Greensboro News Record job article misleading, Orwell exuberance or Democrat pressure?, Manufacturing, jobs up in Triad, Economist Don Jud quoted

Greensboro News Record job article misleading, Orwell exuberance or Democrat pressure?, Manufacturing, jobs up in Triad, Economist Don Jud quoted

“The United States economy has lost more jobs than it has added since the recovery began over a year ago.”…NY Times Sept. 20, 2010.

“Guilford (Large NC County) appears on it’s way to a third consecutive year with annual jobless rates in double digits. Economists say that likely hasn’t happened since the Great Depression.”…Greensboro News Record December 2, 2011

“the Times of the nineteenth of December had published the official forecasts of the output of various classes of consumption goods in the fourth quarter of 1983, which was also the sixth quarter of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. Today’s issue contained a statement of the actual output, from which it appeared that the forecasts were in every instance grossly wrong. Winston’s job was to rectify the original figures by making them agree with the later ones.”…George Orwell, “1984″

Donald Patterson and the Greensboro News Record have done a decent job lately of reporting the facts on the NC jobs situation. However, yesterday, June 19, 2012, the front page headline stated:

“Manufacturing, jobs up in Triad”

and the article quoted economist Don Jud to paint a rather rosy picture of the job situation in the triad (largest city Greensboro). Any good news is welcome but this had too close a ring to Obama touting jobs created while omitting the jobs lost and drop in labor force participation rate.

From the Greensboro News Record June 18, 2012.

“It’s not often that our part of the world comes in first in anything . But economist Don Jud has found an example. And it’s a biggie.

In recent months, Jud says, the Greensboro-High Point metro area has far outpaced state and national averages for employment growth in goods production.

That means companies in Guilford, Rockingham and Randolph counties, which make up the local metro area, are hiring people to make stuff.

“That’s the best news I know,” Jud said.

But there’s just one problem: Jud and others can’t say with any certainty why we’re doing so much better than everyone else.

“I think I have spotted a trend,” said Jud, who defined goods-producing jobs as those in construction and manufacturing. “Why it is ongoing and how likely it is to continue, I really don’t know.”

Jud said that from April 2011 to April 2012, goods-producing employment in the area increased 6 percent. That compares to a 1.8 percent growth rate nationally and just 0.2 percent for North Carolina.

During those 12 months, Jud said, employment in the local metro has grown by 5,200 jobs, with more than 75 percent of that coming from the goods-producing sector.

Area people involved in economic development welcomed the surge.”

Now compare the above to the tone of a June report by Economist Don Jud.

“Tracking the Triad Economy

The recovery from the most recent recession which began in July 2009 has generated a very anemic rate of employment growth over the past 34 months. Nationally, employment is up just 2.2% since the recovery began, which is even slower than the tepid 2.3% pace of employment growth registered during the previous two recoveries. In North Carolina, the employment recovery has been even slower, with employment growing just 2.1%. The pace of the employment recovery in the state is much slower than the average 4.2% increase recorded during the first 34 months of recovery following the previous two recessions.

Since the recovery began, employment is up in 9 of the state’s 14 metropolitan areas, but it is lower in 5 areas. The most rapid rate of employment growth has been recorded in Raleigh, with a gain of 4.6%. It is followed by Burlington and Charlotte with gains of 3.9% and 3.8% respectively. The biggest decline in employment was registered in Durham, where employment is down 1.8% since the start of the recovery. It was followed by Rocky Mount with a drop of 1.3%.

The Triad as a whole (which subsumes the Burlington, Greensboro/High Point, and Winston-Salem MSAs) has recorded a 1.2% rate of employment growth since the onset of the current recovery, lagging both the state and the nation.”

Recently I applauded the Charlotte Observer for presenting factual data on jobs.

“Only 1,400 more people had jobs in April. More than 11,000 people left the labor force in April compared to May, the figures show. More than 21,000 people had joined the North Carolina labor force since April a year ago.”

From the Greensboro News Record June 16, 2012.

“North Carolina’s unemployment rate was unchanged last month at 9.4 percent, breaking a four-month streak of declining unemployment rates, state officials said toay.

The total number of unemployed North Carolinians dropped by almost 4,000 people, but the rate remained the same because the size of the work force got smaller.

The rate was previously unwavering at 10.7 percent between July and September, but had been gradually declining since October.

North Carolina’s May unemployment rate is 1.1 percentage points lower than its May 2011 rate. The state fares worse than the national rate, which rose slightly to 8.2 percent in May.

“The NC state economy is continuing to not grow at a sufficient enough rate to put much of a dent in the unemployment rate,” said Harry Davis, professor of banking at Appalachian State University. “We simply are not creating enough jobs to lower the unemployment rate and absorb people entering the labor force.”

The largest job creation was in the Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector, which added nearly 2,000 jobs. Government jobs slightly declined by about 700 positions. Davis noted continued declines in the construction and leisure sectors as particularly problematic.

“It’s not making the comeback needed to get the unemployment rate down very much,” Davis said of the construction industry. “It continues to flounder, and if it wasn’t for apartment buildings there wouldn’t be much going on right now.”

The size of the work force in North Carolina continues to shrink. Nearly 10,000 workers left the labor force between April and May.

“Unfortunately, I believe we’re going to live with an unemployment rate in the 9 percents for quite some time, at least for the rest of the year,” Davis said. “Hopefully, that’s not the new norm.””

My impression was that the News Record article was placed at the top of the front page to prop up the economy  and Obama, as a kind of peace offering for telling the truth in previous months. Or perhaps it was just exuberance over good news.

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