The July jobs numbers have come out and it is being described as a “mixed bag.” Well, if by that they mean it is a mixed bag of reality and fiction, then that is an accurate description.
The July report says that 163,000 new jobs were created last month, the strongest report in five months. Yet, the unemployment rate actually INCREASED to 8.3%. What gives?
Let’s get this matter of housekeeping out of the way first, though.
June’s anemic 80,000 gain was revised down to just 64,000.
That’s what happens when reality meets the fiction created by bureaucrats. (Just wait until next month, but I’ll get to that in a minute.)
So, the unemployment rate ticked up 0.1% to 8.3%, huh? Not quite. That number excludes those who are unemployed and have given up looking for work as well as those with college degrees forced to take a part-time job working the graveyard shift at the Taco Bell drive-thru lane because they can’t find work elsewhere (in other words, underemployed.) As described by CNBC, the U-6 number provides the real insight into how people view the economy (at least those who are not in one of those big, concrete buildings in D.C. weaving a fantasy world.)
What is the REAL unemployment rate when you count people who want to work, but who have given up looking or who have taken low-wage or part-time jobs just to keep themselves afloat?
15 percent. That is nearly 1 out of every 7 Americans who wants to work can’t find a job. Yet just a few days ago President Obama said “We tried our plan and it worked.”
Well, at least those 163,000 new jobs were created, right?
I hate to be such a Debbie Downer, but even the NY Times is calling that figure into question. It seems the Bureau of Labor Statistics performs a “seasonal adjustment” in the month of July to reflect the typical monthlong closure of auto manufacturing facilities. Except those closures didn’t happen this summer, yet the BLS still made the adjustment. That further distorts the actual picture by plopping extra “jobs created” into their totals to compensate for an event that didn’t take place. When the revised July numbers come out a month from now, expect a large drop from the 163,000 figure to correct that “error.”
Aside from that, the jobs created in the private sector were largely in the service industry — bars and restaurants were specifically mentioned in several media reports — that’s okay if you think you can make a lifetime career out of being the hostess at Applebee’s or bar tender at TGI Friday’s, but you don’t see too many 62-year olds in those positions. Someone needs to tell the President that.