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February: Economy & Jobs

March 3, 2011

February: The Economy & Jobs

From Gallup: Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, increased to 10.3% in February, up from 9.8% at the end of January, while the broader underemployment rate surged to 19.9%, up from 18.9% at the end of January. There is essentially no difference between the unemployment rate now and the one at this time a year ago; though January’s rate, in contrast, showed a marginal year-over-year improvement.

This suggests that the real U.S. jobs situation worsened in February. That is, jobs are relatively less available now than in January 2011. Gallup’s numbers were much worse than the official government numbers last month or their claim that job growth accelerated in February.

In the broader ‘underemployment’ picture, the situation is much the same. Underemployment, a measure that combines part-time workers wanting full-time work with those who are unemployed, surged in February to 19.9%. In turn, this suggests job market conditions in terms of underemployment also worsened during February.

This deterioration in the jobs situation combined with surging gas prices, budget battles at the federal and state level, and declines on Wall Street have scorched consumer confidence.

This data, on the same day that the Obama Administration reported jobless claims dropped to the lowest level since 2008, throws the bullshit flag on Obama’s administration. Their jobless claims release that the unemployment rate ticked lower to 8.9% in February from 9.0% in the previous month is pure propaganda — a total lie. I want to know when the unemployment rate will increase as all the discouraged workers come back into the equation.

The Gallup information shows that there is a more likelihood that people gave up looking for jobs over robust gains in hiring. These numbers are dismal and more believable than the U3 Gov’t numbers that the Labor Department released March 4th. Beyond these scientific indicators, just look around. Does it look like people are bustling and booming out of a recession?

Consider this: The unemployment rate in November 2010 was 9.8%. Jobs added in December was 103,000. In January, it was 36,000. In February, it was 192,000. That totals 331,000 or 110,000 per month. Yet, the unemployment rate has gone down a FULL point? You needed three (3) million jobs to drop it a full point. Yet, Presto! Only 300,000 jobs in 3 months and here we go; unemployment dropped, dropped, dropped. There you go…. Bravo. Sierra.

When a person’s unemployment benefits expire they drop off the rolls. Gallup is hardly a right wing outfit. Gallup finds 10.3% unemployed, 19.9% underemployed and Team Obama reports 8.9%. The Obama regime are a bunch of second class liars. Definitely cooked numbers!

More and more people are losing jobs every day and you can expect more of the same. And, as predicted, these numbers look like all those census workers and seasonal Christmas jobs, numbers that Obama manipulated, are coming home to roost. The Administration and the MSM have been lying about jobs, and will continue too, in order to keep that magic number under 10%.

Have you ever wondered why the CPI, GDP and employment numbers run counter to your personal and business experiences? The problem lies in biased and often-manipulated government reporting. The existing Administration does not count the “discouraged” people who are long-term unemployed. All these macroeconomic numbers from the government are lies. There is no better chart to explain the mess we are in than the Employment-Participation Rate charts over at CalculatedRisk:

Companies are squeezing every drop of productivity from those who remain employed. Employers are running out of employees to lay off. There are no more saving to be had without cutting muscle. The boys and girls remaining in their jobs are being worked like rented mules and getting no raises. Nobody quits because there’s nowhere to go. The economy is NOT getting better.

Notable:

