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Hiring Suddenly Declines

by Keith Koffler on April 6, 2012, 9:26 am

The economy may be stalling, and let’s think about why.

But first, here’s what’s happening. The nation added 120,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department reported this morning, some 80,000 less than economists expected. The number is probably a little less than needed to keep pace with population growth, which means that effectively jobs were lost.

The unemployment rate went down from 8.3 percent to 8.2 percent, but that was because fewer people are looking for work.

The jobs added is a severe drop off from the 200,000 – plus jobs that had been added every month since November, which signals that something’s wrong, and that some of the recent gains were due to the Christmas shopping help and mild weather in January that helped home builders.

And let’s be clear, in a recovery, 200,000 jobs a month ain’t great in the first place, and it won’t get us back to previous employment levels for many years.

Some of the jobs drop off is undoubtedly due to the problems in Europe and the high price of gas. But gas prices have been high for months, even when job growth was more robust.

But I’ll tell you one thing that did change in the last couple of months. The White House put out a budget that made clear Obama has no intention  of seriously reigning in spending by leading on entitlement reform.

Trillions of dollars would be added to the debt AS A MATTER OF POLICY. Republicans have put forward a budget that does make a more serious stab at reducing spending, and they have been called un-American by the president of the United States for doing it.

The greatest peril to this nation, right up there with a catastrophic terrorist attack, is the debt. Americans know this. They are gravely concerned by it, and it affects their general outlook, and the performance of the economy.

They also know they have a president who is more concerned with solar panels than the debt. That’s what’s in his bones.

The White House remains in fantasyland. From Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Kreuger:

There is more work to be done, but today’s employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue to make smart investments that strengthen our economy and lay a foundation for long-term middle class job growth so we can continue to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began at the end of 2007.

With the deficit out of control, the White House continues to talk about spending – in case you missed it, that’s what “smart investments” are.

But the administration’s smart investments have not prompted a serious recovery. Unless Obama has an abrupt come-to-Jesus on the deficit, this economy may never take off.

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{ 49 comments }

Just2old April 6, 2012 at 9:39 am

The only silver lining in this cloud is that it leads to obama’s defeat in November.

Star April 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm

If the unemployed can afford gas to go vote.

Just2old April 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm

There is that….

Star April 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Even our AP-lovin’ paper this AM (Sat) had sort of an uh-oh story on the numbers…

Car in April 6, 2012 at 9:40 am

Dead on.

Wigglesworth April 6, 2012 at 9:43 am

This administration is going after hydro-electric power too which will make energy more expensive and kill jobs. It’s pretty clear the goal is to damage as many “traditional” sources of energy as possible so that we will be forced to buy higher priced green energy from their cronies.

http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/05/former-interior-dept-adviser-administrations-report-on-dam-removal-intentionally-biased/

The Original April 6, 2012 at 11:32 am

Tearing down dams will also damage agriculture. Much of our farm land depends on irrigation.

Seriously . . . we have to get this guy out of office before he destroys our entire country.

ol gator April 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm

You’d never know this by watching the “talking heads” of the lap dog network media. Just this morning ABC was cheerfully reporting
the “economy growing steadily” with “200,000 jobs growth” last month..
Not hard to see the fix is on to influence the masses to re-elect
obozo & his minions… Sadly, millions are blinded by this
massive propaganda effort to steal the election again..
Praying for the truth of him to be revealed…

Stephen C. April 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Exactly, the morning shows make me sick to my stomach from all the slathering of the obviously liberal hosts.

Stephen C. April 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm

“by” not “of”

lcSouthern April 6, 2012 at 9:59 am

We all know there will be no come to Jesus meeting. He only uses church as a photo-op. I think the coal is to force the US into green energy regardless of cost. Pray for a huge defeat in Nov!

veritaseequitas April 6, 2012 at 10:14 am

“The greatest peril to this nation, right up there with a catastrophic terrorist attack, is the debt. Americans know this. They are gravely concerned by it, and it affects their general outlook, and the performance of the economy”.

Does America really know this and will they do the right thing in November? Somehow, I think there are plenty of Americans who either think as The O Team thinks or will turn a blind eye to his obscene ideology and vote for him because of racial identity. Since it looks as though Mitt Romney is going to be the GOP nominee, I hope people get over their suspicion of him and vote for him since he is better than Obama. ANYBODY currently running is better than Obama.

Star April 6, 2012 at 11:23 am

Amen to that.

AZ Granny April 6, 2012 at 10:15 am

I don’t recall ever having a president show such disregard for Americans and the economy as Obama does. November can’t get here fast enough.

