The US Labor Market Is In A Full-Blown Depression

Tyler Durden's picture

Now that stocks are back to reflecting nothing more than expectations of how many times the Chairsatan dilutes the existing monetary base in a carbon copy replica of not only 2011 but also 2010... and 2009 (because contrary to what purists may believe, the only way to inflate away unsustainable debt in a growth-free economy is by destroying the currency), and manic pattern chasers have crawled out of their holes proclaiming the death of the bear market after a two day bounce, what is happening in the actual economy, no longer reflected by the market, has once again been pulled back to the backburner. Which is sad, because while ever fewer people reap the benefits of artificial, centrally-planned S&P rallies, the rest of the population suffers, and what is worse: hope for a quiet, middle-class life is now an endangered species. Nowhere is this more evident than in the following list from David Rosenberg which summarizes how, quietly, the US labor force slipped back into a full-blown depression.

From David Rosenberg:

One Sick Labor Market

There were so many disturbing elements to the May jobs data that we're not sure we can do justice to the litany of disappointments (with some help from our friends at the Investor's Business Daily):

  • The share of long-term unemployment is at its highest level since the Great Depression (42%).
  • Fully 54% of college degree graduates under the age of 25 are either unemployed or underemployed.
  • 45 million Americans are on food stamps — one in seven residents.
  • 47% of Americans are on some form of government assistance.
  • The employment-to-population ratio for 25-54 year olds is now 75.7%, lower than it was when the recession supposedly ended in June 2009.
  • The number of people not in the labour force has swelled eight million since the recession ended; absent that effect, the unemployment rate would be 12% right now (about the same as President Obama's election chances would be).
  • The number of people confident enough to leave their jobs fell 11% in May
    for the second month in a row to 891k, the lowest since November 2010.
  • The ranks of the unemployed who have been looking fruitlessly for work for at least 27 weeks jumped 310k in May, the sharpest increase since May 2011.
  • The unemployment rate for males aged 16-19 is 27% and for males between 20 and 24 it is 13%. Draw your own conclusions from a social (in)stability standpoint.
  • One in seven Americans are either unemployed or underemployed.
  • Only one in six of the youth are working full-time and three-in-five are living with their folks or another relative (as per the NYT).
  • A mere 16% of the 2009-2011 graduating class has found full-time work, while 22% are working part-time. Even those hired from 2006-08, just 23% are working full-time.
  • According to a poll cited in the NYT, just 14% of high-school grads today believe they will have a more successful financial future than their parents Line of the day, as depressing as it is, comes from an 18-year old: "Thank God I had a buddy at Burger King who could help me out". Fast-food has emerged as the fast-growing industry in a country once led by technology. Even tech now is fuelled more by companies that produce nifty consumer gadgets and feed our narcissistic needs than those who focus on improving the nation's capital stock which is the ultimate trailblazer for productivity growth and durable gains in our standard-of-living.

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yabyum's picture

The middle class is doomed, but do not worry! the bankers and 1% and bankers will do just fine.

AnAnonymous's picture

Not enough resources to sustain US citizen middle class life style...

Dr. Richard Head's picture

Sure there is.....with $3,000 thingamjig checks coming middle class life will be just fine.  /sarc

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture


I can’t help but notice that President Obama has failed to produce a SINGLE JOBS BILL SINCE 2007!! Is anyone else puzzled at this? Is it me, or is Obama just ABANDONING the economy!? Frankly, I’ve had it. My equity portfolio has underperformed, my alpha is in the red, and my expectations for Obama’s first term have been shattered. If we want to see change in America, we need a new leader. Someone who can straighten out the economy and create jobs. And after careful consideration, I believe that person is Mitt Romney. Vote for real change in 2012: vote Mitt Romney for President.


Paul Atreides's picture

How's that Facebook stock you bought been doing lately MDB?

Mitzibitzi's picture

You don't need to, they're on food stamps!

DaveyJones's picture

"The market's in Bernanke's hands" - MSNBC 6/6/12

...the poor bastard

Not For Reuse's picture

> "Fully 54% of college degree graduates under the age of 25 are either unemployed or underemployed."

