Tag Archives: jobless rate

Record number of Americans (92m) not in labor force

Here are three graphs that put the lie to the POS and his slavish mainstream media bleating that the U.S. economy is in “recovery.”

Graph #1

Do you know why the unemployment rate keeps falling, the latest from 7.0% to 6.7%?

That’s not because the jobless are finding jobs. Noooo. The reason is because even more Americans have simply dropped out of the labor force. The U.S. labor force participation rate is now at a 35-year low at 62.8%, hitting levels not seen since 1978, although there are 90 million more Americans today than in 1980.

Graph #2

Look around you. A 62.8% labor participation rate means more than 4 out of every 10 adults you see are not working.

The number of Americans who don’t work is now a never-seen-before 91.8 million. That means we have more people not working than the entire population of these select countries:

  • Vietnam: 90.388 million total population
  • Egypt: 83.661 million
  • Germany: 80.586 million
  • France: 65.860 million
  • United Kingdom: 63.705 million
  • Italy: 59.901 million

Graph #3

Here’s one reason why more and more Americans aren’t working: Despite the Fed spending over $1 trillion in 2013 to “stimulate” the economy, there were fewer jobs created in 2013 than in 2012.

Establishment survey 2012 vs 2013 job change:

Sources: ZeroHedge and ZeroHedge



Why Wisconsin Guv Walker’s win spells trouble for Obama

On Tuesday, Republican governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker scored a resounding victory in the public union-led effort to recall him. Walker won by an 8 point margin, 53% vs. 46%.

This was the third gubernatorial recall election in the history of the United States and the first in which the incumbent won.

Here are some interesting numbers on how Wisconsins voted, which show the significance of Walker’s win and why it spells trouble for Obama this November (source: Boogai!).

Scott Walker is the one in front of the American flag

2008 presidential election:

  • 1,677,211 (56%) voted for Obama
  • 1,262,393 (42%) voted for McCain

2010 election for governor:

  • 1,128,941 voted for Walker
  • 1,004,303 voted for Barrett

2012 recall election (with 99% of precincts reporting):

  • 1,284,935 voted for Walker – more votes than McCain received in the 2008 Presidential election.
  • 1,107,012 voted for Barret

Despite the money of public employees unions, and despite union members being bussed in from other states to vote against Walker in Tuesday’s recall election, Scott Walker won the recall by a slightly larger margin (53% to 46%) than the 2010 gubernatorial election (52% to 46%)!

In the 1½ years since Scott Walker became governor (he took office on January 3, 2011), he has achieved the following (Source: Wall St. Journal):

  • Stopped the anti-choice policies of the unions, by not allowing dues to be automatically taken from workers paychecks.  This resulted in union membership dropping from 62,818 in March of 2011 to 28,745 in February of 2012, which shows just how little love rank-and-file members have for their union leaders.
  • Flexibility created by Walker’s union-busting led to school districts being able to avoid teacher layoffs and make ends meet. In the Brown Deer school district, savings created by pension and health-care contributions from employees allowed the school to prevent layoffs and save some $800,000 for taxpayers. In Fond du Lac, school board president Eric Everson says the district saved $4 million as a result of last year’s reforms, including $2 million from the changes in employee contributions to their pensions. Another 52 schools across the state saved an average of $220 per student thanks to the ability to introduce competitive bidding for health insurance, rather than automatically going through WEA Trust, the favored provider of the Wisconsin Education Association Council.
  • Property taxes in Wisconsin were down 0.4% in 2011, the first decline since 1998.
  • According to Chief Executive magazine, Wisconsin moved up four more places this year to number 20 in an annual CEO survey of the best states to do business, after jumping 17 spots last year.
  • Altogether, Governor Walker’s reforms have saved Wisconsin taxpayers more than $1 billion.

All of this is making an impression on Wisconsin voters. According to a Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday, only 12% of Wisconsin voters say “restoring collective bargaining rights” is their priority.

