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More Lackluster Jobs Growth

by Keith Koffler on December 7, 2012, 1:44 pm

The economy generated 146,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent, and I had to suppress a yawn.

I hate to intrude on the celebrating, but the growth is about consistent with the last few months of increases that do little more than keep pace with increases in population, which means it will take us about one or two centuries to get back to the rate of employment we had a few years a go.

Okay, I’m exaggerating, but you get the idea. That is, last month we were stuck in a hole ten feet deep. And this month, despite digging, we’re stuck in a hole . . . ten feet deep.

The jobless rate dropped only because 350,000 people GAVE UP LOOKING FOR WORK.

Went to sleep. Turned on the TV. Wandered around a book store.

As economist Kevin Hassett notes in the National Review, other economic data are not so good as the mediocre jobs report.

The solid jobs report contrasts, however, with other economic data that have been much more negative. In particular (and one might call this the revenge of the 1 percent) capital spending is dropping off the cliff. Orders for non-defense capital goods, for example, have dropped sharply five months in a row. Even with the stronger labor market, fourth-quarter GDP growth is looking like it could be fairly close to zero.

What can one say? The dude won reelection anyway. Forward!


Julie Brueckheimer December 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I’ve read 530,000 people stopped looking, and you say 350,000. Someone inverted the numbers, I think. Whatever, I don’t normally listen to Rush, but as you know, the government always comes up with revisions, and Limbaugh said that the October figure was off by at least 33,000.

Scottso December 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm

The total workforce is only 63%.
The gov’t wants tax revenue but the only way to get taxes is from workers. If only 63% work and most of these don’t pay any federal taxes…and that is why the other 1/2 should be scared.
I just heard on CNBC that 9 million people have part time jobs that under pay them based on their education or skill set.

So while these 9 million have jobs they are not able to support their families or themselves based on them.

CAR December 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm

I’m working freelance because I can’t get a regular job. Thank God my husband has a job (for now) and we have savings (for now). I’m worried.

ChicagoDave December 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Were do these people go? They are still unemployed – we need a new number that gives us a better picture. But the real story is that 73% of the new civilian jobs created in the United States over the last five months are in government. We are creating an even bigger time bomb – when does this end?

regina December 7, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I have a few friends that are being fired for Christmas here in Virginia.

srdem65 December 7, 2012 at 3:17 pm

They’re dropping out of the job-hunt because they’re either to old or simply don’t have the skills or training for the new job market. All of those Twinkie makers that recently lost their jobs are not going to find similar job openings in the area and adding “Twinkie maker” to a resume isn’t going to help find a job today. Recent college grads with degrees in obsure fields have nothing to offer an employer. And, there’s that illegal alien willing to work for next to nothing that hurts every job-hunter.

The underground job market is growing every day. People collecting unemployment benefits or welfare are working for cash, under the table, and below the IRS radar. Small business’ are hiding their cash-employees to avoid Obamacare mandates, payroll taxes and insurance hikes.
Cash is king in a recession.

JBH December 7, 2012 at 3:51 pm

There is also going to be an upsurge in hiring “independent contractors” that you 1099.

Susan December 7, 2012 at 3:55 pm

The sad truth is that America has lost her virtue. Why work for a living when the government promises to shield US from failure? Those who do work at minimum wage jobs are encouraged to stay at the poverty level to maintain government benefits. The government pays for their every need – food, housing, education, health care, even Obamaphones. All they have to do in return is surrender their liberty to the state by showing up to the polls to vote for them. Even businesses are getting in on the game by way of corporate welfare, aka crony capitalism.

Last month ZeroHedge reported some startling statistics. There are 1.25 private employees for every government employee and welfare recipient. Those figures must be even closer after this month’s job report. This fiscal cliff debate is nothing but a ruse. We went over the fiscal cliff on November 6th. All the ruling class is fighting over now is who gets the blame when we hit bottom. Guarantee these phony politicians blame US over themselves and their profligate spending and, in the end, they will stick us with the bill.

Girly1 December 7, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Add ‘permanent disability’ insurance to Obama’s anti-job policies. Since the last election cycle, disability recipients have increased an unprecedented 20% – from 7.2M in 2008 to 8.7 in 2012. Unlike unemployment ins., disability ins. is forever. Take a look at how loose the requirements are under the Obama administration:

Susan December 7, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Yep, Jessie Jackson, Jr. was just the latest who claimed permanent disability while performing his Federal job. His retirement package through the Civil Service Retirement System is much better than what Social Security has to offer. Unprincipled frauds masquerading as public servants are destroying America.

Owen_Kellogg December 8, 2012 at 9:15 am

According to the BLS, the number of people outside the labor force increased by 540,000 for the month. Each month, more unemployed Americans are removed from the labor force and put on disability rolls instead. Our labor participation is at its lowest point in 40 years.

Owen_Kellogg December 8, 2012 at 9:24 am

Oops. ’40 years’ should read ’30 years’.

Julie Brueckheimer December 8, 2012 at 10:19 am

OK, here’s the latest: according to Investors Business Daily the total revision for the months of October and November, aka right before the election, was off by 49,000 jobs.

Star December 8, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Who cares now that he is re-elected. He doesn’t have to even give lip service to unemployed people. I am sure he can think up better things to do. Let us just stumble along, scared, desperate, nothing to see here. This is all such a horrible joke.

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