Why this Job Market is Still Terrible: The Politically Incorrect Numbers Everyone is Hushing up

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For individuals, it has barely improved since the Great Recession.

If you have a salary well into the six figures, stock options, nearly free healthcare, and other benefits such as access to free gourmet lunches and dinners at the company’s food court, you might have missed something that a lot of folks feel every day: It’s still a very tough battle out there in this job market. And here is why.

Today we got what was called a “stellar jobs report”: Non-farm payrolls rose 255,000 in July. In the other component of the report, the household survey showed that 420,000 new jobs were created. There are now a record 123.9 million full-time jobs. Government hiring was strong. Numerous sectors added to payrolls. And the unemployment rate remained stuck at 4.9%, with 7.8 million people deemed officially unemployed.

So everyone was happy. Well, certainly the stock market was. The S&P 500 closed at a new high. The Treasury market started worrying about a Fed rate hike, and the 10-year yield rose to 1.59%

But on an individual basis, on a per-capita basis – and this is what people feel when they’re looking for a job or asking for a raise – these “stellar” figures depict a job market that is only a little better than at the worst moment of the Great Recession.


On its population clock, the Census Bureau estimates that the US population on August 5, 2016, at 4:49 p.m. ET (yup, down to the minute) was 324.17 million.

That’s up from 308.76 million in April 2010. Since the darkest days of the Great Recession, the US population has grown by 15.4 million.

The Census Bureau also estimates that there are currently 8.6 births per minute, minus 4.6 deaths per minute, plus 2 arriving immigrants (“net”) per minute, for a gain of nearly 6 folks per minute. Everyone ages, so the young ones move into the labor force, but the baby boomers are fit and healthy and don’t feel like retiring, and so they hang on to their jobs for as long as they can, despite the rampant age discrimination they face in many sectors, particularly in tech, though obviously not in politics.

In 2010, 24% of the people were under 18. That was 74 million people. Millions of them have since moved into the labor force, elbowing each other while scrambling for jobs, as have those millions who were then between 18 and their twenties and in college or grad school. These millennials have arrived on the job market in very large numbers.

In April 2010, there were 130.1 million nonfarm payrolls. In today’s July report, there were 144.4 million. Hence, 14.3 million jobs have been added to the economy over the time span, even as the total population has grown by 15.4 million. So that’s not working out very well.

On average, 205,300 jobs need to be created every month just to keep up with population growth and not allow the unemployment situation to get worse.

So clearly, for individuals who aren’t lucky, the employment math is very tough. The Bureau of Labor Statistics attempts to capture this dismal condition with its Employment-Population Ratio. It measures the proportion of employed persons to the civilian non-institutional population aged 16 years and over.


The ratio always drops during recessions, but before 2001, it always climbed to higher highs during the recoveries. The 2001 recession and subsequent recovery changed this. For the first time, the ratio never fully recovered, never got even close to fully recovering. That was a new phenomenon: employment growth could no longer keep up with population growth.

When the Great Recession hit, the ratio plunged from its lower starting point at the fastest pace on record (going back to 1948). The Fed’s efforts were all focused exclusively on bailing out bondholders, re-inflating the stock market, re-inflating the housing market, and generally creating what had become the official Fed policy at the time, the Wealth Effect (here’s Bernanke himself explaining it). This has re-inflated asset prices – many of them way beyond their prior bubble peaks.

But the Fed’s astounding focus on capital accelerated the already changing dynamics of the economy, at the expense of labor.

Despite the re-appearance of millions of jobs since the depths of the Great Recession in 2010, the Employment-Population Ratio didn’t improve to any meaningful extent until 2014. In other words, over the first four years of the recovery, the number of jobs created barely kept up with the growth of the working-age population.

Then in 2014, employment growth picked up enough to grow faster than the population. But this too began to stall in March 2016, with the ratio at 59.9%. The ratio has since dropped to 59.7%.

In terms of total population: in April 2010, there were 2.37 people per job. Now there are 2.23 people per job – only marginally better. And this miserably inadequate improvement from the lowest levels of the Great Recession is what individuals are seeing.

It explains the dichotomy: Economists, officials, politicians, and central bankers point at the millions of jobs created since the Great Recession and at the official unemployment rate which has dropped to acceptable levels, while millions of individuals are mad as hell because they’ve not made it into the group of lucky ones, and they’re seeing a job market that is only slightly better – on a per-capita basis – than it was in April 2010.

And this is why the economy is so rotten to the core. Read… “Shockingly, Boards of Directors Encourage this”: Gallup CEO

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  105 comments for “Why this Job Market is Still Terrible: The Politically Incorrect Numbers Everyone is Hushing up

  1. Albieok
    August 5, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    I found a job last month, after a year of being unemployed/underemployed. At 57, I was fortunate to get through the ageist gauntlet, and I am grateful although I’m making 20% less than before. But…health care costs are going to kill us because we will move from a subsidized program. I’m sure this is the case with many folks moving back into the work force. A job doesn’t necessarily mean prosperity.

    • August 5, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      Congratulations on finding a job! And you’re right about the pay cuts, health care costs, etc.: it’s a very common problem.

    • Lee
      August 5, 2016 at 7:43 pm

      Congratulations on getting a job. At least you have a job.

      Now comes the ‘fun’ part after being unemployed and getting used to the ‘new lifestyle.’

      Have a mortgage and want to refinance at a lower rate? Sorry, you can’t as your new income would not qualify you for the loan.

      How about a new credit card?

      Sorry, you don’t qualify or you’d have to lie on the application.

      What about all those things you used to do like take overseas trips, a nice meal say at Nobu, or buying that new appliance for the house?

      Sorry, they won’t happen.

      Welcome to the world of the working poor where your qualifications and experience don’t matter and where you have to to put up with all sorts of bs at your new job from people that you’d never have given a job to if you were the boss.

      Everybody now makes more than you do and where you now make less in income than the taxes you paid at your old job…………….

      But at least you have job…………..

      • Albieok
        August 5, 2016 at 9:44 pm

        It’s a good thing I’m the new boss! ;)

        • Lee
          August 6, 2016 at 5:06 pm

          Well being the boss and then taking a 20% pay cut shouldn’t be so bad.

          Here I thought you were in trouble!!

          I only took a 70% pay cut or so.

    • August 6, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      Exactly, so not only is the unemployment % a bad number to judge employment levels, those who are employed in many cases have lowered their standard of living, some with not much hope of seeing that improve during their working lifetime. Which is why I’m concerned about trade deals like the TPP.

    • William
      August 6, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      My pay cut was 37%.

    • Chris Tesi
      August 8, 2016 at 6:32 am

      A great many Americans feel your pain as their own. I transitioned back into sales in 2014 and I am fortunate to have gotten back into an acceptable income level. In reality, we are all walking a financial tightrope in an economy that is anemic at best. Good luck to you and to all of us. It is definitely time for a management change in DC.

  2. Uncle Frank
    August 5, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Perception is all that is required to create a happy market. No one reads the real story because that would spoil the porridge for Goldilocks.

    • polecat
      August 5, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      Meanwhile…the lower classes get vomity gruel……

      and we, the lowly plebs, are just supposed to eat it and like it…….