Walker’s reforms were a modest but necessary response to the state’s fiscal problems, and the proof is in the emerging results. The union reaction was so ferocious because the reforms reduced Big Labor’s clout over state and local taxpayers and thus its ability to milk taxpayers year after year without challenge.

In contrast, in the 3½ years since Obama became president:

  • U.S. unemployment rate soared above 8% and has stayed there, and is getting worse, according to last month’s jobless statistics.
  • U.S. economy grew anemically, by only 2.2% in the first quarter of 2012, which the government last week revised down to 1.9%.
  • U.S. national debt has risen by some $5 trillion, more than under any previous president, George W. Bush included. Worse still, the Congressional Budget Office said in its latest analysis Tuesday that, if present trend continues, federal debt will double in 10 years and reach more than twice the size of the entire U.S. economy by 2037.

So, whom would you rather have in the White House — Scott Walker or Barack Obama?


Brace yourself for a second wave of housing foreclosures

Yesterday, once again I heard a TV reporter say the oft-repeated lie:

“The economy is improving!”

Here’s another reason — other than the deceptive 8.2% jobless rate — why the U.S. economy is NOT improving.

Nick Carey reports for Reuters, April 4, 2012:

Half a decade into the deepest U.S. housing crisis since the 1930s, many Americans are hoping the crisis is finally nearing its end. House sales are picking up across most of the country, the plunge in prices is slowing and attempts by lenders to claim back properties from struggling borrowers dropped by more than a third in 2011, hitting a four-year low.

But a painful part two of the slump looks set to unfold: Many more U.S. homeowners face the prospect of losing their homes this year as banks pick up the pace of foreclosures.

“We are right back where we were two years ago. I would put money on 2012 being a bigger year for foreclosures than 2010,” said Mark Seifert, executive director of Empowering & Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP), a counseling group with 10 offices in Ohio.

The reason has to do with last year’s “robo-signing” scandal — foreclosure documents were signed without properly reviewing individual cases — which prompted banks to hold back on new foreclosures pending a settlement.

After major banks eventually struck that settlement with 49 U.S. states in February, the pace of foreclosures is picking up again, something housing experts predict will again weigh on home prices before any sustained recovery can occur.

Mortgage servicing provider Lender Processing Services reported in early March that U.S. foreclosure starts jumped 28% in January.

But there’s one big difference between previous foreclosures and this second wave.

The foreclosures in the early years of the housing crisis were dominated by Americans saddled with the most toxic subprime products — with high interest rates where banks asked for no money down or no proof of income. The foreclosures in 2012 will bes mostly Americans with ordinary mortgages whose ability to meet payment have been hit by the hard economic times.

“The subprime stuff is long gone,” said Michael Redman, founder of 4closurefraud.org. “Now the folks being affected are hardworking, everyday Americans struggling because of the economy.”

Tyler Durden of ZeroHedge provides this graph showing what America’s recover shadow inventory looked like recently (read more here):

So how much more foreclosed properties are about to hit the market?

Durden points us to RealtyTrac’s data suggesting  that there are at least 1.6 million homes that are just waiting for a green light to be foreclosed upon, sending shadow inventory in the double digit millions, and unleashing a selling wave unlike any seen before:

Durden concludes:

Foreclosures will eventually come, as banks, first slowly, then very, very fast, start sending out foreclosure notices. What happens next will be entire neighborhoods with “Foreclosure” signs in front of the houses … Which for anyone who has taken Econ 101 means prices are about to take yet another dive lower, and the entire housing recovery plan can be scrapped.

So much for “The economy is recovering!”


Attn sheeple: U.S. economy is NOT improving

Design by Anthony Freda

Yesterday, I woke up to the news that Obama’s approval numbers are risen to 50% — 1 of every 2 Americans! The reporter attributes it to the improved economy.

What improved economy?

I know most Americans mainly rely on the MSM for their news, if they do even that. But sometimes I want to tear out my hair for their sheeple-ness (with apologies to sheep).