Jojo April 6, 2012 at 10:20 am

Unfortunately most people buy into the Blame Game he continually plays and sympathize with the Race Card he throws down at ever opportunity… I am so scared of what the future holds for my 4 month old grandson. Will there even be a United States when he is an adult? We are following the footsteps of all previous Great Societies, the writing is on the wall, but for many it is in invisible ink so they can’t/won’t see it.

Justavet April 6, 2012 at 11:00 am

Keith, the article shows that you have a good eye for what is really important about these numbers – the number of jobs being created versus how we, at best, are treading water at 200,000 jobs added per month. When 130,000 are produced and the unemployment rate went down it can only mean that a whole bunch of folks dropped out of the market and are no longer looking for employment. A Gallup survey predicted this a short while back.

Businessmen don’t know what is coming at them next. Not knowing how health care costs will effect them is one giant area which is stifling growth. Most businessman I know, are playing it very carefully and focusing their efforts towards retaining capital and resources until there is a friendlier tone from Washington

The Original April 6, 2012 at 11:35 am

I know someone who has been out of work for 3 years and then went into re-training which did extend his unemployment payments for a while. After he graduated, his unemployment ended. That was last fall so he was dropped from the unemployment numbers at that time. He did just find a job.

Those unemployment numbers really lie.

Mike C April 6, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Just so, Justavet. Keith is a smart cookie. All we will here is UNEMPLOYMENT IS DECLINING, THANK YOU GREAT ONE!
Nothing will happen until after election time, and if it goes the correct way, Congress included, Katie Bar The Door as positivity is reignited, and all this sideline-sitting comes to an end.
If it goes the wrong way, hmmmm, dark times ahead most likely.

Anonna April 6, 2012 at 11:13 am

” … and mild weather in January that helped home builders.”

And home builders are known to be enthusiastic hirers of illegal aliens. So this didn’t help Americans either.

Star April 6, 2012 at 11:29 am

Our local paper is publishing articles every week on corners where there are many vacant storefronts–they have enlisted “citizens” to find tenants… Sort of ghost towny some places…There is no resurgence–except in AP stories…more like AP and WashPost fiction.

Susan April 6, 2012 at 11:59 am

Excellent article Keith. Unfortunately Obama knows exactly what he is doing and everything is going according to plan. The more people he gets on the dole the more votes he will get in November. Hard to believe my fellow Americans would sell their progeny’s freedom for a little financial security today, but that is where we are. Our founders would be so ashamed of us for what we have done with their gift of freedom and liberty.

Unfortunately, I see a continuing slide into financial and moral collapse if Romney is the Republican nominee. He is the choice of the Washington insiders and they are happy with the status quo. He owes them for their support and he will do their bidding if he should win the election, which I’m not so sure a moderate can do. Ronald Reagan was the last Republican to defeat an incumbent Democrat president since 1888 when Benjamin Harrison defeated Grover Cleveland. Romney is no Ronald Reagan. That is why I will continue to support Rick Santorum until the end of the primary.

Star April 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm

You state as fact, not opinion, that Romney will do this or that person’s bidding or won’t repeal Obamacare if the Court does not–these are views, not facts. We don’t have a Ronald Reagan–Santorum isn’t either. And I sure don’t have all fond memories of the original, either.

Susan April 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm

The establishment Republicans, or Rockefeller Republicans as they were called at the time, despised Reagan as much as the Democrats did. Why? Because he would not bend to their will. As you have mentioned before you were a Democrat up until 2008, so I’m not surprised you weren’t fond of him. Never said Santorum was a Ronald Reagan, but he is a constitutional conservative in the Reagan tradition. Sure can’t say that about Romney, who is more of a shapeshifter in my opinion.

Star April 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Yes–we have been over this time and time again. And if Obama gets back in I cannot help but remember who helped undercut the candidate… I could say things about all these people and I guess this site will still be in business, but I am not going to help them. Since Santorum will not be running, I think his throwback comments about women will glom onto the Rep Party–they already have. If that is conservative, then I darn well am not!! Just anti-Obama.

Susan April 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm

The Tea Party conservatives aren’t going to take responsibility for Romney’s loss. If he loses, it’s his own fault and the fault of the sneaky and nasty consultants he has working for him. He has repeatedly hammered his closest opponent by carpet bombing the airwaves with millions of dollars worth of negative ads. He’s unleashed the so-called conservative talking heads and media he has in his pocket to beat up on his conservative opponents, like pushing the story about Santorum wanting to peek into our bedroom rather than help save our country. Or Bloody Thursday, 26 January 2012 – 5 days before the Florida primary – when Drudge, Coulter, and others carpet bombed Newt Gingrich. Dirty politics I haven’t seen since Nixon. Then he expects us to fall in line behind him?

