Friday, February 5, 2010

Not now, not ever...

Greetings good citizen,

We were warned more than six months ago that 1.5 million people were in danger of exhausting their unemployment benefits by January.

Well guess what? January is here and what do you suppose the headline says? “Labor Market Shows Signs of Reawakening in New Data.”

How can they call this ‘new data’ if the information is more than six months old? Naturally, it is not the information that is ‘new’, it is the ‘spin’ that has changed…now dire news is being used to inspire more unfounded, baseless ‘happy talk’.

What you want to look at (because the figure is immune from the ‘selective banishment’ they use to dress up the unemployment numbers) is the labor force participation rate (see the graph at the bottom of the linked article.)

What does this tell us? Well two-thirds is 66%, and the participation rate is 64.6% so one out of three working aged citizens doesn’t…work that is. To make matters worse, 40% of those who do have jobs only work part time.

Is this any way to run a society? It is if you’re a selfish pig!

But what can we expect from the kind of people that brought us this headline?

Labor Market Shows Signs of Reawakening in New Data

Published: February 5, 2010

The American unemployment rate dipped from 10 percent to 9.7 percent in January, the Labor Department reported Friday, buoying hopes that the worst job market in at least a quarter-century is finally improving. [Why would any sane person think that? The evidence doesn’t agree!]

The economy shed another 20,000 net jobs during the course of the month, underscoring the considerable strains remaining in millions of American households. Yet that marked a continued decline in the pace of deterioration. Economists focused on a host of encouraging signs that suggested recovery following the worst recession since the Great Depression. [How about one specific example? Just one…]

Manufacturing added 11,000 jobs in January, the first monthly increase since November 2007, while factories saw a modest increased in the length of the workweek. Temporary workers grew by 52,000, and the overall American workweek lengthened, reinforcing the view that commercial activity is awakening after more than two years of veritable hibernation. [Uh, is it too much to ask for one specific example? All we have here are jobs created by BLS software! Jobs that so far have proven to be totally imaginary!]

“It does signal that the economy is continuing to improve,” said John E. Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo in Charlotte, N.C. “You don’t have a boom, but you have an economic recovery. It’s a positive sign.” [What’s a ‘positive sign’? The ambiguous ‘lengthening’ of the workweek, they don’t even tell us how much it supposedly increased or where we could find proof of such a claim! I don’t know about you good citizen but this ‘trust me’ crap coming from this pack of liars doesn’t hold any water with me…]

Yet despite the hopeful indications, the government’s monthly snapshot of the labor market came wrapped in an unusual degree of statistical uncertainty, economists said, intensifying the debate about the staying power and vigor of the apparent economic recovery. [The so-called ‘recovery’ is piece of convenient fiction that even our politicians don’t believe!]

The Labor Department revised past data to show that the economy comprised 1.36 million fewer jobs in December than previously thought. The revisions showed the economy lost 150,000 jobs in December — far more than the 85,000 initially reported. [Yeah, the economy is ‘turning around’ all right, doing damn 360’s while it sails off a cliff is what it’s doing!]

The report also featured a new way in which the government estimates the population, which is used to calculate the unemployment rate. That prompted some economists to dismiss the drop in joblessness as a statistical quirk.

“The message is, you can’t believe what they tell you,” said Joshua Shapiro, chief United States economist at MFR Inc. in New York. “Everyone goes crazy over today’s number, but history has been rewritten. Things are not comparable from month to month.” [Odd that they would include what’s on everyone’s mind even though they are doing this solely to discredit the nay-sayers.]

Mr. Shapiro focused on the caution that still grips many households amid a time of economic anxiety, suggesting this will continue to dampen consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy. That should keep employers reluctant to hire, limiting the wages that workers have to spend at other businesses. [Short answer good citizen is there will be no recovery, not now, not ever!]

“The question is, what is the rate of improvement going to be?” he asked. “Very slow. We don’t see companies going crazy on the hiring.”

Some forecasts envision the jobless rate reaching nearly 11 percent by the end of the year, which would raise the prospect of new shocks to the system: a retreat in consumer spending, and fresh fears in the banking system as jobless people lose the wherewithal to pay their mortgages, amplifying an already disturbing wave of foreclosures. [Again the ‘assumption’ is society will somehow be able to function with a terminally wounded taxbase.]

Such gloomy visions are at the center of concerns that the ending of the Great Recession could merely mark the beginning of a long period of disappointingly slow growth, or perhaps a pause before another downturn—one that could be difficult to escape. [Oooo, ‘Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!’ is it just me or is there an inordinate amount of gloom hiding in this unabashed pronouncement of economic victory?]

