Phi Beta Iota: In one sentence: unemployment is 23% (40% among recent college graduates and those well past mid-career); inflation is 9.1%.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US economy created 236,000 new jobs in February. If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I’ll let you have at a good price.
Where are these alleged jobs? The BLS says 48,000 were created in construction. That is possible, considering that revenue-starved real estate developers are misreading the housing situation. http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/08/us-housing-is-the-recovery-real/print
Then there are 23,700 new jobs in retail trade, which is hard to believe considering the absence of consumer income growth and the empty parking lots at shopping malls.
The real puzzle is 20,800 jobs in motion picture and sound recording industries. This is the first time in the years that I have been following the jobs reports that there has been enough employment for me to even notice this category.
The BLS lists 10,900 jobs in accounting and bookkeeping, which, as it is approaching income tax time, is probably correct; 21,000 jobs in temporary help and business support services; 39,000 jobs in health care and social assistance; and 18,800 jobs in the old standby–waitresses and bartenders.
That leaves about 50,000 jobs sprinkled around the various categories, but not in numbers large enough to notice.
The presstitute media attributed the drop in the headline unemployment rate (U3) to 7.7% from 7.9% to the happy jobs report. But Rex Nutting at Market Watch says that the unemployment rate fell because 130,000 unemployed people who have been unable to find a job and became discouraged were dropped out of the U3 measure of unemployment. The official U6 measure which counts some discouraged workers shows an unemployment rate of 14.3%. Statistician John Williams’ measure, which counts all discourage workers (people who have ceased looking for a job), is 23%.
In other words, the real rate of unemployment is 2 to 3 times the reported rate.
Nutting believes that the U3 unemployment rate has become too politicized to have any meaning. He suggests using instead the work force participation rate. This rate is falling substantially, reflecting the discouragement that occurs from inability to find jobs.
John Williams (shadowstats.com) says that distortions in seasonal factor adjustments overstate monthly payroll employment by about 100,000 jobs. The jobs data that is not seasonally adjusted shows about 1.5 million fewer jobs in the economy.
In a recent communication, statistician John Williams (shadowstats.com) reports that the rigged official annual rate of consumer inflation (CPI) of 1.6% is in fact, as measured by the official US government methodology of 1990, 9.2%. In other words, the rate of inflation is 5.75 times greater than the reported rate. If Williams is correct, the interest rate on bonds is extremely negative.