Tag Archives: unemployment

April Employment Report: Jobs Situation Still Sucks

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released their Employment Situation Report for April and there was no good news in it – at all.

The report pushed to the headline the usual artfully constructed numbers – last months job creation and the unemployment rate.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 223,000 in April, and the 
unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics reported today.

That’s great news right? I mean, in March we only created 126,000 jobs and 223 is bigger than 126! Not so fast.

Digging deeper, it’s clear that Americans are not finding jobs and that we’re getting smoke blown up our butts.

The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks increased by 241,000 
to 2.7 million in April. The number of long-term unemployed (those 
jobless for 27 weeks or more) changed little at 2.5 million, accounting 
for 29.0 percent of the unemployed.

The number of people unable to find a job in the short term increased by a quarter-of-a-million and the number of longer-term jobless stayed the same. Not sure where the good news is in those two numbers.

Some other quotes from the report indicate that things really aren’t getting better, which means they are still awful unless you’re a politician or already wealthy (isn’t that the same thing?) Ok, I digress here are the low points:

  • In April, the civilian labor force participation rate (62.8 percent) 
    changed little. Since April 2014, the participation rate has remained 
    within a narrow range of 62.7 percent to 62.9 percent.
  • The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes 
    referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 6.6 
    million in April
  • In April, 2.1 million persons were marginally attached to the labor 
    force, little changed over the year
  • Among the marginally attached, there were 756,000 discouraged workers 
    in April, little different from a year earlier.

How does an employment situation – that has changed little in the last year – get reported as good? The job market sucked a year ago. Now the report says it hasn’t changed – ergo – the job market still sucks!

The downward revisions of the previous month’s report is where the real bad news shows up.

the change for March was revised from +126,000 to +85,000 ... Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 191,000 per month.

March had already come in with some of the weakest numbers in awhile, now they’ve been revised down heavily. A 32% downward revision is nothing to sneeze at and may indicate that we are in for an equally-terrible adjustment for the numbers we got today.

If the same revision is applied to April’s figures, the new job creation number for last month would be 151,000 jobs created – and that would be waaayy under the 191,000 the BLS portrays as the average from the preceding 3 month period. Then again, they could always just seasonally adjust in some magical, otherwise non-existent, new jobs in the next report – because they’re from the government and they’re here to help.

Hillary: Businesses do NOT create jobs [VIDEO]

Hillary Clinton appeared at a Boston, MA rally for gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley and told the accepting crowd that the idea that businesses create jobs is false.

“Don’t let anybody tell you it’s corporations and businesses create jobs,” Clinton remarked.

Perhaps that fall in the hotel room has done more damage than anyone thought. After all, without new and growing businesses, where would the jobs come from – outer space?

HuffPuff Propagandizes a FOX Reality

I go through the headlines and news stories in over one-hundred publications daily. I do this so that I can view multiple sources on some of the same stories. Doing this allows me to formulate what is fact and what is disingenuous spin; propaganda meant to trick the public into thinking one way instead of another. Make no mistake, both ideological prospective do it. It’s the art of modern political war. But the Progressive Left has myriad vehicles to attack the ideological Right, where the Right has many fewer (thank you uber-stingy money people on the Right).

A perfect example of the Left’s disingenuous attack on the Right’s information sources comes in an article in the Huffington Post by Jack Mirkinson titled, FOX News Really Doesn’t Want to Talk About the Good Jobs News, where he writes:

“Quick! Can you find Fox News’s coverage of the latest job figures?”

He includes some main page screen shots.

“Still can’t find them? OK, we’ll help you out. What if we zoom in?…OK, OK, we’ll show you! The link is that little one right in the corner there…For some reason, FOX News appears to want to downplay the very good job numbers. For good measure, the network also downplayed the figures on its airwaves as well.”

He then goes on to show how the far-Left mainstream media outlets dutifully took the Obama Administration’s spun numbers touting them as miraculous by supplying one – one – example: a screen shot of CNN’s breaking news on the numbers.

The good numbers that Mr. Mirkinson points to are the BLS statistic that 288,000 jobs were created last month. Is that good news? Yes. Is it the miraculous news Mr. Mirkinson suggests? No.

