Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

06 February 2012

No Evidence of a Jobs Recovery

Despite the many claims of evidence for a jobs recovery, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) survey of households results for January 2012 back to the depths of the jobs recession do not provide that evidence.  Let us look at the actual numbers of employed people and the number of civilian working age people closely to substantiate this claim.  First, I will present a chart of the history of missing jobs in the U.S. based on the idea that as large a fraction of people of working age would want to work now as did work in January 2000.  The missing jobs number is the number of jobs needed for that to be true minus the number of people actually employed.  The numbers used are not altered in an attempt to make seasonal adjustments, but viewed over the length of time plotted here, this does not matter.

In January 2012, there were 23,563,000 missing jobs with a real unemployment rate of 14.41%!  Let us compare this to January 2010 when the fewest people were employed since the recession began.  In January 2010, the number of missing jobs was 23,029,000 or 534,000 fewer than now!  How can this be?  The answer is that the U.S. working age population is growing and more and more jobs have to be created to keep up with the growing population.  The January 2010 real unemployment rate was 14.41%, exactly what that real unemployment rate is now.  There has been no improvement in the jobs situation in the last two years.  We can also compare to January 2011 when the number of missing jobs was 23,502,000 or 61,000 fewer than now.  The real unemployment rate that month was 14.59%, or almost the same as now. 

Conclusion:  The number of missing jobs in the U.S. economy has not decreased in two years of supposed recovery from the recession that consisted of three of four quarters of reduced GDP in 2008 and the first two quarters of negative GDP growth in 2009.  Obama's economic policies have not worked to create enough jobs to keep up with population growth.  This is no surprise since his policies are patently anti-business and socialism has never been able to produce productive jobs, the only kind of jobs capable of raising a people's standard of living.

The update to my monthly employment table, so you can check the numbers put out by the BLS and my calculations is:

The usual unemployment rate becomes meaningless in a long recession or depression.  The seasonally adjusted rate is now said to be 8.3%, while the rate without seasonal correction is 8.82% as shown in the table.  If we compare the present 8.82% unemployment rate calculated as the BLS does as the number of people thought to be unemployed but also looking for work divided by the sum of that number and those employed to that of January 2010, there has been a decrease in the apparent percent unemployed.  But, we do not know the significance of this if people who want a job have simply given up on looking for a job in ways that signal the BLS that they are looking for jobs.  I get resumes all the time from serious professional people looking for jobs who the BLS may know nothing about.  Indeed, they fit the category of technical, scientific, and engineering professionals that Obama says have no trouble finding jobs.  I would never tell them that!

In view of this simple analysis and understanding of the real jobs situation, it makes me furious that the Wall Street Journal headline story of the 4-5 February edition starts out by saying that:
The U.S. economy added more jobs in January than in any month since early last year, pushing down the unemployment rate to a level not seen since President Barack Obama's first full month in office.
Such reports have been repeated on Fox News and even Fox News Business.  Much too seldom is it pointed out that the unemployment rate they are talking about is really quite meaningless.  Every month it is necessary to create more jobs than the previous month just to keep up with population growth.  As I showed above, the U.S. economy is still not keeping up with population growth in jobs creation, so where do all these rosy claims come from?

Obama himself is so ignorant of economics that he might make such claims simply out of that ignorance, but what about his economic advisers?  Oh, that's right, Obama tells each of his advisers that he can do their job better than they can, so he simply does not listen to them.  But then what about the Wall Street Journal?  Aren't their writers supposed to know something about economics?  Either they do not know enough, or they are trying to mislead the American people just as Obama clearly is.  Not even in the part of the article on page A6 did they attempt to provide the necessary perspective that there has not been any actual jobs recovery.  There certainly are people at the Wall Street Journal who know better, but where was their influence?

We are told that consumer confidence is up, but this is based on the misconception that we are having a jobs recovery and on a spike in the growth of the GDP in the 4th quarter of 2011, which most economists do not believe will be maintained in 2012 and 2013.  Far too few people realize how needlessly destructive the policies of Obama and his Democrat Socialists have been to business and the economy.  With our national debt skyrocketing, myriad Baby Boomers about to retire, the added costs of ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank Too-Big-to-Fail, and the huge costs of the new Obama regulations, we are in real danger of plummeting into an incredibly deep gorge.  We are not talking about the ditch Obama likes to say Bush drove us into with a Democrat Socialist Congress actually at the wheel.  No, we are talking about the 8,200 foot deep King's Canyon in California.  How appropriate it is that this gorge is in California, where the state Democrat Socialist government is now unable to pay its bills.

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