September’s Job Numbers

With so many threats facing or involving our country- and the president’s perpetual, head-shaking incompetence in dealing with these threats- be it confronting the perils of ISIS, dealing with Iran as it continues its pursuit of nuclear weapons; the socio-economic consequences stemming from illegal immigration; that Ebola and the “mysterious” Enterovirus both pose a considerable health threat to the nation- there’s been an understandable tendency to overlook the country’s lagging economic situation which in its own way, also poses a threat to the well being of the country.

 

And as if on cue, the president- in an attempt to remind the nation that he hasn’t forgotten about our continued financial struggles- has taken to giving yet another campaign style speech (midterms, anyone), this time at Northwestern University, to praise his administration’s economic achievements. At this point in his presidency, that he has to remind our reassure the country that the economy is slowly “recovering” is a sure sign that a majority of Americans don’t feel as optimistic as the president would mislead them to be. And according to one poll, almost 60 percent of likely voters disprove of the president’s economic leadership.

 

And for good reason- very few believe him. Given the president’s tendency to aggressively flee from the responsibility of leadership on almost every issue, it’s easy to see why he’s lost the trust of the American people.

 

The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that based upon its third estimate of second quarter data, GDP grew at an annual rate of 4.6 percent, an increase from its previous estimate of 4.2 percent.  But before opening bottles of cheap champagne, know that when averaged with the first quarter’s 2.1 percent contraction, it means the economy has only grown 1.25 percent this year.

 

The overall unemployment rate shockingly dropped to 5.9 percent while the U-6 rate is 11.8 percent. The unemployment rate for blacks and black teens dropped to 11 percent and 30.5 percent, respectively. The labor force participation rate also declined to 62.7 percent– the lowest it’s been since February 1978, a 36- year low (it was 65.7 percent in June ’09 when Obama declared the recession over) while 9.3 million people are considered “unemployed.” A record 92.5 million people remain out of the workforce altogether.

 

Job creation for the month of September was up from the previous month, with ADP estimating that 213,000 private sector jobs were created, while the BLS said that 248,000 jobs were created, a considerable improvement from the previous month, even after the number of jobs created was revised upward to 180,000 from 148,000. Of those jobs, too many continue to be part time employment, which is more proof that all jobs aren’t created the same. Over 7 million people are forced to work part time jobs because they can’t find full time work, a slight decrease from the previous month. So though jobs are being created, which is obviously good, not enough full time jobs are being created at the pace needed to have the kind of economic impact many Americans need like increased employment at higher wages.

 

And speaking about not having enough jobs, a survey form Rutgers University found that 20 percent of workers were laid off in the last five years (post recession), while more than 20 percent of those who lost their jobs still haven’t another one. The survey also said that it took almost seven months for the nearly 40 percent of those who were laid off to find another job. Further, half of the estimated 30 million people who were laid off found work that paid less than their previous jobs.

 

The Senate Budget Committee released a report showing the stark facts related to this jobless recovery. The report says that 25 percent of Americans in their prime working years- almost 30 million Americans between the ages of 25-54, aren’t working.

 

Other economic related news of note-

  • A recently released Pew Research Center report shows that a majority of Americans- 79 percent- sees the current economic conditions as “fair” or “poor” while only 22 percent see the economy improving a year from now. So when the president says, as he did in his speech at Northwestern University, “Believe me, we’re better off,” most Americans simply don’t feel the same way.
  • The negative effects of Obamacare on businesses continue to grow. According to data from a report released by the American Action Forum, take-home pay at small businesses was dramatically reduced by almost $23 billion as a result of Obamacare-related insurance premium increases, totaling nearly $1000 per employee. The report also found that these insurance-related premium increases were responsible for the loss of over 350,000 jobs. The employer mandate begins in 2016, which means this kind of business-related preparation will increase meaning more lost jobs.
  • The Department of Agriculture says that 46,496,145 Americans receive SNAP assistance. This number is large enough to fill Yankee Stadium 925 times.

 

No matter how hard president Obama shakes his pom-poms in an effort to fool the country into believing his economic policies have been successful, too many Americans remain unemployed and underemployed with lower wages, coupled with rising costs. Very few Americans believe things will improve in the near future- economically or otherwise- under his tepid, incompetent and uninspiring leadership.

 

It’s the direct result of electing an inexperienced academic to the presidency.

 

July’s Job Numbers

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.[3]

 

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.[4]

 

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.[5] The effects of inflation are similar to taxes, especially when wages are unable to keep pace with inflation.[6]

 

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.[7] The Commerce Department notes that only 64.7% of homes are owner-occupied. This number is projected to continue its decline.[8]  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[9] 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.

 

Those who do own homes aren’t faring any better. According to real estate firm Zillow, roughly thirty-seven percent of mortgage holders owe more than their homes are worth.[10]

 

Furthermore, more than a third of all Americans have some form of debt in collections.[11] 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%;[12] 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.[13] 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.