Friday, June 1, 2012

U.S. Employment — The Spring of Discontent

The 'Helicopter Economics Investing Guide' is meant to help educate people on how to make profitable investing choices in the current economic environment. We have coined this term to describe the current monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. government, which involve unprecedented money printing. This is the official blog of the New York Investing meetup.

According to the BLS, the U.S. economy created only 69,000 jobs in May 2012. The previous two months were revised down, March from 154,000 to 143,000, and the April from 115,000 to 77,000. Although the U.S. economy is not creating enough jobs for new entrants into the labor force, the BLS claimed the unemployment rate was only 8.2%.

Early in the year, the mainstream media was filled with reports of the recovering job market and a U.S. economy on the upswing. The average reported monthly job gain was 226,000 a month in the first quarter — a healthy amount if it were true. There was more than enough reason to believe it was not true however. The jobs numbers are seasonally adjusted and the winter was unusually warm meaning the usual large layoffs in industries like construction didn't take place. Nevertheless, the BLS adjusted its figures as if they had.

If the better figures in the winter were created by seasonal adjustments and not a better economy, then the spring figures should consequently be weak. This is exactly what has happened. The telltale sign can be found in the May Construction employment number down by 28,000 last month when it should have been strong.

Almost all the job gains came from only two sources last month, Health Care and Social Services (33,000)  and Transportation and Warehousing (36,000). Health Care is the only category that consistently added jobs during the Great Recession. If the BLS numbers are projected out to the distant future, almost every American in the labor force will eventually be employed in this field.

As usual, comparisons with five years ago indicate that the U.S. economy is still in serious trouble. There were almost 3.7 million less people employed last month than in May 2007. At the same time, the over-16 noninstitutional population has increased by nearly 11.5 million or around 192,000 per month. Yet, the BLS claims that the U.S. labor force has grown by a little over 2.2 million or approximately 37,000 a month. There is a major disconnect between those numbers and it indicates that a lot more Americans are unemployed than the BLS headline number indicates.

Disclosure: None

Daryl Montgomery
Author: "Inflation Investing - A Guide for the 2010s"
Organizer, New York Investing meetup

This posting is editorial opinion. There is no intention to endorse the purchase or sale of any security.


hilo helicopter tours said...

There isn't disclosure about it. An ongoing discussion is still active.


I have serious reservations about the economic recovery.