the Tea Party is not corrupted by Washington, they will provide the only hope to turn this mess around. Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see what those currently in power are willing to do to the economy to get themselves re-elected.

 

 

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