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How Is The Recovery Really Doing?
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1349

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:27 am    Post subject: How Is The Recovery Really Doing? Reply with quote

Something that has always bugged me is the Government's and media's reporting of "new jobs created" and their impact on the unemployment percentage rate. Are we really making progress? The unemployment rate is consistently going down, so it would appear that we are making headway, but is this really true?

I have mentioned before that the more meaningful number would be the NET gain or loss in jobs, since the announced numbers don't seem to include jobs lost during the same period as the announced gains.

I did a little looking trying to find some statistics that included both gains and losses, which for me are the real numbers. After all, the goal of the "recovery" is to put people back to work at equivalent jobs in the percentages that we had before the recession. I say "equivalent" jobs because many of those that were laid off and have found new jobs are only working part time or at lower level jobs at less pay. It's good that they are working, but are they happy?

Here is what I have found, and if I am off base with my observations, feel free to make corrections.

From the Department of labor, Bureau of labor statistics

From:http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS12300000

Series title: (Seas) Employment-Population Ratio
Labor force status: Employment-population ratio
Type of data: Percent or rate
Age: 16 years and over

Under each year, the percentages listed are monthly numbers

2003
62.5 62.5 62.4 62.4 62.3 62.3 62.1 62.1 62.0 62.1 62.3 62.2

2004
62.3 62.3 62.2 62.3 62.3 62.4 62.5 62.4 62.3 62.3 62.5 62.4

2005
62.4 62.4 62.4 62.7 62.8 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.8 62.8 62.7 62.8

2006
62.9 63.0 63.1 63.0 63.1 63.1 63.0 63.1 63.1 63.3 63.3 63.4

2007
63.3 63.3 63.3 63.0 63.0 63.0 62.9 62.7 62.9 62.7 62.9 62.7

2008
62.9 62.8 62.7 62.7 62.5 62.4 62.2 62.0 61.9 61.7 61.4 61.0

2009
60.6 60.3 59.9 59.8 59.6 59.4 59.3 59.1 58.7 58.5 58.6 58.3

2010
58.5 58.5 58.5 58.7 58.6 58.5 58.5 58.5 58.5 58.3 58.2 58.3

2011
58.3 58.4 58.4 58.4 58.4 58.2 58.2 58.3 58.4 58.4 58.5 58.6

2012
58.5 58.6 58.5 58.5 58.6 58.6 58.5 58.4 58.7 58.7 58.7 58.6

2013
58.6 58.6 58.5 58.6 58.6 58.7 58.7 58.6 58.6 58.3 58.6

To me, the recovery has a long way to go to get people back to work, at least to pre recession levels. If you go to the web page, there is another graph the highlights the issue much more clearly.

I am sure that some of you will point out that there are some good things happening in the recovery, and that would be true which is encouraging, but getting people back to work and off government dependency is the most critical element in my opinion. The stock market is no surprise since it's just about the only place folks with money can invest so that it doesn't lose value due to inflation.

Did the stimulus stop a free fall? Probably, but has it help with the recovery?

Also interesting for the year 2013 are the numbers below. While the unemployment rated dropped from 7.4% to 7.0%, the Not in the labor force numbers increased by 3 million and the persons who currently want a job dropped by 740,000. Care to draw any conclusions from this?

From: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t01.htm

Not in labor force, numbers in thousands, Nov 2012 to Nov. 2013 by month.
89,221 91,463 91,521 88,855 89,957 90,473 90,609 91,541 91,273

Persons who currently want a job, numbers in thousands, 11/2012 - 11/2013
6,495 5,683 5,437 6,827 6,619 6,285 6,163 6,162 5,754

So how are we really doing?
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3328
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Techno...the one thing that is obvious to me is the spread between those with a college degree, and those without. If you have a degree , which is geared towards the economy of today, you have a multitude of job choices. If you dont have a degree, and you are relying on the economy of yesterday, you are in trouble, and you should move fast...as the world is spinning faster. The recovery in the Bay Area, NYC, Boston, Houston, LA, is on fire. Up here, biotech is having its best run ever, and jobs are in high demand. Technology is on fire, and the NAZ is at a 13 year high, jobs are plentiful, but you better be on your A game, as the competition is nuts. As we discover new means to extract oil, the demand for engineers, and skilled oilmen is stratospheric, in places like Houston. The entertainment industry is morphing with technology and the jobs market there is strong as well..
If I were to give advice to anyone, I would say ...become an engineer, get a good degree, and be healthy....the FED wont be there to pick us all up again.
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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 3611

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My nephew has an Engineering degree from Berkeley and a Masters in Engineering from Washington. He has been unable to find a job since his graduation in May.

