US Economy on verge of collapse?, Workers not buying labor market’s recovery, Forget unemployment rate, Record low labor force participation rates, WV drops below 50 percent, National debt exceeds GDP

US Economy on verge of collapse?, Workers not buying labor market’s recovery, Forget unemployment rate, Record low labor force participation rates, WV drops below 50 percent, National debt exceeds GDP

“Over the last six months, of the net job creation, 97 percent of that is part-time work,”…Keith Hall, former BLS chief

“The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in September at 7.1 million. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.”…US Labor Dept. September 2014

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″



I am an optimist by nature and I love and believe in this country.

I have heard Rush Limbaugh echo this attitude.

A friend recently asked me what I thought about the prospects for this country in 2015.

I paused for a moment and said I could not see much good.

The realist in me, the mathemetician, the businesman and the person paying close attention to facts, is very concerned about the US Economy.

For starters, the US debt, which exceeds the GDP, is a concern.

We are at best case scenario debt interest rates now and we are not paying down the debt and instead are rapidly adding to it. The interest service on this debt will increasingly be a burden on our budgets and economy.

The employment situation in this country is scary.

Record numbers have dropped out of the labor force and consequently record number are receiving government assistance.

Forget the unemployment rate. If you remove enough people from the labor force you will achieve full employment and a low unemployment rate. We have that scenario now. In fact one state, West Virginia, has a labor force participation rate below 50 percent yet the unemployment rate is 6.3 percent.

See what I mean?

Old Abe Lincoln once said “you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

From Market Watch January 14, 2015.

“The only state where less than half its civilians work”

“West Virginia quietly passed the ignominious milestone of having less than half of its adult, civilian population in the workforce in November.

State data compiled by the Labor Department shows that West Virginia’s civilian labor participation rate has fallen to 49.8%, from 50% in October. The national rate in December was 62.7%.

The Mountain State is the only state in the history of the series, which goes back to 1976, to have fallen below 50%, though Mississippi at 50.8% isn’t far behind.

See interactive map of participation and unemployment rates.

The troubles that have befallen West Virginia have been well publicized, notably the diminished demand for coal.

At 6.3%, West Virginia doesn’t have close to the worst state unemployment rate, with Mississippi, California and Rhode Island each having jobless rates above 7%, and 11 other states with unemployment rates in the 6% range that are worse. But it’s a state where many have given up trying to find a job.”

Read more:

From Market Watch January 13, 2015.

“Workers not buying labor market’s recovery”

“The U.S. labor market had a strong 2014 — the economy added the most jobs since 1999 and the unemployment rate fell, according to government data released last week.

But a Tuesday report hinted that workers don’t completely believe in the solidity of the recovery, with many still wary of quitting their jobs.”

“One trend that workers may find encouraging is the drop in competition for jobs. There were about 9 million unemployed people in November, translating to 1.8 potential job seekers per opening, the narrowest ratio since January 2008, early in the recession.

“In a stronger economy, the ratio would be smaller, but we are definitely moving in the right direction,” Gould said.”

Read more:

Jobs, jobs, jobs being added.

Many of these jobs are low paying and part time.

From Market Watch January 15, 2015.

“More job openings, but many of them are low-paying”

“The job openings and labor turnover survey has been attracting increasing attention from economists lately – both because Fed Chair Janet Yellen has called it one of her favorite indicators of the U.S. labor market’s health, and because recently it’s been signaling some real signs of strength in the long-feeble American job-creation scene.

As with much employment data, however, the headline results of this gauge – which measures the nation’s job openings, hirings, and voluntarily and involuntary job separations – tell a happier story than the details. In fact, industry-by-industry JOLTS figures add to the evidence that too many of the jobs and job opportunities being created during the current still-disappointing recovery are in sectors where wages can barely support individual workers, much less working families.”

“Based on these aggregate figures, it looks like good news that professional and business services accounted for 27.2% of the growth of job openings from January-November 2013 to January-November 2014.

But inside this part of the economy is a big group of very low-wage industries called the administrative and support services sector. Its jobs accounted for nearly 46% of all profession and business services jobs in September. The call-center workers, employment-office staffers, janitors, landscapers, waste collectors, and security guards who belong to this category make much less per hour ($7.83 in November) than the lawyers, architects, management consultants, computer systems designers, engineers, and scientific researchers who also come under the professional and business service heading.

Yet the JOLTS data doesn’t show how many openings were created in this industry’s very lucrative segments and in its much less lucrative segments.

If, however, low-wage professional and business service sectors generated a proportionate percentage of total job openings, the low-wage share of these opportunities would stand at nearly one-third as of November. And closer examination of other major employment categories, like health care, educational services, and social assistance; and the miscellaneous services category, would reveal other large low-wage sub-sectors.”

Read more:

All of the above reports were from Market Watch.

You can bet that if they are reporting at this level of negativity, the reality is much worse.





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