Earth to the Villagers – decent paying jobs with good benefits would go a long way to resolving much of the “crisis” that has so many of you twisted in knots. And that is not to be defined as McDonald’s level jobs or other primarily minimum wage service jobs. I’m talking here about jobs that can allow a family to do more than survive and jobs where the wage earner can pay a rent or mortgage, purchase new clothing, maybe even buy a new car. If the jobs actually have benefits rather than being Perma-Temp, all the better.
Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in March. Thirty-four states recorded unemployment rate decreases, seven states registered rate increases, and nine states and the District of Columbia had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia posted unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, five states reported increases, and one state had no change. The national jobless rate was 8.8 percent in March, little changed from February but 0.9 percentage point lower than a year earlier.
Again I ask, what kind of jobs are these that are “lowering” the official unemployment rate? Since today is the big, nationwide McDonald’s Job Fair that was trumpeted a couple of weeks ago, will this push the Unemployment rate down another tenth of a point? If so, it probably won’t do much for the Underemployment (U6 in linked chart) numbers at all. Read the rest of this entry →
Yesterday, I wrote about the idiocy of the cheerleaders who keep making speeches about how wonderful everything is in the economy so they’re not going to do anything different. Then today, ADP released their Jobs Report on private sector job creation for July 2010.
Private-sector employers added jobs for the sixth month in a row in July, according to a report by payroll processing firm Automatic Data Processing (ADP). ADP said private-sector employers added 42,000 jobs to their payrolls during the month, following an upwardly revised 19,000 increase in June.
Forty-two thousand jobs sounds good right?. Well, when you consider the economy needs to add 100K to 150K jobs each month just to absorb all the new folks coming in, no it doesn’t sound all that good.
Then you combine this with a second report out early today (from the same CNN story linked above)
In a separate report, planned job cuts rose for a third straight month in July, fueled by continued weakness in the government and non-profit sector, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. Employers announced plans to eliminate about 42,000 jobs last month, Challenger said. That was up 6% from June, when job cuts rose to 39,000.
The Challenger, Gray report does not surprise me all that much. The weekly report of new jobless claims for last week showed 457K new jobless claims (with concurrent puffery about how it was progress since the number of new claims had dropped all of 11K from the previous week)
Initial claims for state unemployment aid dropped 11,000 to 457,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast claims slipping to 459,000 from the previously reported 464,000 the prior week, which was revised slightly up to 468,000 in Thursday’s report.
The four-week average of new jobless claims, seen as a better measure of underlying labor market trends, fell 4,500 to 452,500.
I just do not see how it is considered a "positive" when the weekly new jobless claims for each week stays above 450K. Of course, I obviously know nothing other than there are roughly 15 million unemployed people currently looking for work as well as another 10 million or so underemployed, working in part time minimum wage jobs.
Also today was a NY Times The Caucus blog post on how the Obama administration is using Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner as the point person on economic issues. The same Tim Geithner who authored this ludicrous opinion piece in yesterday’s NY Times. Today, Geithner is giving a speech where he is supposed to attack Republicans for wanting to extend the Bush tax cuts.
The speech is to be given at a bipartisan event whose hosts are the Center for American Progress, a Democratic research and advocacy organization, and the American Action Forum, a Republican-oriented group recently formed to emulate the Center’s success. Mr. Geithner also will have a discussion with the Center’s president, John Podesta, formerly a chief of staff in the Clinton White House, and with Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, who formerly was an adviser to Senator John McCain’s presidential campaigns and a director of the Congressional Budget Office.
India’s legal outsourcing industry has grown in recent years from an experimental endeavor to a small but mainstream part of the global business of law. Cash-conscious Wall Street banks, mining giants, insurance firms and industrial conglomerates are hiring lawyers in India for document review, due diligence, contract management and more.
So, just what jobs are left that MUST be done in the US?
It gets somewhat frustrating to read the cheerleader stories on the economy, or from the supposed economic experts on the same day and in the same paper where there are other stories plumbing the economic problems of average, everyday, yes, real Americans.
First off, we have the somewhat ludicrous cheerleader opinion piece from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in today’s (Tuesday August 3) NY Times titled Welcome to the Recovery. It’s impossible for me to pull out a couple of points of idiocy from this piece as almost every line of it is a misdirection, strawman, or flat out untruth.
From there, we go to this piece discussing a speech Monday by Fed Chair Ben Bernanke:
While the United States has “a considerable way to go” for a full recovery, “rising demand from households and businesses should help sustain growth,” Mr. Bernanke said on Monday in a speech in Charleston, S.C. “We are maintaining strong monetary policy support for the recovery,” he said in response to an audience question, without discussing any further action the Fed could take to aid growth.
The remarks signal that Mr. Bernanke and his colleagues, when they meet in Washington next week, will stop short of making major changes in their policy statement or taking new steps to lower interest rates and reduce unemployment, said John Ryding, a former Fed researcher. Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, “seems likely to pick up in coming quarters from its recent modest pace,” Mr. Bernanke said.
Yeah, who cares about nearly 10% official Unemployment and the Un/Underemployment nearly double that? David Dayen had a post at FireDogLake yesterday on a Krugman column on how this is the "New Normal" for employment. Looks like Krugman is correct (not that that is a shock mind you.)
These speeches and such are contrasted by this story in today’s Times on "99ers."
In June, with long-term unemployment at record levels, about 1.4 million people were out of work for 99 weeks or more, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not all of them received unemployment benefits, but for many of those who did, the modest payments were a lifeline that enabled them to maintain at least a veneer of normalcy, keeping a roof over their heads, putting gas in their cars, paying electric and phone bills.
I’m one of those "99ers." I was laid off in April ’04, a few months before my 52nd birthday. I exhausted my unemployment benefits and used up my retirement plans. As I’ve said before, the only consolation in that is knowing that even with paying early cash out penalties, I still got to use more of it on myself than those who watched their plans swirl down the toilet in the Crash of Too Big To Fail.
An Economix blog post in today’s Times offers some discussion on why "laypeople" think the Great Recession is still ongoing. Using Alan Greenspan’s analysis from Sunday’s Meet the Press(!) to explain:
MR. ALAN GREENSPAN: …I think we’re in a pause in a recovery, a modest recovery. But a pause in the modest recovery feels like quasi recession. Our problem, basically, is that we have a very distorted economy in the sense that there has been a significant recovery in a limited area of the economy amongst high-income individuals who have just had $800 billion added to their 401(k)s and are spending it and are carrying what consumption there is. Large banks, who are doing much better, and large corporations, whom you point out and the — and everyone’s pointing out, are in excellent shape. The rest of the economy, small business, small banks, and a very significant amount of the labor force, which is in tragic unemployment, long-term unemployment, that is pulling the economy apart. The average of those two is what we are looking at, but they are fundamentally two separate types of economy.
We truly are in Bizarro World when Greenspan seems to have the best handle on the problems being felt by those of us who refuse to give up our job searches no matter how much the cheerleaders want us to just accept the status quo.
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