The plain truth is that the U.S. economy is NOT improving. Here are the reasons why:

1. That much ballyhooed news last week that U.S. unemployment has decreased to 8.3% in January (from 9%) is deceptive. See why, here. The 8.3% jobless rate also doesn’t include those 88 million (!) working-age Americans who are long-time unemployed and who no longer even try to find a job. Fewer and fewer Americans now work. The percentage of people participating in the labor market fell to 63.7% last month, the lowest level since May 1983. (H/t Joseph)

2. Foreclosures are on the rise again. A new report from RealtyTrac says 1 in every 624 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing in January, up 3% from the previous month.  Foreclosure activity froze in many states in 2011, due to processing delays after fraud, or so-called “Robo-signing,” were uncovered in the fall of 2010.  The thaw is now on.

3. Another city in California, Hercules, just went broke. The Hercules Redevelopment Agency, which as of February 1, 2012 no longer exists, went into technical default on its February 1 bond interest payment of approximately $2.4 million. Earlier in 2008, Vallejo, the largest city in Solano County of the S.F. Bay Area, had filed for bankruptcy. San Diego, San Jose and other California cities are on the verge–or already there but refuse to admit it.  LA and San Fran are running up a one billion deficit over 3-4 years.

4. The most troubling indicator of a not-improving economy is the drop in U.S. gasoline and other energy consumption. As pointed out by astute analyst Charles Hugh Smith:

“The basic thesis here is that petroleum consumption is a key proxy of economic activity. In periods of economic expansion, energy consumption rises. In periods of contraction, consumption levels off or declines.

This common sense correlation calls into question the Status Quo’s insistence that the U.S. economy has decoupled from the global ecoomy and is still growing. This growth will create more jobs, the story goes, and expand corporate profits which will power the stock market ever higher.”

But the chart below “shows the U.S. consumed about 21 million barrels a day (MBD) at the recent peak of economic activity 2005-07; from that peak, ‘product supplied’ has fallen to 18 MBD. The current decline is very steep and has not bottomed.

This recent drop mirrors the decline registered in 2009 as the wheels fell off the global debt-based bubble. Those arguing that the U.S. economy is growing smartly and sustainably have to explain why petroleum consumption looks like 2009 when the economy tipped into a sharp contraction…. [G]asoline has declined about 700,000 barrels per day from 2007, from 9.2 MBD to 8.5 MBD in November 2011. This represents about a 13% decline.

Consumption of other energy has also tanked. As seen in the chart below, “Not only has electrical consumption never recovered the levels of mid-2008, it peaked in mid-2011 and has begun a sharp decline in late 2011.”

Smith concludes: “Clearly, electrical consumption is in a downtrend with no recent historical precedent. Those claiming that U.S. growth is sustainable and the Dow is heading for 15,000 must square their rosy projections with sharply declining energy consumption. The two simply don’t match up.”

Which leads to the question of why the ginned-up rose-tinted view? Here’s Smith:

The task of the financial/political/media Status Quo is to convince Americans to overlook the abundant evidence of economic deterioration and focus on heavily juiced “evidence” of robust “growth.”

The game plan is this: if the Status Quo can convince you that the economy has righted itself and from here on in everything will get better and better, every day and in every way, then we will abandon financial rationality and start buying homes we can’t afford on credit, cars we can’t afford on credit and boatloads of stuff from China that we don’t need on credit….”

So there you have it:

  • 88 million Americans have dropped out of the job market and are not even included in the Obama administration’s unemployment statistics.
  • Home foreclosures are on the rise, again.
  • Another city in California has gone belly up.
  • America’s energy consumption is tanking.

That is not a picture of an improving economy!

See also “Many of You Will Not Believe Some of the Things Americans Are Doing Just to Survive.”


