Jobs Numbers Don’t Tell The Picture

In case you missed it on Friday, the Department of Labor announced that there had been 311,000 jobs added to the economy in February. That was about 85,000 more jobs than the “experts” expected. However, even though there were more jobs than expected, and the “experts” thought the unemployment rate would be steady at 3.4%, it ticked up to 3.6%.

Shows that the “experts” really don’t have a handle on what’s happening.

What it does mean is that it looks as if the jobs are still plentiful. It also means there is something screwy afoot with the way the unemployment figure is concocted. If you have more jobs than expected, and the unemployment rate is expected to remain steady, how in the world does it go UP two-tenths of a percent? The answer is easy.

It doesn’t.

Mathematically, there is only one way that can happen. Yes, 311,000 jobs were added to the economy, but it doesn’t say how many people that were already working were either fired, laid off, or quit. And how economists deal with the numbers going forward are going to get more confusing.

First of all, there was a 0.4% increase to the average worker’s wage in February. That translates into wages going up 4.8% for the year. And that would signal that there were signs that workers wages are starting to not go up quite as fast as inflation (which remained steady at 6.4% for the third month in a row). Where is the additional increase in prices coming from then? Is it profit for the companies? Is it going to the federal government by means of higher taxes? It’s not going into my bank account, that I can attest to.

And while Joe Biden is all happy that “he” is adding new jobs to the economy, he’s not doing squat. It’s the economy stupid, as James Carville once pointed out. Yes, there are more jobs being added, but the unemployment rate is going up which means that more people are looking for work and not finding it. Or more people are getting laid off.

And here’s the sneaky little fact that may shock some of you…the Fed is going to be meeting this week to determine the next interest rate increase. That never has a positive effect on the stock markets. In fact, if you’re a borrower of any type, whether it’s a mortgage, a new car loan, or something else, you’re going to be paying more regardless. The only people that are happy about this are Senior Citizens who buy CD’s (though they haven’t gone up at all during the inflation craze of this administration), and people that are investing in bonds (bonds typically go in the opposite direction of stocks, and stock markets hate interest rate hikes!)

Overall, some may say that Jerome Powell and the rest of the Fed may be close to their “soft landing” with interest rate hikes, as they are only projecting a .25% increase instead of the usual .50% hike. But that doesn’t mean much. Inflation is still at 6.4% and hasn’t budged for the last three months or so. That tells me that prices are still rising. And if it’s not coming at the hands of the workers demanding more money, it’s gotta be coming from somewhere, right?

The economy is going to do what the economy does. There is really very little any president can do to influence what happens to the economy in a positive way. Oh, they can have Congress raise taxes, as Biden is proposing for next year, and when your economy is weak, that’s the worst thing you can do. Our economy isn’t that strong, contrary to what the folks in the Biden administration suggest. And if they were to get a tax increase (not likely), it would dampen any growth at the expense of higher government spending. And that’s something NO one should want to see happen!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!


8 thoughts on “Jobs Numbers Don’t Tell The Picture

  1. This has nothing to do with employment, but it does address “stats.”

    I worked for a major testing company. There are numerous concerns about testing beyond the bench-marking, but one that I thought was so patently dishonest that I left the company. It was in the process of psychometrics. So in one year (I won’t name the state), student scores were in the toilet. All questions across all disciplines were bench-marked and rated suitable for standardized testing. When the results came out, parents across the state went bananas, and the state’s D.O.E. pitched a fit. Well, crumbs … they’d paid around $25 million for the test. So, rather than focusing on state curriculum and classroom performance, the state D.O.E. ordered a slight modification to the psychometric … you know, a little shift in the formula — PRESTO! Every student passed the test. D.O.E. blamed the company, but it didn’t care because they had a nice fat check paid for by the now-pacified parent/taxpayers.

    Point: you can make the statistics tell you what you want to hear, and I’ll bet you a dollar that before any statistics are released, they get a “go-ahead” from the White House.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PERFECT analogy! We just did a community wide survey here to see what our residents thought about the services and experiences offered by the local recreation center were about. They paid the local university about $50k to do the survey. It was an absolute joke. My wife and I took it, and blasted the survey at the end of it as a waste of time and money. Again, it won’t tell the rec centers anything but what they want to hear (which is they are doing a bang up job). It was one of the biggest push surveys I have ever seen!


  2. Explain the help wanted, we’re hiring signs all around town? Not bad starting wages either. Factories, retail, service industry, restaurants all looking for help! Something ain’t right with those numbers and how are they cooking them?
    Biden’s lying again? Or just spouting what the teleprompter tells him too???

    Liked by 1 person

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