Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Recession Is Still Over - Everything Is Perfect - Carry On

The Recession Is Still Over - Everything Is Perfect - Carry On

Man, do you recall that recession? Boy, am I sure glad that it's all over now. Just look at this New York Times article declaring the robust job growth over the previous month.
The United States economy added 216,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department reported Friday, adding to hopes that hiring was finally on a steadier track despite concerns about overseas turmoil.

The gain in jobs slightly exceeded economists’ expectations. The unemployment rate continued to decline, to 8.8 percent, from 8.9 percent the previous month.

Yay, everyone has jobs!

But economists are looking for more Americans, like those who have given up looking or who have taken part jobs because they cannot find full time, to find signs of hope.

“I suspect that the workers on the sideline will start coming back in,” said Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the liberal Economic Policy Institute.

Yes the workers were on the sidelines resting up just like in American sports not utterly disconnected from society and self-worth and they are just champing at the bit to come back into the game.

Just 64.2 percent of adults are either in the work force, or looking for a job; that’s the lowest labor participation rate in a quarter century.

Welp, I guess all those months of kicking people out of the workforce are being acknowledged in some way? That's cool. Oh but wait. What is this, on that same motherfucking page directly below this goddamn article?

Ha! Yup, that's right, all the jobs are total shit and people who even dream of taking them will remain in poverty.
Hard as it can be to land a job these days, getting one may not be nearly enough for basic economic security.

But many of the jobs being added in retail, hospitality and home health care, to name a few categories, are unlikely to pay enough for workers to cover the cost of fundamentals like housing, utilities, food, health care, transportation and, in the case of working parents, child care.

According to the report, a single worker needs an income of $30,012 a year — or just above $14 an hour — to cover basic expenses and save for retirement and emergencies. That is close to three times the 2010 national poverty level of $10,830 for a single person, and nearly twice the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

A single worker with two young children needs an annual income of $57,756, or just over $27 an hour, to attain economic stability, and a family with two working parents and two young children needs to earn $67,920 a year, or about $16 an hour per worker.

Ms. Kuriansky said that the income projections do not take into account frills like gifts or meals out. “It’s a very bare-bones budget,” she said.

Over the last year, wages adjusted for inflation have been essentially flat. “If we were creating more low-paid jobs,” said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics, “we would expect more of a decline in real wages.”

In conclusion - death to America or whatever, fuck it. I just stopped caring at this point. Because really, even if you ignored everything else on this, it seems really stupid to be so celebratory over a .1% degree decrease in unemployment. Wow, it's a thousandth lower, would you look at that! Looks like the economy has finally turned around and things will be as good as before!

Shit, even if we're happy about the 216,000 jobs added, we have to realize that we need something like 250,000 a month to keep at pace with new people entering the workplace from college and high school. So we're still not even close to treading water.

Say for example that your job doesn't pay $15 per hour, you're better off quitting that job and joining a roaming party of bandits. Or at least just collect unemployment. You're better off than working a shitty job for shitty pay for a shitty quality of life.

But hey, there's always a job at McDonalds, right? Wrong. Not even worth it. You might as well collect some more unemployment till they cut you off. Do you remember the old days? You know.. the good ol times.

Those times when a single factory worker used to be able to support a family of 4 and be able to retire at 65 in this country. What the fuck happened? I'm thinking that the older generations just have no fucking idea at all on how much wages have fallen in today's market.

But I guess it's easy to be blinded by how hard times are when the property you bought 30 years ago is going to pay for your retirement and you didn't need college loans to make a bare bones living back then, just some really good union representation.

I mean, all I know is that the way to fix the economy is to get people employed. But it seems that big business and government have found it in their interest that to do that they need to destroy unions that mandate it that their workers get paid enough to "live" on.

It also seems a little facile to say people are going to be buoyed by real estate when the floor has bottomed out on real estate, doesn't it. Why yes, you should buy an entire block of suburban homes and reap the benefits in 20 years when nobody can afford to drive and they quadruple in prices.

Just look at this gallup poll on the whole March job report. How could people just sweep a report like that under the rug? Gallup is a pretty reputable source, a lot more so than most other places that these folks praising that .1% increase are getting theirs from.

Though I guess it's easy when the goal is to make things look better than they actually are. Just a matter of massaging that data until you get exactly what you want out of it. I mean, it's not that interesting to write what everyone already knows.. that unemployment is still fucking crazy. I mean, unemployment fell several tenths of a percent. Economists are baffled at how gains so small they are barely statistically significant could have ever been stymied.

But let's talk about the other facts presented in this report.

-The average duration of unemployment is now at nearly 40 weeks, up 3 weeks from last month; as that indicates, those long-term unemployed people are still, for the most part, unemployed.

-44.5 percent of the unemployed have been unemployed for over 27 weeks, up 3% from last month.

-The number of average weekly hours worked, at 34.3, has remained unchanged for over a year. But the EPR has increased, and some people have undisappeared from the labor force. It's a mixed bag at best.

Though I should really point out that these "facts" should be seen as nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Because really, they're just numbers that someone could have made up.

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