Throughout the Obama Administration the majority of the jobs “created” have been either service industry jobs or part-time jobs. College graduates remain woefully under-employed and those experienced in the workforce who have been downsized or otherwise screwed out of a job find it almost impossible to find work. And if you are over 50 and have been out of work for a period of time, you might as well come to grips with the fact that you have become unemployable under Mr. Obama’s economy.

Where the Obama Administration and its sycophants want everyone to believe that the creation of 288,000 jobs is the greatest news since sliced bread, the facts remain…and they are not good.

▪ The U3 unemployment rate hovers at 6.1%. The U3 rate measures the unemployment of people who are without jobs and who have actively been looking for work within the past four weeks.

▪ The U6 unemployment rate hovers at 12.1%. The U6 rate reflects “discouraged workers,” or those who have stopped looking for work because current economic conditions make them believe that no work is available for them; “marginally attached workers,” or “loosely attached workers,” or those who “would like” and are able to work, but have not looked for work recently; and part-time workers who want to work full-time, but cannot due to economic reasons.

▪ The Labor Force Participation Rate is stuck at 62.8%.

These statistics mean that in a country of 318 million legal citizens, 92.2 million eligible for employment are without work. Almost one-third of the population is unemployed.

Further, the rate of those not in the labor force has exploded since 2000. Over the past 14 years – and predominantly during the Obama years – we have removed 14,022,376 from the labor force who are eligible to work. That’s over 1 million eligible workers removed from the workforce each year, on average.

So, understanding the reality behind the unemployment data – disingenuously termed the “jobs numbers” by the talking heads, when more accurately they should be referred to as the “jobless numbers” – how can anyone celebrate the creation of 288,000 menial and part-time jobs when we add one million people a year on average to the under- and unemployed demographic?

The American free-market Capitalist system is the only economic system to have ever – ever – created a Middle Class in the history of man. In its purest form it made the United States of America not only the world’s preeminent superpower, it made the United States the “land of opportunity.” Today, that is hardly the case. The Middle Class is disappearing are a rapidly increasing rate and opportunity is disappearing from our economic lexicon. Why, you ask? The answer is simple: the government manipulation of the American free-market Capitalist system.

Special interests in government have saddled the small business sector with an overwhelming number of regulations, while newer and more intrusive mandates continue to smother the job creators, literally stealing food from the mouths of the hungry in the form of disappearing opportunity.

Obamacare, environmental zealotry, socialism in the form of labor union oppression, manipulation of free commerce, all of these economy-stunting and job-killing maladies are introduced into the American free-market Capitalist system by government and the big-money, well-organized special interest groups that see success and American exceptionalism as a cancer, not a cure. Sadly, today, these creatures of negativity and societal destruction are in power…and on both sides of the governmental political aisle. Unless we shift the political paradigm radically back towards true limited government, it is only a matter of time before our Republic is lost.

So, Mr. Mirkinson, the jobs news is good? Please. The jobs news sucks.

As we celebrate the 238 anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, we should all be willing to look at the chains upon our wrists and ankles. We have allowed ourselves to become slaves to an oligarchic elite and their special interest benefactors. They feign concern about unemployment as they try to tell you they are just like us. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Case in point: Mrs. Clinton’s comment about being “flat-broke” when she and the former President left the White House. How does someone who is flat-broke acquire a multi-million dollar mansion in Chappaqua, New York and maintain two “summer cottages” in Ireland being flat-broke? It’s a lie, and one meant to deceive.

The good news it this. We can remove those chains and get back to good. We can free ourselves of the disingenuous and elitist oligarchs with which we are currently saddled. We have the power and it is a power that begins with the ballot box and navigates the seas of prosperity through limited government.

The time is now. Let us not be faint of heart.

What today’s economic news tells us about the ‘recovery’

Listening to the President, his administration, some in Congress and several news reports, many would say the economy is recovering slowly but gaining traction. Seeing the economic data released today may reveal a somewhat more real reality.

