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Employment growth picks up in October with addition of 171,000 jobs

Today the Government released the October Labor Statistics and we see that employers have added a larger-than-expected 171,000 jobs in October across a broad spectrum of businesses. In this, the  final snapshot of the economy before election day, we have an interesting picture of job growth… more than double what it was in September.

Unfortunately, the nation’s unemployment rate rose to 7.9% from 7.8% in September. This was because more people jumped back into the labor market, including a very large group of 18-year old first time workers. This, of course, is a positive sign that workers may be feeling more confident about their job prospects.

The new Labor Department report, which also revised sharply higher job growth in September and August, may give a boost to President Obama, who continues with a slow but positive economic growth. There is still enough information for the undecided to support Obama who has kept us going even though Mitch McConnell and his Republicans have worked overtime to keep Obama’s Job Creation proposals and other forward moving activities from passing or getting any Congressional support. It’s interesting that Obama has gotten as far as he has… and it is even more interesting how little the Republicans have been concerned with helping to relieve our economy.

 

Did someone say Romney had outstanding business experience?

He doesn’t seem to know much about the history of labor and the monthly creation of new jobs.

Obama just announced an increase in jobs by 115,000 in April. Romney’s comment:

“We should be seeing numbers in the 500,000 jobs per month,” Mitty said on “Fox & Friends.” “This is way, way, way off from what should happen in a normal recovery.”

It could be that Romney doesn’t know what a “normal recovery” has as monthly jobs growth. During George W. Bush‘s presidency, there was never a single month in which job growth topped 400,000, let alone 500,000, according to Bureau of Labor StatisticsThink Progress pointed out:

“there have only been 16 months since 1939” in which the economy added half a million jobs in one month.

Obama inherited a more severe recession than Bush (and, of course, he inherited it FROM Bush), which meant that he had a greater need for a quick and pronounced recovery. Also, as Bush was dealing with the bursting of the dot.com bubble, September 11th happened, further elongating the timeline for recovery.

And yet, by strictly numerical measures, Obama at this point is doing better than Bush… so somebody should point this out to “Mr. Business”.

Remember when “Conservative” used to be a word defining a form of political economics?

Sometimes we just have to admit that even some women politicians are a bit crazy. Like Majority Whip Debbie Lesko who authored Arizona House Bill 2625 which would allow employers to eliminate employee health care coverage on birth control and related needs:

“I believe we live in America. We don’t live in the Soviet Union. So government should not be telling organizations or employers to do something against their moral beliefs… My whole legislation is about our First Amendment rights and freedom of religion.” 

And what about freedom FROM religion?

But the most revealing look at conservatism is the current Doonesbury series that many newspapers are not printing. Gary Trudeau is looking at the trans-vaginal sonograms required in Texas prior to an abortion:

It would be very nice if “conservatism” got back to economic politics and out of the bedroom and the vagina. Little choice is left to women when considering who to vote for.

Friday report from the Labor Dept.: Jobs up higher than expected…

According to Reuters, U.S. job growth accelerated more than expected in July as private employers stepped up hiring, easing fears the economy was sliding into a fresh recession.

It was originally expected that the number of new jobs would b3 85,000… less than the 100,000 minimum necessary to start correcting the unemployment burden. In reality, the new estimate is that the number is 117,000 which brings the unemployment rate from 9.2% to 9.1%.

How much better the situation gets in the next six months is unknown. A stand-off between Democrats and Republicans over raising the country’s debt ceiling poisoned the atmosphere for employers and consumers. Whether this new report helps them to bounce back is questionable.

Austan Goolsbee

Commenting from the White House, Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Austan Goolsbee said:

“While the better than expected report is welcome news, the unemployment rate remains unacceptably high and faster growth is needed to replace the jobs lost in the downturn.” 

Scott Walker says that Wisconsin Public Employees do not currently pay their pension funds…but this is a LIE.

Look at this article quote from Forbes Magazine:

If the Wisconsin governor and state legislature were to be honest, they would correctly frame this issue. They are not, in fact, asking state employees to make a larger contribution to their pension and benefits programs as that would not be possible- the employees are already paying 100% of the contributions.

What they are actually asking is that the employees take a pay cut.

This is Forbes that says this. A Conservative business magazine. Go HERE and read the whole article. The article was written by Rick Ungar. Here’s his Bio:

I am an attorney in Southern California, and a frequent writer, speaker and consultant on health care policy and politics. To that end, I am active member of the Association of Health Care Journalists. Based in beautiful Santa Monica, California, I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to be a contributor to Forbes. I’ve recently finished a book designed to make the health care debate understandable to the average reader, and expect it to be out in the next five months or earlier.

And this from Trinlay Khadro: We should be THANKING Unions…

This was posted in The Political Carnival today from one of their readers:

Even if you’ve never been a member of a Union, YOU BENEFIT everyday from what Unions have done. Even if you’ve never had kids, called 911, needed the fire or police department: YOU BENEFIT from public workers.

got employer paid/sponsored benefits: like, health care/retirement plan? (even if you pay a share)
thank the Union
got a day or two off every week?
thank the Union
8 hr work day, and paid overtime?
Thank the Union
Workman’s Comp?
Thank the Union
A safe workplace?
Thank the Union
Got an employer who needs a REASON to fire you?
thank the Union
Unemployment benefits?
thank the Union.

