Barack Obama’s boasting to the contrary, “New jobs [announced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)] did not exceed 150,000,” reports Paul Craig Roberts. This “figure … would merely keep even with population growth and thus not reduce the rate of unemployment, which, consistent with this deduction, remained constant.”
The BLS’s error Roberts puts down to “the bureau’s ‘birth-death model,’ which works better during normal times, but delivers erroneous results during troubled times such as the economy has been experiencing during the past four years.”
Moreover, “the vast majority of the new jobs are low paying jobs, except for a few truck drivers”:
Of the new jobs reported by BLS, 92% are in services. Of this 92%, only 7% could possibly relate to exportable services–architectural, engineering, and computer systems services.
Of the reported new service jobs, 29% are in health care and social services. The categories that account for the health services jobs are ambulatory health care services and hospitals. Waitresses and bartenders account for 20% of the reported new jobs.
Employment services account for 29% of the new reported jobs. Transportation and warehousing accounted for 5% of the reported new jobs, despite a loss of 60,000 jobs in general merchandise and department stores.
The US has nothing to export to reduce its massive trade deficit, which has, sooner or later, disastrous implications for the US dollar.
Middle class income jobs are declining, with polarization at the two extremes.
US economic policy continues to focus on the mega-rich at the expense of 99% of the population. US interest rates are kept at, or near to, zero in order to maximize mega-bank earnings, while depriving tens of millions of retired Americans of interest income on their lifetime savings, forcing them to spend their capital in order to live, thus depriving their heavily indebted children of inheritance.
PBS’s Makign Sense is reporting a U-7 (“more inclusive unemployment statistics”)—“which includes everyone who told the government that they want a job but don’t have one plus the part-time employed who are looking for full-time work”—to be 16.85 percent. That probably means it’s much higher.
The reason the official, underestimating unemployment number held at 8.3 percent is that, “Almost half a million more Americans joined the labor force in February. That means nearly 500,000 more people were actively looking for work than in January.”
The other index I find telling is debt. “Consumer credit jumped 8.6 percent,” according to CNBC, “or $17.7 billion, in January to $2.54 trillion … It was the fifth straight month that borrowing increased and the largest gain since 2004. … raising doubts about whether the report signals economic growth.”