Categorized | Opinion

Another Phony Employment Report

Manipulated statistics conceal stagflation reality

 

By Paul Craig Roberts
Institute for Political Economy

 

Today’s employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 114,000 new jobs in September and a drop in the rate of unemployment from 8.1% to 7.8%. As 114,000 new jobs are not sufficient to stay even with population growth, the drop in the unemployment rate is the result of not counting discouraged workers who are defined away as “not in the labor force.”

According to the BLS, “In September, 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force.” These individuals “wanted and were available for work,” but “they were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.”

In other words, 2.5 million unemployed Americans were not counted as unemployed.

The stock market rose on the phony good news. Bloomberg’s headline: “U.S. Stocks Rise as Unemployment Rate Unexpectedly Drops,” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-05/u-s-stock-futures-little-changed-before-payrolls-report.html.

A truer picture of the dire employment situation is provided by the 600,000 rise over the previous month in involuntary part-time workers. According to the BLS, “These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.”

Turning to the 114,000 new jobs, once again the jobs are concentrated in lowly paid domestic service jobs that cannot be offshored. Manufacturing jobs declined by 16,000.

As has been the case for a decade, two categories–health care and social assistance (primarily ambulatory health care services) and waitresses and bartenders account for 53% of the new jobs. The BLS never ceases to find ever growing employment of people in restaurants and bars despite the rising dependence of the US population on food stamps. The elderly are rising as a percentage of the American population, but I sometimes wonder if employment in ambulatory health care services is rising faster than the elderly population. Whether these reported jobs are real, I do not know.

The rest of the new jobs were accounted for by retail trade, transportation and warehousing, financial activities (primarily credit intermediation), professional and business services (primarily administrative and waste services), and state government education, where the 13,600 reported new jobs seem odd in light of the teacher layoffs and rise in classroom size.

The high-tech jobs that economists promised would be our reward for offshoring American manufacturing jobs and tradeable professional services, such as software engineering and IT, have never materialized. “The New Economy” was just another hoax, like “Iraqi weapons of mass destruction” and “Iranian nukes.”

While employment falters, the consumer price index (CPI-U) in August increased 0.6 percent, the largest since June 2009. If the August rate is annualized, it means bad news on the inflation front. Instead of bringing us high tech jobs, is “the New Economy” bringing back the stagflation of the late 1970s? Time will tell.

*************

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal.  He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. His latest book,  Wirtschaft am Abgrund (Economies In Collapse) has just been published.

One Response to “Another Phony Employment Report”

  1. bill masson says:

    Its such BS this so called jobs report .We should know the real numbers .I think some years ago it took something like 220.000 jobs a month just to keep up with pop growth.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Obamacare: the good, the bad, the unpredictable & the dangerously unknown
    From 50 years of our overstocked archives  Sam Smith, 2012 -  If you're having a hard time figuring out what the real status of Obamacare is, don't feel badly What you are seeing in the current news coverage and debate is another reflection of of the dysfunctional state of our leadership class, a dysfunction driven in no small part by the fact that […]
  • Report: CIA Agents Impersonated Senate Staffers To Spy On Senate Computers
    Yahoo - New details about CIA spying on the U.S. Senate suggest agents impersonated Senate Intelligence Committee staffers to access computers used to compile a report about the agency’s post-9/11 torture and imprisonment techniques. Citing “sources familiar with the CIA inspector general report,” which remains classified, one Senate source told the Huffingt […]
  • Real economics: New home sales hit 6 year high
    New home sales increased just 0.2 percent in September, and a big increase for August was revised considerably downward. Despite the slow growth, September marked the highest level for new home sales in six years. […]
  • Entropy update: baseball
    NY Times- On Tuesday night, the first game of the 2014 World Series drew just 12.2 million viewers to Fox, making it the lowest-rated Game 1 on record. Game 2 on Wednesday night fared somewhat better, with 12.9 million people tuning in.For most of the last century, the start of baseball’s World Series — with its red, white and blue bunting and occasional cer […]
  • Real economics: no retirement funds for middle class
    Time - The average middle class American has only $20,000 in retirement savings, according to a new survey that shows large swathes of the public are aware of those shortfalls and feeling anxious about their golden years.Wells Fargo surveyed more than 1,000 middle class Americans about the state of their savings plans. Roughly two-thirds of respondents said […]
  • A speech CSPAN didn't like
     From 50 years of our overstocked archivesSam Smith[C-SPAN broadcast in 1999 the first rally in opposition to the Bosnian war with one exception: your editor's speech. C-SPAN even left in the part where a singer announced, "I'm the warm-up act for Sam Smith" but the speech itself was cut. Here's the speech.]I am a native of this plac […]
  • Pocket paradigms
    Even the best politics are a pretty poor substitute for life and the worst politics compound their felony by forcing us to leave the front stoop to do something about them. Our quarrel with the abuse of power should be not only be that it is cruel and stupid but that it takes so much time way from other things -- like loving and being loved, and music, and a […]
  • Is there love off line?
    Baltimore Sun - Towson University professor Andrew Reiner is concerned that the desire to be "liked" online has bled into the real-life interactions of some of his students. He wants to change that.Reiner, a lecturer in English in Towson's Honors College, says students sometimes pretend to send text messages when they are alone out of fear tha […]
  • Word; Journalism
    You cannot hope to bribe or twist/Thank God the British journalist/ But seeing what the man will do/ Unbribed, there is no occasion to -- Humbert Wolfe A journalist is a man who has missed his calling -- Bismarck Drunkards, deadbeats and bummers -- Harvard president Charles Eliot's description of reporters in rejecting Joseph Pulitzer's offer to en […]
  • Being tasered may affect ability to exercise legal rights
    Mad in America - After they have been hit by a taser, most people experience a significant diminishing in their memory and cognitive functions for up to an hour, according to an unpublished study discussed in Live Science. The researchers said that the impacts were serious enough to raise into doubt whether people who’ve been tasered will understand their le […]
  • Good Stuff: Ranked choice voting
    Fair Vote:Since adoption of ranked choice voting, Oakland winners earn more votes: Of the 18 Oakland offices elected by RCV in 2010 and 2012, the winner had more votes than the winner of the previous non-RCV election in 16 of them. This is a common pattern in RCV elections that avoid electing winners in low-turnout June primaries or December runoffs.Fewer vo […]
  • Recovered history: The real Clinton story
    Things the media forgets to tell you about the Clintons and the state that made them.1976 Bill Clinton is elected attorney general of Arkansas. Two Indonesian billionaires come to Arkansas. Mochtar Riady and Liem Sioe Liong are close to Suharto. Riady is looking for an American bank to buy. Finds Jackson Stephens with whom he forms Stephens Finance. Stephens […]
  • War on the Constitution update
    Off the Charts   - The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities,  AARP, the AFL-CIO, Consumers Union, and ten other national organizations have written to the U.S. Trade Representative asking that Medicare, Medicaid, and other health programs be excluded from the investor-state dispute settlement provisions of pending trade agreements. ISDS would give compani […]
  • Links: Action
    Action news How to plan your own Moral Monday Building peace teams Cellphone guide for protesters Why we need history   Corporations that have deserted the US for tax purposes  BURGER KINGBOYCOTTS Israel  Academic/Cultural Koch Brothers Nestle North Face Staples Walmart Monsanto   ACTIONS Detroit Water Brigade Moral Mondays Tar Sands protests Occupy ACLU Bad […]
  • Stats: Population growth
    CRAIG CRAWFORD […]