The unemployment figures released this morning seem promising, but only in a vacuum. Claims dropped 24,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 297,000 for May. What the report doesn’t tell us is why fewer people filed claims. Was it because all of these folks have found gainful employment? Or are fewer people re-entering the labor market after having given up on finding a job some time ago?

Home builders are feeling less confident in a housing recovery. The latest survey of builders dropped to 45 for May and the April number has been adjusted lower.  Anything below 50 is considered “negative sentiment.”

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank’s business activity index dropped from 16.6 in April to 15.4 in May. New orders also saw a decline from  14.8 to 10.5 indicating that the pace of growth is slowing.

If economists’ data isn’t enough, two of the nation’s largest retailers are reporting disappointing earnings.

Wal-Mart reported the smallest sales growth in 5 years today. The report blames the harsh winter for keeping customers out of their stores, but then goes on to forecast a second quarter that will come in below analysts’ expectations.

Kohl’s reported their first quarter results today and missed – on both sales and earnings. The retailer showed a $13 million drop from the same time last year in sales and missed analysts’ expectations by $15 million.

Pure Comedy: Obama gets employers to agree to do nothing for long term unemployed

Just when I thought I’d seen everything from the President, he tells CNN about this naively-conceived plan to end long-term unemployment:

“What we have done is to gather together 300 companies, just to start with, including, some of the top 50 companies in the country, companies like Walmart, and Apple, Ford and others, to say let’s establish best practices,” President Barack Obama told CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper in an exclusive interview.

“Because they’ve been unemployed … so long, folks are looking at that gap in the resume and they’re weeding them out before these folks even get a chance for an interview,” said Obama.

As the economy slowly recovers from the recession, the number of workers who have not found a job for at least six months or more has grown.

“Do not screen people out of the hiring process just because they’ve been out of work for a long time,” said the President.

The way the story starts, you would think that Apple, Ford and the rest of the Fortune 500 had promised the President that they would hire the long-term unemployed before hiring anyone else – that’s not what the story says. It’s also not what those companies plan on doing.

While spewing his lack of understanding of basic economics on CNN (which hardly anyone pays attention to anymore) Obama fails to understand the difference between companies giving any priority to the long-term unemployed and employers not keeping people”out of the hiring process just because they’ve been out of work for a long time.”

Basically, the companies have agreed to find other reasons not to hire people who are otherwise unqualified for the positions they have open.

As weird as it might seem, businesses hire who they need when they need to – not just because the President asks them to do so oh so politely.

A huge portion of the electorate will swallow this logic – many of whom voted for the President.. twice.

Obama Wants To Extend Unemployment Benefits Again!

The White House wants this “New Report” to be released immediately! Under the current law, the extension in place at this time will expire on December 28 of this year. Of course, Obama wants to make sure it is extended again.

 

white_house

NEW REPORT: The Economic Benefits Of Extending Unemployment Insurance

The United States economy continues to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and while substantial progress has been made, more work remains to boost economic growth and speed job creation. Despite ten consecutive quarters of GDP growth and 7.8 million private sector jobs added since early 2010, the unemployment rate is unacceptably high at 7.3 percent, and far too many families are still struggling to regain the foothold they had prior to the crisis.

The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program authorized by Congress in 2008 has provided crucial support to the economy and to millions of Americans who lost jobs through no fault of their own.  Under current law, EUC will end on December 28, 2013. This report argues that allowing EUC to expire would be harmful to millions of workers and their families, counterproductive to the economic recovery, and unprecedented in the context of previous extensions to earlier unemployment insurance programs.

Since their inception in 2008, extended unemployment insurance (UI) benefits have provided critical support to millions of workers and their families:

  • Nearly 24 million workers have received extended UI benefits
  • Recipients are a diverse group: roughly half have completed at least some college, including 4.8 million with bachelor’s degrees or higher
  • Including workers’ families, nearly 69 million people have been supported by extended UI benefits, including almost 17 million children
  • In 2012 alone, UI benefits lifted an estimated 2.5 million people out of poverty

Millions of workers stand to lose access to UI benefits if no action is taken:

  • Approximately 1.3 million workers currently receiving extended UI benefits are set to lose them at the end of the year
  • 3.6 million additional people will lose access to UI benefits beyond 26 weeks by the end of 2014

