On the unemployment front, here are some interesting facts: (as of January, 2012)
- 88 million working-age Americans don’t have a job and aren’t trying to find one
- The percentage of people participating in the labor market dropped to 63.7 percent in January, 2012, the lowest level since May, 1983 (that drop is how the BLS got the 8.3 percent figure)
- While the jobless rate fell to 8.3 percent in January, 2012, that rate doesn’t account for people who aren’t trying to find a job, so the 8.3 percent rate didn’t account for 88 million unemployed people
And what does the future hold? While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will release its next jobs report on March 9, 2012, Gallup, which uses the same methodology and timing as the BLS, predicted that BLS would find an increase in unemployment in February, 2012, somewhere around 9 percent (U-3, but not seasonally adjusted). Can we expect more BLS data massaging? Only time will tell.
People unemployed for over 52 weeks has risen from 13 percent of people unemployed in 2009 to 32 percent in mid-2011. The Bureau of Labor Statistics considers anyone unemployed for over 26 weeks as long-term unemployed. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, testifying on Thursday, March 1, 2012, before the Senate Banking Committee, said he did worry that more than 40 percent of America’s unemployed have been out of work for more than six months. He said that if the problem persists, more of the long-term unemployed will lose job skills and struggle to regain them.
During the 1992 presidential campaign, AlGore (that’s not a typo) said, “Everything that should be up is down, and everything that should be down is up.” So with that quote in mind, let’s look at the current economy:
|Category||Inauguration Day||Today (28 Feb 12)||Change|
|Unemployment||12.05 million||12.76 million||up .71 million|
|Total Jobs||133.6 million||132.4 million||down 1.2 million|
|Unemployment Rate||7.8 percent||8.3 percent||up 6.4 percent|
|Gasoline Price/gallon||$1.85||$3.70||up 100 percent|
|Americans in Poverty||39.8 million||46.2 million||up 16.1 percent|
|Food Stamp Recipients||36 million||42 million||up 45 percent|
|Federal Debt||$10.6 trillion||$15.4 trillion||up 45 percent|
|Debt per Person||$34,731||$49,301||up 42 percent|
|US in World Competitiveness||1st||5th||down 4|
We don’t hear much, for some reason, from AlGore about today’s economy. He must be too busy with his global warming shtick.
The Council of Economic Advisors (CEA), all three Obama appointees (so we know how objective they are) predicts 2 million new jobs in 2012. But the same CNN (hardly a bastion of conservatism) source said that the economy still needs to add about 5.6 million jobs to get back to 2008 employment levels, and that’s without accounting for population growth. What about the other 3.6 million jobs (assuming the CEA forecast is correct)? Are we supposed to just forget about them?
US exports have risen over the last two years, but Obama often fails to mention the rise in imports too. More incomplete economic news? Since Obama announced his intention to double exports, they have risen 33.5 percent, but imports have grown even faster, up 36 percent.
But that’s just my opinion.Powered by Sidelines