Jobless rate edges down to 8.9%, 192K jobs added

posted at 8:56 am on March 4, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported good news for the American economy today, which added 192,000 jobs in February.  The additions pushed the jobless rate down under 9% for the first time in almost two years, but that number still has to be taken with a grain of salt:

Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 192,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 8.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in manufacturing, construction, professional and business services, health care, and transportation and warehousing.

The number of unemployed persons (13.7 million) and the unemployment rate (8.9 percent) changed little in February. The labor force was about unchanged over the month. The jobless rate was down by 0.9 percentage point since November 2010. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (8.7 percent), adult women (8.0 percent), teenagers (23.9 percent), whites (8.0 percent), blacks (15.3 percent), and Hispanics (11.6 percent) showed little or no change in February. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.8 percent, not seasonally adjusted. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, at 8.3 million, continued to trend down in February and has fallen by 1.2 million over the past 12 months. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was 6.0 million and accounted for 43.9 percent of the unemployed. (See tables A-11 and A-12.)

Both the civilian labor force participation rate, at 64.2 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 58.4 percent, were unchanged in February. (See table A-1.)

The key is this ratio of civilian participation in the work force. At 64.2%, it’s still at its lowest ebb in 27 years — in fact, almost exactly 27 years, since March 1984. The lower denominator makes the overall jobless rate look better than it should. If we were at the same participation rate as we saw in mid-2008, we would probably add two or three points to the unemployment rate. And at some time, those workers will re-enter the job-seeking population and the rate will rise accordingly.

The addition of 192,000 jobs is a good sign.  We need to add somewhere between 100k-125K jobs each month to keep up with population growth in the nation, and this is one of the few months in the last three years to exceed that level.  But while it’s a good month in that sense, we need the economy to add somewhere between 400k-500k jobs each month if we are to make a serious dent in the levels of unemployment and underemployment.  The number of those marginally attached to the labor force — in other words, not looking for work — increased by 200,000 over last February, and the number of those who currently want a job but don’t have one went up by over 300,000 in the same period.

Update: Jeanine Aversa at the AP notes a couple of positive trends in the new numbers, but also a big problem related to my analysis above:

When factoring in the number of part-time workers who would rather be working full time and those who have given up looking for work, the percentage of “underemployed” people dropped to 15.9 percent in February. That’s the lowest in nearly two years.

But …

The number of unemployed people dipped to 13.7 million, still almost double since before the recession.

To cut that in half at this rate (or just to take off 6.5 million), assuming 100K each month to keep up with population growth, we would need 71 months to get unemployment back to its pre-recession level.  And we would need that on a consistent basis, not 36K one month and 192K the next.


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If we were at the same participation rate as we saw in mid-2008, we would probably add two or three points to the unemployment rate. And at some time, those workers will re-enter the job-seeking population and the rate will rise accordingly.

Those workers will NEVER be counted. At least not until after 2012. You think Obama will allow the rate to rise to double digits when he’s gearing up his reelection bid?

Doughboy on March 4, 2011 at 8:58 AM

I must call BS on the BLS data. Didn’t they adjust their measure recently? Does anyone, ANYONE feel the economy is improving in any real way?

ParisParamus on March 4, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Pff, Hope and Change (alter statistics) Obama Can Believe In

maverick muse on March 4, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Good news! Not great, but if we continue to improve we may see an acceleration of the recovery. More people going back to work, especially in the private sector, should mean improved consumer confidence and a virtuous cycle. Let’s hope the numbers stand up and continue for the coming months.

MJBrutus on March 4, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Propaganda media…

golfmann on March 4, 2011 at 9:01 AM

If we keep this up, eventually we’ll have an unemployment rate of 5% and 50 of the capable population out of work or underemployed. If 0 gets another term, heck we might even have a 0% BLS unemployment rate! Ugh.

Tuari on March 4, 2011 at 9:02 AM

I must call BS on the BLS data. Didn’t they adjust their measure recently? Does anyone, ANYONE feel the economy is improving in any real way?

ParisParamus on March 4, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Some areas may be improving. The report I read this morning noted that the areas that shed jobs were retailers and the public sector. Those are the ones I notice firsthand as both a consumer and an employee of a school district, and I can assure you, neither are doing well right now.

And as I said in the Obamaturism thread, just wait til the higher gas prices take their toll.

Doughboy on March 4, 2011 at 9:03 AM

At 4pm subtract 15,000 for Wisconsin…

mjbrooks3 on March 4, 2011 at 9:03 AM

While world powers prepare to exterminate the Dollar, Obama’s administration issues invisible whole cloth for sale. Anyone buying “no clothes” proves that no clothes are being sold, raising mercantile sales figures in the improved economy. Top it off with newly printed funny money so that no clothes cost more, that proves underemployed and unemployed Americans have more spending money…and the spiral continues downward.

maverick muse on March 4, 2011 at 9:04 AM

NASA said a few days ago, the reason there were no sunspots is the sunspots have gone on vacation.

The reason they had to stop counting so many unfilled jobs is the unfilled jobs just up and went on vacation, reducing the jobs that were available.