Allowing UI to expire would be damaging to the macro-economy and the labor force:

  • Failing to extend UI benefits would put a dent in job-seekers’ incomes, reducing demand and costing 240,000 jobs in 2014.
  • Estimates from the Congressional Budget Office and JP Morgan suggest that without an extension of EUC GDP will be .2 to .4 percentage points lower.
  • In 2011, CBO found that aid to the unemployed is among the policies with “the largest effects on output and employment per dollar of budgetary cost”
  • In over a dozen studies, economists have found that any disincentive to find new work that could result from extended UI benefits is, at most, small
  • Expiration of extended UI benefits may also lead some long-term unemployed to stop looking for work and leave the labor force, reducing the number who could eventually find jobs as the economy heals

Allowing EUC to expire would be unprecedented in the context of previous extensions to earlier unemployment insurance programs:

  • The unemployment rate (7.3% in October) is currently higher than it was at the expiration of any previous extended UI benefits program
  • The long-term unemployment rate (2.6% in October) is at least twice as high as it was at the expiration of every previous extended UI benefits program
  • In this cycle, EUC was first signed into law in June 2008 by President Bush when the unemployment rate was 5.6 percent and the average duration of unemployment was 17.1 weeks.  Today, as of October 2013, the unemployment rate is 7.3 percent and the average duration of unemployment is 36.1 weeks.
  • Consistent with previous programs, the EUC program has been gradually phasing down – the median number of weeks one can receive benefits across states is down from a peak of 53 weeks in 2010 to 28 weeks currently and phasing down to 14 weeks under the proposed extension

President fails to address middle class needs while bending to environmentalists

President Obama claimed many things: be the most transparent, court the world into loving the U.S.A., and to be the protector of the middle class. So far, he’s 0 for 3.

The President is more focused on finding a way to turn George Zimmerman into a political target than fixing the nation’s real problems – there is a real reason.

Housing starts hit a new low, inflation is starting to kick in, gas prices are rising, industry earnings disappointed and even Bernanke said that he needed to see far more improvement in the employment situation before tightening. – Things are not getting better.

In Obama’s most-recent speech he pushed for changes in state’s “stand your ground” laws after the Zimmerman trial didn’t turn out how he wanted. But that’s just one conversation with America where the President has failed to address actual problems in our nation.

America’s job situation is critical, if not dying. There are fewer jobs than when Obama took office. More Americans are relying on government benefits than ever before – even during the great depression or Jimmy Carter’s disastrous presidency, no justice has come from the administration’s failure to protect the ambassador and his staff in Africa (Benghazi.) , Chicago citizens are dying at an alarming rate despite some of the most restrictive gun laws… the rest of the list would take days to complete.

The question – where is the President on these major issues?

President Obama has been at the head of stopping the XL Pipeline, shutting down coal mining, buying old cars, paying for craptastic government mistakes, spending billions on failing alternative energy companies and approaches, fueling the Arab spring, dealing with African violence, taking expensive trips around the world, fund-raising for his party’s candidates, championing ineffective gun control, trying to save an unpopular health care law… you name it – unless you name the American jobs situation. On jobs, the President is absent, silent, quiet, non-existent – paralyzed.

During that time he’s protected the interests of large environmental organizations. Makes sense, since the environmental left is .. well, left.

Obama’s reaction to Zimmerman’s verdict is par for the course. When the President doesn’t like something, right or wrong, he sics the entire federal government on it – damn the consequences.

Obama has an environmentalists agenda and everything else is an annoyance. Review his past, check his current policy. Our President is focused on giving money to failing environmentalist efforts and green companies while ignoring the real problems of this great nation.

 

 

Employment situation still dicey as more jobs lost than expected

Initial jobless claims come in than economists had forecast showing a still weak jobs climate.

The Labor Department said Thursday that initial jobless claims for the week ending April 13th came in at a seasonally adjusted 352,000 which was slightly higher than expectations of 350,000 and an increase of 4,000 over last week’s numbers.

The employment market has not yet rebounded even four years into the President’s economic recovery plan that included multiple rounds of stimulus, cash-for-clunkers, the auto bailout and more.

