According to Friday’s payroll jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy created 200,000 new jobs in August. These jobs, assuming that they exist, are reported to be in low paid domestic service jobs such as transporting and selling goods, ambulatory health care services, and waiting tables and mixing drinks. There are none in manufacturing or in the “high tech clean fingernail” jobs that neoliberal economists promised the American work force in exchange for letting the industrial and manufacturing jobs go to Asia.
The great mystery is how these jobs can possibly have been created when the Bureau of Labor Statistics Household Data (Table A) reports that the civilian labor force declined by 469,000 in August from the level in the previous month (July); that employment declined by 423,000 in August from the previous month; and that 692,000 Americans dropped out of the labor force in August. Year over year (August 2017-August 2018) 1,531,000 Americans have left the labor force. This is inconsistent with a booming economy at full employment.
It is not explained how during August the Household Survey found unemployment to rise by 423,000 and the work force to shrink by 692,000 for a total of 1,115,000 missing working people, but the economy created 200,000 new payroll jobs.
According to the financial presstitutes, we have a booming economy and labor shortages stemming from a 3.9% unemployment rate, which if it were real would probably be the lowest in my lifetime. Economists are puzzled why there is no upward pressure on wages when there are not enough workers to go around. All of this mystery is due to the fact that the unemployment rate does not count workers who cannot find jobs and have dropped out of the work force. If an unemployed person has not looked for a job in the past four weeks, the unemployed person is not counted as unemployed.
The Employment Situation Summary states that there are 4.4 million workers who are involuntary part-time workers because they cannot find full time jobs. So we have a booming economy in which there are more workers than full time jobs!
The Employment Situation Summary also says that there are 1.4 million workers who are not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.”
The financial presstitutes are not doing their job. All the financial presstitutes do is to print the headline on the press release that is handed to them—200,000 new jobs in August.
Consequently, considering all the contradictions in the BLS data and the inaccurate measure of unemployment, we really have no idea of the state of the economy.
Copyright © 2018 Paul Craig Roberts
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.