Now everything is looking like the Wisconsin Senate, fleeing the scene.

Gallup puts the usual unemployment number at 10.4% and the total unemployment at 19.9%

Our county is 13.1% unemployed … You’ve been warned, when they lie about global warming they will lie about anything.

Government accounting, it’s like the mythical social security lock-box.

tarpon on March 4, 2011 at 9:05 AM

The Birth/Death adjustment was +112,000.

More smoke & mirrors.

singlemalt 18 on March 4, 2011 at 9:05 AM

OT: Dr Zero’s latest column

A Bad Day For ObamaCare Trillion-dollar legislation disintegrates before our eyes. by John Hayward

Thursday was a tough day for ObamaCare. In the most spectacular news, Judge Roger Vinson clarified his earlier ruling on Thursday, explaining that he did indeed strike down the entire law as unconstitutional

On the very same day, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee invited Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to swing by and have a little chin wag about the budgetary implications of ObamaCare. Representative John Shimkus (R-IL) noticed that the rather large sum of $500 billion was dedicated to both sustaining Medicare and funding ObamaCare. When he asked Sebelius which destiny awaited those five hundred billion clams, she replied, “Both.”

That’s right, folks: another part of the ObamaCare fraud involved double-counting half a trillion dollars.

Insert witty screen name here on March 4, 2011 at 9:06 AM

But while it’s a good month in that sense, we need the economy to add somewhere between 400k-500k jobs each month if we are to make a serious dent in the levels of unemployment

Not if you’re doing the Obama math.

November 2010 = 9.8%

December: +103,000
January: +36,000
February: +192,000
Total: 331,000

March 2011 = 8.9%

kevinkristy on March 4, 2011 at 9:07 AM

I always have to laugh when it’s reported by MSNBC. A teaser about the jobs number with some doufus staring into the camera giving a double thumbs-up.

Marcus on March 4, 2011 at 9:08 AM

Oil is over $100 a barrel and heading up. If we are seeing economic improvement I’ll bet it just a little rise before the next big dip on this roller coaster.

Mord on March 4, 2011 at 9:08 AM

I’m equally skeptical about this rate drop as some of the other posters.

I have the distinct feeling that a lot of what we’re seeing is chronically unemployed people dropping off the statistics because they’ve been unemployed for too long, NOT because they actually got jobs.

teke184 on March 4, 2011 at 9:09 AM

Oil $103 and rising.

artist on March 4, 2011 at 9:10 AM

I’m a little confused as to how the U-6 rate also went down went the amount of discouraged workers, according to the BLS, increased by 27,000 with a labor force participation rate that was essentially the same. Can somebody who has some good insight into this explain that to me? Thanks. :)

Indy82 on March 4, 2011 at 9:11 AM

teke184 on March 4, 2011 at 9:09 AM

Of course. The headline 8.9% rate is bogus. Look past that, however, and this is a good jobs report. Let’s hope that this private sector number is part of a series of improving stats.

MJBrutus on March 4, 2011 at 9:11 AM

The jobs numbers are at odds with the continuing increase in gasoline prices. With oil back into triple digits and the administration dragging their feet on issuing new permits or opening up new areas to domestic drilling, the U.S. is about to enter a situation where energy costs begin eating up higher percentages of business income, limiting new hires, while the ability to hire more people in the energy industry is hampered by the bans or moratoriums on new drilling.

jon1979 on March 4, 2011 at 9:13 AM

On Friday, in the December unemployment report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the number of people out of work for 27 weeks or more hit 6.1 million Americans, or 40 percent of all 15.3 million jobless. This is the most since 1948, when the data was first recorded, according to the Department of Labor. On average, it now takes 20.5 weeks to find a new job – double the amount of time in the 1982-83 recession.

Yep. This economy is on FIRE!!

angryed on March 4, 2011 at 9:13 AM

“Labor Force Participation. At 64.2%, it was unchanged from last month, and continues to be at a 25 year low. Should the LFP return to its 25 year trendline average of 66.1%, the unemployment rate would be 11.6%.”

http://www.shadowstats.com/imgs/sgs-emp.gif?hl=ad&t=1296831087

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

Anyone who has been paying attention to the BLS measurement knows that the method of keeping track of unemployment has been changed several times each time to the benefit of politicians and political parties and the detriment of providing honest information to the American people. Now it is like a basketball game where any shot that hits the rim is counted as a basket.

Viator on March 4, 2011 at 9:14 AM

I have the distinct feeling that a lot of what we’re seeing is chronically unemployed people dropping off the statistics because they’ve been unemployed for too long, NOT because they actually got jobs.

teke184 on March 4, 2011 at 9:09 AM

This month’s drop might be legit. But the 0.8% decline over the previous 2 months was complete BS. I fully expect the Obama administration to use every manipulative trick in the book to keep that rate as low as possible heading into 2012, but the problem they’ll encounter is that you can’t spin or hide a shrinking work force.

Doughboy on March 4, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Biggest factor not taken into consideration is that the BLS is an agency of the executive branch of the government currently run by Barack Obama.