This is because 100% of college degree graduates under the age of 25 DESERVE to work only in the top 1% most personally fulfilling & lucrative jobs available for college degree graduates. Who wants to piss away their time on imperfection?

Caviar Emptor's picture

The Facebook debacle is emblematic of all that's wrong. The model for success was : Facebook users buy stock. Then the more they click, post stupid pictures and silly comments the more their stock would rise! 

It was supposed to be a perpetual motion machine where people get rich from the couch, where clicking is as good as producing once was. 

Too bad, it was a beautiful American dream. 

Bananamerican's picture

"after careful consideration, I believe that person is Mitt Romney. Vote for real change in 2012: vote Mitt Romney for President"

well, I LOLLed...but then i'm intelligent. (hat's off MDB)

I pointed out the same thing yesterday when someone (weird Freddie) implied that REAL Republicans (not RINO's) were the country's only salvation...The Right wing's version of "Unicorns"...

I'd say the ratio of delusional Right Wingers to delusional Lefties runs 3 to 1 on this blog.........both outnumbered by those in that place apart....why not aim for the center boys?.....the lonely sensible CENTER

Freddie's picture

You left out the part when I mentioned Rand and Ron Paul.  Name the Democrats versions of Rand and Ron Paul....and no I don't like Romney and RINOs.  I like real conservatives not fake GOP party hacks.

Still stung by the union loss in Wisconsin last night?  The shit really fell apart when the Dems/Cong Black Caucus in 2006 were defending Fannie & Freddie. Not to mention the  muslim's CRA lawsuits to give mortgages to anyone and everyone.   Maxine Waters calling any oversight of Fannie and Freddie was rascism.

Good luck with the reboot Demtards. I will laugh when they come for your 5 gold coins and 10 silver dimes.   The only center you better figure out is center mass - dumbass. 

Hope and Chains.

Tyleys - give us more Snorg Tees and less Hope & Chains banner ads.

Bananamerican's picture

Ron Paul (who I supported) has about as much to do with "REAL republicans" as this site does with the MSM...

you are a partisan "REPtard" fool Freddie

The Monkey's picture

Ron Paul.  The last statesman.

Seer's picture

Hey, you diss-ing Fruitless Freddie?

Tapeworm's picture

JUST how do you fit in the center between Obama and Romney? I can't seem to be able to slide a dime in between their "positions".

smb12321's picture

I'm not going to watch a You Tube video for my politial decisions.   Of course there is huge difference between BO and Mitt, the biggest been executive experience.  (And I was a Paul supporter.)  Obama has shown himself devoid of ANY executive skills whether it's delegating, prioritizing, planning, establishing effective programs or primarily, management.  He's disdainful of Congress, private business and anyone who happens to disagree with him.

No, Mitt is not a "conservative" but I have to hope he will restore what we need most in this country - confidence.  It's the uncertainty of what thei admin will do next that harms the economy the most.

Gavrikon's picture

I'm willing to bet that most of those thumbs down are from conservatives/libertarians.  Yes, Obama sux the big one.  And most of see nothing that Romney is going to do to fix the situation.

The only possible advantage to Mitt IMHO, is that he is not an anti-white racist, and the race-baiting Holder will be gone.

Chuck Walla's picture

Obama has shown himself devoid of ANY executive skills whether it's delegating, prioritizing, planning, establishing effective programs or primarily, management. 


Well, Duh!  He would have had to actually run something besides a class room to know anything past how to steal public money per his Patron, Tony (Real Estate Fairy) Rezko.  The man has never held a real job in his life.  There is just his fan club fellating him to excess with his own jet and perpetual tee times.  I'm sure he uses a quart of sanitizer if he even feels a plebe breathe on him.


 Oh, why are people so stupid as to not just let him rule without their being allowed to gaze upon his magnificence?

Bananamerican's picture

you don't understand what -i- mean by "Center" Tapeworm...because you're shallow....

