While the general economy has improved during the Obama administration what with performance nestling back to equilibrium, what would make anyone expect any long term, and significant improvement?
- America is stuck on a capitalist economic model that is unsustainable.
- America’s foreign policy hasn’t ratcheted back significantly and could easily put America back into another borrow-to-fight cycle.
- America remains stuck on foreign oil, even though there is much talk about achieving energy independence and renewable energy.
- The relationship between American government and the private sector appears tentative, if not disconnected.
- America’s government remains dysfunctional.
- America’s debt and deficit problems are without solutions from elected leaders.
Add to that an unnecessary government shutdown and jostling about increasing the debt ceiling and default and America has put itself and the world economies at risk. Our principal lender has called for the de-Americanization of the international economy.
Correct, the labor market is fragile. Until we get past mid-term elections to assess the viability of the next Congress, nothing will improve. Until President Obama engages the private sector to address sustainable economics, nothing will change until and unless there is a new President.
“And don’t forget that we still have a long-term unemployment crisis – a true national emergency.” Michael R. Strain
“September’s labor market: Still fragile
Michael R. Strain | October 22, 2013, 9:44 am
Since it’s been a while since we last did this (thanks Congress), let’s quickly review the August employment report – the last one we had before this morning’s – which was released during the first week of September.
In August, the share of the civilian population participating in the labor force, either employed or unemployed, hit a three-decade low. The unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.3%. A broader measure of unemployment which includes persons marginally attached to the labor force plus workers who are employed part-time for economic reasons was 13.7%. The three-month moving average of nonfarm payroll gains stood at 148,000 – a rate slow enough that the jobs gap won’t close for eight – eight – more years.
Labor market data for the month of September were just released. Good news: it looks like the government shutdown didn’t hurt the ability of the fine folks at the BLS (sorry for your furlough; thanks Congress) to collect the data needed to compute September’s report.
How does September’s labor market look? The labor force participation rate is the same as it was in August, still at a three-decade low. The unemployment rate is basically unchanged, now at 7.2%. The broader measure of unemployment, discussed above, is basically unchanged, now at 13.6%. The three-month moving average of nonfarm payroll gains dropped a bit, to 143,000 jobs per month, and is still trending down from last winter.
And don’t forget that we still have a long-term unemployment crisis – a true national emergency.
All in all, the basic story of the labor market remains unchanged: We’re in a too-tepid “recovery” that is barely sufficient to bring the unemployment rate down slowly, but not sufficient enough to increase the employment rate or to provide relief for the over four million workers who have been unemployed for half a year or longer.