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5 reasons the June jobs report is bad news for US workers

Posted: July 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm   /   by

Apparently, recent economic data, including the June jobs report, has enough “good” news in it that central bankers are talking about tapering off on their quantitative easing and other counter-cyclical measures. Now, maybe that’s a good thing and maybe it isn’t, depending on whom you ask, but one  thing is certain: The jobs report does not contain much that is actual good news for American workers.

From @JimPethokoukis:

But there is plenty more to this story, as folks on Main Street surely know:

1. The economy lost 240,000 full-time workers last month, according to the more volatile household survey, while gaining 360,000 part-time workers. In other words, the entire increase in the household measure of employment was accounted for by persons working part-time for economic reasons. The underemployment rate surged to 14.3% from 13.8%.

2. Does Obamacare explain the poor jobs mix? From the econ team at First Trust:

Given the volatility in these data series, we would not put too much emphasis on one month’s worth of data. However, it’s consistent with the large payroll gains for retail as well as restaurants & bars and probably shows some firms who would be hiring full-timers are hiring part-timers to avoid Obamacare.

3. Part-time America: There are 28 million part-time workers in US vs. 25 million before the Great Recession. There are 116 million full-time workers in US vs. 122 million before the Great Recession. In other words, 19% of the (smaller) US workforce is part time vs. 17% before the Great Recession

4. Some context: Even at 195,000 jobs a month, the US would not, according to Brookings, return to pre-Great Recession employment levels until 2021. The “jobs gap” remains huge.

5. If the labor force participation rate were back to prerecession levels, the unemployment rate would be 11.1%. And even accounting for America’s aging, the U-3 rate would be roughly 9.1% . . .

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Obama’s America is not recovering, it’s adjusting to Obama’s new normal. And if you’re not a well-connected big corporation, or one of Obama’s friends and political allies, the new normal is not a great place for you.

Christopher Cook
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Christopher Cook

Managing Editor at Western Free Press
Christopher Cook is a writer, editor, and political commentator. He is the president of Castleraine, Inc., a consulting firm providing a diverse array of services to corporate, public policy, and not-for-profit clients.

Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including AnyStreet.org (now a part of Western Free Press) and Liberatchik.com. He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to WesternFreePress.com.
Christopher Cook
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