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New Census Data Shows Why the Job Market is Still “Terrible” (as Trump said), but the Numbers Get Hushed up

by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:

Hardly any improvement for individuals since the Great Recession.

When Donald Trump campaigned on how “terrible” the jobs situation was, while the Obama Administration touted the jobs growth since the employment bottom of the Great Recession in 2010, it sounded like they were talking about two entirely different economies at different ends of the world. But they weren’t. Statistically speaking, they were both right.

Since 2011, the US economy created 14.6 million “nonfarm payrolls” as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics – whether or not they’re low-wage or less than full-time jobs. But for individuals, this job market, statistically speaking, looks almost as tough as it was during the Great Recession.

Obviously, a lot of people have found jobs, and some of them have found good jobs since then, and there are a ton of “job openings.” But the Census Bureau just told us why the job market is still, to use Trump’s term, “terrible” when it released its population estimates for 2016, just before clocking out for the holidays.

According to this report: From the beginning of 2010 – in terms of jobs, the darkest days of the Great Recession – through December 2016, the US “resident population” (not counting overseas-stationed military personnel) grew by 16 million people.

But since the beginning of 2010 through November 2016, nonfarm payrolls grew by only 13.8 million.

Note that in 2010, nonfarm payrolls declined by 900,000, after having plunged by over 5 million in 2009. The first year with growth in nonfarm payrolls was 2011.

The chart below shows this peculiar relationship between the “resident population” of the US (top green line) and nonfarm payrolls (bottom blue line). Both rose. But the bottom line (nonfarm payrolls) didn’t rise nearly enough.

The difference between the two is the number of people that are not on nonfarm payrolls. They might be students, unemployed, retirees, or working in a job that the “nonfarm payrolls” do not capture (more on that in a moment). This is reflected by the red line, whose slope should head down in an economy where jobs grow faster than the population:

For the first five years of this seven-year period, the number of people not occupying a job as captured by nonfarm payroll data, kept growing (red numbers), even as the touted jobs growth was kicking in. Why? Because population growth outpaced jobs growth over the five years from 2010 through 2014.

Only in 2015 and 2016 has growth in “nonfarm payrolls” edged past population growth. Those were the only two years since the Great Recession when people on an individual basis actually had improving chances of getting a job.

Read More @ WolfStreet.com

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1 comment to New Census Data Shows Why the Job Market is Still “Terrible” (as Trump said), but the Numbers Get Hushed up

  • Ed_B

    Articles like this become much more understandable once people get away from that silly name, “The Great Recession”. What happened in 2008 was NOT a recession. It WAS a DEPRESSION. But no one will call it what it truly was. This is a bit like Obama refusing to say “Islamic Terrorism”. If you can’t bring yourself to properly name a problem, you’ll never get a grip on solving it. So, after 8 long years, the effects of the Depression of 2008 are still with us. No surprise there because depressions often last a decade. Some of its effects are obvious while more of it has been covered up and papered over with printed and borrowed currency; none of which solves the problem as it only addresses some of the symptoms while piling on ever more debt that eventually makes things MUCH worse.

    I am hoping that Trump will treat the American people like adults and have some FDR-like Fireside Chats to make public just how screwed up things are and what needs to be done to REALLY fix them. Enough of the stupid can-kicking, already. We need and deserve better than that from those elected to make the difficult decisions that they don’t seem to want to make. If not, then they are most definitely in the wrong job.

    For one thing, a VAT could be used to help pay down the national debt. It would be a small but reasonable percent, such as 6-8%, and dedicated to this purpose alone. A sunset clause would be built into it that ends it when the debt falls below an acceptable number.

    Also, we desperately need to shrink the size of the US Gov to make it more affordable. A more efficient government will be a more effective government if it is staffed by fewer people who really do have the ‘can-do’ spirit and who enjoy providing effective solutions for our country that simply cost less. Suitable earned bonuses for such work would not be out of line. All of the ‘go along to get along’, ‘business as usual’, and ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’ types need not apply.

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