The BLS has reported on December jobs, and an ugly sight it is. The household survey of individuals data was that employment dropped 589,000 last month (see Table A to review these and related statistics). The labor force dropped 661,000. "Not in labor force" rose by a massive 843,000.
Yikes and then some!
It is hard to see that the "Great Recession" (a polite term for what is a non-great depression) is definitively over. Yes, jobs are actually one of the factors that goes into recession dating, much as the MSM would like to divert attention to production (itself pumped up by Federal/Fed exertions).
On the "establishment" survey, the data came out the same as ADP, down 85,000. This of course was boosted by the unmeasured "birth-death" adjustment, which as usual was estimated as up (59,000 jobs) supposedly stemming from the vitality of small businesses that are not part of the "establishment" survey. Ha! Try a loss of 59,000 more likely. Or 159,000. Or 500,000 to come close to the household survey numbers. Those of us who live in the real world are aware that small businesses are mostly shrinking or closing or happy that they can simply stand pat and survive, that there is little appetite from those with savings to risk them on a new venture, and that the birth-death adjustment almost certainly should be negative rather than positive.
When you are part of the quiet coup that keeps its jackboot on the throat of the public at large, you will say anything you can to provide hope for the masses (that is, that part of the masses that reads Bloomberg.com). Here is the ridiculous statement from the article and a member of Big Finance about how things are going to get better, from Bloomberg's article at http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aP0v0wdCG_YQ&pos=1:
In another government boost, the Census Bureau will hire 1.15 million temporary workers in the first half of the year to conduct the population count that takes place every 10 years. That hiring may boost payrolls by a peak of 700,000 in May before those workers begin getting dismissed in June, according to a forecast by economist Lori Helwing at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research in New York. (Ed.: 700,000 is less than the number estimated to have left the labor force in December alone per above.)
“They’re going to hire an army of people,” said Julia Coronado, a senior economist at BNP Paribas in New York. “In some sense, this acts as a stimulus package and is a timely coincidence, coming so early in the recovery.”
Timely? You mean hiring a bunch of people for a few months is a timely stimulus? Wasn't there stimulus in 2008 under Bush? What about ARRA (Obama's stimulus of almost a year ago)? Gimme a break . . . And is this really "stimulus"? Then that perforce also means that there will be an anti-stimulus governmental effort timed to end in June when the census is completed. Oh, I forgot: the boom will be on by then. As if in 2003-7, the boom was not entirely artificial, fueled by mortgage and securities fraud, wildly unsound lending practices, dancing financiers, etc. The idea of a self-sustaining economic growth cycle is unproven of late in the U. S.
Brazil, it appears is in that zone of self-sustaining growth; but in parts of the world run by quiet coupsters doing God's work, the jury is out and we may be lucky if it is a hung jury.
When Big Finance is reduced to touting a Constitutional requirement to enumerate the population as a stimulus to the economy, things are bad. Real bad.
Hard times continue. The Economic Cycle Research Institute, which has been predicting good employment growth soon, will have an opportunity to comment. For now December goes to the bearish Dr. David Rosenberg in his ongoing debate with ECRI.
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