The latest reports will likely feed into Federal Reserve considerations of whether to continue massive liquidity dumps including an $85 billion per month bond-buying program intended to keep interest rates low. The Fed has indicated that it will continue stimulus activities until the labor market recovers to acceptable levels.

With labor participation rates at 40 year lows, a recovery is likely far off.

Obama jobs efforts fail – Worst Participation Rate in Decades

Unemployed man

Guillaume Paumier / Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-3.0

The Department of Labor’s monthly Employment Situation Report was released today with disturbingly bad news – the largest percentage of Americans since 1979 have just given up on the idea of ever finding work in the Obama economy.

The civilian labor force declined by 496,000 over the month, and the labor force participation rate decreased by 0.2 percentage point to 63.3 percent.

Economists had expected that 200,000 or more jobs would be created in March, instead only 88,000 jobs were added. A number demonstrative of a declining employment situation and perhaps a receding economy.

Even with the poor fundamentals, the popular statistic – the unemployment rate – dropped to 7.6%. The drop is due to the almost half-million Americans dropping out of the work force and no longer being counted as “unemployed.”

The retail sector took the largest hit with more than 24,000 jobs being lost in March. Most-likely due to the tax increases on Americans put in-place by the Obama administration in January. More money is going to the federal government leaving less for private citizens to utilize.

Average hourly earnings had been increasing until March. Up until then, earners had seen their pay increase by an average of 42 cents over the past year. In this most recent report, earnings slid backwards by a penny showing possible signs of a trend reversal.

Not since Jimmy Carter has the American economy seen such harmful policies come to such a disastrous outcome. Higher taxes, over-regulation, healthcare reform and out-of-control spending are having the effects most on the right have expected – and fought against – for quit some time.

Laser-like focus on the economy?

In January, the Obama Administration announced a renewed laser-like focus on jobs and the economy. Where is it?

President Obama has been pushing gun control, talking about sequestration as if it were doomsday and has now pivoted to immigration reform while the economy struggles to recover under the weight of an overgrown government.

Recent Gallup polling shows that Americans top three concerns are the economy, federal spending and healthcare – all items upon which the White House is failing to lead.

68% of respondents said that the economy are most concerned about the economy, 61% felt that federal spending was a concern and 59% were very concerned about healthcare with gas prices and unemployement closely behind.

The Gallup Economic Confidence Index also took a dive from it’s January high of -8 to a current reading of -16.

Americans continue to assess current economic conditions more negatively than positively, with 18% saying they are excellent or good and 37% rating them as poor. This equates to a net current conditions score of -19, down from -17 the week prior. – Gallup

On the subject of jobs, a Gallup poll show a steady drop in American’s hope for finding quality jobs. At the beginning of Obama’s first term, 90% felt that they could find a job they wanted. As of March 20th, only 74% feel the same way.

A Rasmussen survey found that only 31% of Americans feel the economy is getting better.

With American’s perceptions of the economy faultering, where is the President’s laser-like focus on Jobs?

President Obama has taken some actions on jobs and the economy. The President has disbanded the jobs council he formed in his first term and had ignored every since. Obama also pushed for the tax increases that hit business owners, middle-income and low-income earners. The administration has also taken several actions to hinder the growth of the natural gas industry.

Another improving unemployment report that’s not so improved

The second paragraph in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Summary for February says it all:

The unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent in February but has shown 
little movement, on net, since September 2012. The number of unemployed 
persons, at 12.0 million, also edged lower in February.

While the unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percent from January, fewer people are working. As the report goes on to tout 236,000 jobs added one wonders how fewer people could be working and the number of people having jobs could go up?

The easy answer is that two different sets of numbers make up the BLS report: the Household Survey and the Establishment Survey.

The Household survey counts the following in its numbers:

– Agriculture and related employment;
– Uncompensated Workers;
– Part Time Workers;
– Unpaid Family Employees;
– Workers absent without pay from their jobs;
– Self employed, Work-at-home Contractors;

The Establishment survey counts none of that in its numbers.

