Barack Obama believes that unemployment is high, in part, because of ATM machines.
Our President is totally right. It’s totally the ATMs fault. I think we should go around destroying all ATM machines. Think about how many jobs we’ll create by destroying all those machine.
Luddites of the world, unite!
In case you didn’t know, the Chicago Fed reports:
A research paper published by the Chicago Fed has concluded that extra jobless benefits — unemployed workers can now get up to 99 weeks of benefits — may be contributing up to 0.8 percentage points to the current unemployment rate, which was 9% in January. The Chicago Fed paper said the extra benefits may still be worthwhile, given that in their absence workers may be forced to take jobs that represent poor matches for their skill levels. Also on Thursday, Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota said the natural rate of unemployment — basically, the smallest rate of unemployment that won’t lift inflation — ranges between 5.9% and 8.9%.
For those who are not economically literate, let me summarize: If the government pays people not to work, fewer people will work.
I don’t know why the Fed had to do a study to determine that. Maybe they were just trying to figure out not if it had an effect but how large the effect is. Or maybe it was just a study devised to keep a few economics employed during the recession.
What I really don’t understand is this line:
The Chicago Fed paper said the extra benefits may still be worthwhile, given that in their absence workers may be forced to take jobs that represent poor matches for their skill levels.
So the Chicago Fed thinks it is better to have people sitting around doing nothing rather than do a job below their current skill level? These people really do live in ivory towers.
With the massive teachers strikes and protests in Wisconsin, I am very afraid for this country. The Bolshevik Revolution began with protests and union strikes. The Fascists in Italy and Nazis in Germany took over in part to stop the socialist/communist strikes. This country hasn’t seen strikes like these since the 1920s.
The teachers in Wisconsin don’t care about their customers: the students. We hear the cry over and over that “it’s for the children,” but when the teachers’ benefits are called into questions, they abandon the children during the school year to protest about money.
Just so you know, US Airways is protesting today down at Phoenix Sky Harbor over some contract dispute. Airline employees complain they aren’t making enough money. What about your customers? Airfares have gone up and quality of service has declined as we are packed into planes like cattle, and we now are poked, prodded, scanned, and molested to get through airport security. And through taxes and airfares, we pay for the right to do so.
Teachers unions. Airline unions. All other unions. All you care about is money, so stop pretending otherwise. “Fairness.” “Quality education.” “Safety.” You don’t care about any of that. You just want your share, more than your share, of the money.
Why should those struggling to make ends meet subsidize unions. Why can’t union employees compete in the free market like the rest of us? Because they are not worth what they are being paid? When did the land “of the people, by the people, for the people” become the land of “from the people, against the people, at the expense of the people?”
As mentioned in the previous post, the United States economy created fewer jobs than expected, but the unemployment rate unexpectedly declined. In Canada, the exact opposite occurred:
Canada’s job creation in January was more than four times the median forecast, pushing the Canadian dollar to its strongest level since May 2008 and adding to evidence the country’s economic recovery may be accelerating.
Employment rose by 69,200 and the labor force increased by 106,400, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. The jobless rate rose to 7.8 percent from December’s 7.6 percent, as more people sought work. Economists forecast 7.6 percent unemployment and job growth of 15,000, according to the median estimates of 25 and 26 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
So which would you rather have?
- US: Unemployment rate declines but few jobs are created.
- Canada: Many jobs were created but unemployment rate rose.
Let me know what you think in the comments.
Being the lazy person that I am and not wanting to reinvent the wheel, I decided to wait until some other blogger analyzed the latest employment report data. The people at No Money No Worries explains how today’s report showed a small increase in jobs but a large decline in the unemployment rate:
Today’s unemployment headline proclaims that the “Unemployment Rate Falls to 9.0%.” However, the number of nonfarm jobs increased very little (+36,000).
So, unless we’ve all changed careers to become farmers, something doesn’t add up.
All else being equal – with roughly 153 million in the US labor force – a 0.1% drop in the unemployment rate would require the creation of 153,000 jobs. A decline of 0.4% would require payroll employment to increase by 4x that amount, or 612,000 jobs.
So, one suspects that the headline unemployment rate fell because these workers dropped out of the labor force entirely – and BLS data confirms that is indeed what happened.
According to the BLS, the civilian labor force in Dec 10 was 153,690,000. January 2011′s dropped to 153,186,000 – a difference of 504,000 workers.
So, to sum it up, the 0.4% drop in unemployment was due to:
1. 36,000 new jobs; and
2. 504,000 workers dropping out of the labor force.
Not exactly a stellar report.
I think that sums it up well. If you enjoy economics and statistics (and some cool charts), I highly recommend No Money No Worries.
Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion analyzes today’s employment report and the results are not good despite the headline decline in unemployment from 9.8% to 9.4%. (Reposted with permission. Original post here.)
Needless to say, administration supporters will be touting that the unemployment rate released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning dropped from 9.8% to 9.4%. Politically, this is good news for Obama, at least in the short run.
Dig just a bit deeper, and you will see that 0.2% of that drop (or half the total drop) was from a decrease in the “participation rate” from 64.5 to 64.3 of the population. So half of the good news reflects that people have dropped out of the work force and have given up looking for work.
To put this in context, I ran a chart from the BLS website historical statistics database, showing the participation rate over the past 20 years, which shows that we are at a 20-year low:
The other disheartening statistic is reflected in the chart combining the unemployment, marginal and discouraged workers (in short, everyone who is not working but currently or at one time wanted to work, or who is employed part time because full time work was unavailable). Combine all those and the total is 16.6% up from 16.3% November not seasonally adjusted (seasonally adjusted it is 16.7% down from 17%). This is the highest number since 1994 (first year data available):
Here are two other charts showing the depth of the problem. The first shows the average length of unemployment (in weeks) and the second the median length of unemployment:
While the drop in the unemployment rate from 9.8% to 9.4% is good political news, it’s hard to see any real improvement below the surface.
This gives further evidence that the American economy is still in decline. All that government stimulus accomplished nothing except for putting us further in debt.
The Treasury announced that the total cost of TARP would be just $50 billion. In their perverse logic, the Administration and media played this up as a government success story. But we really should look at TARP as an investment. Congress approved spending $700 billion for TARP, of which only $296 billion was spent. Looking at TARP as an investment, the government lost 16.9% over a two year period. And they call that a success!
What else could the government have done with the $296 billion? Since TARP was signed into law on October 3, 2008, the following instruments have produced these returns:
||Troubled Asset Relief Program
||iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treas Bond
||iShares Barclays 7-10 Year Treasury
||iShares Barclays Short Treasury Bond
||SPDR Gold Shares
||Financial Select Sector SPDR
All major markets (stocks, long-term bonds, intermediate-term bonds, short-term bonds, and gold) posted positive returns. In some cases, very good returns. As you can see, I added the Financial sector into that table, which declined slightly more than TARP. Most of TARP’s investment were in the financial sector. The small difference is largely a rounding error because I am looking at XLF’s return up to today whereas the Treasury is using expected returns as of some future date. And that is assuming you trust their accounting…
But this raises the question of why they invested in the worst performing market sector? Those of us who argued that they were throwing good money after bad were correct. Maybe Treasury lost less money than we expected, but we were still correct in predicting negative returns on this investment.
Of course, the government claims that TARP saved the financial system from utter destruction. Oh, to live in a world where you can make outrageous claims without any proof. Next thing you know, the government will claim that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the stimulus bill, “created or saved” millions of jobs, even though the unemployment rate has remained steady near the 10% level.
Posted in Economics, Gold, Government spending, politics, Redistribution, Stimulus spending, Unemployment
Tagged American International Group, big government, Business, Deficit, economics, Finance, Financial services, Government, Government debt, government spending, Investing, Stocks and Bonds, TARP, Troubled Asset Relief Program, unemployment, United States, United States Department of the Treasury
The United States may not be experiencing a sovereign debt crisis like Europe, which I have written about quite often recently, but we have our own problems. In Europe, 20 percent unemployment is making it very difficult to balance budgets. While unemployment is not as bad here, we are experiencing the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. And today’s ADP report proves it:
Private employers unexpectedly cut 39,000 jobs in September after an upwardly revised gain of 10,000 in August, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.
The August figure was originally reported as a loss of 10,000.
The median of estimates from 38 economists surveyed by Reuters for the ADP Employer Services report, jointly developed with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, was for a rise of 24,000 private-sector jobs in September.
Employment fell 63,000 short of expectations, though last month was revised up by 20,000. ADP only measures private employment. The government report due out Friday also includes public sector jobs, which is expected to decline as census workers were recently laid off after the census was completed.
The ADP figures come ahead of the government’s much more comprehensive labor market report on Friday, which includes both public and private sector employment.
That report is expected to show overall nonfarm payrolls were unchanged in September, based on a Reuters poll of analysts, but a rise in private payrolls of 75,000.
Woh! These economists expect 75,000 private sector jobs were created last month when ADP said 39,000 were lost? Seems like somebody is way off the mark here.
Posted in Economics, Elections, Jobs, Sovereign debt crisis, Unemployment
Tagged 2010 European sovereign debt crisis, Democratic Party, Employment, Great Depression, jobs, Nonfarm payrolls, Private sector, Reuters, unemployment, United States