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Friday
Nov082013

About Those Jobs Numbers… October 2013

Unemployment is up again.

Back to normal operations after being shuttered during the federal government slowdown last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics today released its regular report on American employment statistics.

It’s more of the same… but it’s trending worse.

Overall, the national jobless rate rose by a tenth of a percentage point to 7.3 percent.  But the “U-6” rate — the figure that includes not just those looking for work but also those who are underworked and so despondent they are no longer looking for employment — rose two-tenths of a point to 13.8 percent.

Considering that this rate includes the entire able-bodied population, many economic experts believe the U-6 rate is a more accurate indicator of the nation’s real jobs situation.  So, consider the true unemployment rate to be just shy of 14 percent!

But there’s more to consider than just the new BLS jobs numbers — there are a lot more economic indicators to think about to get the full picture.  That’s where Derryck Green, a member of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network, comes into play.

In his latest installment of “About Those Jobs Numbers…,” Derryck’s monthly analysis of the employment report and life under the Obama economy agenda in general, he notes how all the trends seem to be looking gloomy — so there’s nothing to be confident about right now.

Derryck writes:

The official national unemployment rate is 7.3 percent.

Black unemployment in particular is 13.1 percent, while black teen unemployment is 36 percent.  The unemployment rate for black men and women above 20 years old is, respectively, 13 percent and 11.5 percent.

Also, the number of able Americans now out of the labor force is over 72 million, bringing the labor force participation rate to 63 percent.

As for progress, only 204,000 jobs were created in October — far less than needed to replace jobs that were lost and to grow the American economy.

Actual numbers may be revised in a few months, but whatever the final numbers turn out to be, it’s likely going to still be far below the number needed to keep pace with population growth.

The unemployment numbers released today also may not give as clear a picture of the nation’s economic condition as it usually does due to the temporary disruption (halt in investment, job creation and hiring, for example) caused by last month’s partial government slowdown.

Speaking of the slowdown, the debt — whose ceiling became temporarily unlimited under the terms for ending the slowdown — jumped to almost $330 billion alone on the first day after the government “reopened.”  It rose over $400 billion for the month of October.

The federal debt is now comfortably over $17 trillion.  It was only $10.6 trillion when Obama took office. 

A much more frightening reality is the nation’s long-term unfunded liabilities, which include Medicare, Medicare’s prescription benefits and Social Security.  When these numbers are taken into consideration, the federal debt is considered to be a staggering $126 trillion — representing $1.1 million per each American taxpayer.

As for some possible good news, the gross domestic product — the measure of goods and services the country produces — rose in the third quarter, indicating a bit of economic growth.  Another measure used to determine the health of the economy, consumer spending, unfortunately was flat.

Business investment was also flat, which indicates that hiring continued to lag.  No surprise there.  Today’s jobless numbers proved this to be true.

All these facts continue to be troubling.  These numbers, in part, indicate people have lost hope of finding sustainable work.  Job seekers simply aren’t confident that they’ll find a job.  If they do find work, it may only be part time, based on the quality of jobs being created.  Or jobs may pay under 30 hours — a way for employers to stay solvent under the new normal of ObamaCare.

This doesn’t just indicate a bad economic reality — it paints a devastating economic picture for the country’s future, especially for those under the age of 25.

Consider that, last month, the unemployment rate for white men, women, black men and black women over the age of twenty was 6.1 percent, 5.5 percent, 14 percent and 10 percent, respectively.  Regardless of race, the unemployment for men and women of the same age was 7.1 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively.

These statistics are bad.  What they indicate is that the onset of adulthood is being unavoidably pushed back because entering the workforce is being delayed.

If young people can’t find work, they don’t get married.  If they don’t get married, they don’t have children and start families.  If they don’t start families, they don’t necessarily buy cars and houses (as well as the appliances to fill their homes).  They also don’t invest in service and resources to benefit children or childrens’ futures. 

Yet none of this takes into consideration that these young people are also likely having to repay student loan obligations which total more than $674 billion — up 463 percent since Obama took office.

All of this is compounded by the economic effect of ObamaCare’s premium and deductible increases are having on individuals, employers and society as a whole.

All of these and more have a negative effect on our economic future.  Without maintainable employment and opportunities for promotions or advancements that allow young people to earn salaries commensurate with fulfilling the financial obligations they have incurred while also having a family, our economy could possibly be stagnant for at least another generation.

This is all the result of progressive economic policies.  Those people who remain determined to endorse more of these economic policies have a moral obligation to explain their rationale — if one can call it that — for doing so, especially when the facts are so overwhelmingly against the consequences of their ideology.

Folks, if you don’t pray, knowledge of these statistics present a good time to start.

photo credit: iStockPhoto

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