Obama is like Midas, except everything he touches turns to lies. The Obama Touch!

Dusty on March 4, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Historically you needed to add 2-3 million jobs to drop the rate a full point. Yet OBozo has dropped it a full point by adding a mere 300,000 jobs.

This is scandalous.

I remember Bush adding 250,000 (with unemployment at 5%) and the Dems calling press conferences touting Hooverville II.

Where are the Repubs questioning these numbers?

kevinkristy on March 4, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Hey good news for once. I guess business is starting to feel a little safer since the Republicans can now effectively block any more big ideas the Democrats might come up with.

forest on March 4, 2011 at 9:16 AM

ED — you need to be more clear what is happening here

Labor Force Participation

As you stated, it is at a 25 YEAR LOW = 64.2%

If LFP moved back to its average = 66.1%

Then the Unemployment rate would be ===> 11.6%

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/labor-force-participation-rate-remains-25-year-low-642-birthdeath-adjustment-112000

Like a poster above…ALL SMOKE & MIRRORS…Obama just needs the headlines to be: “8.9% –> We are in Recovery”

LordMaximus on March 4, 2011 at 9:16 AM

MJBrutus on March 4, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Your optimism is noted MJ, but I can’t see how there can be even a marginal improvement when over 90% of the individual states are buried in debt, and plan on cutting public sector labor to balance their budgets.

“improved consumer confidence”????

Right! With fuel prices going through the roof? (We hit $4.23 yesterday for the cheapest gas) This really makes me want to go out and consume something. /

Rovin on March 4, 2011 at 9:17 AM

I am trying to figure out how to square those numbers with these: http://www.gallup.com/poll/146453/Gallup-Finds-Unemployment-Hitting-February.aspx

Is it 8.9% or 10.3%??

hoosiermama on March 4, 2011 at 9:17 AM

AP- “Put some more lipstick on this pig!”

GarandFan on March 4, 2011 at 9:17 AM

October’s rate was 10%. Then something happened in early November. Now the rate is 8.9%.

Wonder what could have happened in early November to cause this?

Anyone?

angryed on March 4, 2011 at 9:17 AM

Of course. The headline 8.9% rate is bogus. Look past that, however, and this is a good jobs report. Let’s hope that this private sector number is part of a series of improving stats.

MJBrutus on March 4, 2011 at 9:11 AM

OK…

And by how many jobs should I expect this report to be adjusted downward by in the next month, given the track record of the Dept of Labor’s statistics since the start of 2009?

There have been good jobs reports out of this administration before that were later adjusted downward significantly, indicating that they gamed the numbers to grab headlines and then put out the much lower real numbers a few weeks down the road when no one was paying attention.

teke184 on March 4, 2011 at 9:17 AM

One of the places near us is hiring for third shift. It deals with medical stuff though and while that market slackened some, it never went down like the much of the rest of the economy. One of the big problem areas is construction and that has not improved one jot. In fact, I think it’s worse.

jeanie on March 4, 2011 at 9:18 AM

October’s rate was 10%. Then something happened in early November. Now the rate is 8.9%.

Wonder what could have happened in early November to cause this?

Anyone?

angryed on March 4, 2011 at 9:17 AM

No more dictatorial power for Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama?

forest on March 4, 2011 at 9:20 AM

I’m sure the increases in the price of gas and food won’t have any bearing on the economy.

It did during the Boooosh years but not now, Obamanomics has changed all that – at least, that the Hope.

Colbyjack on March 4, 2011 at 9:22 AM

The Dems have insisted we need to spend money to get the economy moving again. It’s moving according to their numbers. Can we now stop spending? Call it a 4% rate if you want. Just stop the damn spending.

angryed on March 4, 2011 at 9:22 AM

I fully expect the Obama administration to use every manipulative trick in the book to keep that rate as low as possible heading into 2012, but the problem they’ll encounter is that you can’t spin or hide a shrinking work force.

Doughboy on March 4, 2011 at 9:15 AM

CBO’s health care cost numbers come to mind.

Rovin on March 4, 2011 at 9:23 AM

Your optimism is noted MJ, but I can’t see how there can be even a marginal improvement when over 90% of the individual states are buried in debt, and plan on cutting public sector labor to balance their budgets.

But that is one of my biggest reasons for optimism! With states (with more conservative governors and legislatures thanks to the last election) finally getting a clue about responsible budgeting and drawing some lines with unions we may yet save the municipal bond market.

“improved consumer confidence”????

Yes, it will come IF we continue see public sector employment gains.

Right! With fuel prices going through the roof? (We hit $4.23 yesterday for the cheapest gas) This really makes me want to go out and consume something. /

Rovin on March 4, 2011 at 9:17 AM

Unless we see some new major events I can only see oil prices reverting to near last year’s level. Consider, that Libya is still producing and we have already priced in their oil coming off of the market. The Saudis and other OPEC nations have announced stepped up production if needed.

I expect the “day of rage” in Saudi Arabia next week to spike the price and give us a few bad days on the stock market, but that we will see an easing soon after unless something big happens.