You think "Centrist" doncha, bonehead. Admit it.

Nuance flies right over your head just like the embarrasingly large number of ZHers who downvote MDB.

After TEN THOUSAND posts explaining MDB is a satirist, a "spoof", there are still DOZENS who downvote the "Troll"...

It's fucking embarrasing

Joseph Jones's picture

Yeah, I just can't wait for member of the most caustic form of ultra-right wing Judaism known as Chad Lubavitch, dual-Israeli citizen, maker of multiple millions selling his ex-subordinates at the TSA his carcinogenic generating airport scanners, Michael Chertoff (Romney's Chief foreign relations advisor and likely Sec. of State) to whisper into Pres. Mitt Romney's ear to start WW3 nuking more brown skinned people......Joseph Smith was kicked out of the Freemasons (a branch of Kabala Judaism) then he started the LDS...LDS believe the USA's sworn duty is to protect Israel from every threat...LDS strongly believe in Israel's so-called "right to exist" (as if God Himself signed the protection order and the title to that land over to the Rabbis....hey!  I missed the part about the Knesset and the Prime Minister in the O.T.)

(sarc off)


Element's picture

Dude, the 'Morman' Latter Day Saints literally believe that a bunch of Jews came over to the Americas in a boat at the time of the Jew-captivity, set up a gigantic civilisation for a thousand years or so, and that the USA is basically a former homeland for God's and Jesus's most favourite 'good' Jews ... and that the "New Jerusalem" will arise, in of all places, Kansas! ... and no, I'm not drunk or taking acid, ... nor am I joking. 

This is in fact what the 'LDS' or mormans hold to be the absolute literal 'truth'.

So yeah, the Joos will love mittens.

Watauga's picture

JJ--Pls stop with the "nuke more brown skinned people" bullshit.  What is that, anyway?  You may want to think our wars are about race, but you would be wrong.  Our wars are about money and our way of life (which is mostly about power and money).  Our govt will kill and steal from any race or ethnicity.  At the moment, it is engaged in killing fellow Caucasians in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and other Middle Eastern nations.  Our govt has been most efficient at killing fellow Caucasians for over 200 years (though the slaughtering of the American Indian must be included as the single most effective effort yet).  From the Revolution through 1812 through Lincoln's War through a range of wars with Spain/Mexico/South American nations through WWI and WWII, this nation's wars were all about killing fellow European-bases peoples.  In Korea, Vietnam, and, of course the Pacific War against Japan, the U.S. was relatively effective at killing Asians.  But never in our history have we wanted or needed to kill large numbers of "brown-skinned" people.  Even if you include the Mexican War and some of the South American ventures as killing "brown-skinned" people, the numbers are a drop in the bucket overflowing with the bodies of fellow Caucasians. 

Stop the bullshit lie about killing "brown-skinned" people, whatever that means.  War is about money and power, and our govt does not care the color of the skin that stands between it and its power and money. 

Finally, I am not judging the reason for our wars. 

johnQpublic's picture

i felt the same way about the two final contestants on american idol

so similar, yet so different

so i threw a hammer thru my tv so i didnt have to see either one of them

tarsubil's picture

Their positions are totally different. One is a pitcher and one is a catcher. They clearly aren't enjoying it that much. Mitt wouldn't even give BO a reach around.

Quisat_Sadarak's picture

Exactly right Not4Reuse.

If people really wanted to earn money they could take whatever job they can get and earn something while waiting for the next better job. Thomas Sowell had a nice column about this subject: here

Many people today have the "it's beneath me to do that" or "not enough $$$ to do that" attitude and that is a big part of the problem. Don't get me wrong. I am *not* blaming the victim here. The TPTB for decades have just about succeeded in killing the golden-egg-laying-goose-that-is-the-USA-economy. But I am just saying that there is work out there if you really want it.

mjk0259's picture

Pretty much the only job many people can get is selling bullshit on commission doing cold calls. The employer figuring the sucker's relatives will buy some. This is not worth doing unless you hate your relatives. What else can you do ? Landscaping? Drywall? Painting? Got $10/day Mexicans for that living 20 to a small house. Minimum wage store and restaurant jobs? Many of them hire for like 11 to 1 3 days a weeks - doesn't even pay for driving back and forth for most people.