“Businesses are still very cautious,” said Nigel Gault, an economist for IHS Global Insight.

Construction continued to suffer in January, shedding 75,000 net jobs. Transportation and warehousing lost 19,000 net jobs.

Small companies complain that loans remain exceedingly difficult to secure, limiting their ability to expand and hire. Businesses with fewer than 500 employees hold more than half of the nation’s private-sector jobs, according to the Small Business Administration.

In Cleveland, Kirk K. Meurer, the owner of store that sells office furniture, has frozen the pay of his 30 employees and stopped buying new cars in an effort to trim costs. He has a $250,000 loan, but complains that it has been difficult to persuade his bank to lend any more, limiting his contribution to spending in the local economy. [Bank is no fool. Who the hell is buying office furniture never mind leasing office space? That damn ‘For Lease’ corporation is taking over everything!]

“I’m being very frugal with my decisions,” Mr. Meurer said. “For us to hire, we need to see a turn in the economy.”

But many economists took the January jobs report as evidence that such a turn is indeed at hand. [Um isn’t the qualifier here ‘academic economists’? You know, the kind with no ‘real world’ experience? And if you’re talking about economists who work for investment firms, they are nothing better than ‘paid liars’ all they do is ‘talk their book’.]

For months, American business has been defined by what economists refer to as productivity growth: companies have expanded their output of goods and services without increasing their labor. [Which is total horseshit!] January’s data — particularly the [unspecified] increase in manufacturing and the hours worked — appeared to signal that employers finally feel enough confidence in the expanding business opportunities to add to payrolls. [Ahem, I say again, we have zero idea how ‘large’ this one time increase is…or isn’t. There isn’t a fucking single thing you can point to and say ‘this is driving the increase’…not a thing.]

Health care, long a bright spot in a largely dismal economy, added 17,000 net jobs in January. Retail jobs swelled by 42,000, though some economists suggested this could be reflective of the way the Labor Department adjusts for seasonal factors. Professional and business services added 44,000 jobs. [Um, didn’t Wal-Mart just announce 12,000 lay-offs? So what the fuck makes these assholes say ‘retail’ is adding workers when we have proof of the exact opposite?]

“We’ve seen a surge in demand for graphic designers and people who create display advertising for the Web,” said Fabio Rosati, chief executive of Elance, an online job market for freelance computer programmers and other tech-related workers. “There’s been an increase in confidence among employers over the last few months.” [What The Fuck! How does an uptick in hiring INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS spell ‘increased confidence’? These aren’t even permanent jobs!]

Adding to the sense that employers are finally inclined to add labor as they expand production, the number of so-called involuntary part-time workers — people who cannot find full-time jobs, or whose hours have been cut — fell from 9.2 million to 8.3 million in January. [Left unsaid is how many of these workers were axed completely as opposed to being returned to full time employment?]

But even amid the welcome evidence of improvement, the report offered up another batch of evidence that times remain bitterly hard for millions of Americans, with a long slog through lean times likely ahead.

The so-called underemployment rate — which counts the involuntary part-timers along with people who have given up looking for work — sat at 16.5 percent in January. That amounted to an improvement from the 17.3 percent seen a month earlier, yet it was nearly double the level of three years ago. [I’m going to guess these buttheads (correctly) figure most people don’t read down this far, they read the headline and maybe the first couple of paragraphs and then they move on…]

Those who have been out of work for six months or longer swelled from 6.1 million in December to 6.3 million in January, the highest level since the government began tracking such data in 1948.

“Things are getting bad less rapidly,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington. “We’re sort of hitting bottom, but there is no evidence of a robust turnaround.”

How about that last line good citizen? Actually the last couple of statements negate the whole damn article…this piece is nothing more than pabulum for the feeble-minded!

Recently the discussion turned around here turned to ‘Why bother’? My own posts have devolved into ‘same shit, different day’. This is probably the umpteenth post dissecting the fake recovery.

While much is the same, some parts are different. Tonight’s post displays the ‘desperation’ of the powers that be.

Failure is not an option. Things won’t stay glued together if they admit saving our scuttled economy is an exercise in futility.

It’s ‘even worse than it appears’. Once it becomes apparent that we have been toiling away on a ‘fool’s errand’, the collapse of ‘life as we have come to know it’ will be very rapid indeed.

And make no mistake about it, these lies they are spreading now WILL come back to bite them on the ass! Either the liars are ‘expendable’ or the probability that there will be enough survivors of the aftermath of whatever’s coming to worry about is considered to be negligible.

Either way good citizen, there is more to tonight’s offering than SSDD.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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