MJBrutus on March 4, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Nothing has happened that would cause a decrease in
unemployment. Nothing…nothing…nothing…as
gas and food prices continue to rise it will be
interesting to see if the resulting unemployment
increases will be accurately reported. /sarc

This is all a crock and I am tired of it.

These numbers will only be believed by the Obama
supporters who want to defend their “savior”.
Now we can listen and read(here)from those crackpots.
Lovely.

Amjean on March 4, 2011 at 9:29 AM

[LordMaximus on March 4, 2011 at 9:16 AM]

Thanks for that. It’s nice to get some facts that provide true perspective on the canned analysis.

Dusty on March 4, 2011 at 9:29 AM

give it a week and the familiar term “unexpected” will be page 12 news with barely a mention and this number wont be nearly as rosy.

maineconservative on March 4, 2011 at 9:32 AM

“See, it really is Recovery Sum…wait, what season is it now?”

-Biden

Bishop on March 4, 2011 at 9:34 AM

See what happens when ya get republicans in congress….. Thank gawd those retard economic policies of the Democrats are almost over….

Good Job Mr. Boehner

donabernathy on March 4, 2011 at 9:37 AM

I was going to do the happy dance, then I remembered getting the receipt from my worker for filling up the diesel haul-all.

0_0

Bishop on March 4, 2011 at 9:37 AM

And at some time, those workers will re-enter the job-seeking population and the rate will rise accordingly.

.
That re-entry will occur on the Friday after the presidential election of 2012. The cynicism of liberal Democrats will become obvious as both the truth is admitted and Ø thumbs his nose at a beleaguered citizenry.

ExpressoBold on March 4, 2011 at 9:37 AM

But that is one of my biggest reasons for optimism! With states (with more conservative governors and legislatures thanks to the last election) finally getting a clue about responsible budgeting and drawing some lines with unions we may yet save the municipal bond market.

There’s one major exception you’re not considering—CALIFORNIA. We haven’t,(and won’t)see responsible budgeting in this state. Unless you missed last November’s election, California re-elected every liberal tax raising/big spending joker and added a frikkin moron from the 60′s to lead us into the wilderness. Think Wisconsin times ten, without any conservative leadership willing to rein in massive spending trends. Sorry to be so gloomy, but when California goes down, (ligitmate bankruptcy), it will drag this nation down with it. I’ve been here for 59 years, and believe me, this is not going to be pretty.

Rovin on March 4, 2011 at 9:41 AM

8.9 MY FOOT.

All of the people I know who were unemployed ARE STILL UNEMPLOYED.

stenwin77 on March 4, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Yep. This economy is on FIRE!!

angryed on March 4, 2011 at 9:13 AM

(I almost read this economy is free.)

maverick muse on March 4, 2011 at 9:42 AM

but when California goes down, (ligitmate bankruptcy), it will drag this nation down with it. I’ve been here for 59 years, and believe me, this is not going to be pretty.
Rovin on March 4, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Quitcherbitchin’, you still have community groups like MS-13 working on behalf of Californianites.

Bishop on March 4, 2011 at 9:44 AM

but when California goes down, (ligitmate bankruptcy), it will drag this nation down with it. I’ve been here for 59 years, and believe me, this is not going to be pretty.
Rovin on March 4, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Quitcherbiotchin’, you still have community groups like MS-13 working on behalf of Californianites.

Bishop on March 4, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Rovin on March 4, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Can’t argue with that. CA is a genuine millstone. And having elected Ol’ Moonbeam it won’t get any better. The question becomes when those chickens come home to roost.

MJBrutus on March 4, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Numbers manipulated by a bunch of lying scumbags and massaged by their fluffers in the media.

darwin-t on March 4, 2011 at 9:48 AM

BS. It takes about 250,000 new jobs just to keep up with new people entering the market. No way the unemployment rate is really going down.

huckleberryfriend on March 4, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Color me skeptical. Unemployment in GA rose to a new high of 10.4% last month. I am curious to know if there is some sort of consolidated list broke down by state on these new numbers. I am curious to see where these new jobs were created at.

Just A Grunt on March 4, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Ed, I am dismayed that you’re merely reciting the Administration’s propaganda. The reality is that over 25 million people are still out of work and the real unemployment percentage is over 20%

Or is shadowstats.com lying? Even the bls u6 number bogus as that is shows something closer to the mark.

196,000 jobs when we 400k + a week file for unemployment is nothing to brag about.

Why do we still have guest worker programs for foreigners?

Where is the government’s “laser like focus.”

No, they resort to faking the data.

dogsoldier on March 4, 2011 at 10:02 AM

I have come to the conclusion, that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING that comes from Obutthead, and his administration, and his party, is nothing but crap, lies, and b.s.

