We Just Got Some Good Economic News

When some good economic news comes along, we should be thankful for it, because such moments are becoming increasingly rare.  On Friday, the Labor Department announced that the U.S. economy added 128,000 jobs last month, and that definitely exceeded expectations.  Of course the truth is that the U.S. economy didn’t actually add 128,000 jobs last month.  That number is just a heavily manipulated estimate that is adjusted to smooth out “seasonal fluctuations”, and it will be revised multiple times in the future as more data becomes available.  In other words, the government is giving us an educated guess about what they think might have happened, and it is based on certain assumptions that may or may not be reasonable.  But considering all of the other horrible economic news that we have been getting lately, any number above zero is a reason to celebrate.  The employment situation in this country still appears to be relatively stable, and we should hope that continues to be the case for as long as possible.

Of course nobody should be using words like “boom” or “booming” to describe what is happening.  An increase of 128,000 jobs in one month is not nearly enough to keep up with population growth.

So if the U.S. economy actually did add 128,000 jobs last month, the truth is that we would actually be losing ground.

But at least the jobs number was significantly better that most analysts were projecting

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 128,000 in October as the U.S. economy overcame the weight of the GM autoworkers’ strike and created jobs at a pace well above expectations.

Even with a decline of 42,000 in the motor vehicles and parts industry, the pace of new jobs well exceeded the estimate of 75,000 from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The loss of jobs came due to the General Motors strike that has since been settled. That 42,000 job loss itself was less than the 50,000 or more that many economists had been anticipating.

Hopefully we can have at least a couple more months like this one before the job losses really start becoming severe.

But this is definitely not an indication that the U.S. economy is heading in the right direction.  Because job gains did not keep up with population growth, it makes sense that the unemployment rate actually went up last month

The unemployment rate, which is calculated from a different survey, rose from a 50-year low of 3.5% to 3.6%, the Labor Department said Friday. That’s because a strong increase in employment was offset by an even bigger rise in the labor force, which includes Americans working and looking for jobs.

Also, it is very important that you do not let that “3.6 percent” figure fool you.

As John Williams has documented, if honest numbers were being used the unemployment rate in the United States would currently be 21 percent.  That is down a couple of percent from the peak of the last employment crisis, but it is still not good at all.

And even though the jobs number that we just got was good news, more bad economic news continues to pour in at an alarming rate.  According to the latest projection from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the U.S. economy is on track to grow at a rate of just 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter…

The GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2019 is 1.1 percent on November 1, down from 1.5 percent on October 31. After this morning’s release of the employment report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Manufacturing ISM Report On Business from the Institute for Supply Management, and the construction spending report from the U.S. Census Bureau, the nowcasts of fourth-quarter real personal consumption expenditures growth and fourth-quarter real gross private domestic investment growth decreased from 2.3 percent and -0.7 percent, respectively, to 2.2 percent and -2.5 percent, respectively.

That is horrible, but at least it is still a number that is above zero.

Unfortunately, GDP growth for our neighbor to the south has already fallen below that line.  The following comes from Wolf Richter

In the third quarter of 2019, Mexico notched up its first year-over-year decline in GDP since the final quarter of 2009, when it was in the midst of a sharp recession brought on by the Financial Crisis. According to a preliminary estimate published by Mexico’s statistical institute INEGI, in the third quarter, the economy shrank 0.4% compared with the same quarter a year earlier.

So what should we make of all this?

Clearly, the U.S. economy is slowing down.  The temporary reprieve that we have been enjoying for the past few years appears to be ending, but the jobs number that we got today indicates that it is not done quite yet.

Ultimately, that is good news.

One of the most precious resources that any of us has is time.  If the U.S. economy can remain at least somewhat stable for a little while longer, that buys us some time, and all of us should be using that time wisely.

Because the truth is that the clock is ticking, and economic conditions in the United States are about to make a dramatic turn for the worse.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep.  My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters.  (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing those books you help to support my work.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I can only allow this to happen if this “About the Author” section is included with each article.  In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished.  This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

The Shocking Truth About Unemployment In America In One Chart

The mainstream media is not telling you the truth about unemployment in the United States.  The percentage of working age Americans that are employed is not increasing.  In March 2010, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  In March 2012, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  So if the employment rate is exactly the same as it was two years ago, then how in the world can the Obama administration claim that things have gotten significantly better since then?  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the official unemployment rate in the United States was 9.8 percent in March 2010 and it declined to 8.2 percent in March 2012.  So how is this possible if the percentage of working age Americans that have jobs hasn’t moved?  Well, what they do is they claim that there are millions upon millions of Americans that have “left the labor force”.  In other words, they claim that there are millions upon millions of unemployed Americans that don’t want jobs anymore.  Of course that is a total farce, but the mainstream media and most Americans are buying it.  They actually believe that the unemployment rate is going down.  But the truth is that the unemployment crisis in America has not subsided.  In fact, we are pretty much exactly where we were two years ago, and things are about to get a whole lot worse.

