Washington’s Hegemonic Ambitions Are Not in Sync With Its Faltering Economy

paulcraigroberts.org

In November the largest chunk of new jobs came from retail and wholesale trade. Businesses gearing up for Christmas sales added 65,700 jobs or 45% of November’s 146,000 jobs gain.

With December sales a disappointment, these jobs are likely to reverse when the January payroll jobs report comes out in February. Family Dollar Stores CEO Howard Levine told analysts that his company’s customers were unable to afford toys this holiday season and focused instead on basic needs such as food. Levine said that his customers “clearly don’t have as much for discretionary purchases as they once did.”

For December’s new jobs we return to the old standbys: health care and social assistance and waitresses and bartenders. These four classifications accounted for 93,000 of December’s new jobs, 60% of the 155,000 jobs.

Obviously, the economy is not going anywhere except down. It takes approximately 150,000 new jobs each month to stay even with population growth and new entrants into the work force. Few of the jobs that are being created pay well, and the constant, consistent demand for more poorly paid waitresses, bartenders and hospital orderlies is difficult to believe. If Americans cannot afford toys for their kid’s Christmas, how can they afford to eat and drink out?

Media spin seeks to create a recovery out of thin air, but these graphs from John Williams (shadowstats.com) show the reality:


Keep in mind that the 7.8% unemployment rate (U.3) that is headlined by the financial media does not include discouraged workers who have ceased to look for jobs. The government’s U.6 rate includes workers who have been too discouraged to seek work for less than a year. This rate of unemployment is 14.4%, almost twice the U.3 rate that the media prefers to report.

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