  3. interesting
    August 5, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    it’s been getting uglier this year, it’s been recession since Q3 2014 and the last 2 months have been a disaster. I’ve only gotten 2 projects in the last 2 months. 2 more months of this and i don’t know what i’ll do but it’s nothing good that’s for sure.

    just my .02

  4. John S
    August 5, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Corporations are in control and they know it. There is discrimination against old, young and everything in between. The HR department is there to come up with legal reasons to lower wages and extract more work. The ultimate policy is if you don’t like it go somewhere else.

    • Intosh
      August 6, 2016 at 12:33 am

      It shouldn’t come as a surprise, right? I mean starting with the Reagan years, there was a systematic dismantlement of the labour movement and an increase in government laisser-faire. Naturally, corporations’ power and leverage grew. Wages in real value terms has not moved since the 1980s. That is the consequence of the political choice Americans made 30 years ago when they saw Europe and Japan roaring back after WWII (les trentes glorieuses in France) under The Marshall Plan, with growth that made the envy of many Americans. Some of them believed the US’ has become competitively soft and they blame the government and the unions. Neo-liberalism, with Milton Friedman as the torchbearer, was back with a vengeance. The Mont Pelerin Society has waited for more than 30 years for that moment and it was finally here. The rest is, as we say, history. Now, we are perhaps at the tail end of that cycle and the pendulum may soon swing back…

      • Coaster Noster
        August 6, 2016 at 11:33 am

        This nice story, along with a lot of other narratives, omits the notable role of automation in the workplace. I started in 1981 filing resumes by college students, at Chevron. There were six of us, filing, and I got my sister a job, filing. That job, and the next two I had, have been automated away. Factories have far more robots, bosses have computers and need no “secretaries” awaiting their next letter to type (auto-correct in 1985 really improved their productivity). The ripple effect of doing much more with much less human input has an unseen but real effect on jobs available. When coal began to decline in 2002 (before Obama, but they always blame Obama) this put West Virginia coal miners looking for work, and none to be found, put pressure on other wages, cut work for physical shipping jobs, and on and on. Natural gas takes a lot less human effort to produce and ship. Even when it comes to restaurant help, if the computerized order system cost $10K, in one year, with two less waiters out of ten, it has paid and continues to pay, and the two people out of work put pressure on wages.

        Government plays a def part, but further automation is huge.

        • Intosh
          August 6, 2016 at 3:56 pm

          The comment wasn’t meant to be an exhaustive essay, nor did it mean to say that those were the only factors. It was meant to expose the shift in political tendencies and its cyclic nature.

          True, there is automation but automation wasn’t limited to the US. For instance, Germans didn’t suffer the same wage stagnation as American did. I believe when things like automation causes major disruption, the government may play a positive role in mitigating the impact on workers. Affordable programs to encourage people to acquire relevant new skills comes to mind. We all know the IT sector is looking for a lot of workers. With such program, companies may hire less from outside the country.

        • John S
          August 6, 2016 at 8:58 pm

          Scarcity of labor has been the defining component of economics since beginning of human history. Even resource scarcity was often related to labor scarcity.

          We are reaching a point where automation can destroy millions of jobs and in return only creates a few. The shift from factory to service jobs is almost done, shift that kept employment high since the end of WW2.

          Old notions of how economics and society works may no longer be applicable in a world where labor from majority of people has little to no value. We are going to have to come to terms with this, unfortunately I see most people, organizations and governments attempting to maintain the old system.

        • chris Hauser
          August 6, 2016 at 9:04 pm


          and, it’s tough to find a $15 an hour job in much of the country.

          an interesting read is the carlos slim helu interview in bloomberg about how a 3 day workweek will solve all problems. i don’t know what planet he’s orbiting, or if he’s batshit.

          this from the guy who thinks cement should only be sold in expensive bags because poor mexicans can only build their houses bit by bit.

  5. dave
    August 5, 2016 at 6:10 pm


    atlantic fed predicts a nice jump in gdp.

    yes congrats on the new job best of luck.

    wolf few weeks back i did a nice road trip across your beautiful country. all the way to the west coast then north up to washington then east back home. just gonna say i never thought i would see so many sign that say “now hiring” everywhere i went. so if everyone is hiring or looking for workers shouldnt the wages be a little higher? also talked to a few people along the way and a few were ready to quit the jobs they had cause they found better ones. just my observations from the road.

    tried to use up some as much gas as i could. considering the glut tried to help use what i could.

    • Si
      August 6, 2016 at 1:50 am

      I may be off base here – but were the ‘now hiring’ signs for low paying jobs in waiting tables/food service? What job growth there has been seems to be entirely in the low end.

      • night-train
        August 6, 2016 at 2:40 am

        Si: I think you are on base with your question. I don’t recall ever seeing a “Help Wanted” sign in the window of a law firm, engineering outfit, or most other professional offices. In the skills professions, if posted, I imagine they would be seeking helpers or basic laborers.

        Let’s face it, there are good jobs and bad jobs. There are good employers and bad employers. Experience tells me that a lot of the bad places have a heavy turnover and probably never take those signs out of the windows.

      • Marty
        August 6, 2016 at 2:58 am

        Si, we just drove cross country, too and can corroborate Dave’s observation. And yes, the help wanted signs were at restaurants and gas stations.

        • SDub
          August 6, 2016 at 10:32 am

          Many companies and business, like Starbucks, grocery chains never take the signs down. But you must apply online and hope, like you do when buying a lottery ticket, you are the lucky one.

      • Coaster Noster
        August 6, 2016 at 11:40 am

        Yes, I can corroborate,too, with the premise by “Si”. I have not moved in thirty years, yet I see a lot of “help wanted” signs, but invariably in retail shops serving ice cream, burgers, Peet’s Coffee, Office Depot, all low wage/no long term future. Coupled with that, a lot of vacant store fronts, because if you are not selling a five-cent item for a dollar, you cannot pay the astronomical rents ($5k per month! for 20×20 spot!).

        Lots of nail salons, haircut places, and coffee purveyors.

        • Samuel Kim
          August 7, 2016 at 8:56 pm

          Ok , so I’m a bit puzzled about all the hiring in the retail/low wage sector. Wouldn’t this be indicative of the fact that there are high wage jobs supporting these businesses?

    • ChrisM
      August 6, 2016 at 10:17 am

      There are certainly areas of prosperity in the U.S. You couldn’t think things could get better in Nashville TN. I also visit Charleston, SC, where the economy is booming and property values are sky rocketing (same as in Nashville). But if I head to smaller towns in western NC, things are not as good. I still here from friends in Charlotte, NC that college grads are still having a tough time finding qualified jobs. I also know people in their early 30s who say that there are a lot of hoops to jump through when trying to get a new gig. At the same time, the state of SC has a lot of jobs that are open, but has a problem in matching skill sets of the residents to those jobs. So it is a mixed bag depending on where you live and your experience level.

  6. Duane Snyder
    August 5, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    In Jan 2007 men aged 25-54 were employed at 91.5 percent. This report finds only 88.4 percent of men aged 25-54 are employed. This might tie into a poll I saw in Time magazine yesterday (while waiting in the doctors office). They conducted a survey trying to measure American optimism. Every group measured optimistic at around 75 percent except men aged 45-55 who only polled 55 percent optimistic, 20 points lower than any other group.