If you want to know the shocking truth about unemployment in America, all you need to do is to look at one chart.  The chart posted below shows the change in the employment-population ratio over the past few years.  What the employment-population ratio measures is the percentage of working age Americans that actually have jobs.  As you can see, it fell dramatically during 2008 and 2009, and since then it has been hovering between 58 and 59 percent….

So there has been no employment recovery, and this is very odd because the employment-population ratio always bounces back after a recession.

The chart posted below shows how the employment-population ratio has changed since the late 1940s.  The shaded areas represent recessions.  Please take note that after every single recession (other than the current one) the employment-population ratio has always bounced back substantially.

During the most recent recession, the employment-population ratio fell farther than it had during any other recession in the post-World War II era.

If these were normal economic times, it would have been reasonable to expect a huge surge in hiring by now.

But we have not seen that.

Instead, the employment rate in the United States has been remarkably flat for more than two years.

So Barack Obama should not even begin to say anything at all about a “recovery” until the employment rate at least breaks the 59 percent barrier.

In the past I have written about how fraudulent the employment statistics put out by the federal government are.

Well, fortunately there are some folks up on Capitol Hill that are starting to take notice of this phenomenon as well.  There is a new bill in Congress that would change the way that the unemployment rate is calculated….

A Republican lawmaker is intensifying his push for legislation that would change how the government measures the unemployment rate. 

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) intends to press GOP leaders to move his bill to include the number of individuals who gave up looking for work in the percentage of jobless claims.

Of course there is probably not a chance that such a bill would ever get through the Senate, but at least some lawmakers are trying to get people to notice what is going on.

The sad truth of the matter is that the employment crisis in America is still about as bad as it was a couple of years ago.

Do you remember a couple of months ago when Barack Obama spoke with the wife of an unemployed engineer and asked her to send his resume to the White House?

Well, it turns out that the unemployed engineer still doesn’t have a job….

More than two months after President Barack Obama asked for Darin Wedel’s résumé, the phone is quiet, e-mails are no longer flooding in and the long-sought-after job interviews — which had begun to be scheduled — have petered out.

“Not even recruiting companies are calling anymore,” said Jennifer Wedel, the Fort Worth mother of two who chatted online this year with Obama about her out-of-work husband.

She says his job search has been hurt by a program to hire skilled foreign workers.

But Barack Obama is doing the same thing on a national level.

He is promising all of us that things are improving and that there will be lots of jobs for everyone soon, but it is all a lie.

The truth is that this period of relative stability that has been purchased by unprecedented levels of government debt will soon give way to even more economic trouble.

One of my readers recently brought to my attention a list of some of the major companies that are currently getting rid of workers….

Ford will be laying off 1,200 assembly line workers later on this month.

Pittsburgh-based paint and coating manufacturer PPG has announced that it will be laying off 2,000 workers.

J.C. Penney recently laid off 600 workers and has plans to lay off another 300 workers in July.

Lockheed Martin has announced that it will be laying off hundreds of workers.

Dow Chemical has announced that hundreds of workers are going to be laid off.

Yahoo has formally announced that it will be getting rid of about 2,000 workers.

Sony has announced plans to eliminate 10,000 jobs globally.

Even Oprah Winfrey is laying off workers.  Oprah is reducing the size of the staff at the OWN network by 20 percent.

Meanwhile, our economy continues to bleed jobs at an astounding pace.  At a time when American workers desperately need jobs, millions of them continue to be sent overseas.

In fact, even some jobs that you would think would be impossible to outsource are being given to foreigners.  Just recently, ABC News did a major report on all of the roads and bridges all over the United States that are being built by Chinese companies.  If you have not seen that report yet, you can view it online right here.

If you go into a Wal-Mart or a dollar store and you start turning over products you will find that huge numbers of them are made in China and that very few of them are made in the United States.  China is absolutely dominating us on the global economic stage.  Last year our trade deficit with China was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.  Yet we continue to pursue the exact same trade policies year after year.

So how is the American economy ever supposed to recover if we continue to play to lose?

As a nation we spend far more than we make, we consume far more than we produce and our federal government implements thousands of new business-crippling regulations every single year.

If you still have a good job, you should treasure it and you should try to hold on to it for as long as you can.  Soon the next major economic downturn will be upon us and millions more Americans will lose their jobs and their homes.

Things did not have to turn out this way, but we made horribly bad decisions for decades and now the consequences are catching up with us.

You better get ready.

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