  • Government Tax receipts continues to be on the decline.
  • Consumer confidence is in free fall. Economic Confidence Index comprises two measures — one assessing consumers’ views of current economic conditions and another measuring their perceptions of whether the economy is getting better or worse. Younger adults, Democrats, and higher socioeconomic status respondents remain relatively more confident than other subgroups. The short-term prospects for a turnaround in consumer confidence do not appear great.
  • Could you direct me to the sectors of the economy that are rebounding? Housing? Manufacturing? Auto numbers are being skewed. Dealer inventories are up from 30 to 90 days. Inventory is at 517,000— the second highest total ever behind November’s 563,000. They were at 420,000 a year ago. Inventory stuffing is the new ideal, huh? The auto industry, especially GM, is pushing 0% financing. That is a sure sign that you are not moving units; especially with spring in the air.
  • Housing is choked. Copper prices are in the toilet, which means no new construction. If people were working again, they would be gobbling up these foreclosures. Some are over 50% off their high. No one is touching them. Without an up tick in construction, the economy can’t really get much better. Commercial real estate and residential real estate is vacant.
  • Overall, manufacturing reports are a mixed bag. Heavy equipment is doing well but they have over seas markets to rely on in a US downturn. Fabricated Metal Products is noted as one growth sector. However, the $27.5B in new orders is still below the Jun-08 peak of $31.1B.
  • Energy and gas prices are increasing, eating into the income of the vaunted American consumer.
  • Food prices are going up. The American consumer, who makes up 70% of GDP, will be spending more and more disposable income they make on food and energy.
  • The Commerce Department February end reported that economic growth increased at an annual rate of 2.8% in the final quarter of last year. That was down from the initial estimate of 3.2%.
  • Economist uses bulk carload freight and transport indicators as one of the primary measures of economic activity. U.S. freight railroads originated an uptick of 8.0% over January 2010 and up 7.3% over January 2009. That sounds like a nice gain — and it is — but to keep it in perspective, other than 2009 and 2010 it’s still the lowest January average since 1994.
  • Will the foreclosures stop? How about commercial real estate? Municipal bonds? Underfunded pension funds? Bankrupt states, counties, and cities?

There is no semblance of a real recovery. There can’t be a real recovery without fixing the underlying problems that got us into recession in the first place. We haven’t done that. Warren Buffet said Wednesday, March 2 on CNBC, that the U.S. unemployment rate should be in the low 7% range by late 2012. If that is going to be the case, the job creation environment must change dramatically from what it is today. Warren, it appears, is hitting the Old Fitzgerald again.

As 2012 approaches, look for all the fabricated figures to “SHOW” that 0bama’s brand of Marxism is leading us out of recession, and of course, I certainly don’t believe the regime’s figures. A new ‘magic number’ will be under 9%. Come what may, Team Obama will get to a ‘perceived’ 8% or less unemployment by November 2012.

Now, if you choose to believe the Obama and his minion Media, things have been getting better ever since Obama took office. Gas prices higher? Doesn’t matter. Over 45 Million people on food stamps? Doesn’t matter. The real unemployment rate 22%? Doesn’t matter. Foreclosures at a record high? Doesn’t matter either. Inflation? What Inflation?

Add these minor economic details to the nonexistent wars as unreported by the media, the entire Middle East in chaos, the continued bold actions by North Korea and Iran and the situation with the border and Mexico, and yes, things are getting better!

The narrative is to layer lies on top of lies. At least until 2012. Obama is basing his re-election efforts on enough ill-informed sheep believing the MSM and government reporting nonsense. Continue to hear the MSM mantra and tactic of the massive overuse and manipulation of the word “UNEXPECTED”! “Unemployment numbers unexpectedly rose….GDP unexpectedly drops….foreclosures take unexpected jump, etc.”

For now, there are no jobs and unemployment remains high. Instead of reporting “unemployment” as being those who are actively looking, and then having secondary figures for those who have given up, we need to have one statistic that encapsulates underemployment too. “Underemployment” by itself, doesn’t capture what the true employment situation is.

The REAL Unemployment Rate Is 22% according to Shadow Stats but the mainstream media is too busy promulgating propaganda to feed the masses.

“Where are the jobs, Mr. President?”

We need to use a figure that tells us the percentage of people who were employed in 2008 who are no longer employed now. Call it the OUI–the Obama Unemployment Index. Reagan had the Misery Index, combining inflation and interest rates. This is our Misery Index; the OUI.

The economy didn’t tank until 18 months after Democrats took control of Congress. Democrats took control of Congress in January, 2007.

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