For the millions of unemployed Americans who are looking for a job, this economy is still a historic fiasco. And it’s getting worse again.
California is at it again. It released its employment and jobs reports today, in parallel with the national reports released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What a doozie. Is the California boom already over?
“There is never a good time to raise the minimum wage,” explained Joseph Sabia, an associate professor of economics at San Diego State University. The Capitol Hill briefing was co-sponsored by the Employment Policies Institute, which is tied to the fast-food industry.
The Fed uses the easing unemployment rate as proof that its heroic policies are successful and that Bernanke could ride off into the sunset with a nimbus above his head. Other official measures are less gung-ho. And the most important one has become the Fed’s nightmare.
Today’s employment report is special. Exactly five years ago, the Fed kicked off its zero interest rate policy and QE to create the “wealth effect”: the elite would borrow for free and buy assets to drive up asset prices and make those people immensely rich; in return, they’d spend some crumbs of this new wealth, which would create jobs, say, at luxury retailers.
There are millions of people in that category. And their numbers are growing, not diminishing.
If you come to San Francisco or Silicon Valley and look around, you’d think California is booming, that companies jump through hoops to hire people, that they douse them with money, stock options, and free lunches. And some do. But in other parts of the state?
By Lee Adler, The Wall Street Examiner: Overlaying raw employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics with the Fed’s balance sheet offers surprising insights. Brief must-see video with excellent chart and explanation. Somebody should send it to Yellen.
By Don Quijones: Despite a miraculous economic “recovery,” EU-wide youth unemployment hit 24%. New records were set in Spain (56.5%), Greece (57.3%), Italy (40%), and France (26%). The warnings from history are clear: governments that allow youth unemployment to escalate, do so at their own peril.
In terms of announced mass layoffs, 2013 is shaping up to be the best year since 1997. Overall, employers aren’t shedding lots of jobs. But glitter in some sectors covers up aggressive, permanent job destruction in other sectors – where the sky used to be the limit.