I’m sure the politicians will have a field day with this today…
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported this morning that the U.S. economy created 236,000 jobs in February 2013. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 7.7% in February, decreasing from 7.9% in January. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 8, 2013.)
I’m sure the stock market, backed by paper money printing, will rally on this “good” news. But there is something very important in the job numbers I want all my readers to know about…
The BLS reported that the underemployment rate (which includes people who have given up looking for work and people who want full-time jobs but who can only get part-time jobs) in the U.S. economy was at 14.3% in February—this number hasn’t really changed since October of 2012, when it was 14.5%. To me, this dismal fact shows absolutely no improvement in the unemployment situation in this country!
It’s obvious there are still many troubled spots in the U.S. jobs market. If they are not fixed soon, they will drive the U.S. economy into further deterioration. It is startling to know that 40.2% of all those unemployed in the U.S. economy have been without work for 27 weeks or more.
The tormented jobs market in the U.S. economy is the biggest hurdle to economic growth. For the year of 2012, the average monthly jobs growth was 181,000. But, as most economists will tell you, the U.S. economy needs consistent jobs growth of 250,000 per month for the economy to see any improvement.
The truth is that we don’t have jobs in the U.S. economy. According to the “Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary” (JOLTS) by BLS, on the last business day of December 2012, there were 3.6 million job openings in the U.S. economy. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, February 12, 2013.) With 12 million currently unemployed in the U.S. economy, this means there are 3.3 job seekers for every one job!
Looking forward, as I have already documented in these pages, I believe U.S. corporations will be reducing staff this year for cost-cutting purposes and to increase their corporate earnings. This will put added pressure on an already dismal unemployment situation.
My economic forecast for the U.S. economy in 2013 continues to be bleak at best.