  7. unit472
    August 5, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    BLS employment numbers keep going up yet , apparently, IRS payroll tax revenue is going down. Since payroll tax revenue pays the bills not seasonally adjusted data compiled by Census department surveys we need to know why the discrepancy.

    • MC
      August 6, 2016 at 8:04 am

      I take lower wages pay lower taxes… and those making an awful lot of money can afford to hire really good (nudge nudge, wink wink) accountants and lawyers.

  8. Paulo
    August 5, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Congratulations albieok. It must have been a nightmare to go through that experience at 57. You hung in there and looks like it worked out; is working out.

    I have noticed in my area that when many over 50 lose their careers, they often simply give up. Where I live the economy is almost totally resource based. I remember years ago many fishermen losing their jobs as fishing days were restricted and licenses were re-purposed to First Nations. Many simply said, “I have been a fishermen all my life and I know nothing else that I could do.” One buddy of mine went back to University, completing a 5 year teaching degree by age 50. He then worked 15 years as a high school shop teacher up in Yukon, sold his fishing boat along the way, took a buy-back for his license, and just completed a reno on a house down on Vancouver Island. He will live in the basement suite and will rent the upstairs out for approx. $1,000/month cash. His pension is approx. 30% of his working wage, plus he receives CPP. (Canada). He paid his house off but has nothing left over for a cushion, thus the rental plan.

    His words, “I think I’ll be okay. I should do just fine”.

    I am proud to know him.

    • Albieok
      August 5, 2016 at 9:39 pm

      Thanks, Paulo. It was a slog and thankfully we had some resources to see us through. There are many, many who do not and it is so unconscionable threat we are allowing them to be left behind. Your friend sounds like he is gritty and resilient. I admire him as well. Peace.

  9. David Rabinovitz
    August 5, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Wolf, I have a different view. You seem to suggest that if population increased 15mm people then jobs need to increase by 15mm. But if we peak at 65 percent employment then jobs need only increase by 10mm to keep things in balance. My concern, and I am not smart enough to find the data, is that average earnings of the incremental hires is sliding. Sure we created a boatload of new jobs but last week I researched and read about these statistics. If you report going to work you are employed. Doesn’t matter if it is part time or whether the pay sucks. .. you’re employed. So take gross earnings today less gross earnings in 2009 and calculate the incremental number of workers and see whether the incremental worker’s pay is averaging us up or down. I bet down. If it was up then people would be spending more and overall corporate revenues would increase. That job count increases while corporate revenues decrease implies to me that these new jobs are not at strong wage levels. The good positions were filled after the recession and now we are filling in with low wage workers to average down overall company cost of labor to improve profits. Tell me why I am seeing this incorrectly.

    • August 5, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      We agree. But this article was not about the quality of jobs or average pay, or real wages, or whatever. It was about how the number of jobs needs to be juxtaposed to the number of people.

      So when we say 14 million jobs were created in x years, it means nothing for individual job seekers unless we know by how much the population has grown over the same period.

      This is a HUGE problem for developing countries, like Egypt, with enormous population growth rates that exceed their economic growth rates. This causes more and more people to get poorer and poorer in a growing economy!

      • Shawn
        August 6, 2016 at 4:13 am

        India comes to mind as well. Shit, that place is a mess. Overpopulation, pollution, ‘real’ double-digit inflation, corruption. The only indians that go back to their country are the ones that are pushed in one way or another.

        • August 6, 2016 at 3:35 pm

          india is probably the world’s greatest problem today. they continue to multiply, and thanks to the micro-credit faculties they shouldn’t have access to, they’re now borrowing they can’t repay for smartphones. thanks to the concept of “growth”, these animals are multiplying at a ridiculous rate (more potential debt-holders, which is the name of the game).

          the whole concept of “MAKE IN INDIA” and “DIJTUL (digital) india” all relies on these uneducated mongrols getting their hands on things that were harder to get before micro-credit.

          i remember when i visited india almost 20 years ago, there was no one with a cell phone.

          when you needed to make calls outside of the state, and inside the country, there was a phone called “STD” or something, and for international calls it was called “ITD”. these locations weren’t “everywhere”, but were in sufficien tsupply. this should indicate you the problems with the telecommunication infrastructure of india, whose problems are compounded by lack of infrastructure (90% of them literally eat/sleep/play where they poo! bill gates set up public toilets that they’ve refused to use).

          now they’re coming here as “economic migrants” after ponzi-ing it up in their home country (see micro-credit) and think they’re staying. can’t tell you how many hindus i’ve seen with new cars and plates (indicative of new arrivals), when they most definitely did not have the skills to enter without money (suggesting they could not get those items without the current conditions).

          the entire situation is incredibly annoying, and i think government officials should count themselves lucky we haven’t taken matters in our own hands yet, but we will if they keep it up.

      • ChrisM
        August 6, 2016 at 10:36 am

        I wonder how the numbers are impacted by the demographic wave that is rolling through the U.S. and other countries. While the employment to population ratio is down, how is that ratio being impacted by the baby boomers retiring? And as far as population growth, not sure how the statistics are impacted by rate of growth in new births versus those turning 18 and entering the workforce. There was a slight trough of births, around 3.9 million per year, from 1995 to 1999, and those would be hitting college age or the working world right now. On the other side, there was growth in births from 2003 to 2009 where annual births exceeded 4.1 million with this group still below 18. So not sure how these changes in birth rates impacts the calculation of jobs to total population. While I agree that some are still struggling, and much of it can be found in rural America, still wondering about the needed job creation number if retirees are ramping up and if the increased births still below 18 are affecting the ratios. Like another poster, lots of jobs are being advertised in my town.

      • d'Cynic
        August 7, 2016 at 5:53 pm

        Hard to link Egypt with any economic theory other than the theory of failed state, soon to be replaced by the theory of failed civilization. And too many countries in that area are in the same boat.
        But when the lady – or witch, from the paradise Europe beckon who needs to cultivate a brain?
        Maybe it deserves an article, because if Europe and NA are in crisis, those other places are a disaster waiting to explode.

    • BenFranklin99
      August 8, 2016 at 12:11 am

      http://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/Household-Income-Distribution.php has inflation adjusted income charts, showing that the rich have gotten richer, and the poor are still living on beans.

  10. Petunia
    August 5, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    There’s a story in the Miami Herald about Florida’s GDP growth being above the national average over 2%. That’s because GDP has been so low for so long in Florida, any increase creates a huge plus for them. I think the economy is still bad there, I don’t miss it.

  11. Anthony
    August 5, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    I would contend that it it can never be possible under the current system to ever see real jobs or salary growth and everything will be manipulated from here to eternity to seasonally adjust numbers.
    The reason is simple equation, and it is to do with the birth and death of companies which is now in an accelerating decline with more deaths than start ups.

    The fact that listed corporations have halved over the period due to financial engineering, fraudulent mergers and acquisitions that destroy capital as fast as stock buybacks and the current collapse in capex, means that the minuscule hiring by majors companies, on a relative basis to the wider economy, is also in decline cannot help either.

