Mort Zuckerman has an awesome WSJ article about how the claims by the left of an economic recovery are bunk. For years now the LSM and the donkeys have been pretending we have been going through an economic recovery, but that the reason nobody but they saw it as such, was the fact that it was a jobless recovery. Zuckerman takes that idiotic meme apart in this spiffy article. From the article:
In recent months, Americans have heard reports out of Washington and in the media that the economy is looking up—that recovery from the Great Recession is gathering steam. If only it were true. The longest and worst recession since the end of World War II has been marked by the weakest recovery from any U.S. recession in that same period.
The jobless nature of the recovery is particularly unsettling. In June, the government’s Household Survey reported that since the start of the year, the number of people with jobs increased by 753,000—but there are jobs and then there are “jobs.” No fewer than 557,000 of these positions were only part-time. The survey also reported that in June full-time jobs declined by 240,000, while part-time jobs soared by 360,000 and have now reached an all-time high of 28,059,000—three million more part-time positions than when the recession began at the end of 2007.
That’s just for starters. The survey includes part-time workers who want full-time work but can’t get it, as well as those who want to work but have stopped looking. That puts the real unemployment rate for June at 14.3%, up from 13.8% in May.
The 7.6% unemployment figure so common in headlines these days is utterly misleading. An estimated 22 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed; they are virtually invisible and mostly excluded from unemployment calculations that garner headlines.
At this stage of an expansion you would expect the number of part-time jobs to be declining, as companies would be doing more full-time hiring. Not this time. In the long misery of this post-recession period, we have an extraordinary situation: Americans by the millions are in part-time work because there are no other employment opportunities as businesses increase their reliance on independent contractors and part-time, temporary and seasonal employees.
Even the federal government payroll is turning to part-timers: In June 2012, 58,000 federal workers were part-timers. This year it’s 148,000, and we still don’t know how the budget sequester will play out, for many agencies have resorted to furloughs rather than layoffs.
Our economic recovery seems to be generating mostly part time work, which affects many that would prefer full time employment, and the number of people dropped off the rolls that still can’t find employment is so large that the real unemployment number isn’t 7.6%, but a frightening 14.3%. Think about that hard. That’s some scary numbers, and no indication of any kind of economic recovery. As I pointed out before, the unemployment and part-time employment picture is massively impacted by Obamacare. A fact these leftists want to hide from the low information voters, at least until after the 2014 election. But the fact is that things are even worse than they seem. Speaking of those jobs being created, part-time or otherwise, the article says the following:
The latest unemployment report was as underwhelming as the Household Survey. The biggest gains in June came from leisure and hospitality industries, including hotels and fast-food restaurants. Of the 195,000 new payroll jobs, 75,000 were in restaurants and bars, where the average weekly paycheck is about $351, less than half the average for all other private industries. Not to mention that these positions offer fewer hours, especially in the restaurant world, which has averaged 26.1 hours per week versus 34.5 hours for all private employers.
What’s going on? The fundamentals surely reflect the feebleness of the macroeconomic recovery that began roughly four years ago, as seen in an average gross domestic product growth rate annualized over the past 15 quarters at a miserable 2%. That’s the weakest GDP growth since World War II. Over a similar period in previous recessions, growth averaged 4.1%. During the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, the GDP growth rate dropped below 2%. This anemic growth is all we have to show for the greatest fiscal and monetary stimuli in 75 years, with fiscal deficits of over 10% of GDP for four consecutive years. The misery is not going to end soon.
Oh, oh. So these jobs being created, in so far as the skillset needed to do them and the ability to earn big pay, are simple service sector jobs too? Low pay, fewer hours, and reduced career opportunities a recovery do not spell. Obamanomics has made our economy the fast food economy. The jobs created seem to all be about asking people if they would like fries with that. Not good. Zuckerman also brings the same concerns I constantly harp on – the cost of Obamacare and the unpredictability of the central planning government agenda the collectivists in charge favor – to the forefront in the article:
ObamaCare is partially to blame. The health-insurance law requires employers with more than 50 workers to provide health insurance or pay a $2,000 penalty per worker. Under the law, a full-time job is defined as 30 hours a week, so businesses, especially smaller ones, have an incentive to bring on more part-time workers.
