The Real November Jobs Report
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released November’s monthly jobs report on Friday.
The good news is that unemployment dropped from 7.9% to 7.7%. The bad news is that the drop was due to -350,000 disillusioned Americans dropping out of the workforce.
The White House continues painting an unrealistic view of job creation in the United States.
Its bad. Proof abounds, hidden everywhere in the bowls of this month’s report.
Rose Colored Glasses
The President’s Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Alan Krueger, once again dutifully released his rosy White House assessment of the jobs situation:
While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression
– Alan Krueger, December 2012
In just the first sentence Krueger managed to work in two of the most worn out White House clichés of the Obama Presidency. Yes, Mr. Krueger, we all know we are suffering the worse economic downturn since the Great Depression.
Yes, Mr. Krueger, more work needs to be done… a LOT more. When are you going to get started?
Mr. Krueger, did you realize that the meager jobs recovery so far has come entirely from the PRIVATE-sector and not from your policies? You’d know that if you’d read the report instead of spinning it.
What hurts is that Krueger is President Obama’s top economic adviser. No wonder Obama’s actions haven’t seen much success. Krueger is just a “yes” man, not an adviser.
According to the numbers
The +146,000 jobs created last month were more than offset by the -350,000 who left the workforce. Worse yet, the labor-eligible civilian population grew by +191,000. That means the number of jobs created last month didn’t even match population growth.
Average job growth for 2012 stands at +139,000/month. That means, accounting for population growth, that the 7 million or so who lost jobs at the height of the Great Recession are still left wanting after 3 years. It also means the $850 billion “Stimulus” of 2009 didn’t work.
In a political return to reality, the previous two month’s job creation numbers were both revised downwards, -49,000 between the two.
Most of the other job measures went largely unchanged for the month, further reinforcing that dropouts shrank the unemployment rate.
There are still about 22 million unemployed or under employed Americans. That is a 14.4% forced underemployment rate. At 63.6%, we still have the lowest labor participation rate in decades, since women started entering the workforce in large numbers. Jobs shifted around a bit. That is about it.
Btw, in the above graph, the little jobs spike in early 2010 came from temporary jobs created to take the national census. To date, the census has been President Obama’s most successful job creation effort.
The Krueger Graph
Alan Krueger still highlights the graph President Obama famously waved around all over the place during the campaign to brag up his job creation success. Its up to 33 months strait now and 5.1 million jobs created.
In a last minute burst of campaigning, that number was inflated to 5.5 million jobs by adding on a preliminary adjustment that might be made next February. Krueger’s idea.
He never says it, but Krueger knows the private-sector is bailing out the government when it comes to jobs.
That is why he never mentions the 30 out the last 32 months since the May 2010 census where the public-sector has lost 1 million jobs! That is what the 2009 “Stimulus” tried, but failed, to prevent.
Since President Obama assumed office in January 2009, the eligible civilian workforce – those over 16 – has increased by 9.4 million potential workers. However, in that same time the civilian labor force has increase by only 1 million workers. What happened to the rest?
It is a sobering realization that 8.4 million workers have chosen to either drop out of the workforce or never enter it in the first place. Yet Alan Krueger tells us “the U.S. economy is continuing to heal”. This month’s numbers don’t lie. Krueger is way overoptimistic.
He is partly right about one thing, there’s some jobs growth. Weak as it is, a smattering of jobs are being created each month. But more people are leaving the workforce than entering it.
That’s our problem.
An old saying goes, “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!” Wellll… we got it.
We reelected the same dysfunctional government facing the same insurmountable problems with the same players continuing to behave in the same predictable ways. Duh!