The additional 236,000 jobs came from the more reliable Establishment survey which is collected from payroll data. The less reliable Household survey showed the number of people having jobs dropping and a stale labor participation rate.

While that explains the self-contradicting report, it does not mean things are getting better. They are just getting less worse. 236,000 new jobs is not near what economist estimate is required to employ new entrants into the workforce – much less those trying to move from part-time to full-time or recover from a lost job.

 

The Reality of Long Term Unemployment

unemployment_5In his “Mission Accomplished” moment, Barack Hussein Obama ended his jobs council on Thursday, January 31, 2013.

Despite the fact that more than 12 million people in the U.S. are still out of work.

Obama’s allies will point out that when the jobs council began two years ago, unemployment was above 9 percent and has since improved to 7.8 percent.  What they conveniently overlook is that the unemployment number has shifted downwards in large part due to people who have exceeded their unemployment benefits are no longer being counted.

So, if you are a middle aged worker who has experienced long term unemployment, you have forever lost what for most people were the peak earning years of life.  A time when under normal circumstances, the opportunity to save for retirement was most feasible financially.

Instead you were drawing unemployment benefits worth less than half what you used to make.  As the result, instead of saving for retirement, you reduced your expenditures (read: standard of living) by half.

Not to mention the loss of medical, vacation, 401k and other employer provided benefits.

Then to add insult to injury, the self-imagined, self-appointed “progressive” intellectual elite ruling class decide that the expiration of the unemployment benefits that sustained your Spartan existence means that for the purposes of their statistics, you are no longer out of work.

Even if you have honestly sought work for years and have been unsuccessful thanks to an economy crippled by their “progressive” economic policies, have used up all your personal savings and are a month or two away from living on the street.pelosi_obama_reid

The reality of long term unemployment is not being accurately portrayed by the Obama administration, their “progressive” political allies, or their devoted supporters within the institutionalized “progressive” left.

The economy is not growing.  Jobs are not being created.  If you are unemployed, prospects for future employment look bleak.

Their big government “stimulus” spending was devoted primarily to helping their “progressive” allies in blue states that needed the money to balance their own indebted balance sheets.

Every dollar spent on “stimulus” was obtained through a tax on the private sector.  Instead of the private sector having the money they earned to invest in growing business and creating jobs, it was sent to Washington DC, where the cost of an ever growing, bloated bureaucracy was first removed, then redistributed to those deemed fit by the same self-imagined, self-appointed “progressive” intellectual elite ruling class that has shown through their handling of the nation’s unemployment statistics that they are far more concerned with retaining their own grip on power than truly helping the little guy.

If you have a job, thank God and pray to keep it.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/the-reality-of-long-term-unemployment/
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NBC’s Chuck Todd: Plenty of Reason for Concern

msnbc chuck toddAs the administration heralds the latest unemployment numbers as proof of improvement many Americans are still unsure. Across the country residents see their income lower than in 2009. Others know there are more in poor. Families who have to live within their means worry about the continued massive government spending. And the unemployment level, after four years, a stimulus and many government programs is still stuck at an unacceptable 7.8%.

On occasion, even the left leaning NBCNews must report the truth:

The Obama Effect: Another Touted Business Closes

lincolnton furnitureAt a January 2012 jobs forum President Obama talked about the opportunities for new businesses to grow and expand here in the United States. In particular the president highlighted a new manufacturing company based in North Carolina. Lincolnton Furniture was praised for bringing jobs back to the United States. Lincolnton owner Bruce Cochrane even sat next to the first lady during the State of the Union address. It was a promising time.

But, one short year later Lincolnton Furniture has closed. There were not enough orders to keep the doors of this start up company open.

For many the Lincolnton Furniture closing is symbolic of Obama’s Economic “Recovery”. The closure comes the same week that the December jobs report shows unemployment stalled at 7.8% and the labor force participation rate continues to be at a record low 63%  according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Obama track record of promoting businesses that either closed or layed-off employees during his tenure has become legendary. Rush Limbaugh calls it the Obama Effect. But for the people of Lincolnton, North Carolina it is a sign that the country is not making the progress so many had hoped. Lots less ‘Forward’ and lots more stuck in a rut.

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