It’s all done in order to make the Dems, and Obutthead look better, for 2012. Propoganda. And certain news sources have made it abundantly clear, they are helping with that agenda, and doing it openly. 1 or 2 critical pieces of Obutthead mean nothing, if only to say…we want Obutthead even more leftist.

capejasmine on March 4, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Quitcherbiotchin’

I’m just gettin’ started Bishop. It just makes me sick to see this country accept/produce these phony figures, when this economy is based on pouring billions into the stock markets and public sector jobs, still leaving the private sector in shambles. These numbers are a pure fabrication coming from the Federal government designed to fool only fools. California’s unemployment rate is in reality running between 12-14%. You optimist need to take off the blinders. This is all bull-feces and some here are eating it up like candy.

Rovin on March 4, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Our morning dose of B.S. propaganda!

katy on March 4, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Rovin on March 4, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Listen here you, Cali now has the brightest minds in the state leading all levels of its government, prosperity and bounty are just around the corner.

If you naysayers would simply accept a 99% income tax rate and follow the advice of the Berkeley city council, you would be back on track in no time.

Bishop on March 4, 2011 at 10:14 AM

The question becomes when those chickens come home to roost.

MJBrutus on March 4, 2011 at 9:45 AM

I don’t really know how much longer they can put it off MJ. Or hide the fact that Brown’s budget was a joke. He’s asking for a ballot measure that will raise taxes in the state significantly, and it will go down in defeat just like Proposition 1A was a defeated in ’09. Brown has put all of his hopes for passing this big tax hike to ONLY cut the 25 billion deficit IN HALF!

Rovin on March 4, 2011 at 10:18 AM

192K is a good number, worth taking note that it is above population growth. But this did not lower the unemployment .1%, there must have been continued loss in the participation rate. This means more people living in mom and dad’s basement or retiring before full retirement age. More negative than positive will result from this result.

astonerii on March 4, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Bishop on March 4, 2011 at 10:14 AM

I just managed to turn my head away from the laptop just in time to spit my coffee out. You almost owed me biggtime!

Rovin on March 4, 2011 at 10:20 AM

“good news”, “significant”, “positive trend”….give me a fooking break….

All we are doing is exchanging good jobs for lower paying jobs, propagandizing the reporting, skewing the numbers, continuing to practice “globalism” which means shipping US jobs overseas for slave wages, and de-industrializing our country.

If this is a positive trend, and the unemployment number has significance, then answer me this question; why do we have 44.5 million people receiving an average of $134/month in Food Stamps as of the end of February?

PatriotRider on March 4, 2011 at 10:34 AM

PatriotRider on March 4, 2011 at 10:34 AM

FWIW and seeing as I’m apparently the only one here is gave this report a thumbs up, I said that it was a good report. A single report does not a trend make, although I did express hope and optimism that it can continue and will become a trend.

As for your comments on globalism, I call BS about it lowering wages here. To the contrary, globalism means cheaper goods and services meaning more money here to spend on other things leading to growth domestically. Wages rise only when employees are harder to find (you know, that supply and demand stuff) and that comes from growth.

MJBrutus on March 4, 2011 at 10:39 AM

192K is a good number, worth taking note that it is above population growth. But this did not lower the unemployment .1%, there must have been continued loss in the participation rate. This means more people living in mom and dad’s basement or retiring before full retirement age. More negative than positive will result from this result.

astonerii on March 4, 2011 at 10:18 AM

For January, only 36,000 of the 140,000 expected public sector jobs were created and 50,000 private sector jobs were created versus the 150,000 jobs that economists had projected. Remember, they blamed it on snow.

So there was supposed 100,000 private sector jobs that flowed into February. Subtract the 100k from 192k and there were only 92k new jobs in February. Disaster.

huckleberryfriend on March 4, 2011 at 10:44 AM

MJBrutus:

From now on, whenever you hear the term “the global economy” you should immediately equate it with the destruction of the U.S. middle class. Over the past several decades, the American economy has been slowly but surely merged into the emerging one world economic system. Unfortunately for the middle class, much of the rest of the world does not have the same minimum wage laws and worker protections that we do. Therefore, the massive global corporations that now dominate our economy are able to pay workers in other countries slave labor wages and import the products that they make into the United States to compete with products made by “expensive” American workers. This has resulted in a mass exodus of manufacturing facilities and jobs from the United States.

But without good, high paying jobs the U.S. middle class cannot continue to be the U.S middle class. The only thing that the vast majority of Americans have to offer in the economic marketplace is their labor. Sadly, that labor has now been dramatically devalued. American workers now must directly compete for jobs with millions upon millions of workers on the other side of the world that toil away for 15 hours a day at slave labor wages. This is causing jobs to leave the United States at an almost unbelievable rate, and it is putting tremendous downward pressure on the wages of millions of jobs that are still in the United States.

So when you hear terms such as “globalization” and “the global economy”, it is important to keep in mind that those are code words for the emerging one world economic system that is systematically wiping out the U.S. middle class.

A one world labor pool means that the standard of living for the U.S. middle class will continue falling toward the standard of living in the third world.

We keep hearing about how the U.S. economy is being transformed from a “manufacturing economy” into a “service economy”. But “service jobs” are generally much lower paying than “manufacturing jobs”. The number of good paying “middle class jobs” in the United States is rapidly decreasing. So how can the U.S. middle class survive in such an environment?