    So why the collapse in the birth rate of new businesses.
    Again it is simple, the parasitic nature of an ever expanding bureaucracy that becomes ever more corrupt, forces start up costs on fledgling business that makes bureaucracy the biggest risk to capital employed. Greater that the risk to capital by customer failure, supplier failure, fraud, and ability to raise capital and even acts of god like a disaster, And not just the greatest risk component but greater than all other risk Combined in places like CA and NJ.

    The coup de grace to the decline of start ups of course is the fact that in order to compete with the bigger companies is you need to start from the off with your manufacturing off-shored and your back office outsourced or you simply cannot compete on price.

    The only start ups that realistically make it now have an extraordinarily high bar set for being innovative enough to make it through the early stages and gain any kind of traction.

    Sadly I see nothing changing until the entire corrupt parasitic bloated bureaucratic nest is burned to the ground

    • night-train
      August 6, 2016 at 2:54 am

      Anthony: As long as I can remember, which is a long time, the #1 problem which ultimately caused new businesses to fail was being under-capitalized. And not everyone is a good businessperson. I am sure the points you make are valid. I just wish to point out that businesses are a lot like marriages. There are probably nearly as many reasons for failure as there are failed businesses. The same likely applies to deciding whether or not to start a business.

    • Earl Smith
      August 6, 2016 at 3:43 am

      Part of the problem is that the Millennials are not creating businesses.

      For a long time the small businessman numbered about 8% of the population and accounted for half the total jobs.

      But currently those under 35 who own all or part of a business has dropped to only 2% in spite of the polls that say that Millennials have over 60% saying they want to be their own boss.

      Why is a question for the experts, bureaucracy, massive debts, helicopter moms , nanny state government induce risk aversion. But what ever the reason we are suffering from a massive shortage in small businesses which means a massive shortage in job creation.

      • BenFranklin99
        August 8, 2016 at 12:15 am

        The potential customers have no money, except for the top fifth of the population, thanks to the offshoring of American manufacturing and the decline of the social safety net. The Republican party is TERRIBLE for business. It always has been.

        • Chip Javert
          August 8, 2016 at 4:43 pm

          Ben Franklin99

          Earth to Ben! Earth to Ben!

          Democrats have been in charge 15.5 of the las 23.5 years (2 of which had veto-proof Democrat congresses).

          You’re now living in a Democrat paradise! Everybody can now buy health care (you can’t actually use it because of the deductible, but by God, you can buy it).

          You gotta be careful with your rant – it sounds like you’re saying Democrats have screwed thing up so badly that the only solution is more Democrat rule.

        • Saint999
          August 16, 2016 at 4:22 pm

          Right wing policy is great for big business and terrible for small business and workers. The Democratic party under Bill Clinton made a big turn to the right and abandoned it’s traditional base of workers and small business. They became New Democrats (neoliberals), with a big money, big business agenda with a smiley face to differentiate themselves from the GOP. For workers a declining safety net instead of jobs at a living wage. For small business customers with less money. Entrepreneurial success is getting bought out. This is the way down, not the way up.

  12. a. bonaminio, m.d.
    August 5, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    my understanding is as follows from Obama’s numbers: lost 9 million in GR, Obama created 15 ml or so to date, he thus has a 6 or so surplus. population entering workforce is about 15 ml to date, less his 6 ml surplus, leaves 9 more million unemployed now than before Great Recession. add to this the millions who also dropped out of labor force who are able bodied and in the 25-54 yr old category they count in labor force participation rate [my understanding is the figure does not capture 18 to 65 yr olds, so those in college, grad school and early retirees are not included]. this analysis seems congruent with figures I am reading that say tens of millions are really unemployed, and matches shadowstats figure of high double digit unemployment. couple this with fake gdp deflators and it would not be a stretch to say practically all gov figures are lies. thank you wolf and, with kind regards.

  13. ptb
    August 5, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    If things are so great, why are people voting for a guy that’s clearly way outside the lines?! Media experts just can’t understand this phenomenon. Oh, maybe there’s a huge contingent of people living in the real world that are beyond pissed off??
    The message to politicians is clear….create income for the masses or say good bye yo your cushy lifestyle.

    • night-train
      August 6, 2016 at 3:03 am

      I have heard it said that government does not create jobs. That has been the mantra of the supply side enthusiasts for 30 years. So, what do you suggest that the politicians do to create the needed jobs? But you said “income for the masses”. Would you support a guaranteed base income for everyone in the country? I’m not being argumentative, I am seriously interested in your ideas.

      • marty
        August 6, 2016 at 3:18 am

        That’s easy. Cut the bureaucracy, cut taxes and cut the current parasitic incarnations of banking, medicine and the MIC. The whole executive branch should be dismantled, the income tax abolished. The purpose of the MIC is to generate boondoggle projects to waste money. The vast amount of money wasted in this country is beyond comprehension–trillions by the pentagon alone disappeared without any accounting. TRILLIONS. It is astounding that this question is even asked.

        • Coaster Noster
          August 6, 2016 at 11:49 am

          California =raised= taxes, and the results meant turning a budget deficit into a budget surplus for the State. No one earning under $50k pays very much in taxes, and people earning over $200k? If their taxes were reduced, they would put the money into RE trusts, buying apt buildings and driving up rents (by seeking rentier status). Reducing taxes will only exacerbate the current problem. I am astounded that California’s tax increase is ignored by “dismantlers”.

        • chip javert
          August 8, 2016 at 4:50 pm

          Coaster Noster

          CA tax increases, as they have in the past, only work when Silicon Valley is filthy rich (and pay most of the state’s income taxes).

          When Silicon Valley experiences a downturn, the entire state’s finances crash.

          ps don’t let that stop you from building the high-speed train to nowhere for $100B+.

  14. ML
    August 6, 2016 at 12:33 am

    “If things are so great, why are people voting for a guy that’s clearly way outside the lines?! ”

    The difference is in the marketing. Politiicians have a way of marketing themselves to voters. Trump is not a politician, he is a businessman. He is marketing the business way. I have thought all along that he will win. He can become a politician after he is elected. I hope i am right. It would serve USA right.

    • night-train
      August 6, 2016 at 3:14 am

      “It would serve the USA right.” So, are you for or against the USA? I’m not the flag waving type, but I hope whoever is elected is good for the country’s prospects.

      • ptb_us@ yahoo.com
        August 6, 2016 at 9:03 am

        I am guessing that the current politicians will be creating huge spending bills on infrastructure repair and defense spending as well. Thus creating jobs. Kinda like new deal stuff from the 1930s

  15. VK
    August 6, 2016 at 3:58 am

    And what about the quality of those jobs? As has been reported many times, the quality and pay of jobs has been declining on the average. So even those who have jobs simply aren’t earning enough to support the huge rise in asset prices. Though this NYT post was done in 2013, it’s still relevant today – http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/the-quality-of-jobs-the-new-normal-and-the-old-normal/

    How are stagnant to falling wages, meager economic growth and extreme asset prices supposed to foster a healthy economy?

    What needs to happen is a form of people’s QE or some sort of basic income to supplement people’s incomes otherwise we are moving into an explosive phase of political conflict. The elite get huge subsidies, this pie needs to be shared otherwise Brexit was just the first warning shot.

