The Lie of Job Growth

The government just released the jobs report for the month of June, which posted better than expected numbers. Don’t get too excited though, because the 195,000 jobs added only meant that the jobless rate remained steady at 7.6%. People see job growth numbers of 100,000+ and think that things are moving ahead; most don’t realize that we need to gain 150,000 jobs a month just to keep up with population growth!

Another part of the problem is that the types of jobs that we are seeing growth in are not necessarily the kinds of jobs that are really going to help us boost our economy. We have seen movement in the unemployment numbers because we have added more part-time and lower wage positions. So we are seeing more in terms of “quantity” jobs, but not necessarily in terms of “quality” jobs.

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While we did add more jobs overall, the number of those on unemployment increased by about 17,000, and those working part-time for economic reasons also climbed as 322,000 people took new part-time jobs in June. The unemployment numbers that include the underemployed and the discouraged went from 13.8% to 14.3%. If you want to talk about “real” unemployment numbers, these are the ones we should be discussing, not the 7.6% that Obama lackeys want to try to cite. If our unemployment were that low, our economy would be humming along. In fact, only 47% of adults have a full-time job, if that doesn’t sound “healthy”, it’s because it’s not.

This is also where both illegal and legal immigration play a part. A new study of government data finds that the net gain of jobs created since 2000 are filled by foreign born workers. Imagine, just cutting the 11 million illegal immigrants from those payrolls means 11 million jobs that currently  unemployed Americans may have a chance at. A recent study also found that the common myth that there are just some jobs that Americans won’t do, seems to be completely erroneous.

The study, completed by the Center for Immigration Studies, found:

“Part of the reason immigration is very likely to adversely impact the employment of natives is that, contrary to the assertion of some, the idea that immigrants only do jobs American do not want is mistaken. Of the 472 civilian occupations defined by the Department of Commerce, only six are majority immigrant (legal and illegal). These six occupations account for 1 percent of the total U.S. workforce. Many jobs often thought to be overwhelmingly immigrant (legal and illegal) are in fact majority native-born. For example, 51 percent of maids and housekeepers are U.S.-born, as are 63 percent of butchers and meat processors. It is also the case that 64 percent of grounds maintenance workers are U.S.-born, as are 66 percent of construction laborers and 73 percent of janitors. It is simply not the case that there are jobs that Americans do not do.”

The data then shows that the folks who think the Gang of Eight immigration reform bill may be a good thing for the economy are sadly mistaken. On the contrary, the influx of many more legal immigrants will continue to saturate an already flooded market making the prospects of finding work more difficult for everyone.hireme

In addition, despite the mediocre numbers, it sounds like the Fed may be moving ahead with plans to begin slowing down on asset purchases and raising the interest rates in the coming months. The theory being that the economy will be able to take care of itself in the near future. If the Fed is not careful, some economists believe they could actually trigger a collapse of the market and a reinvigorating of the recession.

I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but it seems like our government has cobbled together a comedy of errors on the economic front. What we see brewing before us is a perfect storm of economic devastation. All of these factors taken together could mean very bad things for our immediate and long term economic health. Unless we make a series of better policy decisions, I just don’t see how we can avoid another dip into deeper recession.


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