Patterico's Pontifications


Job Numbers Abysmal

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:21 am

How abysmal? Even the Los Angeles Times can’t spin this:

U.S. employers added a measly 74,000 new jobs last month, the government said Friday. That was the lowest jobs number in about three years and a major disappointment after a recent string of positive economic signs pointed to stronger growth.

The weak hiring confounded most analysts’ expectations for job growth of about 200,000, which was the monthly average of the prior three months. The construction sector, rather than resurging as some had predicted, shed a large 19,000 jobs to close out the year, although Labor Department officials said bad weather in parts of the country may have affected the payroll count.

Not confounded: Patterico readers, who know that the economy is in the toilet and won’t be coming out as long as the solution is more unemployment benefits, more ObamaCare, more regulation, and more government.

Fewer and fewer people are even looking for work:

Even as job growth was anemic, Labor Department officials reported that the nation’s unemployment rate fell to a new five-year low of 6.7% last month, from 7% in November.

However, the unusually large drop was for the wrong reason: Rather than more people entering the job market because of increasing confidence, there was a big drop of 347,000 in the labor force.

The so-called labor participation rate — the share of working-age people with jobs or looking for work — fell to 62.8% last month, from 63%, matching the level of two months ago that was the lowest since February 1978.

I’ll give the paper credit for at least not making the story (and headline) all about how the unemployment number fell.

But you know the rules: they’re allowed to tell more truth once the candidate is safely elected.

50 Responses to “Job Numbers Abysmal”

  1. Unexpected!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Colonel Haiku (a3af9f)

  2. what “stronger growth”, you crack smoking morons?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  3. an end to unemplyment benfits shold cause both the unemployment rate and the size of the labor force to fall.

    We’ll really see the impact of Obamacare (high premiums) in about three months.

    Sammy Finkelman (28600b)

  4. matching the level of two months ago that was the lowest since February 1978.

    I was in college during Carter, walked everywhere I needed to. Not looking for a job, not needing to buy gas, I was quite unaware of the economic condition of the country.
    Easy to see how the college crowd can be swayed for the “hip” “we’re the future, yes we can”, President Obama.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  5. Even the Los Angeles Times can’t spin this:

    When a news report about the economy doesn’t include the word “unexpected” or “unexpectedly,” I can assume the writer at least tried to be objective.

    What makes me shudder even more about the current economic anomie of the US is it has to be set against the backdrop of an increasingly dysfunctional, corrupt, Mexico-lite or Greece-lite type of society. So the mediocrity feels like it’s compounded, bad on top of bad.

    In the past I’ve wondered what it would be like living in a nation that one cannot admire or respect, to be similar to a citizen eking out an existence in a Venezuela, Argentina or South Africa. Regrettably, I think ongoing trends may be bringing, or will bring, that reality to a front-row seat.

    Mark (58ea35)

  6. And remember, these are the preliminary numbers before the “unexpected” adjustment that comes later that seems to always go in one direction: down.

    Dan S (00fc90)

  7. i wonder if this factoid had anything to do with the story above, or if this was all Bush’s fault?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  8. Thanks for the pivot to our #1 concern. A picture for the text-impaired.

    Perhaps some of you remember the 5 lb. Soviet cigarette lighters designed to meet production quotas measured by tonnage?

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  9. 4. Yeah, I returned to school at the bottom for CPTS and Math, ‘ahead of the curve’.

    It’s different this time, small business cannot jump-start the engine, being poisoned, bludgeoned and garroted by regulation. We are merely riding big business’ “efficiency” improvements.

    We are Greece some years ago.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  10. you have to believe that the dimbulb hoochie what’s taking over whorenanke’s printing press operations has to be at least starting to kind of wonder if maybe this whole print print print idea maybe isn’t getting it done

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  11. Just wait ’til interest rates rise and interest owed on the nat’l debt is $800,000,000,000/year

    Colonel Haiku (a3af9f)

  12. Here’s what has the Chamber of Commerce, and Congress, so motivated.

    All the lost ‘commerce’ and ‘revenue’ as illegals take their(yours and all of the above) money south, out of the country, every winter.

    Guess what, geniuses? That histogram will not change because you wave a magic wand, “Everybody’s Legal!!!”.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  13. Oprah Winfrey calling Obama the “savior of the economy” goes right up there with Bush’s “Mission accomplished,” Clinton’s “At no time did I have sex with that woman” and Al Capone’s “there are no gangs in Chicago.” A classic lie.