This is not just about teachers, it’s about firemen, law enforcement, Ambulance drivers, EMTs… people who put themselves in danger to keep you safe, and protect society.
It’s about the public health nurses, National Guard, water treatment workers, electrical system workers, sewer workers, roads repair…

Do you want the electrical grid maintained by a minimum wage guy who *might* have finished high school ? Do you want a union certified roofer to fix your house, using the proper safety equipment (so he doesn’t sue you) and won’t make a mess of your roof, or are you OK paying the contractor’s Son-in-Law minimum wage to do the job?

Ever use the public health office to get your kid vaccinated? get health information? alerts about outbreaks in your area? That Public Health office, that nurse, the person that sends out the news release about out breaks of measles or influenza, or whooping cough in your town… that’s a public employee and someone protected by the union.

Drive on public roads, flush the toilet, have a driver’s license, use the city bus… all are public workers…

All these public workers, ALSO pay taxes, and usually make less than the would doing the same sort of job for a much higher wage.

IF their wages and benefits are an issue (in Wisconsin the “crisis” was CREATED by the new gov. giving perks to the cronies who got him elected… NOT the public employees)

IF the wages and benefits are an issue, NEGOTIATE, don’t break the unions, and then knock the employees who SERVE US ALL, down however it happens to be handy.

The Anti-Regulators Are the “Job Killers”

Bill Black is my new Hero. This article is published intact from this morning’s Huffington Post, and is worth your reading (the Republicans should read it, too):

 

William K. Black

William K. Black

Assoc. Professor, Univ. of Missouri, Kansas City; Sr. regulator during S&L debacle

Posted: January 14, 2011

The new mantra of the Republican Party is the old mantra — regulation is a “job killer.” It is certainly possible to have regulations kill jobs, and when I was a financial regulator I was a leader in cutting away many dumb requirements. But we have just experienced the epic ability of the anti-regulators to kill well over ten million jobs. Why then is there not a single word from the new House leadership about investigations to determine how the anti-regulators did their damage? Why is there no plan to investigate the fields in which inadequate regulation most endangers jobs? While we’re at it, why not investigate the areas in which inadequate regulation allows firms to maim and kill. This column addresses only financial regulation.

Deregulation, desupervision, and de facto decriminalization (the three “des”) created the criminogenic environment that drove the modern U.S. financial crises. The three “des” were essential to create the epidemics of accounting control fraud that hyper-inflated the bubble that triggered the Great Recession. “Job killing” is a combination of two factors — increased job losses and decreased job creation. I’ll focus solely on private sector jobs — but the recession has also been devastating in terms of the loss of state and local governmental jobs.

From 1996-2000, for example, annual private sector gross job increases rose from roughly 14 million to 16 million while annual private sector gross job losses increased from 12 to 13 million. The annual net job increases in those years, therefore, rose from two million to three million. Over that five year period, the net increase in private sector jobs was over 10 million. One common rule of thumb is that the economy needs to produce an annual net increase of about 1.5 million jobs to employ new entrants to our workforce, so the growth rate in this era was large enough to make the unemployment and poverty rates fall significantly.

The Great Recession (which officially began in the third quarter of 2007) shows why the anti-regulators are the premier job killers in America. Annual private sector gross job losses rose from roughly 12.5 to a peak of 16 million and gross private sector job gains fell from approximately 13 to 10 million. As late as March 2010, after the official end of the Great Recession, the annualized net job loss in the private sector was approximately three million (that job loss has now turned around, but the increases are far too small).

Again, we need net gains of roughly 1.5 million jobs to accommodate new workers, so the total net job losses plus the loss of essential job growth was well over 10 million during the Great Recession. These numbers, again, do not include the large job losses of state and local government workers, the dramatic rise in underemployment, the sharp rise in far longer-term unemployment, and the salary/wage (and job satisfaction) losses that many workers had to take to find a new, typically inferior, job after they lost their job. It also ignores the rise in poverty, particularly the scandalous increase in children living in poverty.

2011-01-14-chart.jpg

The Great Recession was triggered by the collapse of the real estate bubble epidemic of mortgage fraud by lenders that hyper-inflated that bubble. That epidemic could not have happened without the appointment of anti-regulators to key leadership positions. The epidemic of mortgage fraud was centered on loans that the lending industry (behind closed doors) referred to as “liar’s” loans — so any regulatory leader who was not an anti-regulatory ideologue would (as we did in the early 1990s during the first wave of liar’s loans in California) have ordered banks not to make these pervasively fraudulent loans.

