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Dead-End Jobs, Dead-End Recovery

Posted on October 8, 2014

By David Stockman

The September jobs report was greeted by a flurry of robo-trader exuberance because another print well above 200k purportedly signals that growth is underway and profits will remain in high cotton as far as the eye can see. But how many years can this Charlie Brown and Lucy charade be taken seriously—-even by the headline stalking talking heads who inhabit bubblevision?

For the entirety of this century they have actually been gumming about little more than “born again” jobs, not real expansion of labor inputs to the faltering US economy. In effect, some macroeconomic Lucy periodically removes the jobs football, but after ritual hand-wringing during the recession the charade starts all over again. That is, Wall Street and the financial media resume what amounts to a monthly jobs telethon around the BLS’s massaged, imputed, seasonally maladjusted and incessantly revised establishment payroll guesstimates.

But try the trend of aggregate labor hours. instead. That’s also contained in the BLS report, but it is never cited in context—-only as a meaningless point comparison with the prior month. The better angle, of course, is spans of years and decades because that captures trends and the real course of economic history, not monthly noise and revisions.

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3 thoughts on “Dead-End Jobs, Dead-End Recovery

  1. Phillip the Bruce says:

    Another aspect to consider – if the jobs # goes up, but the aggregate hours # is flat, that means more part time workers and fewer covered by Pelosicare.

  2. Maybe Obama could give one of the unemployed his job to reduce unemployment and let Obama play golf full time.

  3. How long can the charade go on? It will go on until Janet Yellen gets some whalebone in her corset and shuts down Quantitative Easing. That may be the new "shot heard round the world". Interest rates will seek their own level and the adoring public and the brain crippled press will discover the inflation that they haven't been able to see with a telescope. See my blog at http://cranky-conservative.blogspot.com