    CrustyB (5a646c)

  14. Short article(Stash!) highlighting ‘Gloom, Doom, and Desolation':

    Chinese trade @ $4.16 Trillion, leaps past US @ 3.57 Trillion. When noting that a lot of “fake invoicing” on the Chinese side is occurring, remember US government stats are used as well.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  15. The President’s crack staff of blame experts:

    “I got it boys: it’s the Polar Vortex’s fault.”

    “Brilliant, someone call the LA Times, quick…”

    Hey, may we start a virtual betting pool? I want the blame the Polar Vortex block. And seeing that the blame Mr. Bush block is the odds on favorite, may I get 3 to 1 odds?

    Pons Asinorum (8ce71a)

  16. Things are about to get pretty bad, in my opinion. Q1 consumer spending is going to go into the toilet. We have had an extremely cold period in January and have another one just as cold coming next week. People’s energy bills for heating are going to go through the roof in February and a good part of that is from energy costs artificially inflated by various green energy mandates and programs.

    February is currently also shaping up to be a cold month in the various forecast models. If so, those energy bills will arrive in March pinching people hammered by their February bills even harder. On top of that we have the increased outlays from health insurance premiums, deductibles, and prescription costs that are going to add up as the year goes along.

    I am looking at DemocratCare being a moderate to strong brake on consumer spending in 2014 generally and the winter weather to act to place more of a braking force on spending and the economy. DemocratCare becomes and even stronger braking force in 2015 when the employer mandates kick in.

    crosspatch (49bf90)

  17. What we need is a Federal Job Creation Agency, with maybe 100,000 agents investigating businesses that aren’t hiring and other economic saboteurs.

    Or, maybe a $1 stamp tax on every electronic document to encourage maximal paper processing to employ more workers. Also, ban self-serve everywhere (gas pumps, elevators, vending machines, etc).

    Or, for the LA Times, ban computer typesetting. This will get more youth employment in the inner city because its easier for young eyes and hands to set all that type.

    Lots of ways that Obama can get everything going again just by thinking!

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  18. This is extraordinarily bad economic news. Obama’s economy no only shows no signs of going anywhere near average growth rates, but every sign of dumping into another severe recession.

    SPQR (768505)

  19. “savior of the economy”

    Closer to “the check is in the mail” or “the coke is pure” if you ask me.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  20. This is extraordinarily bad economic news. Obama’s economy no only shows no signs of going anywhere near average growth rates, but every sign of dumping into another severe recession.

    Obama has followed FDRs path of massive new programs and government intervention in the economy, and has achieved FDRs results: a tepid recovery from recession that slid into depression.

    He was saved only by a major war. That, too, is shaping up nicely, but we have to let the other side get some nukes first.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  21. 21. Thread winner, hands down.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  22. 16. “We have had an extremely cold period in January and have another one just as cold coming next week.”


    Yesterday it was reported the US Consumer has left off deleveraging. No word on credit purchases of rice, beans and Ramen noodles.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  23. Sooo, howzabout another pivot to the Economy, Urkel.

    Not today?

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  24. Q: What are the 4 enemies of Obama’s economic recovery?

    A: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.

    Kevin M (131754)

  25. gary,

    The economy does better the more Obama pivots towards golf.

    Kevin M (131754)

  26. Kevin M @21. “He was saved only by a major war.”

    That would be a way of saying, like Paul Krugman, that the stimulus wasn’t big enough.

    If not, theoretically, how could a war help an economy recover?

    But actually the recovery came before the war.

    Sammy Finkelman (28600b)

  27. But, but,…we’re in a recovery! The media and the government says so!!

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (9a01e5)

  28. NEWS ITEM:

    Last job-seeker gives it up….Unemployment drops to ZERO!

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  29. The economic recovery at the beginning of WWII came from trading US made rifles, tanks, aircraft and other munitions for British gold reserves.

    SPQR (c1f161)

  30. 27. …But actually the recovery came before the war.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (28600b) — 1/10/2014 @ 1:28 pm

    The actual recovery came after WWII. Because as SPQR points out:

    The economic recovery at the beginning of WWII came from trading US made rifles, tanks, aircraft and other munitions for British gold reserves.

    And what did the Brits use those munitions for? To destroy European industry.

    That would be a way of saying, like Paul Krugman, that the stimulus wasn’t big enough.

    See, Sammy, it all depends on what you use that massive “stimulus” spending for. If you use it like we used it, to destroy the only industrial economy in the Far East, or like the Germans used their “stimulus” spending to attack Britain’s manufacturing capacity, while in the case of the US your industrial centers are beyond the reach of anyone elses’ “stimulus” purchases, then after everyone runs out of “stimulus” goods you’re pretty much the only game in town. Even the economic illiterate in the WH acknowledges that it happened even if he doesn’t have a clue as to why.

    there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let’s respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. “The market will take care of everything,” they tell us. If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes, “especially for the wealthy” our economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesn’t trickle down, well, that’s the price of liberty.