  16. Shawn
    August 6, 2016 at 4:06 am

    Amazing insight, that graph you show is golden. We are all being lied to about the true nature of the ‘so-called’ economic recovery. How can politicians and the media hail a robust economy when every other ‘real’ measure of economic activity is in decline. Also, with years of QE and ZIRP behind us now, all we have to show for it is a couple of hundred thousand jobs a month. Also, with even that many jobs, tax withholding haven’t budged, how is that possible?

    • Chip Javert
      August 8, 2016 at 4:55 pm


      You question: “…How can politicians and the media hail a robust economy when every other ‘real’ measure of economic activity is in decline…”

      My answer: A significant number of voters and most of main stream media are willing victims; there simply are not unpleasant enough political consequences for lying politicians and their media enablers.

  17. matt
    August 6, 2016 at 5:22 am

    Wolf. So many stories and so many views. When they say “models” here is what they are saying. A model used by the BLS is 20 years outdated that pulls these BS numbers out of thin air. Fiction. The Model is 20 years out dated they have been using to create these numbers for jobs . Seasonal adjusted is exactly that, cooked. It is a Business birth death model . 9 years we have lost more business than created. Record amount of Bankruptcies , closings in retail, MFG ,energy and a massive increase in layoffs in energy last month. Increase in closings of auto related plants and layoffs past several months. I have never seen so many supermarkets being closed in my lifetime! I have lost count the hundreds this year alone! We have only seen the beginnings of what I see is the tip of the iceberg that is now the snowball of the downfall of the Market by the middle of the fall and the collapse of our economy. Not that we ever fully recovered

    • WorldBLee
      August 7, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      I agree, Wolf is being very generous to accept the official BLM figures as anything but a conveniently generated fiction to paper over the reality of the status quo–and this is even more likely to be fictitious this year in an election year where the Obama administration wants to pass the torch to Clinton Dynasty II.

  18. MC
    August 6, 2016 at 8:29 am

    I am honestly astounded at how rapidly US population keeps on growing. Years ago I honestly expected it to plateau at around 300 million and then to fluctuate according to immigration patterns but seems I was wrong. Very wrong.
    Another thing Mr Richter and others often remind us is older people now work well into their sixth decade and increasingly more into their seventh. This means less retirees but fiercer competition for what’s effectively a shrinking pool of jobs.

    This takes away one of three pillars of high wages: a restricted labor supply.
    Ordinary people understand this at subconscious level: they may say “Immigrants take our jobs” but what they really mean is “Unrestricted immigration adds to our problems”. That’s why immigration has now become such a big political issue: crackpots and conspiracy theorists may preach about a “Muslim takeover” but what ordinary people are afraid of, and rightly so, is the deadly combination of a downward pressure on wages brought about by unrestricted immigration with the high costs of living typically associated with First World countries.
    To this we may add what the well informed readers of this fine website already know will brought about a fresh round of both problems and opportunities: automation.
    But like the Chinese use to say “The next generation needs something to do”, so this is a problem I am leaving for them to deal with.

    • william
      August 6, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      The US is likely the only modern country that will not experience a population decline in the next 30 years. Population decline wreaks havoc on an economy.

  19. RD Blakeslee
    August 6, 2016 at 9:16 am


    Business Insider ran an article claiming that self employed people (e.g. sole proprietors) are not counted as employed in the Government’s statistics.

    Is that correct?

    • August 6, 2016 at 9:34 am

      It sounds correct – with the caveat that I didn’t see the article, so I don’t know exactly what it said. All this is definition based. And the definitions really matter.

      Nonfarm payrolls (the 255,000 added jobs in July) excludes proprietors, private household employees, unpaid volunteers, farm employees, and the unincorporated self-employed. Nonfarm payrolls account for about 80% of the workers who contribute to GDP.

      But if you were unincorporated self-employed and now no longer have this business and you’re actively looking for a job, you count as “unemployed” and fall into the unemployment numbers.

    • Robert
      August 6, 2016 at 10:35 am

      No, it is not correct, but when they are unable to make a go of it and close shop, they are not counted among the unemployed.
      BTW, I’m with Marty- but how is the federal bureaucracy to be cut down- each department regards its employees as its fiefdom, and will not voluntarily cut back- the only recourse to non-govt. personnel is to try to vote out the big spenders, who are bought and paid for by big business. It may take women’s waking up to the reality that rising prices, especially the necessities of food, clothing and shelter are directly related to deficit spending, and if they are forced to balance their budgets, their representatives must do the same. (Or, as in the [oh, how they have fallen] Greek play, Lysistrata, if their spouses do not stop feeding the military-industrial complex, they will not have sex with them.)

      • night-train
        August 7, 2016 at 2:33 am

        You and Marty might want to buy an island somewhere and start your own country. There you will be free to live out your anarchy fantasy. In this country, government performs many services that the population demands. There is always room for greater efficiencies, re-directing resources and staff reductions where warranted.

        And let’s not forget that government employees are not an abstract construct. They are your neighbors, taxpayers, consumers and you know, just regular folks. They are not some kind of other.

    • Winston
      August 6, 2016 at 10:59 am

      The self-employment data analyzed:

      MONDAY, MAY 04, 2015
      Endangered Species: The Self-Employed Middle Class



      “However you figure it, there are less than 2 million non-professionals making a middle class living via self-employment. That is roughly 1.5% of the 121 million full-time workers in the nation. I confess to being astonished at the tiny number of truly independent self-employed people in the U.S.”

      And on the massive fudging as to what is even officially considered “employed”:

      TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 2015
      What’s the Real Unemployment Rate in the U.S.?
      By my reckoning, roughly 60% of the civilian work force is fully employed and 40% are marginally employed or unemployed.


      The more one investigates, the more one finds that virtually everything is heavily doctored BS, something I like to refer to as velvet glove propaganda.

      • Chip Javert
        August 8, 2016 at 7:31 pm


        I’m not sure I understand your point.

        Self employed does not necessarily mean “owner + 0 employees”.

        Your link’s highly restricted definition self employed is: “owning your own small business that does not require employees”, and the incomes shown apply only to that tiny number of owners. Almost by definition, a 1-person organization cannot support the business volume to generate a lucrative income (defined in your link as $50k+).

        An additional, larger and wealthier group of self employed are found in the IRS’ definition of small business of “Owner + 1 to 100 employees” (admittedly a number of which are professionals like doctors, lawyers, CPA). The IRS says there are 3.8M of these, over 25% of which make $200,000+ (no breakdown for over $50k). A huge number of these self-employed-with-employees are mom & pop businesses like the local car dealer, MacDonalds, retail stores, small construction businesses, and other small non-professional business that provide lucrative incomes.

        So you take your link’s 2M “single owner only” making middle class income (>$50K) and add my roughly 3.8M and that’s roughly 5.8 million (5%), or 1 in 20 workers.

        I don’t necessarily like using Politifact, but they accept that about 10% of American workers own their business (http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/apr/13/rick-santorum/90-american-workers-dont-own-their-own-business-ri/).

        Much larger than your 1.5% number for middle class self employed…

  20. Winston
    August 6, 2016 at 9:39 am

    It’s not just a drop in the employment vs population figure, it’s about the quality of the jobs, too. A couple of graphs to show that has also dropped:



  21. Colin
    August 6, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Fed’s Labor Market Conditions negative this year.
    Construction spending down 3 straight months.
    Factory orders plunging.
    The last time these were negative for a prolonged time period? The recession. An election is coming up. I expect good numbers through the election, then an ugly number in early December so the Fed doesn’t raise rates. Even if we assume government numbers are correct, the u-6 stands at 9.7%. That’s awful.

