What a lovely headline from the Associated Press at the L. A. Times website! “U. S. economy adds 204,000 jobs in October” And then the teaser tells us that the media is even willing to weaken their mantra about how the government “shut down” (as if!) hurt the economy: “The burst of hiring comes despite the 16-day government shutdown…” And then a slight bit of bad news: “The unemployment rate ticks up to 7.3%.” But even that bit of bad news is soon dispelled:
The U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs in October, an unexpected burst of hiring during a month in which the federal government was partially shut down for 16 days.
The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate rose to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent in September, likely because furloughed federal workers were counted as unemployed. The report noted that the shutdown did not affect total jobs.
Employers also added 60,000 more jobs in the previous two months than earlier estimated.
The figures show hiring has picked up in the fall. Employers added an average of 202,000 jobs from August through October, up from 146,000 from May through July.
And then, buried further down:
One troubling detail in the report: The percentage of Americans working or looking for work fell to a fresh 35-year low. But that figure was likely distorted by the shutdown, too.
I seriously doubt the shutdown explains much. As Zero Hedge’s Tyler Durden reminded me this morning, 35 years ago was 1978! Some of you are old enough to remember what the economy was like midway through the Jimmy Carter presidency. The labor participation rate dropped a whopping 1.2% to 62.8%.
But more importantly, the number of people not in the labor force exploded by nearly 1 million, or 932,000 to be exact, in just the month of October, to a record 91.5 million Americans! This was the third highest monthly increase in people falling out of the labor force in US history.
Durden says that the number of people outside of the labor force will exceed working Americans in four years at this rate.
While this is plenty of reason to hate on Obama, I want to remind readers that this entire economic implosion was cooked up during the Clinton and Bush years. And no, despite what conservatives may say, it wasn’t just about giving poor people mortgages (something that Bush encouraged a great deal, however). That was a bad idea but it should have simply failed. The reason it prompted a housing bubble instead was because of the Federal Reserve’s insane monetary decisions. The NASDAQ bubble was formed during the Clinton years and burst early in Bush’s presidency. Rather than blame Clinton and allow the recession to take its course, Bush and Alan Greenspan doubled down and pushed interest rates into the floor to stimulate growth. The housing bubble was the result.
Obama kept all the bankster’s from the Bush Administration (Bernanke and Geithner, and many others) and has done nothing but make the economy worse. That’s on him. But establishment Republicans are not going to make the situation any better. They are committed to the same corrupt fiat currency/fractional-reserve/central bank system that is creating this mess.
Until we face a true economic reset, we are stuck with a horrible, degrading economy.