Men not at work

Featured image The new unemployment rate announced this morning was 5.3 percent, down from 5.5 percent last month. The AP story is here; the Bloomberg story is here. The economy is said to have added 223,000 jobs last month, but the decline in the unemployment rate is, as usual deceiving. The decline in the unemployment rate reflects the continuing decline in the labor participation rate: “The participation rate, which indicates the share »

Does Illegal Immigration Explain the Disconnect Between Jobs and Wages?

Featured image After seven years of “recovery,” the jobs picture is finally beginning to brighten a bit. Last month’s jobs number, 280,000, was relatively good. But economists are puzzled: if hiring is picking up, why are wages and GDP stagnant, or even shrinking? At ZeroHedge, the pseudonymous Tyler Durden proposes an answer. It begins with the fact that nearly all job gains have gone to immigrants: There were other curiosities: the vast »

All Job Growth Since 2007 Has Gone to Foreign-Born Workers

Featured image With the latest jobs report published, Senate Budget Committee staff have updated their analysis of job creation and population growth. They start their analysis in December 2007, when the last recession began. This is their conclusion: There are two tables underneath – one showing foreign-born employment, the other showing US-born employment. What it shows is astonishing: foreign employment in the U.S. rose by 1.7 million, while the employment of U.S.-born »

The Big Lie On Unemployment

Featured image The administration is crowing over the fact that the unemployment rate has finally fallen, after six years, to 5.6%–not even a good number, by historic standards. But almost everyone understands that the reality is quite different, in part because the rate has dropped largely on account of people giving up, dropping out of the labor force, going on disability, and so on. But one question I have never seen answered »

Where Did the Jobs Go?

Featured image Somewhat remarkably, given that it has presided over the worst recovery–by far–of the post-war era, the Obama administration tries to slice and dice employment numbers to portray itself as a champion of job creation. There are, indeed, a few more jobs today than there were six years ago. Yet for most Americans, the employment scene has gotten worse, not better. Why is that? Senate Budget Committee staff offer data in »

Will Yesterday’s Jobs Report Boost Democrats?

Featured image Democrats are touting yesterday’s jobs report–248,000 net new jobs were added in September, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.9%–as a victory for the administration that should improve the party’s prospects in November. Thus, to cite just one example, President Obama boasted in a speech yesterday that by any measure, the economy today is better than when he took office. I should hope so! Obama took office shortly after the »

The Obama Economy, In Eleven Charts

Featured image Today the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee put out a chart book that documents the Obama administration’s failures in economic policy. From the introduction: The great economic tragedy of our time is the erosion of the American middle class. Millions of Americans find themselves locked out of the American Dream. Their wages are either flat or falling, even as the price of energy and goods surges; the labor force »

Let’s Not Drive Down Wages With Immigration “Reform”

Featured image Today’s jobs report was disappointing–only 142,000 jobs added, well below analysts’ expectations; 60,000 workers left the labor force; June and July payroll estimates were revised downward; and 12% are either unemployed, or working part-time while seeking full-time employment. All of which raises, once again, the question why anyone would consider it a good idea to import tens of millions of new, unskilled and semi-skilled workers to compete with Americans who »

The Awful Jobs Picture: 6.2% Unemployment Is Only the Beginning

Featured image The Labor Department reported today that the economy added 209,000 jobs in July as the official unemployment rate rose to 6.2%. But, as Peter Morici explains, that dismal unemployment number only begins to tell the story: Adding in discouraged adults who say they would begin looking for work if conditions were better, those working part-time but say they want full time work, and the effects of immigration, the unemployment rate »

The scandal of part-time America

Featured image Mort Zuckerman, writing in the Wall Street Journal, notes the deceptive nature of the hype surrounding the June jobs report showing the addition of 288,000 jobs. In reality, full time jobs decreased by 523,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — a shocking number that is obscured, but hardly offset, by the addition of 800,000 part time jobs. Following the release of the June report, President Obama proclaimed, “Make »

Today’s Jobs Report: A Note of Caution

Featured image Today’s jobs report was the best in a long time, thank goodness. But a friend on the Hill points out some facts that shed light on the broader issues that are still very much with us: Today’s report shows increasing strength in the jobs market. June employment (according to the survey of businesses) rose by 288,000 jobs. The BLS revised their April jobs estimate from 282,000 to 304,000 and their »

The Disaster of Obamanomics, In Two Charts [Updated with more charts from Joe]

Featured image Apologists for the Obama administration sometimes argue that the nation’s declining rate of labor force participation is largely a function of baby boomers retiring from the labor force. Unfortunately, this is not the case. This chart, prepared by the Senate Budget Committee, pretty much says it all. An unprecedented number of men–one in six–between the ages of 25 and 54, what should be their prime earning years, are either unemployed »

The Failure of Obamanomics In Three Charts

Featured image Democrats are spinning April’s relatively good jobs numbers as a victory for the administration. The reality, however, is that the current recovery is the weakest of modern times, as economic growth, after more than five years of Democratic Party policies, stands at near zero. The Senate Budget Committee offers the following three charts, which show how the Obama administration’s government-centric policies stack up against the Reagan administration’s free enterprise approach, »

The United States of Disability

Featured image Barack Obama is often referred to as the Food Stamp President, but it may be even more appropriate to call him the Disability President. On his watch, the number of Americans living on Social Security disability benefits has skyrocketed to 11 million. Are Americans suddenly getting more sickly? No, they can’t find jobs. One recourse for the long-term unemployed is to declare themselves permanently and totally disabled. Of course, those »

The real unemployment, cont’d

Featured image Walt Whitman famously observed to a friend in 1863 that “the real war will never get in the books.” Whitman knew what he was talking about, so the proposition can’t be discounted. But in the case of the Civil War, if the real war hasn’t gotten into the books, it’s not for lack of trying. Louis Masur even made a good book out of Whitman’s challenge. I have Whitman’s feeling »

How Bad Is the Economy? This Bad

Featured image I have often said that in order to understand how bad our economy truly is, you have to have children at an age where they and their friends are getting out of school and looking for jobs. After five years of ostensible recovery, the job situation is brutal for young people. This was confirmed once again by a study of recent Minnesota graduates that was covered in yesterday’s Minneapolis Star »

More of the same in the latest jobs report

Featured image In January, the U.S. economy added only 113,000 jobs. Most forecasts were for job growth of closer to 200,000, which still would not have been all that impressive. On the other hand, the unemployment rate dropped slightly, from 6.7 to 6.6 percent. This has become the familiar pattern — anemic job growth coupled with very small decreases in the unemployment rate. Indeed, the theme of BLS’s “Employment Situation Summary” is »