He is a hard working guy but as of today can only get part time jobs out of his field.

This recovery has been great for the wealthy oligarchs and to some extent the investors in income producing assets. For the rest, it has been a disaster. I find it very difficult to fathom a president who continually talks up the economy, while his constituents sink further into the hole.

And just to note, I have done exceedingly well over the last 3 years. I am not jealous of the rest.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 4651

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How predictable--a right wing screed that makes Obama responsible for the loss of blue collar jobs. It is absolutely true that the economic recovery was initially spotty, and has tended to favor tech jobs and the stock market. It is also fair to criticize Obama for helping Wall Street more than Main Street,

Two problems with letting the analysis stop there. First, the loss of manufacturing jobs is a long term trend, with manufacturing accounting for 20% of US jobs in 2000 and only 5% now: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-blue-collar-jobs-are-dissapearing-2012-1

Second, it is wrong to ignore the role of the GOP in the economic policies that got us here. Currently there are tax benefits associated with shipping jobs overseas. Put there by? Republicans. Did the Republicans support reform efforts by Obama? Are you kidding me. Next we can look at the construction industry, one source of blue collar jobs that can't be shipped overseas. Did the GOP support investment in infrastructure that could have increased construction jobs? Are you kidding me--they were proposed by Obama, they must have been socialism. Did the GOP support measures to bail out--and restructure the auto industry. No. Called socialism, although it was probably about the same cost as unemployment benefits would have been--and it got both the unions and auto nabobs to share the pain.

And then there is the meltdown in the economy in 2007-8--the direct result of overstimulating the housing industry--throughout the world--with funny money. Democratic policies? Signed by Clinton, written by Republicans.

As Santayana said, those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13288

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The econ books I've seen measure recovery by production increases, in a nutshell. Anybody seen any broad and significant examples they expect to survive the necessary QE tapering?

Then there's this, titled, "What Economic Recovery?"
http://www.hoover.org/publications/defining-ideas/article/156801

Stocks are, at present, artificially inflated by pumping money taken from taxpayers into a system which benefits primarily the wealthier and pensioned segments of the economy. I'm betting my farm on BROAD index funds as they pull back, with speculative/play Roth IRA money (sorry, Bogle) on gold when it bottoms early next year.
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pueno



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 2357

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevenbard wrote:
My nephew has an Engineering degree from Berkeley and a Masters in Engineering from Washington. He has been unable to find a job since his graduation in May.

The sad thing is that almost every potential employer today asks for "2-3 years of relevant experience." Years ago, employers would train a fresh graduate on the ways and methods of the job and the company.

Later, companies offered students "internships" at no pay. This was a ripoff -- the companies received free, skilled labor. Their claim was that students could earn college credit for supplying the free labor. But the laws changed, so that companies could no longer screw the kids.

These days, the companies dispense with all that and simply insist that the new graduate have years of experience -- at entry level pay. (Years of experience for a new graduate?) The new hire has to hit the ground running on the first day.

Many college engineering programs try to solve this by structuring year-long or two-year-long courses that are project and product based and can be accepted by employers as "relevant experience."

Your nephew could seek out volunteer opportunities in technical assignments that he can cite on his resume as "relevant experience."
.
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3021

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I graduated from college, my friends and I had the same problem.
In 1975.
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reinerehlers



Joined: 25 Jul 2001
Posts: 704

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you blame it on the government?
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3021

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many folks in these job figures are not on gov. support.
The numbers are so complex that many analysts use the unemployment figure, which shows the number of folks applying for unemployment bennies.
Folks like me don't appear in those numbers. When I have been out of work I do not apply for help.
While it doesn't really tell you how many folks are working, neither do any other indicators. They are all composite figures taking on many more factors, including those mentioned above.
There is no way to know how many are employed. These figures are just an indicator of the direction it is taking.
If you work for cash like many Americans you do not appear in these numbers at all.


Last edited by keycocker on Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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nw30



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 1326
Location: The eye of the universe, Cen. Cal. coast

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

keycocker wrote:
When I graduated from college, my friends and I had the same problem.
In 1975.

You are just anecdotal, as am I.

I also graduated in 1975 (architecture), and just about everyone I graduated with got jobs right away, mostly as apprentices in architectural offices.

So we're even.

_________________
I don't drink the 'cool' aid, I drink tequila, it's more honest.
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