The Labor Department this morning announced the loss of another 20,000 jobs in April, which should come as a surprise to no one. At the same time, in spite of the fact that our population grows by nearly 300,000 per month (thus yielding a growth in the labor force of about 150,000 per month), somehow this loss of jobs translated into a reduction in unemployment from 5.1% to 5.0%, yet one more distortion of the economic facts by the Bush administration. Look for both numbers – the jobs losses and the unemployment rate – to be revised upward once next month’s data pushes this month’s data out of the headlines.
Here’s some excerpts, followed by my commentary:
“April’s job reductions followed upwardly revised losses of 81,000 jobs in March and 83,000 in February. Employers also cut 76,000 jobs in January.”
Thus proving my point about the administration’s penchant for issuing phoney numbers and then revising them later, after they’re out of the headlines and won’t have as much effect on the stock market and consumer psyches. Also, continuing the statistic that I’ve been tracking each month with the release of this data, the tally for the shortfall of jobs (job losses added to growth in the labor force), we have now fallen behind by 859,000 jobs since the beginning of the year. If the adminstration was honest, this should have raised the unemployment level by 0.6% to a level of 5.3% or 5.4%. But, apparently, honesty isn’t the best policy when it comes to managing the national economic psyche.
“‘It looks like the economy is in better shape than we thought,’ said Owen Fitzpatrick, head of the U.S. equity group for Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management in New York. ‘I think a lot of people were expecting it to be a lot worse.’”
Wrong, Mr. Fitzpatrick. The economy is not “in better shape than we thought.” It’s in less worse shape than we thought, and only because the government isn’t being honest with the data. How can unemployment be running at 5% when weekly filings for unemployment are running at an annual rate of about 13%?
“Goods-producing businesses cut 110,000 jobs in April, the largest number of job reductions since January 2002, after trimming 88,000 in March.”
Where are the economists now who were telling us that the decline in the dollar was good news for manufacturing and that exports would be rising while imports declined? Not a peep from them lately. Undoubtedly, they’re busy concocting a new explanation and yet another list of intangible benefits of free trade (intangible because they don’t exist). Manufacturing jobs continue to decline because the value of the dollar vs. other currencies never had anything to do with the trade deficit. The trade deficit is caused by the gross disparity in population density and per capita consumption between the U.S. and some of its grossly overpopulated parasitic trade welfare recipients. The only thing that can be done about this factor is a return to tariffs – a tariff structure on manufactured goods that is indexed to population density. Anything short of this will keep our country on the path to economic ruin.