One of the problems was the existence of a “regulatory black hole” — most of the nonprime loans were made by lenders not regulated by the federal government. That black hole, however, conceals two broader federal anti-regulatory problems. The federal regulators actively made the black hole more severe by preempting state efforts to protect the public from predatory and fraudulent loans. Greenspan and Bernanke are particularly culpable. In addition to joining the jihad state regulation, the Fed had unique federal regulatory authority under HOEPA (enacted in 1994) to fill the black hole and regulate any housing lender (authority that Bernanke finally used, after liar’s loans had ended, in response to Congressional criticism). The Fed also had direct evidence of the frauds and abuses in nonprime lending because Congress mandated that the Fed hold hearings on predatory lending.

The S&L debacle, the Enron era frauds, and the current crisis were all driven by accounting control fraud. The three “des” are critical factors in creating the criminogenic environments that drive these epidemics of accounting control fraud. The regulators are the “cops on the beat” when it comes to stopping accounting control fraud. If they are made ineffective by the three “des” then cheaters gain a competitive advantage over honest firms. This makes markets perverse and causes recurrent crises.

From roughly 1999 to the present, three administrations have displayed hostility to vigorous regulation and have appointed regulatory leaders largely on the basis of their opposition to vigorous regulation. When these administrations occasionally blundered and appointed, or inherited, regulatory leaders that believed in regulating the administration attacked the regulators. In the financial regulatory sphere, recent examples include Arthur Levitt and William Donaldson (SEC), Brooksley Born (CFTC), and Sheila Bair (FDIC).

Similarly, the bankers used Congress to extort the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) into trashing the accounting rules so that the banks no longer had to recognize their losses. The twin purposes of that bit of successful thuggery were to evade the mandate of the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) law and to allow banks to pretend that they were solvent and profitable so that they could continue to pay enormous bonuses to their senior officials based on the fictional “income” and “net worth” produced by the scam accounting. (Not recognizing one’s losses increases dollar-for-dollar reported, but fictional, net worth and gross income.)

When members of Congress (mostly Democrats) sought to intimidate us into not taking enforcement actions against the fraudulent S&Ls we blew the whistle. Congress investigated Speaker Wright and the “Keating Five” in response. I testified in both investigations. Why is the new House leadership announcing its intent to give a free pass to the accounting control frauds, their political patrons, and the anti-regulators that created the criminogenic environment that hyper-inflated the financial bubble that triggered the Great Recession and caused such a loss of integrity?

The anti-regulators subverted the rule of law and allowed elite frauds to loot with impunity. Why isn’t the new House leadership investigating that disgrace as one of their top priorities? Why is the new House leadership so eager to repeat the job killing mistakes of taking the regulatory cops off their beat?

Bill Black is an Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is also a white-collar criminologist, a former senior financial regulator, a serial whistleblower, and the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One.

This will make you wonder…..

Did you ever wonder where the Republican Party of today came from? A site called Who Hijacked Our Country printed the 1956 Republican Party Platform:

“The Eisenhower Administration will continue to fight for dynamic and progressive programs which, among other things, will:

Stimulate improved job safety of our workers, through assistance to the States, employees and employers;

Continue and further perfect its programs of assistance to the millions of workers with special employment problems, such as older workers, handicapped workers, members of minority groups, and migratory workers;

Strengthen and improve the Federal-State Employment Service and improve the effectiveness of the unemployment insurance system;

Protect by law, the assets of employee welfare and benefit plans so that workers who are the beneficiaries can be assured of their rightful benefits;

Assure equal pay for equal work regardless of Sex;

Federally-assisted construction, and maintain and continue the vigorous administration of the Federal prevailing minimum wage law for public supply contracts;

Extend the protection of the Federal minimum wage laws to as many more workers as is possible and practicable;

Continue to fight for the elimination of discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry or sex;

Provide assistance to improve the economic conditions of areas faced with persistent and substantial unemployment;

Revise and improve the Taft-Hartley Act so as to protect more effectively the rights of labor unions, management, the individual worker, and the public.

The protection of the right of workers to organize into unions and to bargain collectively is the firm and permanent policy of the Eisenhower Administration.”

Fascinating, no? I particularly liked “Revise and improve the Taft-Hartley Act so as to protect more effectively the rights of labor unions, management, the individual worker, and the public” and “Continue to fight for the elimination of discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry or sex.”

Perhaps the Republicans of today should find out what their party once stood for before the Gingriches, Reagans and Bushes turned it into right wing fanaticism.

Here’s a Tuesday Morning Housecleaning report for my Lady Readers…

This from CBS:

Since I’m unemployed, this kind of thing implies a future possibility. Since I am also outrageously overweight, it is not likely.

I found this over at Carnal Nation (enter with care if you are edgy about sites dealing with sex in America.)

I’ve been zapped by the economy again.

It’s never great to begin the week with an email from a client that I was doing really good things with to hear that a 67% falloff in business over the summer is causing him to make layoffs and my 15 hours a week are included in the mix.

That’s 60 hours or so a month I have to replace now, so I’ll be spending the day searching the job postings and Craig’s list and getting my resume and marketing stuff out again.

Hope to direct more people to BillTchakirides.com which lays out my services in more detail than the short phone calls I’ll get to make will.

OK… too mad to give up now.