What makes things even worse for manufacturers in the United States is that other nations often impose a “value-added tax” of 20 percent or more on U.S. goods entering their shores and yet most of the time we do not reciprocate with similar taxes.

But whenever someone mentions how incredibly unfair and unbalanced our trade agreements with other nations are, they are immediately labeled as a “protectionist”.

Well, someone should be looking out for U.S. interests when it comes to trade, because the current state of the global economy is ripping the U.S. middle class to shreds.

Right now, the United States consumes far more wealth than it produces. This nation buys much, much more from the rest of the world than they buy from us. This is called a “trade deficit”, and it is one of the most important economic statistics. The U.S. runs a massive trade deficit every single year, and it is wiping out our national wealth, it is destroying our surviving industries and it is absolutely shredding middle class America.

We cannot allow tens of thousands of factories to continue to leave the United States. We cannot allow millions of jobs to continue to be “outsourced” and “offshored”. We cannot allow tens of billions of dollars of our national wealth to continue to be transferred into foreign hands every single month.

The truth is that the global economy is bad for America. The following are 23 facts which prove that globalism is pushing the standard of living of the middle class down to third world levels….

#1 From December 2000 to December 2010, the U.S. ran a total trade deficit of 6.1 trillion dollars.

#2 The U.S. trade deficit was about 33 percent larger in 2010 than it was in 2009.

#3 The U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#4 The U.S. economy is rapidly trading high wage jobs for low wage jobs. According to a new report from the National Employment Law Project, higher wage industries accounted for 40 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months but only 14 percent of the job growth. Lower wage industries accounted for just 23 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months and a whopping 49 percent of the job growth.

#5 Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.

#6 In Germany, exports account for approximately 40 percent of GDP. In China, exports account for approximately 30 percent of GDP. In the United States, exports account for approximately 13 percent of GDP.

#7 Do you remember when the United States was the dominant manufacturer of automobiles and trucks on the globe? Well, in 2010 the U.S. ran a trade deficit in automobiles, trucks and parts of $110 billion.

#8 In 2010, South Korea exported 12 times as many automobiles, trucks and parts to us as we exported to them.

#9 The U.S. economy now has 10 percent fewer “middle class jobs” than it did just ten years ago.

#10 The United States currently has 7.7 million fewer payroll jobs than it did back in December 2007.

#11 Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.

#12 In 2002, the United States had a trade deficit in “advanced technology products” of $16 billion with the rest of the world. In 2010, that number skyrocketed to $82 billion.

#13 The United States now spends more than 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.

#14 In China, working conditions are so bad that large numbers of “employees” regularly try to commit suicide. One major employer, Foxconn, has even gone so far as to install “anti-suicide nets” in an attempt to keep their employees from jumping off of their buildings.

#15 Wages for workers in China are incredibly low. For example, one facility in the city of Longhua that makes iPods employs approximately 200,000 workers. These workers put in endless 15-hour days but they only make about $50 per month.

#16 In Bangladesh, manufacturing workers toil in absolutely horrific conditions and make an average of about $38 per month.

#17 In Vietnam, teenage workers often work seven days a week for as little as 6 cents an hour making promotional Disney toys for McDonald’s.

#18 Since 2001, over 42,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been closed.

#19 Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.

#20 In the United States today, 6.2 million Americans have been out of work for 6 months of longer.

#21 8.4 million Americans are currently working part-time jobs for “economic reasons”. These jobs are mostly very low paying service jobs.

#22 When you adjust wages for inflation, middle class workers in the United States make less money today than they did back in 1971.

#23 According to Willem Buiter, the chief economist at Citigroup, China will be the largest economy in the world by the year 2020, and India will surpass China by the year 2050.

Those that promote “free trade” can never explain how the U.S. middle class is going to continue to have plenty of jobs in the new global economy.

By merging our labor pool with the rest of the world, we have also merged our standard of living with the rest of the world. High unemployment is rapidly becoming “the new normal” in America, and wages are going to continue to decline in many, many industries.

Already, there are quite a few formerly great U.S. cities (such as Detroit) that are beginning to resemble third world hellholes. If something is not done about our massive trade imbalance, even more cities are going to follow Detroit into oblivion.

Unfortunately, most of our politicians continue to insist that globalism is good for our society. They continue to insist that we should not be worried that jobs formerly done by middle class American workers are now being done by slave laborers on the other side of the globe. They continue to insist that having 43 million Americans on food stamps is a temporary thing and that soon our economy will be better than ever.

Well, it is time to stop listening to the politicians that are promoting “the global economy”. They are lying to us.

Globalism is great for nations such as China and it is helping multinational corporations make huge profits, but for the U.S. middle class it is an economic death sentence.

If you want an America where there are less jobs, where more Americans are on food stamps and other anti-poverty programs and where our cities continue to be transformed into deindustrialized hellholes, then you should strongly support the emerging global economy.

But if you care about the standard of living of the U.S. middle class and you want for there to be some kind of viable economic future for your children and your grandchildren then you had better start caring about these issues and doing something about them.

