Poor jobs numbers from July continue to reflect a slow-moving economy.
The first quarter’s economic contraction has been revised a final time. A previous revision showed that the economy contracted 2.9%. The latest revision, released this week by the US Department of Commerce, says that first-quarter GDP declined at a 2.1% rate, which though revised modestly upward, is no cause for celebration. Preliminary estimates of second-quarter GDP growth is estimated to be around four percent, based on the strength of consumer and business spending. That gives many economists and investors hope that the economy will continue to grow near this pace for the remainder of the year.
As is the case, the GDP will be revised in the coming months and time will tell to what extent this revision will be up or down.
As for job additions, private firm ADP reports the economy added 218,000 jobs in July, down from 288,000 the previous month. Many of these jobs were created in the retail industry. Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 209,000 jobs were added to the economy. Almost eight million part-time jobs now account for over 18% of the jobs in economy, according to the BLS.
The unemployment rate remains steady at 6.2%, while the U-6 unemployment rate- the rate that includes all of the underemployed and discouraged workers that is often considered the true unemployment rate by financial experts- is 12.2%. The unemployment rate for blacks increased to 11.4%, up from 10.4% in June, while black teenage unemployment increased to 34.9%. The unemployment rate for Latinos, a demographic superficially growing in importance, saw their unemployment rate remain steady at 7.8%.
The workforce participation rate saw a very modest gain to 62.9%.
Again, the job gains, the initial estimates of second-quarter GDP growth, and the dropping of the national unemployment rate may give few people confidence-particularly those in the media, the Obama administration and its defenders- but over 11.5 million people remain unemployed, while 92-plus million are out of the workforce completely.
There are other economic indicators that signify the depths to which the economy has stalled.
For example, according to a study reported by the New York Times, the median household worth is $56, 335. That’s down thirty-six percent from where it was in 2003, when the median household worth was $87,992.
Families are making less as a result of wage stagnation but they’re also spending more because the costs of goods services continue to increase. The effects of inflation are similar to taxes, especially when wages are unable to keep pace with inflation.
With stagnant wages not keeping up with inflation, it may be of little wonder that homeownership has decreased to its lowest level in almost twenty years. The Commerce Department notes that only 64.7% of homes are owner-occupied. This number is projected to continue its decline. Why? One reason is that many would-be, first-time homebuyers are unable to find jobs with requisite salaries that would allow them to purchase a home. Tighter lending restrictions by banks, and decreased wages of those who have jobs also make it difficult for people to purchase homes.
Additionally, more and more Millenials find themselves still living with their parents because there aren’t enough full-time jobs being created to keep pace with demand. Therefore, millions of people are forced to delay the process of buying homes.
Furthermore, more than a third of all Americans have some form of debt in collections. As most are aware, collections negatively affect credit scores, which in turn results in higher interest rates, costing consumers more money when and if they’re granted additional loans and other lines of credit. This is another sign that millions of people are still struggling to gain a sense of economic stability, which is another strain on the economy.
With the continuing economic paralysis, millions of Americans unable or are pessimistic about finding work, which leads some observers to believe the actual unemployment rate is closer to 18%; wage stagnation and increasing inflation, homeownership decreasing, the president has decided that he’s now- NOW- going to focus on the economy. Obama intends to attach his presidential legacy to the “growing” economy.
I thought his legacy was Obamacare?
Regardless, I’m sure this economic “focus” won’t commence until after the president’s two-week vacation at a lavish $12-million dollar estate belonging to- of course!, a Democrat donor- in Martha’s Vineyard. Not bad for the one-percenter, I mean leader of the party who claims to be for the poor and against income inequality.
Not bad at all.
To his credit, the president needs a vacation. After all, it’s extremely hard work verbally condemning and issuing empty threats to Vladimir Putin; antagonizing the Israelis as they fight Hamas terrorists; ignoring Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons; minimizing the atrocities and refusing to recognize the pure evil of- and committed by- the junior varsity ISIS team in Iraq.
It’s hard work not taking responsibility for encouraging tens of thousands of disease-carrying immigrants from Central America to come here illegally. And it’s especially hard work going to high-priced fundraisers in New York and Los Angeles, particularly while the world burns.