"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Unemployment Percentage Down-- Work Hours Drop Sharply However

And let's not forget the Obama unemployment gap after the "stimulus.". Far worse, by their own numbers, then doing nothing at all. Possibly the most expensive failure in history. Put that in the history books...

"I give unto you the shorter work week and fudged economic statistics. Enjoy. And good luck paying those bills."

Man, this economy is just bad news layered upon bad news. But now the bad news in wrapped in a shiny, thin veneer of apparently optimistic news. It's like getting a really beautifully wrapped  Christmas present that's actually an empty box with the electric bill in it.

From the MarketWatch piece by Rex Nutting:

 The April employment report exceeded expectations, with 165,000 jobs created and a welcome drop in the unemployment rate to 7.5%. 
But there was a dark side to the report: Total hours worked fell sharply, and the total amount of money earned by U.S. workers actually declined from the month before.

“Aggregate weekly hours” is an obscure series of data in the jobs report, but it’s vital to understanding how strong the economy is performing. As the name implies, it measures the total number of hours worked, which is what matters for sizing up overall growth in the economy.

Usually, we focus just on the number of new jobs created and the unemployment rate, but the number of hours we work matters just as much, if not more, to our economic well-being.

Think of it this way: If companies had hired all 12 million unemployed people in April, but had cut everyone’s hours in half, the unemployment rate would have fallen to zero, but we’d be much worse off. Our paychecks would be much smaller, and the economy would contract violently.

In April, companies hired 165,000 more workers, but they cut everyone’s hours (on average) by 12 minutes. That doesn’t sound like much of a decline, but spread out over the 135 million-strong work force, the decline in hours worked is the equivalent of firing more than 500,000 workers while keeping hours steady.

The 0.4% decline in hours worked in April means the economy isn’t quite as strong as you’d think on first glance.

For instance, some analysts applauded the 29,000 gain in retail-sector jobs in April as a sign that consumer spending is holding up well in the face of the fiscal drag caused by the tax hikes and government spending cuts.

But aggregate weekly hours worked in retail plunged by 0.7% in April, which is the equivalent of cutting 11,000 jobs. Suddenly, the report doesn’t look so rosy.
This could be a statistical glitch. However, taking into account the cut hours resulting from the looming ObamaCare regulations and the general uncertainty most business owners feel in the current climate, I'm betting it's not a glitch. It will be something intentionally overlooked so Obama can't trumpet about unemployment rates falling and then (as usual) blame the GOP, greedy wall street types, small business owners George W. Bush, and probably gun violence and obesity for the sluggish and cruddy economy.

When the people who have simply given up work (Hard to say the true number but 9.5 million have left the workforce since Obama became president!), and thus not counted as being unemployed, the reality of this economy is truly frightening. This is what happens when amateurs and people ignorant of real (read non-statist/Marx-based) economics start playing nanny with the economy.

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