ChrisFromMorningside's picture

This is what happens when you put up incredibly high barriers to entry in just about every industry, it chokes off any entrepeneurial initiative. With so many educated people out of work and with commercial real estate in the dumpster, there should be an entrepeneurial boom going on right now re-inventing the US economy. That is not going to happen in a society where you need a PhD to navigate the tax code and where the local kleptocrats have near-infinite regulatory authority over whatever you do. Didn't the Obama administration try (but I think they backed off) to make it illegal for children to perform any kind of labor on their own family's farm unless they're treated like a formal employee with all of the accompanying paperwork that goes with that? Absurd. And yet we wonder why young people are vegetating on the couch instead of hustling to make ends meet?

With that being said, I will not "leave the kids alone." I am not just familiar with the demographic, I am a part of it (being in my mid-20s myself). There are *very* deep cultural problems with *many* of my generational peers (not all, but probably a majority). I'm not even referring to the "I deserve to be payed $80,000 because I'm so special" sense of entitlement. Reality will take care of that delusion.

Far more disturbing to me is the fact that so many people in my generation seem incapable of genuine emotion or feeling. It seems like all communication for Gen-Y/Millenials is rooted in irony, sarcasm, insincerity, cynicism, emotional detachment, etc. Expressing a sincere, passionate belief in something, and it can be just about anything, is looked down upon. Then there are the people who numb themselves with reality TV and absurd over-the-top consumption. To me it seems like a key piece of humanity is missing from these people but then again I could be the oddball I guess.

Not to mention gender relations are completely broken. People talk about "hook up culture" and the death of marriage. Pfft, as if that's new or interesting. I was reading about the new book 'The Demise of Guys' which is getting a lot of press. Part of it is about the lack of ambition and initiative among younger men, who are wasting time watching porn or playing video games. I think most of the book is bullshit but it comes close to the truth ... There are a whole lot of men who are "dropping out" of the mainstream Western society. I think it has to do with the disjunct between being economically or socially productive and getting sex. Quite simply, being economically or socially productive is not a path to gaining access to women in a society that valorizes gangbangers and robber barons. So men who are predispositioned or capable of being economically or socially productive are basically like "why bother?" if working your ass off will only lead to being a corporate drone under someone else's thumb. And thus our society goes deeper into a vicious cycle of wealth destruction ...

Almost Solvent's picture

The adderall generation is coming on line . . . 

Questan1913's picture


There is much truth and an amazing amount of wisdom in this young mans observations and comment.   

 If he and and others of his generation  had been exposed to F A. Hayeks book "The Road to Serfdom" they would understand that they are victims of a Socialist/CronyCapitalist/Facist political and economic system which has been metastisizing for the past 70 years, at least, in the US.   It is surely difficult to clearly discern who the enemy is because there is a lot of puposeful extraneous "noise" built into the sytem to mask the process and the perpetrators.  That noise consists of constantly beaten war drums, the scaryfying enemy of the month, the other distracting induced tensions surounding white/black, gay/hetero, male/female relations, and on and on."The Road to Serfdom" lays out in incredible detail the political system and process that has lead us all to where we are socially and economically today.  We are all victims of it.   I am old, but it is heartbreaking to see what his generation are going through.  His comments on gender relations and the pervasive studied superficiality he encounters are spot on.  Those are the consequential behaviors one would expect to have been induced by this culture.  As far as women are concerned, men have been supplanted by the State or "Big Husband"  These young guys have been emasculated, economically and financially; that is why gender relations are broken.  I don't think that our society has experienced wealth destruction, it's just that the distribution of wealth has been skewed to the criminal swindle class.  If one wants to be enlightened and watch a movie at the same time I would suggest "1984" with Edmund O'Brien.  It plays nightly, for free on youtube and while not as good as the book I think you will be amazed at how well that movie predicted where we are and unfortunately if the trend continues, where our final destination might be.  It  was made in the mid sixties.   

