Friday, July 5, 2013

Running Through 'Jello' -- June Employment Numbers

To anyone who follows the trends of economic conditions published monthly by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it should come as no surprise that the economy is stagnant.

U3 Unemployment (7.6%)  is reported as unchanged from May.

U6 Unemployment remains unchanged from May.

The Workforce Participation Rate (63.5%) remains low and unchanged.

The worker to non-worker ratio remains at 58.7%, meaning less than 60% of the adults in our country are working to support over 40%. That is not good news for a country built on ideas of self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and self-government. It is becoming a culture of dependency and slavery.

The "pre-recession" comparison of these numbers had the workforce participation rate not dropped remain depressing. If the market had been left to freely adjust to its natural cycle, we would be fully recovered and preparing to enter the "7 fat years".

Allegedly, 195,000 new jobs were added, slightly higher than the dismal and relatively ineffective average over of 182,000. Yet the workforce has remained unchanged and U3 unemployment remains at 7.6%

The balancing factor is the increase of "discouraged workers". Steady increases over the past year have accumulated to 206,000 people who believe it not worth their effort to even attempt to seek employment. That number should raise eyebrows.

Employment by the federal government is down. That fact in itself could present good news. That news, however, is dependent upon comparison to private sector employment. If private sector employment is rising a a greater rate than the decreases in federal employment, it indicates positive conditions. If private-sector hires are at a lower rate, it indicates poor conditions. If private sector hiring is decreasing but government sector hiring is increasing, it demonstrates poor conditions of increasing dependence. That dependence leads to tyranny. If both are declining, it indicates a depression.

The consistency of the stagnant and poor news is good news for the financial and investment markets. Though they don't indicate any great jump in prosperity, they are predictable. Stable and predictable conditions, even when poor, make financial decisions easier to make. That could mean increases in Dow Jones and other financial indices. Increases in those indices, however, do not necessarily mean prosperity, nor do they equate to economic growth. 

Since March 2009, the economic conditions have consistently been terrible or stagnant. We have yet to see any real recovery from the double-dip recession that started in 2008 with the burst of the Dodd-Frank induced housing market crash. That crash and the resulting (and continuing) recession are demonstrative of the fact that Keynesian government economic policies are patented failures.