America's Lackluster December Jobs Report
Official numbers belie weakness.
by Stephen Lendman
Headlines belied its weakness. Economist John Williams reengineers economic data based on reliable decades earlier modeling.
U-3 unemployment rose 0.1% to 7.8%. U-6 is broader. It's 14.4%. It includes:
(1) Marginally attached workers wanting jobs but not actively looking in the past 30 days. They looked unsuccessfully in the last year. They include "discouraged workers." They gave up in frustration within, but not exceeding, the past 12 months.
(2) People looking for full-time work but forced to take part-time or temp jobs to be employed.
Based on how unemployment was calculated in the 1980s, Williams reported 23%. It's a "new (post WW II) high," he said.
US employment is more phantom than real. The so-called "birth-death model" manipulates calculations. It estimates net non-reported jobs from new businesses minus losses from others no longer operating.
Doing so exaggerates job creation. Thousands of non-existent ones are added to BLS monthly numbers. Doing so distorts reality.
Williams also said yearend fiscal cliff terms resolved nothing. "Fiscal crisis continues unabated." Congress "did nothing to reduce or contain budget deficits." They're out-of-control. They're rising exponentially.
America is in recession. Media scoundrels don't explain. Nor do talking head economists. They put a brave face on lackluster data.
December's report was called another month of stable, solid, moderate job creation. Millions unable to find work have other views.
Headlines said 155,000 jobs were added. The broader Household survey reported 28,000. The private nonfarm sector declined 23,000. It's down two straight months.
Unemployed numbers rose 164,000. The civilian labor force non-institutional population (NIP) rose 176,000 from 244.174 - 244.350 million. The employment-population ratio was virtually unchanged at 58.6%.
The holy grail of low unemployment remains out of reach. Over five years after crisis conditions erupted, recovery for most Americans remains elusive.