  22. michael
    August 6, 2016 at 10:22 am

    They only have to hold up the narrative until after the election. After that watch out.

  23. RD Blakeslee
    August 6, 2016 at 10:23 am

    As you say, Wolf – definitions really matter.

    It seems to me that our most publicized ways of measuring our work and how we pay for our sustenance will need to be redefined.

    For example, how will the explosive advent of technical substitution for human labor be measured? How will humankind be sustained in the new techno-world?

    • night-train
      August 7, 2016 at 2:41 am

      RD: Your example is the $64,000 question (sorry I don’t know how to convert that to today’s currency). It is a question we all should be thinking about. Because we may see a country with an irreducible 25%+ unemployment much sooner than many wish to accept.

    • JerryBear
      August 8, 2016 at 2:38 am

      Hmmmmmm…….. Well,
      we were long told that once machines were sophisticated enough to do most of the work, we would have comfortable life styles and need only do a modest amount of work. This was the great promise of Science and Technology, a world of security, plenty, and ample leisure to invest in our human relations and in doing what we really wanted. This was the great dream of the Left and the Progressives. The technology change displacing human workers with technology is well along now. But there is no point in producing all these goods if nobody can consume them. In the end, some sort of socialistic style distribution will be necessary to guarantee that the products are used and everybody’s needs are met. To keep from going overboard on this kind of socialism,, the right to have jobs available will have to be met. Hours of labor per day and days per week will need to be limited, Holiday time and Vacation time and personal time will be enforced by law. This will force industry to hire more. It will be a relevant principle of human rights that everybody who wishes to work will be guaranteed a job of some sort available. If they allow massive unemployment to occur then end the social safety net and tell the unemployed hat they deserve to starve because they are useless, good for nothing moochers and takers, you are going to have a violent revolution….. guaranteed! Americans are not North Koreans. They are not going to go home to their hovels and quietly starve to death. They are well-armed and willing to fight. I do not know if our upper classes would come to their senses and realize they have to compromise and make concessions to the common people or not. The French aristocrats of the Old Regime didn’t and we saw what happened to them.
      Oh well, yours to a better future! ^,..,^

  24. Von
    August 6, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Is it an anomalous observation,exclusive to my experience, but is the Federal Govt engaged in preferential hiring of green card holders, particularly for health care positions?

    • August 6, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Not the government. The private sector brings in foreign workers as nurses, tech workers, etc. Not even green-card holders, but H1-b and similar visa holders. Why? Because they’re cheaper and they can’t quit their jobs easily to go work for another company, and thus they can’t complain or ask for raises….

      The Senate is investigating the abuses now.

      • Shawn
        August 6, 2016 at 3:59 pm

        The H1-B visa program is a testament to corporate greed.

      • Winston
        August 7, 2016 at 10:20 am

        “The Senate is investigating the abuses now.”

        Yeah, I’m so sure that will fix it if indeed it is a significant problem, just as the illegal alien problem will be fixed by an incredibly stupid, unnecessary, and likely totally ineffective wall rather than a small and simple word change in “8 U.S. Code § 1324a – Unlawful employment of aliens” which right now has a loophole you could drive a 20 ton truck full of illegals through, that loophole dealing with employer due diligence with respect to verifying ID authenticity authorizing hiring. Can you find it? Took me a few minutes to do so. It’s (b)(1)(A)(ii). That group of 25 year old very tanned individuals who can’t speak English present you with ID that looks authentic, but would otherwise make a reasonable person suspicious? No problem, you’re immune, and there’s certainly no need to contact anyone, let alone the INS, to investigate!


        Who is responsible for making sure the methods of 8 U.S. Code § 1324a are effective and, if not, that changes are made to it? See (d). Gosh, it’s the Prez!

        What’s that tell you about CONgress or the Prez actually fixing anything that is NOT in their OWN interest or the interest of their owners to fix?

        CONgress won’t “fix” anything that’s in their interest (a rapidly reproducing voter block dependent upon government) or that of their corporate owners (who want cheap, hard working labor that can’t complain about work conditions or leave) to NOT fix.

        THAT is exactly the problem, isn’t it?

        • polecat
          August 7, 2016 at 11:28 am


          “Say…..Mr. Senator…..”

          ..”about the new immigration legislation you’ve just endorsed ….

          …here’s a “cough” little envelope “Cough”…for you..”cough”..

  25. Bogwood
    August 6, 2016 at 11:03 am

    We are slowly working off the employment bubble of the last thirty years. It was government interference driving the employment ratio up from about 50% in the 1950s and 1960s to almost 80% at its peak. Households function poorly with everyone working in the so-called covered economy. It is more resilient to have more people in the grey or non-covered economy doing their own childcare, eldercare, lawn care, part of their medical care and part of their education. The idea that everyone should work in the formal economy is a state sponsored myth.

  26. Petunia
    August 6, 2016 at 11:55 am

    I see a huge degree of misunderstanding among the commenters on how immigrants manage to survive and thrive in America. Whether legal or illegal, immigrants have a huge advantage over citizens in the welfare, charity, and working world.

    When we lost our home and income as adults we had no access to the welfare safety net. Even though we had an underage child in our home we did not qualify for welfare, food stamps, or tax credits because we still had a small amount of assets and wouldn’t lie to get help. By the time we went thru everything, including selling our wedding rings, our son became 18 and made us all ineligible. We received a grand total of $79 in food stamps and our son was ineligible because he had a Pell Grant to attend college. After decades of working, our govt safety net was $79.

    If we had been immigrants, we would have been eligible automatically for section 8 housing at a higher level of funding than citizens. We would have been eligible for welfare, because immigrants lie about assets as well as employment. We would have taken tax credits under fictitious identities, because that’s what they do. We would have been given cash by the US govt after crossing the border illegally, I think they now get $1500. There are also a myriad of charities that will give them cash, clothing, gift cards, scholarships, medical care, etc. These are the benefits of being an immigrant in America. As a citizen I got none of this.

    The reason I am an anti-immigrant third generation Latina and pro Trump is because he is right about closing the border. The immigrants get so much free stuff that they can afford to work a low wage job and survive nicely. I saw all of this first hand while living in Florida and New York. They live in nice houses, drive new cars, have smart phones, and they take much more from the country than they give back.

    These immigrants are subsidizing the business world with the tax money of the rest of working America. Yes, they lie about working and collecting welfare. Yes, they send a lot of money back home. And yes, they cheat the system in anyway they can. No wonder they all keep coming here.

    • Nicko
      August 6, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      The solution is to grant the vast majority of the 10 million (plus) ‘illegals’ in the country citizenship (making them legal tax payers). The only reason why the US economy continues to expand at all is due to its pro-immigration policies. New Immigrants also have more children on average, replenishing the next generation and the tax base to support the social system. Trump’s dog-whistle politics is reaching the end it’s effectiveness, as evidenced by his cratering polling numbers.

