Unemployment Is Falling For All The Wrong Reasons

MyMac1976

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 14, 2013
489
1
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/10/unemployment-labor-force_n_4575024.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037&ir=Politics

"Before we go high-fiving each other about unemployment falling, we should consider the reasons for it falling, which aren't quite so high-five-worthy.

Unemployment fell to 6.7 percent in December from 7 percent in November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. Unemployment has plunged from 7.5 percent in June and is way down from a high of 9.9 percent in 2010. All of which is good news.

But: One reason for the big drop in unemployment in December was that many, many people dropped out of the labor force -- 347,000, to be exact. They stopped looking for work, which made them no longer "unemployed" in the eyes of the Bureau of Labor Statistics."

While I wish I didn't have to deal with the furlough and the uncertainties of the last couple years I really do have it good. Maybe it's time for some FDR type programs and to stop waiting for the private sector to come through.
 

Desertrat

macrumors newbie
Jul 4, 2003
2
706
Terlingua, Texas
John Williams of www.shadowstats.com measures consumer price inflation as it was done pre-Clinton, and measures unemployment as it was done in the 1930s.

Eye-opening.

A problem with any government program is that anything new will add to the deficit and thus to the total debt. Note that even with ZIRP, interest rates are rising. That means that there would be a growing debt with a growing percentage of the federal budget going to rising interest payments.

Rock, meet hard place.
 

jnpy!$4g3cwk

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2010
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1,293

hulugu

macrumors 68000
Aug 13, 2003
1,819
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quae tangit perit Trump
John Williams of www.shadowstats.com measures consumer price inflation as it was done pre-Clinton, and measures unemployment as it was done in the 1930s.

Eye-opening.

A problem with any government program is that anything new will add to the deficit and thus to the total debt. Note that even with ZIRP, interest rates are rising. That means that there would be a growing debt with a growing percentage of the federal budget going to rising interest payments.

Rock, meet hard place.
Hey, Desertrat! Good to see you post.
 

Desertrat

macrumors newbie
Jul 4, 2003
2
706
Terlingua, Texas
:) Figured I'd mess around in the economic stuff. Less ad hominem "thought".

"There seems to be some disagreement over why unemployment is so high among young men."

I see it as a multiplicity of reasons. One, of course, is just this ongoing recession. Then, we have more would-be workers than are really needed to produce the necessary goods and services. (I've written elsewhere about "surplus people".) So, the issue of experience in any workplace enters into the equation. Another factor is that more of the older people are continuing to work and are not retiring.

One commonly unmentioned factor is that way too many college grads majored in curricula which might as well have been "Underwater Basketweaving" insofar as the job markets. Not enough majored in the hard sciences.
 

Jschultz

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2005
878
12
Chicago, IL
I think you're on to something, Desertrat.

We definitely have had a structural shift in 'human capital' demand. Too many people without the skills and training needed to fill the newer high tech manufacturing jobs, but not much in the way to train or educate them.

I really, really hope that we can drop the 'dirty blue collar' stigma that is associated with the trades and manufacturing. At my particular company, if you have the correct training to operate the high-tech machines, you'd be making a pretty penny.

I also feel bad for those who may be trapped in smaller towns or areas where there are no jobs, with no prospects and ability to mobilize to where opportunity exists.
 

Desertrat

macrumors newbie
Jul 4, 2003
2
706
Terlingua, Texas
"I also feel bad for those who may be trapped in smaller towns or areas where there are no jobs, with no prospects and ability to mobilize to where opportunity exists."

Peripherally, in one of the early chapters of "The Bell Curve", the authors comment on the effects of "the brain drain" from small towns. Offspring of the more well-off who have the GPA go off to college and don't return. Generation by generation, the average in-town competency declines.

Those who are trapped have little or no choice about any profitable future.
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Feb 25, 2012
2,506
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
:confused:

That's never been the message I've received.

My experience is that talent and hard work is valued and appreciated.
Depends on how young you are.

I'm nearly 30, and I find that people who go into the same profession that I did out of college. Somehow make less money than I did starting out almost nearly a decade ago. With less benefits and less job security. At least.

Talent and hard work is mostly meaningless in corporate America, if you can be outsourced, even if it saves a tiny amount on the bottom line, you will be outsourced.
 

Desertrat

macrumors newbie
Jul 4, 2003
2
706
Terlingua, Texas
Exerience matters. If you're not older than the CEO, and don't have a history of self-employment, odds are that at 53 you will have more value than any 23 year old.

Lots of inexperienced 23ers out there, all competing for a limited number of jobs.
 

giantfan1224

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2012
869
1,093
Really? Because that's what happened in the 1940s during WWII and it managed to bring this country great prosperity until the 1980s.
There were a lot more factors at play that contributed to the recovery after the Great Depression. And we're not really in a position to throw even more money at the problem. If the billions spent on the stimulus didn't do it, why would billions more? One idea: let's make it easier for employers to hire and grow their businesses.
 

SoAnyway

macrumors 6502
May 10, 2011
476
179
There were a lot more factors at play that contributed to the recovery after the Great Depression. And we're not really in a position to throw even more money at the problem.

Sure we are if we consider the government that represents us as the employer of last resort, which it was during the late 1930s and 1940s.

Keep in mind that a public sector job is a job after all. Much of our commons and infrastructure (roads, education, healthcare, utilities, etc.) is crumbling and needs a lot of work. The government can easily provide people with jobs in these sectors. When those out of work people now have a job, they will spend the money they earn thus stimulating our economy.

