May 7th, 2013
The Dow Jones is soaring. The unemployment rate is stable. People are shopping. America is in recovery.
Or is it?
Despite all of the positive spin being put on the global and domestic economic recovery, the truth is that nothing of the sort is actually happening.
Any observant analyst can deduce that 15,000+ stock market values are a result of easy money being pumped into investment banks, who then slam that money straight into markets. The Fed itself is reportedly providing direct liquidity to the system. They can do this forever, so long as our creditors let them. And, until they’re stopped, they’ll continue to convince most Americans that financial markets and the economy have been stabilized.
Underneath all the hoop-la, however, is the reality of the situation.
The latest employment report from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics is a prime example of the shenanigans being played by government statisticians and their media cohorts behind the scenes.
While the official story is that non farm payrolls rose by 165,000 people last month leaving the unemployment rate at 7.5%, the truth is that the devil is in the details:
Now for the bad news.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.2 hour in April to 34.4 hours. Within manufacturing, the workweek decreased by 0.1 hour to 40.7 hours, and overtime declined by 0.1 hour to 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)
This is a problem. If we look at the “employed” figure of 143,724,000 people a drop of 0.2 hours is a full-time-equivalent decrease of 1/2%. Applied to the employed population this amounts to an imputed economic decrease of 718,620 jobs!
That is, the loss of work-week hours of just 0.2 is the same economic impact as firing 700,000 people!
There is a huge problem coming this year and into next in this regard as the trend of cutting hours back to get under Obamacare limits is picking up steam and will continue.
Do not underestimate the economic impact of those hours-worked changes — you’d have to post up a +700k jobs figure to offset just this one month’s change in hourly workweek!
You’ll be told this is a “good report” and it is, on the surface. But I bet not one of the talking heads on CNBC runs the math on what the workweek means in terms of economic impact.
You heard it here first, and later this summer and into the fall when the jobs report continues to post up mid-100k numbers but consumer spending collapses into the toilet at a rate that is roughly identical to when we’re losing 600-700,000 jobs a month and people are scratching their heads trying to figure out why it’s happening as the stock market crashes, you will be one of the few who understands what has happened and why.
Via Karl Denninger’s Market Ticker
We may be creating jobs in America. But not only are we not creating enough jobs to offset the amount of people entering the workforce, those who have jobs are being forced to work fewer hours. Couple that with rising prices for essentials like food and energy being fueled by the Federal Reserve and US Treasury, and you’ve got quite a predicament.
They can show us their charts, make forward looking statements, cite rising stock markets, and try to play with the statistics to give us a perception of growth and improvement, but they cannot rewrite the basic laws of arithmetic.
This is going to end horribly for tens of millions of Americans and none of them see it coming.