Many activists are clamoring for a higher minimum wage. That's an admirable goal, but is that where the worst problem is? Even at the abysmally low wages of the present moment, we still have 938,000 people being turned away from McDonald's because there aren't enough McJobs. The real problem is the lack of meaningful work. In a world of machines and social alienation, meaningful work is as scarce as water in the drought-stricken California Central Valley.
Explaining all that is wrong with the fraudulent US "jobs recovery" using the case study of Japan.
... we have just one question.
While massive binges in stock buybacks and accounting gimmicks have continued to blur the actual profitability of businesses, the decline in jobless claims suggests that there is little room from further reductions in body counts. However, that does not mean that businesses must begin rapidly increasing employment and wages. Businesses are indeed hiring, but prefer to hire from the "currently employed" labor pool rather than the unemployed masses. The "bad news" is that for those unemployed, full-time employment remains elusive, and wages remain suppressed due to the high competition for available work.
Something funny happened on the way to the global reflation (telegraphed so loudly by the recent surge in 10Y yields to the highest level of 2015): PPI just crumbled by a sequential 0.4% in the month of April, despite expectations it would rise by 0.1% and continue the 0.2% monthly increase seen in March. This was a -1.3% drop in PPI - the fastest fall in 5 years. Worse, the annual decline in final demand goods was -5.2% Y/Y, the biggest drop in the revised series in record!
In short, the very project of counting “jobs” is essentially laughable in the context of the US economy as it is currently structured - for better or worse. But regardless of the equities and efficiencies of the current labor market, one thing is abundantly clear. The Payroll Friday report amounts to virtually meaningless noise. It is bad enough that the bubble vision Romper Room and the casino robo-traders are oblivious to this reality. What is scary is that the Eccles Building is just as clueless.
We have called this a tale of two graphs. But what it really describes is a clear and present danger to American capitalism fostered by an unelected monetary politburo in thrall to its own lust for power and mesmerized by its own doctrinaire group think. The tragedy is that nothing can stop them except the thundering crash of the gargantuan bubble they have single handedly enabled.
Labor Department Finally Notices The Jobs Bloodbath In Texas: Midwest "Discharges" Surge To 4 Year HighSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/12/2015 10:50 -0400
The most notable aspect of today's JOLTs data was that March layoffs in the Midwest region, aka Texas and the various other shale-heavy regions, saw terminations soar to 455K from 340K, the biggest monthly total in layoffs for the region since June 2011, and the largest monthly jump since August of 2013.
Second Largest Coal Miner East Of The Mississippi Files For Bankruptcy: 4000 Patriot Coal Jobs In PerilSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/12/2015 09:23 -0400
At last check Patriot Coal had around 4000 employees. Those soon to be former employees will soon require yet another massive seasonal adjustment by the BLS to be "adjusted" out, because moments ago the second largest coal miner east of the Mississippi and the second largest producer of thermal coal in the eastern US filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
There is propaganda, and then there is the harsh reality, as shown by the case of Denny Rder, 47, of Decatur, Illinois: "look closer, and this city of 75,000 resembles many communities across the industrial Midwest, where the unemployment rate is falling fast in part because workers are disappearing: moving away, retiring or no longer looking for a job."
The class of 2015 may be the most indebted class of college graduates in the history of US higher education and the economy may have flatlined in Q1, but that doesn't mean all hope is lost for anyone who didn't study to become a petroleum engineer because as the government will tell you, you can always be a farmer.
As investors, it is crucial to ignore headline statistical data and focus on the underlying data trends that affect the real economy. While it is currently "blue skies" for investors, there are clearly storm clouds forming on the horizon. It will be those who fail to take precautionary actions that suffer the worst of consequences when the storm hits.
We currently have over 93 Million able-bodied people without jobs – and growing. This is why it’s near incomprehensible, as well as outright disgusting to me that such a dismal showing in both the headline number as well as the onerous implications of such a downward revision to the month prior, coupled with the outright fallacy of suggesting the rate of unemployment has moved closer still to statistical “full employment” came with near giddiness and if not outright back slapping. i.e., “This is a Goldilocks print. Not too hot – not too cold. With a report like this – The Federal Reserve won’t dare raise rates and might actually have to contemplate instituting another round of QE if not outright QE4ever!” And yes; that was the reaction paraphrased across the financial media outlets. Again, personally – I found it all repulsive.
As we have pointed out for a number of years, according to the payroll jobs reports, the complexion of the US labor force is that of a Third World country. Most of the jobs created are lowly paid domestic services. No economist should ever have accepted the claim that the economy was in recovery while participation in the labor force was declining. Having looked at the actual details of the payroll jobs report, which are seldom if ever reported in the financial media, let’s look at what else goes unreported in the media.
The recovery economists are so sure is right around the corner never is. What we can reasonably assume here is that the economy was bumped in a manner not seen since the Great Recession, and that we still don’t know how that will be resolved. The inventory problem is enormous and it at least suggests far more humility about assured rebounds that have never yet arrived and to which are based on arguable figures that at best are backward facing.