Friday, February 1, 2013

January Numbers -- Stagnate Means No Growth

How long before my cat gives up and gets fat on handouts?

No matter how they may try to spin it, the recent economic numbers are bad.

U3 Unemployment is listed at 7.9% for January. It has remained relatively unchanged for months.

U6 Unemployment is reported at 14.4%. It also has remained relatively unchanged for months.

The Workforce Participation Rate is steady at a paltry 63.6%, unchanged.

The numbers of reported marginally attached and discouraged workers have allegedly dropped. Since the WRP has remained constant, the only thing that makes sense is that the people who gave up looking haven't bothered to try in over 12 months. It also means that fewer people tried to find a job in the past four weeks.

If you look back at the previous reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and my layman's attempt to explain my understanding of them, the trend is one of stagnation.

Stagnation is not growth. It isn't even change, much less positive change (growth). It is the result of some of the worst economic policies in our nation's history.

Now for the worse news. For those who somehow missed the report that was issued earlier this week, our Gross Domestic Product for the last quarter of 2012 was a shrinkage. We didn't grow. We shrank by .1%. That means our GDP fell 3.2% from a +3.1% growth to a -0.1%.  That is not prosperity. For those who haven't bothered to study the meanings of terms in the US Constitution, prosperity is referred to as "general welfare". Given the policies that have kept employment low, profits low, and threatened to take more of what people do manage to eek out, this is the exact opposite of "the general welfare". It is failure.