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Commentary :: Labor
America's December Lackluster Jobs Report
07 Jan 2013
class war
America's Lackluster December Jobs Report

by Stephen Lendman

Headlines belied its weakness. Economist John Williams reengineers economic data based on reliable decades earlier modeling.

U-3 unemployment rose 0.1% to 7.8%. U-6 is broader. It's 14.4%. It includes:

(1) Marginally attached workers wanting jobs but not actively looking in the past 30 days. They looked unsuccessfully in the last year. They include "discouraged workers." They gave up in frustration within, but not exceeding, the past 12 months.

(2) People looking for full-time work but forced to take part-time or temp jobs to be employed.

Based on how unemployment was calculated in the 1980s, Williams reported 23%. It's a "new (post WW II) high," he said.

US employment is more phantom than real. The so-called "birth-death model" manipulates calculations. It estimates net non-reported jobs from new businesses minus losses from others no longer operating.

Doing so exaggerates job creation. Thousands of non-existent ones are added to BLS monthly numbers. Doing so distorts reality.

Williams also said yearend fiscal cliff terms resolved nothing. "Fiscal crisis continues unabated." Congress "did nothing to reduce or contain budget deficits." They're out-of-control. They're rising exponentially.

America is in recession. Media scoundrels don't explain. Nor do talking head economists. They put a brave face on lackluster data.

December's report was called another month of stable, solid, moderate job creation. Millions unable to find work have other views.

Headlines said 155,000 jobs were added. The broader Household survey reported 28,000. The private nonfarm sector declined 23,000. It's down two straight months.

Unemployed numbers rose 164,000. The civilian labor force non-institutional population (NIP) rose 176,000 from 244.174 - 244.350 million. The employment-population ratio was virtually unchanged at 58.6%.

The holy grail of low unemployment remains out of reach. Over five years after crisis conditions erupted, recovery for most Americans remains elusive.

Another decade may pass without achieving it. Robust job creation can't happen without responsible economic growth policies. They don't exist. Austerity is prioritized when stimulus is needed.

BLS reports are seasonally adjusted. Doing so distorts reality. Unadjusted Household data showed December employment fell 489,000 from 143.549 - 143.060 million.

Doing so reflects disappearing holiday season employment. More will evaporate in next month's report.

A lost job is a lost job is a lost job. BLS reports don't say so. Seasonal adjustments smooth out monthly data. Doing so doesn't create jobs. They're not smoothed into existence. They don't produce ready cash. They don't cover vital expenses. Venders demand real money.

Harsh reality is concealed. Unemployed millions know more about America's job market than high-paid mainstream economists.

Media scoundrels don't explain. Steady as you go, they reported. Data matched expectations. Think small and be satisfied.

Seasonally adjusted numbers are reported as real. They ignore BLS saying:

"The confidence level for the monthly change in total employment is on the order of plus or minus 430,000 jobs." Manipulated data lack credibility.

Nearly 25 million are unemployed. Millions more rely on involuntary temp or part-time work. A 23% unemployment rate reveals Depression level conditions.

Crisis reflects America's economy. Irresponsible policies deprive people of work. Long-term unemployment remains at post-WW II highs. Nearly 40% of people wanting work haven't found it for over six months.

Unadjusted unemployment increased 440,000. Adjusted left it unchanged. Doing so belies reality. What looks solid and reliable to some, reflects hard times for millions. Sweeping people wanting work under the rug doesn't change things.

The National Employment Law Project reports over six million unemployed workers exhausted benefits since fall 2007. Numbers keep rising monthly.

In February 2012, bipartisan complicity cut unemployment benefits. Duration for those receiving it dropped from 99 to 73 weeks.

Doing so applies to states with official jobless rates above 9%. Fake U-3 numbers minimize them. Barriers impose more hurdles. Benefits depend on proving active job seeking. States can mandate job seeker drug tests.

What's going on is clear. Congress and administration officials want millions in need deprived. Increasingly they're on their own.

Doublespeak fiscal cliff duplicity belies what's going on. What Washington on the one hand gives, much more is taken away or planned.

Popular needs go begging. Cynicism, indifference, and dismissiveness define official policy. Hard times reflect it. Worse ahead is planned.

Reality swept under the rug conceals it. Growing millions find it harder than ever to get by. Fiscal cliff double-dealing toughened things further.

New York TimesSpeak didn't notice. On January 4, it headlined "Tax Code May Be the Most Progressive Since 1979."

Saying so turned truth on its head. About "99.3 percent of households experience(d) no change in their income taxes."

Nearly half US households pay none. All workers have payroll tax deductions. Raising them from 4.2% - 6.2% exacted a 50% tax increase for most Americans.

The Times pretended not to notice. It cited the Tax Policy Center saying the average top 1% household "will pay a federal tax rate of more than 36 percent this year, up from 28 percent in 2008. That is the highest rate since 1979, at least."

Average taxes aren't effective ones. They're not what rich folks pay. They bear lesser burdens. That's what matters most. Media scoundrels don't explain.

"By some measures, the tax code might now be the most progressive in a generation," said The Times. Saying so is a Big Lie.

"Obama made 'tax fairness' a centerpiece of his re-election campaign." He "insiste(d) on tax increases for the top 2 percent of households and a continuation of tax breaks and cuts for a vast number of taxpayers."

False! Bipartisan complicity plans destroying America's social contract. Yearend double-dealing left tough issues for 2013.

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public pensions, and other benefits are on the chopping block for elimination. A decade from now they may be entirely gone.

The Times and other media scoundrels conceal hard truths. Managed news misinformation substitutes. Ordinary people are scammed.

High income earners have clever lawyers and accountants. Loopholes let them manipulate the tax code advantageously. They pay much less than headline numbers. Others pay it fully.

Decades earlier progressive taxes don't exist. Bipartisan complicity changed nothing. America's top 2% got off easy. Ordinary people are hit hardest. So are those most disadvantaged.

Instead of full and accurate disclosure, The Times turned truth on its head. Planned income inequality will be greater than ever. Progressive policies don't exist.

Hotel magnate Leona Helmsley once said: "We don't pay taxes. Only little people pay" them. Ahead they'll pay a greater proportion than ever. It's the American way.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen (at) sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour
See also:
http://sjlendman.blogspot.com

This work is in the public domain
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