Little wonder that earlier this month the Obama administration announced it is postponing the employer mandate until 2015, undoubtedly to see if the delay will encourage more full-time hiring. But thousands of small businesses have been capping employment at 30 hours and not hiring more than 50 full-timers, and the businesses are unlikely to suddenly change that approach just because they received a 12-month reprieve.
These businesses’ hesitation to hire is part of a larger caution among employers unsure about the direction of government policy—and which has helped contribute to chronic long-term unemployment that shows no sign of easing. Unlike those who lose a job and then find another one in a matter of weeks or months, fully a third of the currently unemployed have been out of work for more than six months. As they remain out of the workforce, their skills deteriorating, the likelihood rises that they will be seen as permanently unemployable. With each passing month of bleak job news, the possibility increases of a structural unemployment problem in the U.S. such as Europe experienced in the 1980s.
Can’t explain this to people that feel it is their duty to social engineer a better society, however. Leftists seem immune to economic facts, laws, and logic. No matter how often their meddling – be it truly to improve things or, as it practically always is to favor their political and ideological agenda, not to mention pocketbooks, – results in foreseen or unforeseen disasters, they refuse to accept that what they have done and continue to do causes far more harm than even a masochist could envision. Then again, I am not one of those people that believes the left does what it does to improve & expand anything but their hold on power, so the insanity of their meddling makes perfect sense to me. The end coal is a society comprised of the Alphas – the credentialed and leftist elites – and the workers. That’s why their policies are eroding the middle class while the level of lip service from the left about how much it wants to help the middle class keeps climbing. It’s easier to control a society where all are equally poor & miserable, and dependent on government for practically everything. Not to mention that such a society lends itself very well to holding onto power.
But back to the article and its salient point that our supposed recovery is bunk, and that the problem is the policies of the people in charge:
That brings us to a stunning fact about the jobless recovery: The measure of those adults who can work and have jobs, known as the civilian workforce-participation rate, is currently 63.5%—a drop of 2.2% since the recession ended. Such a decline amid a supposedly expanding economy has never happened after previous recessions. Another statistic that underscores why this is such a dysfunctional labor market is that the number of people leaving the workforce during this economic recovery has actually outpaced the number of people finding a new job by a factor of nearly three.
What the country clearly needs are policies that will encourage the modernization of America’s capital stock, where investment in modern production has plunged to the lowest levels in decades. Policies should also be targeted to nourish high-tech industries, which will in turn inspire the design and manufacture of products in the U.S. where they would be closer to the American market, spurring more hiring. This means preparing a skilled workforce, especially engineers suitable to work in manufacturing, and increasing the number of visas available to foreign graduate students in the hard sciences—who are now forced to leave America and who then work for foreign competitors.
Well, DUH! The popularism & envy based ideology of the left appeals well to both low information and credentialed elitist voters, and that’s why it is so successful. Too many people now prefer to give up freedoms for the promise – notice that word, “promise”, because that’s all it is – of protection from consequences of bad decisions and actions. The left’s hatred of profits and those that do things to make profits – unless they are of course leftists which while paying lip service to the dogma ignore the rules they straddle the serfs with, generate obscene amounts of money for themselves and their friends – stymies any and all actions that would actually positively affect employment and economic growth.
The lesson here is that while the social engineers have the upper hand only the well-connected will profit, while the rest of us all lose, and lose big. The class warriors love to pretend that it is those that oppose their policies & agenda that are the enemy of the common man, but that’s one of the most brilliant lies ever sold to a bunch of sheep. It’s not a coincidence that the people making out like bandits in these trying times all are well connect leftist and their friends, while the people they portend to help suffer, and suffer badly.