Friday's "Employment Situation" report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) wasn't just bad, it was ominous. We're going to discuss what was ominous about it, and what progressive economic policies have to do with all of this.
While most pundits have focused on the BLS Establishment Survey, which reported that 165,000 payroll jobs had been created during April, the Household Survey numbers told a much different story.
Total employment rose by 293,000 during April, but part-time jobs increased by 441,000. As a result, full-time jobs declined by 148,000.
The number of "full-time-equivalent" (FTE) jobs only increased by 73,000. This was not enough to keep pace with the growth of our working-age population, so the "FTE jobs ratio" (the number of FTE jobs per 100 working-age Americans), fell.
While the "headline" (U-3) unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage points to 7.5% during April, the broader U-6 rate increased by 0.1 percentage points (to 13.9%). The even-more-comprehensive "SGS Alternative" unemployment rate also rose by 0.1 percentage points, equaling its record high of 23.0%, a level it first attained in December.
The April jobs numbers describe a mass replacement of full-time workers with part-time employees, coupled with a fall in the length of the average workweek. This happens to be precisely what you would expect, given the perverse incentives baked into Obamacare, which took effect on January 1.
During April, the FTE jobs ratio fell for the fifth month in a row, to 53.09.
As of April, the fall in the FTE jobs ratio from its local peak was only 0.11. Only one of the recessions since 1955 was presaged by this mild a decline, and there were eight instances during the past 50 years where the FTE jobs ratio declined by this much over five months, and the economy did not fall into recession.
This having been said, there also has never been a case where the FTE jobs ratio fell for five months in a row and a recession did not follow.
In the old Soviet Union under Stalin there was complete concealment of economic statistics. Now we are headed down the same road, but the method is a slanted presentation of the numbers parading as fact, which is virtually the same as concealment for all practical purposes.
Those who work for and on behalf of government seem to have been brainwashed into the belief that current statistics are of some value, whereas they are more often used to move markets in the direction that the elitists’ banksters and their political puppets wish.
One of those who supported the view that the BLS produced reliable statistics was Pierre Rinfret, an economist who advised 3 Republican Presidents prior to 1990 and ran for Governor of New York. He was an interesting person and a WWII hero, but if you asked him about government statistics he felt they were above reproach, as all who collected them were highly professional in providing dependable numbers. He had a blog (some of which has been saved) up until his death in 2006, and apparently carried the belief that the integrity of statistics of the BLS was above reproach. So Potomac fever is indeed highly infectious corrupting the thinking of even the most upright of individuals who spend too much time under “Beltway” influence.
The point is that if statistics have to be interpreted, because relevancy is hidden within, they are useless. That’s because of the impact the slanting of those statistics has on most that hear about and misinterpret them by not delving into them in depth, which supposedly turns fiction into reality for the politicos who hope they will be acted upon superficially. That is what leads to what one well known individual called, “irrational exuberance”.
hapiwondrer, "In the old Soviet Union under Stalin there was complete concealment of economic statistics."
That seems more preferable than distortion or outright lies. It's more respectful.
"... if statistics have to be interpreted, because relevancy is hidden within, they are useless."
It's just another scam.
Scams are proliferating. The overall result is a slowing of economy, because people become reluctant to transact when they think they might become a scam victim. The velocity of money slows.
Ive never seen where the spinsteers post anything about what these newly created jobs are and what they pay.. I have my suspicions they are mostly 10 to 12 dollar an hour ones which is the survival rate and ones you dont buy new cars or houses on. Shouldnt belong before we are all riding bicycles and Chinees are driving new cars. SLW is for when this voodoo economy collapses for my situation.
The BLS numbers for April being above estimates was positive but you point to a number with which I am unfamiliar as being a negative,namely the FTE. A number with which you probably are familiar with is the U6 number which was 13.9%. It went up a fraction which diminishes the relevance of the U3 number. But what astounded me were the revisions. When the BLS can count one time and come up with a ""February’s total of 268000 and then revise it to 332,000 and then take a March number of 88,000 and "correct it" to 138,000 I become even more cynical about the accuracy or the value of any statistical data coming from this administration.