The biggest problem we face is the lack of political will to do anything about this issue. Our politicians are owned by their donors who don't want to put Americans back to work at decent livable wages.


If the billions spent on the stimulus didn't do it, why would billions more?

The problem with the 2009 stimulus is that it was severely underfunded and wasn't stimulative enough. It was a plan that needed at least $1.5 trillion but only received just a little over $800 billion in funding. On top of that, nearly half was used as tax incentives and left around $500 billion in actually stimulating the economy, which was not nearly enough to adequately stimulate our economy.


One idea: let's make it easier for employers to hire and grow their businesses.

You mean even more tax cuts and relax our immigration laws to allow mega corporations to hire cheap labor? It's been done and it hasn't benefited the American people at all. In fact, it has done nothing but benefit only big business who are sitting on mountains of money while the American people continue to suffer in this rough economy.
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Feb 25, 2012
2,506
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
You're right about my youth.

[or lack thereof]

So are you both suggesting that if I were 23 instead of 53, that my talents and contributions wouldn't be valued?
Depends on a number of factors. But starting a career these days is MUCH harder than it was 30 years ago.

You wouldn't really be taken seriously at 23 these days.

We'll, that's where talent comes into play.

Talent, personality, professionalism, etc.
This might sound crazy, but that does not matter to much in lots of corporate America these days. What matters is to be a " yes until we lay you off or outsource you " man.

Are there still companies that value that stuff? Of course.

But for the most part, corporate America is just looking for a way to outsource you as fast as they can. T
 

giantfan1224

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2012
869
1,093
Sure we are if we consider the government that represents us as the employer of last resort, which it was during the late 1930s and 1940s.

Keep in mind that a public sector job is a job after all. Much of our commons and infrastructure (roads, education, healthcare, utilities, etc.) is crumbling and needs a lot of work. The government can easily provide people with jobs in these sectors. When those out of work people now have a job, they will spend the money they earn thus stimulating our economy.

The biggest problem we face is the lack of political will to do anything about this issue. Our politicians are owned by their donors who don't want to put Americans back to work at decent livable wages.





The problem with the 2009 stimulus is that it was severely underfunded and wasn't stimulative enough. It was a plan that needed at least $1.5 trillion but only received just a little over $800 billion in funding. On top of that, nearly half was used as tax incentives and left around $500 billion in actually stimulating the economy, which was not nearly enough to adequately stimulate our economy.
But how do you pay for it? The money you use for these infrastructure jobs or for more stimulus is not free. I don't remember where I read about it and it was a little while long ago but a jobs stimulus package was touted by the government for creating so many jobs but when you did the math, it cost like $250,000 per job. That's not what I would call sustainable job creation. You could've just handed people the money, created like 4 times as many "jobs" if all you're worried about is putting money into peoples hands to in turn pump back into the economy.


mean even more tax cuts and relax our immigration laws to allow mega corporations to hire cheap labor? It's been done and it hasn't benefited the American people at all. In fact, it has done nothing but benefit only big business who are sitting on mountains of money while the American people continue to suffer in this rough economy.
I would be in favor or more incentives for small businesses which in my opinion are the economic engine in this country. The ACA didn't do small businesses any favors.
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Feb 25, 2012
2,506
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
One idea: let's make it easier for employers to hire and grow their businesses.
How do suggest we do that?

American companies are among the largest and most profitable in the world, and America has the largest number of super rich. America is also very lax on taxes and regulations compared to most developed nations.



Seems like their business is growing just fine.

I run my own small business, and I can tell you, hiring qualified people isn't really that hard for me.
 

JoeG4

macrumors 68030
Jan 11, 2002
2,663
167
Bay Area, Ca.
lol funny about the "older people are worth more" thing, I usually see lots of complaining about the opposite in the tech industry.

Dunno what to say. I really don't have anything at all to add to this lol.
 

giantfan1224

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2012
869
1,093
How do suggest we do that?

American companies are among the largest and most profitable in the world, and America has the largest number of super rich. America is also very lax on taxes and regulations compared to most developed nations.



Seems like their business is growing just fine.

I run my own small business, and I can tell you, hiring qualified people isn't really that hard for me.
See my response to SoAnyway. Also, corporate tax rates I would not call lax. Or else you wouldn't see the large corporations going to such lengths to find tax friendlier governments.
 

zioxide

macrumors 603
Dec 11, 2006
5,725
3,711
:confused:

That's never been the message I've received.

My experience is that talent and hard work is valued and appreciated.
Yeah, but when you're young and just out of college, you don't have enough "experience" to get a job now.

There's so many people with 5-10 years experience now that are either out of work or underemployed. You might be able to get some interviews, but with the current economic climate and the amount of experienced people competing for good jobs, there seems to always be someone with more experience right now.

It's a big catch-22... you need "experience" to get a job, but you can't get that experience without having a job.


But how do you pay for it? The money you use for these infrastructure jobs or for more stimulus is not free.
Ever hear the saying "you have to spend money to make money"?


The US's infrastructure is crumbling. We're falling behind countries like China and Japan. Not a coincidence that our economy is failing too. Why would a business want to open up in a place with crappy infrastructure?


We need to invest in both NEW infrastructure and rebuilding our current infrastructure. You can't have a 21st century economy with 1950s infrastructure. Investing more money in infrastructure instead of wasting it on more bombs for sandbox wars will create jobs both short-term (construction) and long term (maintenance on this construction & new jobs for new and existing businesses when business goes up after there's new infrastructure). More jobs and more people making money means more people funneling more money back into the economy.. which in turn causes it to grow more.
 
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