      • Petunia
        August 6, 2016 at 3:09 pm

        You didn’t understand my comment. These people would continue living the way they are living because they only care about making money. They really don’t care about becoming Americans and joining the mainstream of America. Citizenship would only make traveling back and forth easier and allow them to bring the rest of their families.

        I think you and the people I was addressing have a hard time comprehending the level of criminality in the immigrant communities.

        • TheBloomIsOffTheRose
          August 8, 2016 at 3:02 am

          I have employed and worked with a number of Hispanic immigrants, primarily from Mexico and have a very different experience of their lives and entitlements. These workers live in the poorest parts of town, with several families sharing an apartment – often 4 or 5 to a room. They eat the cheapest food they can find, go to the laundromat, do without dental care and get very poor medical care. They work multiple jobs. They make do with very little yet are happy. Having worked with them for decades, I have seen no “criminality”. Only the desire to work, care for their families and be at peace with others.

          To me, your description is a work of fiction or propaganda.

        • JerryBear
          August 8, 2016 at 3:17 am

          I live in one of the most Hispanic areas in this country, both immigrants and people whose families have lived here for centuries. The immigrants I see work long and hard for little, but it is still ten times what they could get in Mexico. We have one of the lowest rates of violent crime in the country. People are poor here but you seldom see destitution. Poor areas have small, cinder block houses. But they are well kept up and freshly painted with nice little gardens. Some people come here to work to earn money to help their impoverished families back home. They are diligent honest humble and hard working. Here, they can get 10 dollars for a day of long hard work as opposed to one dollar in Mexico they cannot survive upon. Many others are committed to making a life in this country and are extremely proud to be Americans when they finally achieve citizenship.

          Petunia, you have bought into nonsensical bigoted stereotypes by people like Donald Trump who seek power by deceiving people like you with vicious lies.
          You know nothing about real immigrants!
          You really

    • August 6, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      Time for some due diligence regarding Trump. You won’t have to look far, as it’s all over the place. Trump is mobbed up (Russian and Jewish) plus he’s nothing but a schemer and scammer who doesn’t pay his bills, employees or creditors.

      This nation is in for some rough times and it’s going to take more than the next savior, messiah or sugar daddy to dig us out of the hole we’ve dug.

      Responsible self governance is a big job and after 240 years, it’s fair to say we’re failing miserably. This thing is going to blow and when it does the most we can hope for is some of us will be able to start picking up the pieces and go forward.

      We’re optimistic long term, but extremely pessimistic regarding the short haul.

      • Petunia
        August 7, 2016 at 11:00 am

        While I still support Trump, he made a big booboo picking the head of Colony Starwood, a big corporate house renter, to be on his economic policy board. Colony Starwood is among the most hated companies in Florida. Possibly even more hated, by now, than Comcast.

        This choice might cost Trump thousands of voters in Florida and other states where they operate. I think they are in CA and AZ too.

        There are other bad choices on the board as well. Steven Moore, who is a GOP shill, and David Malpass a Bear Stearns economist. This is an even scarier bunch than Buffet, Soros, and Gates on the Hillary team.

  27. Leonard H
    August 6, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    I just finished reading “Dark Money” and got an enlighten view
    of the Shadow Government running our country. I don’t think
    anything is going to change for a very long time.

    • Drumpfabooie
      August 7, 2016 at 1:40 am

      Is Dark Money anything like Anatomy of the Deep State over at Bill Moyers?

      You know what we just saw? That if you are experienced at rigging elections, well versed at colluding with the media, capable of stealing and purging votes, a good liar and excellent at conspiring, then you can turn in a resignation in disgrace one day and immediately get another job. Maybe Debbie Wasserman Schultz will write a book about that.

  28. Thomas Malthus
    August 6, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Then of course there is this:

    The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment

    Here’s something that many Americans — including some of the smartest and most educated among us — don’t know: The official unemployment rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, is extremely misleading.

    Right now, we’re hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is “down” to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.

    None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news — currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast “falling” unemployment.

    Read the rest here:


    • Petunia
      August 7, 2016 at 10:39 am

      While I don’t believe the national unemployment figures either, I am now seeing that unemployment is totally regional in the US. While living in Florida my guess was that unemployment there was at least 25%. Now living in the southern oil patch, I think here it is much closer to the national figure of about 5%.

      They are two totally different economies and I believe this contributes to the lack of understanding in the national discourse. The people here have no idea how bad the financial crisis was in the rest of the country. They seem to have been totally untouched by it.

  29. Guido
    August 6, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    The comment about India lacks profundity, to put it very nicely.

    If you go to India, you will realize there are two kinds. The educated folks with high paying jobs and then the rest. The ones who “poo where they eat” are the poor people who don’t show up in the US unless they are really talented and hard working. And that too on some kind of scholarships.

    Then there are the upper middle class people, which now a days seems to be pretty much anybody with a job with a large corporation. These are the ones who understand the concept of investment in education. They spend a lot of money coaching their kids to get into good schools. Then they take loans to send their kids to good schools here. It is a very well understood process, so the risk factor of getting rejected is very low.

    These people then get into high tech jobs and repay the loans incurred for the 1.5 years in Masters. They recover their principal pretty soon.

    Now, thanks to Obama, their spouses can work almost 3 months after a green card application is filed. If the spouse is not well qualified to be placed in the high tech job, s/he will work in Macys.

    There is no point in blaming the poor middle class fellow in India. It is people like Zuck and Gates that have asked for and got their wishes to hire well-to-do Indians.

    • August 6, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      hahahahahahahhaha whatever you say, anonymous individual.

      glaring omission of credentials and poor grammar aside, i’m going to shred you because you sound exactly the snake i’m talking about.

      i don’t care if you mob, fam, these animals don’t belong in the Realms, got it? you clearly need a lesson, so sit down my son.

      as a sort of preamble, i want to mention your usage if “class” is wrong. it’s CASTE, and it’s determined by some primitive thinking that still dominates the country today. to its credit, it has maintained order better than the government, but that has come at significant costs. a little bit more on this later.

      okay first of all, your entire post assumes that there is some admissible comparison of india’s infrastructure to the “first world” they’re sneaking into.
      who says the Indian education system is at all sophisticated enough to be comparable to the first world?

      not i. but i’ll play along because this is fun.

      “Then there are the upper middle class people, which now a days seems to be pretty much anybody with a job with a large corporation. These are the ones who understand the concept of investment in education. They spend a lot of money coaching their kids to get into good schools. Then they take loans to send their kids to good schools here. It is a very well understood process, so the risk factor of getting rejected is very low..”

