March 5, 2010

Good News For Democrats Unemployment Steady

The latest jobless figures are out.  The rate is still at 9.7%.  But as Nancy Pelosi points out - passing health care will create 400,000 jobs immediately, and 4 million jobs over the next few years.  At first I thought those claims were bogus and stupid.  But in those 2700+ pages of cobbled together plan, and an extra trillion dollars in cost, I'm afraid she might be right.  The bad news is they will most likely all be government jobs trying to figure out how to manage all the new complexity of health care.  In other words, more bureaucracy.

The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of an expanding bureaucracy.
~ Unknown

Some 'highlights' from the latest jobless numbers help to put things in perspective:
In February, the number of unemployed persons, at 14.9 million, was essentially unchanged, and the unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent.
That's not an encouraging sign. Because;
The number of persons working part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased from 8.3 to 8.8 million.
500,000 more people are working part time, which further masks true unemployment.  So says the liberal New York Times. In other words, in addition to the 14.9 million unemployed, 8.8 million are now under-employed not by choice.  That's a total of 23.7 million unemployed or under-employed.
About 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in February, an increase of 476,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Another 2.5 million who didn't count - bringing our total to 26.2 million unhappy with their work situation (assuming they are all unhappy about it).  That still is around the 17.1% real unemployment figure.
Among the marginally attached, there were 1.2 million discouraged workers in February, up by 473,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.
That doesn't add to our number of out of work persons but it doesindicate the depth of those very discouraged has also gone up.
Construction employment fell by 64,000...Employment in the information industry dropped by 18,000...Employment in manufacturing was essentially unchanged in February...Retail trade employment was unchanged in February, after a sizeable increase in January...In February, temporary help services added 48,000 jobs. Since reaching a low point in September 2009, temporary help services employment has risen by 284,000...Health care employment continued to trend upward in February....In February, employment in the federal government edged up. The hiring of 15,000 temporary workers for Census 2010 was partially offset by a decline in U.S. Postal Service employment.
This indicates that there are not many areas of positive job growth, and where it has, is government.  Even there the growth has been soft (in the case of government, view it as a good thing).  Even the work week fell in February;
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls declined by 0.1 hour to 33.8 hours in February.
This does not bode well for the Democrats and their focus on jobs health care approach to running the country through this economic hole.

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