Please wake up.

PatriotRider on March 4, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Fudged numbers.

the_nile on March 4, 2011 at 10:58 AM

PatriotRider on March 4, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Egads, it would take a book to dispell all of the errors and distortions in that screed. It looks like a cut and paste right out of Pat Buchanan’s web site or something. For example, the fact of the matter is that most of the jobs that go over seas from the US actually have gone to other industrialized nations and not to the poor, near slave ones. That is because they have the infrastructure to make their people productive.

What’s more, when we import their goods, we send them greenbacks. That cash can only serve them one purpose: to spend in the US! That is why those foreign corporations have so many investments here. The VW worker in TN shouldn’t care that he’s not building “American” Chevies. Thanks to globalization he has a good job (and will likely keep it if it’s non-union).

You may think that protectionist, isolationist Smoot Halley type of policies pass as wisdom, but any informed observer knows what a recipe for disaster that is. You can have Pat Buchanan and FDR, I’ll side with Milton Friedman every time!

MJBrutus on March 4, 2011 at 11:02 AM

November 2010 = 9.8%

December: +103,000
January: +36,000
February: +192,000
Total: 331,000

March 2011 = 8.9%

kevinkristy on March 4, 2011 at 9:07 AM

If 331,000 new jobs decreased the unemployment rate by 9.8 – 8.9 = 0.9%, that would mean that the total labor force in the United States would be 331,000 / 0.009 = 36.8 million people, or less than 12% of the population.

Fudged numbers.

the_nile on March 4, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Indeed !!!

Steve Z on March 4, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Besides the underemployed and this: The number of unemployed people dipped to 13.7 million, still almost double since before the recession.

These numbers are looking better.

So for all the liberals and Olbermann sheep who immediately after the mid-terms whined “Hey Republicans…Where are the JOBS….”

…..here you go…better than the last 2 years.

Baxter Greene on March 4, 2011 at 11:12 AM

MJ:

Facts are stubborn things…

…and when China gets Greenbacks they don’t tend to spend them here…they spend them in Africa, South America and other parts of the world on a long term national strategy of locking up resources for their country. Things like rare earth minerals, copper mining, iron ore mining, silver mining, gold mining, oil exploration, coal, gas, etc.

As a country, we don’t have a strategy; this is not Right vs Left or Protectionist vs Free Trade…it’s called arithmetic and basic economics.

I’m waiting to see some of your facts supporting globalism and how it benefits the USA.

PatriotRider on March 4, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Is it possible that extending the Bush Tax cuts incentivized the hiring once the uncertainty over that was dispelled? Is it possible that this GOP takeover of the House with a more free-market/business friendly attitude will get the economy back enough to let Obama take all the credit and win a second term? Yikes.

I’m not nearly as learned as some people on this issue that frequent this site so feel free to educate me.

RepubChica on March 4, 2011 at 11:26 AM

…and when China gets Greenbacks they don’t tend to spend them here…

PatriotRider on March 4, 2011 at 11:22 AM

All currency eventually returns to its country of origin. If it doesn’t then that’s even better for us, because we will have imported value and exported only green paper! If it gets to us from China via Africa, who cares?

As Friedman said in The Case for Free Trade:

Before throwing up your hands in horror, carry the analysis one step further. How would we pay the Japanese? We would offer them dollar bills. What would they do with the dollar bills? We have assumed that at 360 yen to the dollar everything is cheaper in Japan, so there is nothing in the U.S. market that they would want to buy. If the Japanese exporters were willing to burn or bury the dollar bills, that would be wonderful for us. We would get all kinds of goods for green pieces of paper that we can produce in great abundance and very cheaply. We would have the most marvelous export industry conceivable.

Don’t lecture me about facts when all you can bring up are distortions and myths.

MJBrutus on March 4, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Jobless rate edges down to 8.9%, 192K jobs added

My enthusiasm is as phony-baloney as our corrupt governments numbers.

FloatingRock on March 4, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Sounds like Voodoo Economics and Fuzzy math to get those numbers

ConservativePartyNow on March 4, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Woo Hoo, Good news…. All the recently closed businesses in my normally ‘recession proof’ town must have gotten better offers and moved to Metropolis.

On Tuesday, I drove a couple of hundred miles through the central part of my state, and was struck by how almost all the small towns had turned into ‘Starnesvilles’. Businesses that were thriving a year ago are now boarded up and covered with graffiti.

LegendHasIt on March 4, 2011 at 11:42 AM

I swear I just saw news in the last 48 hours that said the rate was now something like 10.3%… ?

Nothing ‘official’ is believeable anymore anyway, lol.

Midas on March 4, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Don’t lecture me about facts when all you can bring up are distortions and myths.

MJBrutus on March 4, 2011 at 11:37 AM

You’ve got no grounds to grief other people about ‘facts’, you factless wonder. Frankly, I’m amazed you have the balls to show your ignorant face here again.

Midas on March 4, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Midas on March 4, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Brilliant

MJBrutus on March 4, 2011 at 11:56 AM

I swear I just saw news in the last 48 hours that said the rate was now something like 10.3%… ?

