Dickensian

Dickensian

Dickensian!
By David Glenn Cox

Somewhere between the lies and the rage lives sanity. It lives oppressed and abused in a land which has quite literally, lost its soul. It lives in a cold dingy room; it lives on hope and food stamps. It lives on memories of the past which grow smaller in the rear view mirror as time whizzes by.

Without any further introduction, the November Bureau of labor Statistics jobs report filled with wishful fantasies resplendent with excuses, a turd polished to a fine, high gloss luster. From the commissioner’s statement;

“Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 146,000 in November,
and the unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent. In 2012,
job gains have averaged 151,000 per month, essentially the same
as in 2011. In November, employment rose in retail trade,
professional and business services, and health care.

Before providing the details of this month’s data, I would
like to comment on the impact of Hurricane Sandy on our November
estimates. On October 29, the storm made landfall on the
Northeast coast, causing severe damage in some states.
Nevertheless, response rates in the affected states were within
normal ranges in November. Our analysis leads us to conclude
that Hurricane Sandy did not substantively impact the national
employment and unemployment estimates for November. We will
release the November regional and state estimates on December
21st.

For weather conditions to reduce the estimate of payroll
employment, employees have to be off work for an entire pay
period and not be paid for the time missed. In our household
survey, persons with a job who miss work for weather-related
events are counted as employed whether or not they are paid for
the time off.”

Wonderful, the largest utility in New Jersey estimates damages of over 300 million dollars calling it, the largest power outage in the state’s history. The Bureau of Labor Statistics crosses its fingers declaring that storm related unemployment doesn’t count. They will of course, count all of the workers hired to repair this damage as proof positive that our economic recovery polices are working.

Civilian non institutional population – up by 191,000 new workers

Civilian labor force – down by 350,000

Participation Rate – down .2%

Employed – down by 229,000

Unemployment rate – down .2% (7.7%) U-3

Not in Labor Force – up by 542,000

A city the size of Raleigh, North Carolina or New Haven, Connecticut disappeared from the government’s radar in the last 30 days. Only, this 542,000 were just workers, 542,000 Americans who have given up the search for gainful employment. 542,000 Americans who face a holiday season bereft of government assistance.

Just abandoned, just fuck off and die, we no longer care about our own people.

Let’s use conservative numbers here, shall we? Let’s assume for a moment that each of these 542,000 have only one other member in their immediate family. Suddenly, the number of Americans affected becomes a city the size of Columbus Ohio. Now image, not just a mom and dad, but two children as well, facing the holidays with very little, as we have now reached a city of over two million souls, a city the size of Baltimore Maryland abandoned. Can you see the good news as it is proclaimed to us? 146,000 new jobs!

Number of Americans employed October 2012 – 143,384,000
Unemployment rate October 2012- 7.9 percent
Number of Americans employed November 2012 – 143,262,000
Unemployment rate November 2012 – 7.7 percent

Officially unemployed;

September – 12,088, 000
October – 12,258,000
November – 12,029,000

Before we move on, one more factoid from ‘Not in Labor Force”

Not in Labor Force November 2011 – 86,503,000
Not in Labor Force November 2012 – 88,883,000

You see, it’s like a sausage factory, they just grind them up and spit them out and don’t you dare ask what’s inside, because you don’t want to know. 2,380,000 Americans no longer in the workforce, but life goes on, doesn’t it? So they live on Food Stamps, but Washington is going to fix that as well, aren’t they? They have a plan, don’t they, to cut that Food Stamp budget, because as you can plainly see they have fixed the unemployment problem.

The U-6 unemployment rate, the closest figure we have to real and semi- accurate stands this month at 14.4 percent, last November it stood at 15.6 percent. A decline of 1.2 percent in twelve months and with a straight face, they call this good news. Because as the workers burn through their unemployment benefits the numbers appear to improve and states can now cut extended benefits to the unemployed.

The number of Average Weekly Hours – Total Private; this November – 34.6 and last November 34.6, no improvement, just the same as before, the new normal.

Then this little ditty is attached at the end of the commissioner’s statement;

“The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised from +148,000 to +132,000, and the change for October was revised from +171,000 to +138,000.”

Construction and extraction occupations:

Employed – November 2011 – 7,440,000
Employed – November 2012 – 7,178,000

A loss of 362,000 jobs

Unemployed – November 2011 – 1,151,000
Unemployed – November 2012 – 1,066,000

Down 85,000

“Employment in construction declined by 20,000 in November, with much of the loss occurring in construction of buildings (-11,000). Since early 2010, employment in construction has shown no clear trend.” – Bureau of Labor Statistics

The bureau might not see a trend, but I damn sure do, People are being driven from their fields of employment by an inability to make a living at them.

The number of “Goods Producing” jobs declined by 22,000 this month. Manufacturing fell by 7,000 jobs and primary metals shed 1,700 jobs in thirty days. Semi conductors and electronic components lost 2,300 jobs this month. Miscellaneous manufacturing lost 1,300 jobs and a real surprise, Food Manufacturing lost 12,300 jobs in the last thirty days.

On the plus side of the ledger, retail trade added 52,600 jobs, they pay low wages and they usually don’t have any benefits but what are you going to do? Starve all at once or take your sweet time about it?

Professional and business services – up by 43,000 jobs
Finance and Insurance – up by 5,100
Credit intermediation – up by 1,600
Insurance carriers and related activities – up by 4,000

Real Estate and rental and leasing – down 5,000 jobs
Educational Services – down by 3,700
Repair and Maintenance – down 1,800 jobs

But if you would, I would like for you to mull these last two categories over in your mind for just a moment. Think about what these numbers really say and really mean to us as a people,

Amusements Gambling and recreation – up by 12,200 jobs
Child Day Care services – down by 6,200 jobs in thirty days.

To me at least, this is a Dickensian picture which says without looking up, “are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons? The treadmill and the Poor laws are in full vigor then?”

These numbers tell us a story, only, they aren’t numbers, they are a people. They are our own people and these are their lives. It is easy enough to understand why a government or government official might want to bury, twist and obfuscate these numbers. Only, they fail to understand that while the numbers themselves are shameful and disgraceful, the twisting and obfuscating of them is abominable and criminal.

Tens of millions of Americans unemployed, affecting millions more still. Pushed out, pushed down and denied the opportunity to make a decent living. Demonized and vilified for their own poverty, marginalized and minimized by those responsible, ignored by those paid to do something about it, abandoned in a society of pure greed and pure evil.

“Death may beget life, but oppression can beget nothing other than itself.”
– Charles Dickens

Average weekly earnings- Construction, Manufacturing, Durable Goods, $1007.65

Average weekly earnings- Retail, $518.24

Photo by “Banalities” licensed under Creative Commons