Obama awards weapons contract to Brazilian company

This morning, the establishment Obama suck-up media are positively orgasmic that the latest unemployment numbers show a drop to just 8.5 percent!!!! To quote Reuters:

Employment growth accelerated last month and the jobless rate dropped to a near three-year low of 8.5%, offering the strongest evidence yet the economic recovery was gaining steam. Republican presidential hopefuls have blasted Obama’s economic policies as doing more harm than good. The latest economic signs, however, could offer the president some political protection. Over the course of 2011, the economy added 1.6 million jobs, the most in five years.

But if you read further into the Reuters article, you’ll see this more sobering qualifier:

Still, employment remains about 6.1 million below its pre-recession level. At December’s pace of job growth, it would take about 2-1/2 years to win those jobs back.

Then Reuters admits that a broad measure of unemployment, which includes people who want to work but have stopped looking and those working only part time but who want more work, is 15.2% or 23.7 million Americans who are either out of work or underemployed.

Those 23.7 million Americans will soon be joined by workers at Hawker Beechcraft. Why? Because Obama, who just cares so much for the American worker, just awarded a big weapons contract to a foreign company described by the Financial Times as  just “venturing into the defense industry,” instead of the U.S. company Hawker Beechcraft. If the contract had been awarded to Hawker Beechcraft, it would lead to the employment of as many as 1,400 new workers across 20 states.

Iran's Ahmadinejad with Brazil's da Silva

Then to make this story even better, the foreign company is a Brazilian company with ties to Iran! — the same Iran whose navy is threatening to blockade the Strait of Hormuz, which will skyrocket our gas prices.

Ben Howe reports for Red State that on Nov. 17, 2011, Hawker Beechcraft was informed by the U.S. Air Force that they were not going to be allowed to compete for an American military aircraft contract to build a light attack aircraft, a contract worth nearly $1 billion.

Hawker Beechcraft had been working with the Air Force for two years and spent over $100 million to ensure its Beechcraft AT-6 complied with all requirements for the plane.

Howe notes that this case is not a question of being outbid or outclassed, but instead a classic example of a contract being awarded without any bidding process at all, something which had infuriated the Left when the recipient of the contract was American company Haliburton.

To make matters worse, the Air Force’s no-bid contract to build a light-attack aircraft went to a foreign company — Brazil’s aerospace giant, Embraer, which has cozy ties to the Brazilian government and is currently under investigation for making illegal payments to obtain government contracts.

Worse still, Embraer has a history of ties to Iran, having supplied Iran with some 40 T-27 Tucanos military aircraft in 1989. Embraer’s close ties to the Iranian military are echoed in the diplomatic “friendship” between Iran and Brazil. In November 2009, Brazilian President da Silva invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Brazil. The next year, da Silva helped broker a deal in which Iran would ship only a portion of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey for reprocessing; the rest would remain in Iranian hands, where it could be further enriched for nuclear weapon production.

Hawker Beechcraft’s big mistake is that its employees are represented by the International Association of Machinists (IAM). IAM president, Tom Buffenbarger, is one of the few union presidents without direct access to the White House. Why is that? Because Buffenbarger is so audacious as to be critical of Obama:

“Barack so loved his own performance that he made Galesburg part of his presidential stump speech. That’s right, he’s damn proud of his performance. Well I’m not. All he proved is like Janus, the two-faced Roman god of ancient times. He could act like a friend to the workin’ man. Even as he danced to tune dictated by billionaires. Yes, we’ve seen this act before.”

The problem with Buffenbarger and the workers at Hawker Beechcraft is that they actually thought the United States of America still runs on merit, hard work, and achievement! Somehow they missed the memo that under Obama, the U.S. government is now a big criminal syndicate with Don Corleone Obama as the capo di tutti capi, who awards favors to cronies like Solyndra and punish enemies who don’t kiss his ring.

And just like the mafioso, the breaking news this morning is that Don Obama is proposing a pay raise for federal workers.

Screw the $15+ trillion US national debt. Got to keep the dependents happy!

H/t our beloved GrouchyFogie.