He’s depressing the vote everywhere he goes. Did you know in Wisconsin the Republican turnout was much lower than it was in 2010 when the Tea Party energized the party and brought Scott Walker into office? That is because of Romney’s negativity. If he stopped the negative ads on his opponents and started putting out a few positive ads about his platform, maybe he could energize the base. Right now, he’s just angering the base. The establishment Republicans might win this battle, but they will lose the war and all Americans will suffer for their putting party ahead of country.

Mark my word, if Romney wins the nomination, he’ll start with the pandering to all the special interest groups and those conservative words will go to the wayside. He already started the pandering by agreeing with Obama that women should be allowed to golf in some all-male golf course in Georgia. What woman cares about that? How about gas prices, our rising food and energy prices, the loss of our freedom? Hope I’m wrong about him, but if he lied to his constituents in Massachusetts to get elected Governor, he’ll lie us to get elected President.

Star April 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Then it will be liar v liar, if I believe that for a second, which I don’t. And you know what–I know which “liar” I want and it’s the one who isn’t in this for the money, has run a govt, has run an NGO, has done things to make this country better and isn’t interested in changing human nature or behaviors.,. We have been over and over this, Susan. And I might add a lot of us are putting in a lot of our time we can never get back trying to so anything we can to influence this and to watch some Republicans and supporters almost commit suicide and take us down with them is painful. This is politics–art of the possible, not the perfect.

Susan April 6, 2012 at 4:59 pm

It isn’t politics to me, it is the life or death of our country.

Star April 7, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Cynical politicians–politics–is deciding the fate of us all–and all to come.

Susan April 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Just to give a little history to the first time a Republican beat an incumbent Democrat president. In the election of 1888 Republican Benjamin Harrison defeated Democrat incumbent President Grover Cleveland. Benjamin Harrison was a moderate Republican. He won the election by the skin of his teeth. He lost the popular vote, but won with the electoral college. Benjamin Harrison went on to become a big spending, big government Republican. The sort of Republican current day progressive establishment types are fashioned after. He was very unpopular with the populous, and lost the 1890 congressional midterms to the Democrats by a landslide. He went on to lose the election of 1892 to his predecessor Grover Cleveland.

Hope we don’t relive history and elect another Benjamin Harrison. Can’t even imagine Obama coming back in 2016 for a second shot at killing off America.

Sadie April 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm

“The White House remains in fantasyland”

I’ve been wondering what all the new construction was for.

srdem65 April 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm

There is a factor that can’t be measured by ordinary algorithms; fear. Fear of a President that ignores the rule of law and declares what laws he will abide. If this President doesn’t like it, his minions work to eliminate it.
Don’t like coal, no problem, EPA them out of existance. If he wants to create more Dem voters, ignore immigration laws and give those already in our a country a get-out-of-jail-free pass.

Businessmen fear, not just Obamacare but the entire federal government’s overreach into the heart of their enterprises. The higher cost of fuel has the effect of turning profit into loss. The EPA will issue sanctions or cease and desist orders that make long-held processes invalid.

This President is the impetus behind the latest racial divide, the class warfare that blames sucessful people for the woes of everyone, and a fear that he really does mean to “fundamentally change” America to a socialist/marxist country.

James Walker April 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm

It has been incredible to see Pelosi, Reid and Obamacompletely ignore the viability of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – putting them off limits. At the same time, Obama has promoted the payroll tax cut, which has forced the government to simply borrow even more to fund current Social Security benefits. As critical as these programs are to millions of people, and as much as these three loons profess to care for the programs and the beneficiaries, the fact that they ignore the problems and refuse to provide leadership on genuine reform that would save the programs is incredible. Do they think they can truly look the other way and – poof – the programs will be solvent one day? I cannot understand why they ignore such a serious problem to such critically important programs if they truly care as much as they claim. Otherwise, their approach and policies look to be entirely irrational and place all of the beneficiaries of these programs at risk.

Sadie April 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm

They massage the numbers and they manipulate reality, but the Federal Reserve Bank St. Louis says otherwise:

The unemployment rate drops to 8.2% for one simple reason: the number of people not in the labor force is back to all time highs: 87,897,000.

Just2old April 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Check out this graph showing the almost 88M out of the work-forcel This is scary stuff people!

