Chicken Little & Jobs

Posted: April 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

You know Chicken Little with “the sky is falling, the sky is falling”.. well Ap News apparently is going with “the jobs are increasing, the economy is better (yeah to Obama)” song…

On APNEWS they report with overjoy about the improved job outlook. That companies are (planning) to add more jobs, and the unemployment rate has dropped to the lowest in 2 years. But what the REAL numbers? The fact remains they can’t know how many unemployed there are unless someone is actively looking for work and or collecting benefits.

Yet the article cheers on.. this is a boon to Obama’s re-election hopes. They do include some hints at reality…

Fewer than two-thirds of American adults are either working or looking for work _ the lowest participation rate in 25 years.

But immediately counter a fact with numbers that show the increased jobs are offsetting the layoffs. Further into the article they do point out that there still is more needed to make up for the number of jobs that have been lost during the recession.

Economists expect the stronger hiring to endure throughout the year, producing a net gain of about 2.5 million jobs for 2011. Even so, that would make up for only a small portion of the 7.5 million jobs wiped out during the recession. The economy must average up to 300,000 new jobs a month to significantly lower unemployment.

Again they note a kudos for a dramatic drop in unemployment, they also note that far fewer people are looking for a job too..  (so they have a form of a clue, but can not truly understand it)

The unemployment rate has fallen a full percentage point since November, the sharpest four-month drop since 1983. Stepped-up hiring is the main reason. But a more sobering factor is that the number of people who are either working or seeking a job remains surprisingly low for this stage of the recovery.

People without jobs who aren’t looking for one aren’t counted as unemployed. Once they start looking again, they’re classified as unemployed, and the unemployment rate can go back up. That can happen even if the economy is adding jobs.

Just 64.2 percent of adults have a job or are looking for one _ the lowest participation rate since 1984. The number has been shrinking for four years. It suggests many people remain discouraged about their job prospects even as hiring is picking up.

It is wonderful if the economy is improving.. IF. But of course that remains to be seen. Consider also the amount of inflation, gas prices, grocery prices, products.. everything has been making major hikes, and no doubt will continue going up. So the added jobs will be needed for most people to make ends meet.. and or spending will drop, and the economy will suffer from that too. I know I am the bringer of doom, sorry.

Alas the other side of the scary situation is re-election opportunity for Obama. Remember the drum Obama was beating from day one, the economy, (Bush’s fault), the economy, (Bush’s fault),the economy, (Bush’s fault),.. he will end up hearing that chorus played back very soon. Yet if the jobs appear to improve, that could be a boost for him, and he could win. The article even highlights that jobs were down during Reagan’s 1st term (10.4 unemployment) by 1984 the rate dropped to 7.2.. and Reagan won.

The hope I have is, if jobs do increase, the unemployed will surface and search.. which will reveal what the real unemployment numbers really are. And again be a shot in Obama’s leg.

Even those who are working have less spending power than they did a year ago. Wages were flat in March. And over the past 12 months, they’ve trailed inflation. Workers have scant bargaining power to demand raises because the job market is still healing only slowly.

I loved that statement about employee bargaining power.. at the same time we see the fuss-fest, and threats, union workers are pulling as they demand more money, and more power. Perhaps the union problem can be the lead weight tied around Obama and affect his chances for re-election.

More points..

  • Job growth is getting no help from local governments, which cut 15,000 workers last month while wrestling with budget shortfalls. They are expected to keep shedding jobs.
  • Also, housing remain depressed in many cities, weighed down by falling prices and rising foreclosures. Construction spending dropped in February to a 12-year low.
  • Higher food and gas prices are also leaving consumers with less income to spend on other goods and services.
  • Including part-time workers who would prefer full-time work, plus people who have given up looking altogether, roughly 24 million people were “underemployed” in March. That’s 15.7 percent of the work force.

And the end note of course sings a “happy song”..

“The unemployment rate has broken through the sound barrier and continuing to decline,” said Sung Won Sohn, economist at California State University. “The recovery in employment is here to stay.”

Can you tell this was an Associated Press article, just by the pro-Obama, pro-economy, happy clouds and unicorns philosophy? Not that I am trying to be a bummer, I just think they are glancing at numbers with out fully examining them, they are not seeing the whole picture. They can identify the housing market, the food and gas prices, etc.. but can not see that those things further hamper the economy and job outlooks. If couples both need to work to make ends meet, if one person needs two jobs to survive, if the only jobs pay 1/2 what they used to make, if the only jobs are part-time.. the numbers they are viewing just skim the surface and do not touch reality. There is so much more going on but it makes sense that AP and of course Obama are oblivious to the true situation in this country, they are out of touch, and or simply do not care. This is another reason he should not win a re-election as our President! I term is more than enough!

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