    Now, it’s a simple theory. And we have to admit, it’s one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. That’s in America’s DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. (Laughter.) But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked. (Applause.) It didn’t work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It’s not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the ’50s and ’60s.

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  31. I’m really confused why the US economy isn’t creating more jobs. We have our best minds working on the problem.

    Real wizards. The top people. Best of the best. Cream of the crop.

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  32. Cream, if left un-refrigerated for too long a time, goes as rancid and distasteful as Progressive policy.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  33. I didn’t mean to detract from SPQR’s point that there were signs of a recovery at the beginning of WWII for the reasons he mentioned. Nor did I mean to imply that only the Brits were directing their “stimulus” spending toward creating shovel ready projects across Europe.

    US stimulus spending being put to use in Europe.

    And look at all the shovel-ready projects it created.

    Unemployment drops in post-war Germany as they get to work on all those shovel-ready projects courtesy of the 8th Air Force! Even before they had to buy the shovels from us.

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  34. Essentially, Obama and Curtiss LeMay have the same ideas about the method behind an economic boom.

    But whereas General LeMay directed his efforts toward Tokyo, Obama and his ilk have been employing that method on places like Detroit, Chicago, etc.

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  35. Ludwig Erhard, if he were alive today, would forget more then Obama would ever know about economic development,

    narciso (3fec35)

  36. Dead, Ludwig Erhard is a better economist and central banker than Ben Bernanke or Janet Yellen; and his toe-nail clippings know more about economic development than the entire White House Staff – and that includes Gene “Tarnished” Sperling.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  37. Cream… like progressive scum… rises to the top.

    Colonel Haiku (a3af9f)

  38. the squirrels have been growing, in order to avoid this story:

    narciso (3fec35)

  39. President Armslength Diminishing Returns de la Chingada Entonces.

    Colonel Haiku (a3af9f)

  40. Kevin M #21 – the only problem with that scenario is – where do we find the entity with the gold/liquidity reserves to pour them into the US economy ? In the late 1930s, it was Great Britain desperately trying to stave off National Socialist Crony-capitalist control of Europe and the British Isles …

    The then-US-Government was smart enough to realise that it couldn’t afford to get in the way of the revitalisation of the US industrial economy …

    If the current clowns in the Administration had been in power back then, they would have been issuing regulations and Executive Orders requiring long-term studies of possible ecological impacts of re-opening the factories to produce war materials for sale (and eventually for Lease-Lend) to the UK …

    Alastor (9f79fc)

  41. the greatest depository of gold bullion in the world today is the country of India.
    It is found in the Central Bank, local banks, under mattresses, and on the necks and arms of their women.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  42. What’s up, I log on to your blog regularly. Your story-telling style
    is awesome, keep up the good work!

    Arthur Keneyd (44e101)

  43. I was looking at the figures on the BLS site.

    How is it we’re extending emergency unemployment benefits to people who are marginally attached to the labor force and discouraged workers?

    These people are no longer included in the official unemployment rate. So people who no longer count as unemployed because they’ve been out of work so long are collecting UI. There’s just something about that that’s insane.

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  44. There’s just so much about this country since Obama was elected that’s insane. But that little tidbit just occurred to me.

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  45. It’s good that you remain vigilant and steadfast on squirrel alert. Thanks, narciso.

    The eccentricity and inconsistency of how the government views and counts unemployed people (depending on what particular political story they want the public to focus on) is truly insane Steve57. It boggles the mind.

    elissa (c8b349)

  46. Another take on the real unemployment rate. It’s been 11% since 2009 and hasn’t changed at all. It’s just a lot of people have given up.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  47. In a couple years, after Obama’s Orwellian Department of Labor announces that unemployment has dropped to 1.3%—a figure that economists would generally say is well beyond ‘full employment’—Hairy Reed and the Democrats will still be crying about how people will die in the streets if the Republicans fail to extend unemployment insurance “one more time.”

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  48. From Insty,

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says he is now open to considering Republican amendments to a bill extending emergency unemployment benefits through most of 2014.

    On Thursday, Reid clashed with several Republicans after saying he didn’t want to consider any changes to an amended version of the bill. Reid’s amendment paid for an 11-month extension by extending the sequester for another year, into 2024.

    Republicans have other ideas on how to pay for the benefits, but Reid dismissed them.

    “He must be facing some defections”.

    Dana (9a8f57)

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