Cathartes Aura's picture

very thoughtful post, ChrisFromMorningside, particularly the paragraph related to a "lack of genuine emotion or feeling" - which is a sociopath trait, yes?  I wonder how much of this is down to being medicated the moment even slightest "anxiety" or "depression" is felt. . . not to mention that if one wants to be seen as truly competitive, one never tips their emotional "hand" in company.

your thoughts on deteriorating "gender relations" and the resultant lack of ambition in younger men. . . watching porn and playing video games is for the most part "guy stuff" - in that most porn & online gaming is heavily skewed to younger men/boys - they're socialised conversationally to chat and be with each other (gaming stats, and porn memes), which makes them seem "immature" to many young women, socially awkward and lacking in conversation skills - but they get on fine within their boys-club. . . so they're perhaps "dropping out" of "competing" for "sexual favours" - ?

Quite simply, being economically or socially productive is not a path to gaining access to women in a society that valorizes gangbangers and robber barons.

not so onboard with this point - "access to women" who like a "gangbanger" type?  or a woman who just wants wealth?  those types exist, sure, but I'm not seeing this as a huge percentage of women, more like an aspirational woman who wants to be an arm ornament, and targets the man who has everything but (the trophy wife archetype).

you say you're in your mid-20's - there are large numbers of young females who are working in various careers that don't include "financial services" on their resumes, nor "dancer" etc. - the lament I most often hear is that young men in their age group are more content to hang with their group of dude-pals than work towards any life goals, and this doesn't include just the "money" angle - over half the relationships in my wider circle of acquaintances are women working full time supporting the stay at home partner (with or without kids) who is working something "creative" or lesser paying, non corporate, freelance.

I guess it just comes down to whether the young guys want to be in relationships with women, or if they're content to be hanging with their bros. . .if it's just hitting on women for sex, then I can assure you, most women with self respect can see that one a mile away, and swerve/accelerate accordingly.  and if the dudes just want a quickie so as not to waste time away from their pals, well that's what pay-to-play was invented for - it's not a relationship, it's a financial trade for sexual access - the primary relationship being with their pals. . .

well reasoned post though. take care!


Almost Solvent's picture

It strikes me as the nature v. nurture argument as to why these folks under 30 are so jaded and disconnected.

What they see and hear has alot to do with that, but I put alot of stock into the drugs this generation had shoved down their throats, many times as young as 6 or 7, such as adderall, welbutrin, ritilin, etc.


The pharmas are just as much to blame as society in my opinion.

Cathartes Aura's picture

pharma is big business, some of it "subsidised" by the state, but all of it is a maintenance of "culture" - in that so many people are on mood 'n' mind altering drugs so as to continue the treadmill without question, minds numbed and dumbed.

it's a sad state to observe.

StychoKiller's picture

It's called "Moral Hazard", because it leads to the death of everyone's morals.

Seer's picture

"there should be an entrepeneurial boom going on right now re-inventing the US economy."

I suppose that if you view this outside the context of the physical world it makes perfect sense.  But, we live in a physical world.

We're at the end of the road.  Our "technology," which is packaged along with the propaganda that one can get ahead by "working harder," has painted us into a corner.  We're now relying more and more on rarer and rarer physical resources (rare earth metals; declining fossil fuels).

But I digress...  Yes, there IS a re-invention going on, it's just that most people, those stuck in the mindset that we'll see another up-swing in this "cycle," are unable to see it.  The [current] System is shedding people, and people are voluntarily leaving it.  That it doesn't show on the monitored "economic system" doesn't mean that it's not happening, it's just that it cannot be measured (either because it's too nebulous, or because The System cannot acknowledge it lest it erode its power/control).

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Rare earth metals aren't that rare.

Silver's rarity need worry no one if we displace all electric uses of it with graphene.

Composing instead of landfill, thermal depolymerization to turn garbage into oil and we'll have enough fuels and clean land to live on and grow for a while.