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/fredgraph.pdf?id=LNS15000000

Sadie April 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm

March 30, 1999 the DJ hit 10,000. Thirteen years later it’s 13,000. It doesn’t take a math genius (which I am not) to realize that we are in an economic death spiral.

Inflation Rate Calculator- from InflationData.com

Sadie April 6, 2012 at 2:45 pm

inflationdata.com

Hope the link works now.

Stephen C. April 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm

“The worst since the Great Depression”.
Sounds like a description of this Administration we have currently in Washington. The Dems love to use that statement or any similarity as a scare tactic and it worked in 2008 but not in 2012..

“Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”
(author unknown to me) and
NO I didn’t vote for him in 2008!

Girly1 April 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Star
“Our local paper is publishing articles every week on corners where there are many vacant storefronts–they have enlisted “citizens” to find tenants… Sort of ghost towny some places…There is no resurgence–except in AP stories…more like AP and WashPost fiction.”

Interesting. Here in CA, some of the major high-rise office complexes have been leasing out their employee parking structures to nearby new car dealers so that they can store their unsold inventories of expensive automobiles. The same office bldgs. are also giving free/reduced rent to fill up empty office space so as not to scare potential long-lease tenants away.

Also, I have never seen as many empty store-fronts at one time….in what was once the most desireable retail/commercial area. Trash is piling up in front of the empty store fronts and in the gutters, potholes are not being repaired, homeless people are scattered al over with their sleeping bags, city buses are not being maintained – dirty windows,etc., etc. If it’s this bad in SoCal, I can’t imagine what it’s like everywhere else. As CA goes, so goes the country.

Star April 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Also I heard that TaxMasters guy who is always on Fox went under and owes Fox a ton of money. Fewer people owe taxes? Can afford him? He was bad at numbers? No idea.

srdem65 April 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm

You can be sure that it’s that bad all over the country. Maybe even worse in some areas. The people who procalim about our “improving economy” don’t live where we do; they live in sheltered gated communities where they park their luxury vehicles.

I say we are in a depression already. What’s keeping things on a less disasterous path are things like food stamps and unemployment benefits that were not available during the ’30s. Foreclosures of homes, personal and business bankruptcies and a general malaise or fear among the citizens is happening now.
There’s a reason why firearms sales have boomed way beyond normal, some people are preparing for the worst by stockpiling basic needs and still the MSM trumpets how good things are while ignoring reality.
We’re afraid of our government, we don’t trust our leaders to keep us safe and millions are taking things into their own hands.

Susan April 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I think you’re right srdem. Scary times we’re living in.

Mindiddy April 6, 2012 at 6:00 pm

It’s not that horrible everywhere. Out here in the midland things are better. OK unemployment rate is 6.0% – lower than our neighboring states which are all below the national average. These states are energy producers so maybe we’re doing better in spite of the current administration. North Dakota is a phenomenon, but it’s a boom and bust industry so we know to appreciate it when times are good.

jay hoenemeyer April 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm

The bond vigilantes are coming . All 16 trillion of them and more are joining up as you read this post .

Cindy Lu April 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm

How can something stall that never was moving in the first place?

Mister61 April 6, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Wish I had a dollar for every time some writer used a form of “reign” when they meant “rein”.

Could retire tomorrow :-)

srdem65 April 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Lit’s jest be hapy that he dint spel it rong.

Star April 7, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Yes–the reign of pain is ever being made plain.

Neil C Denver April 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm

The White House said today that “The One” was pleased with the employment numbers. So much for the intelligence of our President.

Unfortunately, when Romney is challenged by the Wolf Blitzer about the fact that under Obama, there have been 25 months of increasing employment, he has limp responses.

Even a semi-intelligent analyst knows that there are 4.5 million fewer people employed than there were four years ago. Add to their analysis is the net monthly increase in the workforce is (conservatively) 125,000 which amounts to 6.0 million over the past four years. Added together, there are over 10.5 million fewer Americans working to pay off their mortgages, car payments, food and clothing.

One additional factor is that the ‘average’ wage for private-sector employees covers just over 50% of the cost of living increases.

For Romney to win, he’ll need far better knowledge of what’s really happening in our economy coupled with a far more brief and less complicated rhetoric than he has offered in the past.

JIM WHITTAKER April 7, 2012 at 7:49 am

No more Affirmative Action presidents. Ever!

No more Welfare Queen first ladies. Ever!

No more racist Attorney Generals. Ever!

Jim Whittaker
Hemet, CA