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06 June 2012

May is the 5th Month of 2012 Showing No Employment Recovery

Once again, a rational evaluation of the employment situation adding the Bureau of Labor Statistics data for May to those of each earlier month this year shows that no employment recovery has or is occurring.  The January, February, and March employment numbers were not as good as the media made them out to be.  The April and May numbers are not as bad as the media has made them out to be.  Yet, the overall picture is that no recovery has occurred in the more than two years going back to the beginning of 2010.  Here are the unadjusted numbers of the household survey:


The number of employed persons increased by 732,000 in May compared to April.  The civilian working age population grew by 212,000 and the number actively looking for work in ways visible to the government increased by 361,000.  The new lookers greatly exceeded the increase in those of employable age.  But May is usually a month in which many more people are hired, so seasonally adjusted data makes the increase in the number employed look puny for this month.  But because many more people started looking for work since April, the raw unemployment percentage increased from 7.74% to 7.92%.  The percentage of people employed went up slightly, as did the percentage of people in the workforce.  Both numbers are low, however.

When we calculate how many jobs would be needed in order to have the same percentage of people in the workforce as we did in January 2000, we find that we are missing 21,251,000 jobs in May 2012, which is down by 233,000 jobs compared to May 2011, but up by 460,000 missing jobs compared to May 2010.  The percentage of missing jobs in May 2012 was 12.96%, compared to 13.30% in May 2011 and 12.97% in May 2010.  Thus, comparing the month of May in 2012 with May in 2011 and 2010, there is essentially no change.  This is the same result we have seen this year for each month January through May.  Not a single month has shown improvement over the last two years.  The graph below will allow you to compare each of these months with earlier months during and before this recession.  It is clear that for the third year in a row, the claims of a jobs recovery have proven false.



There are other problems revealed in the BLS numbers for May as well. The average workweek for all non-farm private employees fell by 0.1 hour to a mere 34.4 hours in May.  There are many part-time workers.  The BLS says there are 8.1 million people who are working part-time, but want to work full-time.  The number of long-term unemployed increased from 5.1 million to 5.4 million in May.  They have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more.  Teenage unemployment is 24.6%, black unemployment is 13.6%, and Hispanic unemployment is 11.0%.  The Obama economy is definitely not working for them.

So, despite all of the bailouts, the huge deficit spending, the trillions of dollars printed by the Federal Reserve, and the billions handed to green energy companies, Obama's promised jobs recovery is still a mythical vapor.  But, we do have something to show for his efforts:
  • Federal revenues are down by an average of $264.5 billion a year since 2007.
  • Federal spending is up by an average of $875 billion a year since 2007.
  • The interest payments on the federal debt now take 20% of federal revenues and payments are likely to skyrocket down the road as interest rates rise from historic lows.
  • We face the trial of the beginning of the Baby Boomer retirements with almost every economic indicator against us.  This of all times is when we need to have the economy booming.
  • The GDP grew by only 1.8% in all of 2011 and by only 1.9% in the first quarter of 2012.  Per capita growth rates are about 1% less than those numbers and there are many reasons to believe that the government is not making large enough corrections for price increases due to a weakened dollar.

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