We just need to watch out for massive removal of oxygen from the oceans and massive greenhouse effects and of course, the nuclear poison from common uranium/plutonium reactors that no one ever needed because Thorium was always much safer & much more efficient.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Yup. Those with smarts will turn to farming, guerilla gardening and meth labs to make money behind the back of Uncle Sam the traitor

ebworthen's picture

Everyone knows this is a circle-jerk economy.

"A chicken in every pot" is now "Choke your chicken in a pot".

Fight club rules.  Do not order the cream of mushroom soup.

Quisat_Sadarak's picture

Hmmm. Chicken is for the 1%.

Pink Slime in every pot.

potlatch's picture

as someone familiar with the demographic, I can only say, the problem you speak of would only apply to the children of teh wealthy.


Most non-vampired young people, just are flat out gobsmacked.  They knew they were going to have to start at the bottom, but they did not know, there is no bottom to start at, and they will have to much rather, re-invent a civil industrialized society.  I would be knocked on my ass too.


If these kids leave the basements and become zombies, well, then call me.  Until then, leave the kids alone: they did not ask for this nonsense and theft of economy.


Because that is what has happened.  The US was Bain'ed.

HK's picture

You're right potlatch, kids now a days don't have a chance.  Our 4 year old granddaughter lives with us as our daughter works and goes to school. I pick her up from preschool each day and we have dinner together.  I make sure she knows how to plant, transplant, harvest and grow her own, knows that Mickey D's is bad, understands which garbage goes into the compost pile, has her own magnifying glass to look through the bags of half dollars for silver.  It's my responsibility to set the table and teach her, the system will only mislead her. 

But you know, we all have a responsibility, as members of the fight club, to make a difference.  Not sure how we sign up for this one, but I'll post it anyway, as we need to keep chipping away at the foundation in order to make a new house. Anonymous with references to the fight club:


Cathartes Aura's picture

consider homeschooling your granddaughter, because "peer pressure" is the great undermining of individual thinking, particularly for girls in this so called culture - I can recommend the first book listed, as used by friends, the second is for younger folks, also an amazon book link, just shortened to "tiny url" -

let kids learn at a pace that encourages curiosity about "things" - and let them find their own subjects that interest them, at least initially.

reader2010's picture

My question is whether or not home-schooling can prevent kids from spinning their hamster wheels later in life? 

Cathartes Aura's picture

if you believe that distancing a young person from cultural conditioning, and encouraging them to be curious about how the world works, and what part they might like to play in it as they get older. . .

then I would say "yes" -  given that skool is all about bells, being in one's seat prior to the bell, daily, set hours, routine, obedience, and peer pressure, it's really just training in how to be a good workerbee - oh, and the daily allegiance pledge, can't forget that. . .

piceridu's picture

+++ 12... years of compulsory schooling

in4mayshun's picture

Oh my god HK, you're raising your daughter to be a terrorist. Gardening and silver investing...I may have to report this to the FBI.

prodigious_idea's picture

Great strategy on the grand child.  And good on you!  Nobody ever talked with me about this stuff. My dad was always climbing up (and down) the corporate ladder. I have to admit that I did too. But I learned about tools and building things on my own.  I'm the odd executive that can rebuild an engine and operate a 30 ton crane.  Makes for a strange CV.  But I awoke to PM, even if it's late in the game.  So I took my 18 year old daughter with me to buy silver last week.  We talked at length.  I later heard from my wife that my daughter really enjoyed it.  I tried to be fair and balanced in our discussion of PMs, although I'm sure my bias leaked into the conversation.  I told her after we left that I'd match her silver purchases.  She was jacked at the idea.  Then I got to thinking about her boyfriend (they live together) and decided I needed to help "them" so I made almost the same offer.  He might end up in the family anyway so I might as well drag the poor kid along.  Of course I will hold their silver for fear they might fall victim to I-gotta-have-that-itus.  It seems a small price to pay for education and maybe they will pay-it-forward someday.  How many generations will it take to right this listing vessel?