Nothing ‘official’ is believeable anymore anyway, lol.

Midas on March 4, 2011 at 11:53 AM

You did. It was a Gallup poll. We all know these numbers will be “revised” in a few weeks, but that will be buried on page B-24 in your local newspaper.

sandee on March 4, 2011 at 12:13 PM

ObamaNomics: Federal Work Force up 11.7%, Private Sector Down 6.6% Since Obama Took Over…

So… perspective.

Akzed on March 4, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Don’t lecture me about facts when all you can bring up are distortions and myths.

MJBrutus on March 4, 2011 at 11:37 AM

The exportation of debt is not a business, unless you are Wall Street or the US government; and if all of those phony fiat Dollars came back to the USA, it would be check-mate for the US economy. The game would be over.

PatriotRider on March 4, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Don’t lecture me about facts when all you can bring up are distortions and myths.

MJBrutus on March 4, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Prove my “distortions and myths” wrong my friend…

PatriotRider on March 4, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Prove my “distortions and myths” wrong my friend…

PatriotRider on March 4, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Take the one about money and trade. Money must always return to the nation from which it originates or it becomes worthless. Your myth about that not being the case was proven wrong by Friedman.

You can’t help yourself, just consider this gem:

The exportation of debt is not a business, unless you are Wall Street or the US government; and if all of those phony fiat Dollars came back to the USA, it would be check-mate for the US economy. The game would be over.

Debt is not due to a foreign trade imbalance, it is our due to our incontinent government borrowing dollars. The very dollars we sent overseas in exchange for goods. In fact, if it weren’t for trade the foreigners wouldn’t have the dollars to purchase our debt and we would be in even worse shape as a borrower (much higher interest rates)! It would be much better if our government didn’t spend beyond its means so that those foreigners would return the dollars in the form of investments and purchases, but the bottom line is that we only benefit from trade and that the dollars we export always come back here in one form or another.

MJBrutus on March 4, 2011 at 1:38 PM

I was supposed to bring some temps on as regulars at work this week… They did all the foot work, time in as a temp, filled out the application for the jobs as posted… etc.
-
The day we should have been filling out new hire paperwork, insurance, 401k… etc… I was sitting there instead telling them ‘never mind’.
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Needless to say they were disappointed… as was I. Very poor judgement on management’s part; putting all that hope in the crew and then pulling the rug at the last second.
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Not to mention, I have had my rep as a manager damaged because the higher-up misread the situation. As one who always encourages trust and mutual respect among my crew… and between us and the others at work, I’m actually still processing how to handle this.
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The episode will definitely affect the way I look at the company for quite a while.
-

RalphyBoy on March 4, 2011 at 2:39 PM

New WI Republican Ad:

“If this bill doesnt pass, unemployment will go above 9% again”

Odie1941 on March 4, 2011 at 3:33 PM

MJBrutus on March 4, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Ah, no.
Sorry MJB, but the drop in “unemployment” is due to the 500,000 no longer collecting UI benefits, in other words the drop is due to 500K people exhausting their 99 weeks. They are no longer counted!

The fact that Obama looks at this as good news tells us he has no idea what to do and is planing on using this BS to claim HIS policies are working.

DSchoen on March 4, 2011 at 3:37 PM

DSchoen on March 4, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Incorrect. It is based on estimates from a survey of the number looking for work, not the number getting bennies. Check your facts.

MJBrutus on March 4, 2011 at 3:43 PM

See here:

DSchoen on March 4, 2011 at 3:37 PM

From the BLS Web Site

Who is counted as unemployed?

Persons are classified as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work. Actively looking for work may consist of any of the following activities:

* Contacting:
o An employer directly or having a job interview
o A public or private employment agency
o Friends or relatives
o A school or university employment center
* Sending out resumes or filling out applications
* Placing or answering advertisements
* Checking union or professional registers
* Some other means of active job search

MJBrutus on March 4, 2011 at 3:56 PM

kevinkristy on March 4, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Problem.

We need to add somewhere between 100k-125K jobs each month to keep up with population growth in the nation

lets use the low number of 100K to equal a zero sum gain.

November to December 100K
December to January 100K
January to February 100K
Total 300K to have ZERO effect on the Unemployment.

November 2010 = 9.8%
December: +103,000
January: +36,000
February: +192,000
Total: 331,000
March 2011 = 8.9%

331,000 – 300,000 = 31,000

31,000 total job gain from Nov. 2010 to Feb. 2011 is a rounding error!

With “13.7 million” Unemployed, 31,000 total job gain from Nov. 2010 to Feb. 2011 is dang close to a rounding error!

DSchoen on March 4, 2011 at 3:59 PM

It’s a positive trend when people dropping off the statistics inflate the apparent percentage of people working?

It is a positive trend when people with college educations are driving taxis or flipping burgers?

The entire labor statistics game is a massive distortion of reality that improperly sugar coats a really bad situation.

{^_^}

herself on March 5, 2011 at 4:00 PM