(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
The unemployment rate is suddenly sinking at the fastest pace in a half-century, falling to 9 percent from 9.8 percent in just two months – the most encouraging sign for the job market since the recession ended.
That certainly sounds like the job market is going gangbusters to me.
Now here’s the trick: only 36,000 jobs were created to get the unemployment rate to drop by 0.4%.
Given those facts, I did a little math.
If it only takes 9K jobs to make the unemployment rate drop by 0.1%, then it should only require another 810K jobs to get the unemployment rate to drop to 0%.
Since the Census Bureau hired more than that in 2010 to conduct the census, all we need to do is have yearly recounts and no one need to be unemployed ever again.
Then I discovered a problem with the math…not my math. The math of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
You see, there are 13.9 million people unemployed. So to them, 13.1 million people equals 0%, which I’m sure would make sense to Orwell, but no so much to the rest of us.
So what happened? The short answer was that the weather was really bad in January, and 500,000 people in the labor force (most of them unemployed) went missing in snow drifts. It’s important to seasonally adjust for snow drifts, because the U-3 unemployment rate jumped 0.7% higher when man-eating snow drifts aren’t accounted for. These people have joined the 4.9 million people that have vanished from the labor force.
By no small coincidence, 3.9 million Americans used up all their unemployment benefits last year.
In fact, so many people are being eaten in snow drifts that the labor force participation rate has dropped to a new low for this depression. If the participation rate had remained flat, so would have the unemployment rate.
While some are working hard to convince us that we are having a strong jobs recovery, for some unknown reason people keep giving up their job search.
It’s almost as if the unemployed people don’t believe all the rosy numbers.
Obviously people aren’t bothering to look for work because they are all making beaucoup bucks from their home values going up. Or, maybe not.
Let’s not forget that the people who are lucky enough to get jobs are not being burdened with the responsibilities that come with full-time employment, such as a large paycheck and health benefits.
Here’s some numbers to chew on: of the 13.9 million people unemployed, 6.2 million are long-term unemployed. Which would make the other 7.7 million pre-long-term unemployed.
There are 2.8 million people counted as “marginally attached” to the work force, but not actually unemployed. Of those, 1 million are counted as “discouraged”, which I guess makes the other 1.8 million “f*cking discouraged”.
Meanwhile, the number of people receiving food stamps has hit an all-time high of 14% of the population, while visits to soup kitchens were up 24% last year.
Don’t these people know there is a recovery going on?
With corporate profits near record highs, some people might have the irrational belief that companies should hire people. Well, I’m happy to inform you that American companies are hiring, and all you need to do to get one of those jobs is emigrate to a third-world nation.
All but 4 percent of the top 500 U.S. corporations reported profits this year, and the stock market is close to its highest point since the 2008 financial meltdown.
But the jobs are going elsewhere. The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, says American companies have created 1.4 million jobs overseas this year, compared with less than 1 million in the U.S. The additional 1.4 million jobs would have lowered the U.S. unemployment rate to 8.9 percent, says Robert Scott, the institute’s senior international economist.
“There’s a huge difference between what is good for American companies versus what is good for the American economy,” says Scott.
Scott is exaggerating things. I’m sure those companies will still need to hire Americans to work part-time selling those foreign-made goods to other Americans. If you don’t want to emigrate to a third-world country then all you have to do is wait for the third-world to get to you.
Gawd bless free trade agreements.