      “spend a lot of money coaching their kids to get into good schools”, as in “cheating”, right?


      here’s a weak article from the WSJ about foreigners and cheating (hindus are just the best at it): http://www.wsj.com/articles/foreign-students-seen-cheating-more-than-domestic-ones-1465140141

      this treachery is so well documented and sort of understandable; to thrive in such a treacherous and impoverished country requires one to do extreme things. the class you speak of is non-existent, and the training you speak of is actually cheating.

      would you like to talk about the alleged “Father of Nutritional Immunology” who came to Canada in the mid 80s, purchased an Order of Canada, and proceeded to publish in the Lancet, only later to be found out as the biggest fraud?


      not only was this man a fraud, he then wasted taxpayer money with 50 court days trying to sue the broadcasting network for rightfully reporting this issue to the public. this man is probably the most prestigious hindu scholar to ever enter the first world, and look at what he was. this is a system where the most treacherous can only survive, and Chandra clearly wasn’t devious enough as he was caught for cheating AND lost the libel lawsuit. even after losing, this man will maintain he did no wrong.

      it’s laughable and arguably demonstrative of the primitive mechanisms that have been reinforced from being raised in a treacherous climate.

      i mean, let’s be clear here: you clearly don’t know who you’re talking to, and you think i am not familiar with the (previously unmentioned) mannerisms that resulted in my criticism that you’re refuting.
      hindus arrive in the first world under Caste, meaning they are subservient to someone. if you look at the structure it becomes clear as to what is going on.

      i’m not going into it here, but it should be clear there is a power structure. the John Walsh CNN episode about the biggest Mandir in the US (TEXAS), should be a little informative too.

      before i continue my “diatribe”, i am going to finish you off here

      “These people then get into high tech jobs and repay the loans incurred for the 1.5 years in Masters. They recover their principal pretty soon.”

      what “high tech jobs”? you do not do processor design or anything sophisticated that the United States used to do. are you talking about those spiffy “high tech” jobs in the pharmaceutical industry?


      notice how sanitation is mentioned as an issue? to suggest these sorts of jobs are for “everyone”, and therefore result in many individuals’ education being paid off, is unbelievable.

      the sanitation issues alone suggest maintaining a clean working area is difficult enough, and now adding tens (hundreds) of thousands of “high tech” graduates who are productive (and thus pay off their loan) is hard to believe.

      apparently you feel your insight was both timeless and superior to the great James Mill and Sir Winston Churchill, but i am having a hard time you’re anything close.

      i think i hit on everything i want to.

      • night-train
        August 7, 2016 at 3:03 am

        Please troll somewhere else.

        • JerryBear
          August 8, 2016 at 3:55 am

          I stand with Night Train. We don’t need long incoherent rants like that!

    • Petunia
      August 7, 2016 at 10:18 am

      I don’t disagree with what you are saying but you have a very superficial view of the Indian H1B immigration problem. I worked with Indians in the high tech field before H1Bs and saw a little of what went on, which has now exploded into a big problem.

      Firstly they are not all well educated. Many go to diploma mills in India and use the inflated grades and course work to get scholarships they don’t deserve here in America. They practice the caste system in their own communities and in the workplace. Once an Indian gets into a supervisory position you can expect them to hire Indians first. I would bet you can see this now all over Silicon Valley.

      This is part of the problem with immigration I was complaining about in my previous post. The problem with jobs in American has a lot to do with the preference shown to immigrants. This is another aspect of it.

      • Fisherman
        August 8, 2016 at 7:01 am

        What is interesting is that if you now look at the ethnic group that are the CTO’s (tech heads) of almost ALL Fortune 500 companies, and increasingly Fortune 1000 companies, they are Indian.

        Additionally, I do have some friends who’ve been working in a few Fortune 500 companies for 30+ years whom also are involved with hiring and you know what is going on? With jobs involving Indian “input/review” for job candidates, if the candidate is not Indian (this means “white”, “black”, Chinese especially) are automatically given negatives. Where a negative has no basis, the “bad feeling” negative is used instead.

        I’m actually looking forward to the problems all these companies will be experiencing in the not too distant future. They are already having trouble innovating and creating (which used to be a strong point of companies). Looks like buy-backs and the immediate bottom line is not teaching one to fish.

        • JerryBear
          August 10, 2016 at 3:41 am

          I am a professional teacher of mathematics and something of a mathematician myself. I have participated in discussion groups for mathematics on Face Book and elsewhere. The level of mathematical knowledge among supposed mathematical students from the Subcontinent (counting Pakistan too) is just abysmal. i had to give up the Face Book group because it got so full of trivialities and nonsense. I have met an Indian in Taiwan who was really sharp, but he was not from a high caste and had no chance to study in the U.S. You run into a similar class problem in the Arab world. The really talented people usually come from the lower classes and as a result their opportunities are limited, Instead, these opportunities are given to the arrogant, entitled, and generally worthless scions of the upper classes whose only real accomplishment was to be born to privilege. This happens in a large part of the Third World and is one of the primary reasons these areas remain destitute backwards and stagnant.
          I hope what we do on here helps prevent such a thing from happening here.

  30. Jonathan
    August 6, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Who on the street actually thinks official employment statistics other than lies, more lies, and bogus statistics.

  31. night-train
    August 7, 2016 at 3:07 am

    This is what you apologize for? How about apologizing for being a bigot who spews classless invective?

  32. J P Frogbottom
    August 7, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Yes, very often after being “downsized”, “right-sized”, “”terminated”, “permanently laid-off”, whatever the euphemism, your next employment often pays less -significantly less- that the job you left.

    Wait until we get the TPP into place, not only will you make every less, you will be lucky to even HAVE a job.

    Then the smart US based companies, will invert to a foreign land charging less taxes, screwing our national treasury, and ultimately leading to a decrease in the “safety nets” of unemployment, social security, and medical care.

    Ummm… did you see minimum wages go up nationally? me neither…

    Really think it has been a race to the bottom? It has barely even started yet.

    • JerryBear
      August 8, 2016 at 3:59 am

      To put it another way, however high the building you jump off of and however well you do on the way down, sooner or later you are going to meet the pavement below…..

  33. Chicken
    August 7, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Perhaps it’s not politically incorrect to discriminate based on age, it is politically incorrect to discriminate based on anything else.

    So immigration accounts for almost 1/2 of population growth and this must be a tail wind for corporate profits, no?

    • Jonathan
      August 7, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      Gotta love how corporates beating their chests about equal opportunity from here to the end of the universe while enacting a no-disclosure policy about their hiring procedures. That’s really rich.

      “We will never disclose this information, but we are definitely not discriminating against anyone!”

  34. DV
    August 8, 2016 at 9:52 am

    It does look like the economy has been growing in line with the population growth at best (i.e. no real growth). The job apparently underperformed the population growth. God knows what happens if another recession hits.

  35. Annoyed Boomer 1962
    August 8, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    We’ve been fed farcical economic information for at least 12 years (probably as far back as 9/11 and the dot com crash shortly before). The government and banking cartel have been kicking the can the street for years. It’s only a matter of time before the chickens come home to roost, only us tax payers and our progeny will pay for an accumulation of bad decisions, corporate greed and government corruption for years to come.

    To zoom in a bit on the topic at hand, the SF Bay Area/Silicon Valley with all of it’s unicorn start-ups and tech companies isn’t such a rosey place as it’s cracked up to be. I’m 55 and have been laid off by a tech company, along with 80 other co-workers who appeared to be over 40. I personally know 6 other individuals (all in tech field, some w/STEM degrees) , all former co-workers from another company in their mid-fifties who also have been laid off in the last 6 months. Hmmmm. Never seen that before. Something is unraveling here in the Bay Area/Silicon Valley. I can only speculate as to what’s going on, but it’s difficult to pin point facts and figures under the fluff of published government reports along with the bubbly stock market and astronomical real estate values (I’m speaking of real estate in the SF Bay Area)

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