Sunday, October 07, 2012

unemployment - the truenumbers are dismal

Well the numbers came in and those who wish to spin them as good news are doing so.  But in truth, the numbers are dismal, maybe even disastrous. There is also speculation that some of the numbers are being manipulated, as one number (800.000 people reporting new jobs) that is a total anomaly among all the rest, but it could simply be a surge in some temporary and insignificant work (700,000 new campaign workers?).

A gain of 144,000 jobs last month, even when coupled with the adjustments recently made to jobs data still amounts to a slowly sinking economy.  (Those adjustments did add about 80,000 more jobs in the previous two months and almost 400,000 jobs in the past year, but that is still a slow, sinking rate)

Even worse is manufacturing, which lost 16,000 jobs in the past month, adding to the losses the previous month.  This means we are, in truth, negative balance for the year. Remember, in July 2010, when this had just begun to be known as "The Great Recession," I said we needed an increase of 40,000 manufacturing jobs a month to get out of the recession.  I later revised this down to 20,000 manufacturing jobs a month, but that is just the break even point. In those days I thought the economy would turn around in 2 to 5 years. I no longer think it will. Maybe not ever.

I had begun to realize this recession may really spell the end for the US as the worlds foremost superpower last July.  That was when I wrote:
just over a year after we elected a new government, bent on breaking out of that malaise, 67% of the people are blaming that new crop of congressmen, just elected, for the problems they are trying to solve.

What this really amounts to is that the public has gotten the first glimpse of the fact that they will have to make some sacrifices to return our nation to a path of prosperity, and they don't want any of it.

Some years ago, I said the American public, having tired of freedom and prosperity, have elected a government that will leave them impoverished and enslaved. Now it looks like they are happy being impoverished and enslaved. At least then they don't have to do the hard work and make the sacrifices that are required for freedom and prosperity.
I began to suspect then, and believe more so now, that the US will for the foreseeable future remain in a  decline. Whether this is a slow decline, or a rapid decline is the only question. 

US manufacturing jobs data:
Manufacturing employment fell by 16,000 in September, the second month in a row employment
in the sector dropped.
Employers added 114,000 workers to payrolls last month, the fewest since June, according
to the Labor Department’s survey of employers released in Washington today. A separate
poll of households showed hiring surged by 873,000, the biggest gain since June 1983
excluding annual Census population adjustments. The surge helped push down the jobless
rate to 7.8 percent, the lowest since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009.
WASHINGTON—The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, dropping below 8
percent for the first time in nearly four years and giving President Barack Obama a
potential boost with the election a month away.
The rate dropped from 8.1 percent because the number of people who were employed according
to a government survey soared by 873,000—the biggest monthly jump since 2003.
The job market has been improving, sluggishly but steadily. Jobs have been added for 24
straight months. There are now 325,000 more than when Obama took office.
Still, many of the jobs the economy added last month were part time. The number of people
with part-time jobs who wanted full-time work rose 7.5 percent to 8.6 million, the most
since February 2009.
But overall, Friday's report dispelled some fears about the job market. Average wages
rose. And more people started looking for work.
The jump in the number of employed Americans that the government reported comes from a
survey of 60,000 households that determines the unemployment rate. The government asks a
series of questions, by phone or in person. They include:
Do you own a business? Did you work for pay? If not, did you provide unpaid work for a
family business or farm? (Those who did are considered employed.)
Afterward, the survey participants are asked whether they had a job and, if so, whether it
was full or part time. The government's definition of unemployed is someone who's out of
work and has actively looked for a job in the past four weeks.
The U.S. economy likely created 386,000 more jobs in the 12 months through March than
previously estimated, the Labor Department said
A breakdown by industry sector showed 453,000 more total private sector jobs were created
than initially thought, including 145,000 more jobs in the trade, transportation, and
utilities category, plus 85,000 more in construction.
In contrast, the benchmark revision lowered the estimate for job creation in the
government sector by 65,000, while it found that 25,000 fewer manufacturing jobs had been
generated over the 12 month period than previously thought.

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