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Friday, May 4, 2012

The April 2012 Jobs Report

Here is the April 2012 employment situation report from the BLS:

Key Highlights:

- The unemployment rate fell to 8.1% though private, non-farm employers added only 115,000 new jobs. 154,000 jobs were added in March. Employment gains averaged 252,000 from December through February.

- The number of unemployed persons remained steady at 12.5 million.

- The civilian labor force participation rate dropped to 63.6% from 63.8% as 522,000 people left the workforce all together in March.

- The unemployment rate is 14.5% if you include those who were looking for work but dropped out and are no longer counted in the labor force.

Share your thoughts, feelings, and analysis below.

*** Be sure to vote in the new weekly LME April Jobs poll on the left ***    


  1. How to fix the economy the Obama way:

    Attempt to make things better by spending nearly $5T in debt in 3 years... fail.

    Brag about how the unemployment rate falls when in reality, so many people are so down and forlorn they give up... fail.

    Divide the country into classes based on wealth... fail.

    The only way to get around this is to let a tiny-government president take over. Government is not the solution.

    1. Good morning Tex,

      My questions/concerns to you would be:

      - Spending
      The new spending bills pioneered by Obama actually have only totaled to <$1.5T (the economic stimulus and the payroll tax cut).

      - Class warfare
      Has this not been going on since the Reagan era? The only difference was that before, the poor were villianized (research Reagan’s campaign against the ‘welfare queen’) and blamed for our economic and spending problems. Which by the way, is still happening to this day.

      I don’t see how ‘class warfare’ against the poor is any kind of a different ‘class warfare’ against the rich.

      The fact of the matter is, both are wrong.

      If we taxed the rich into oblivion, we’d still be running hundred-billion-dollar deficits (as I’m sure you know and agree). Likewise though, completely eliminating food stamps and welfare/unemployment would also still leave us with hundred-billion-dollar deficits.

      - Tiny Government
      I’m always curious on where this logic of tiny government = solved economic problems comes from.

      Most economists agree that a major role of healthy government is to help dull the impacts of a recession/depression. This is agreed upon through both many Democrats and Republicans; it’s just that typically Republicans wish to spend through tax cuts and Democrats through other measures such as unemployment benefit extensions and such.

      Additionally, austerity measures during a delicate economy have never once proven to foster its recovery. Both due again to the above, and it has been demonstrated well in history. The European Union has shown this lately as well, as they experience a double dip shortly after enacting their major austerity problems.

      I can understand the argument for a tiny government vs a large one in general, but I don’t understand the idea of transitioning from a large to a tiny during an economic downturn. Unless you believe the potential risk of a double dip recession (or depression) is worth the transition.

    2. Good morning Rken

      To answer (and it seems you're very set in your views and not open to outside contrary opinions, which is fine), you seem great at spinning anything. It's not an insult at all, trust me.

      Yes, those are the spending bills. Regard;ess, Obama has spent an average of $1.3T more per year than he has taken in in spite of his promise to cut this number in half. What do we have to show for it? I will concede, some jobs, but not even close to being healthy and not even close to his promises. So now on top of a lukewarm recovery, we have debt debt debt. I don't see how that can be spun away.

      The only real point you made about class warfare is that it's wrong. To try to spin the current situation away by citing something from the past does nothing. I'm looking at now, and it's divisive and wrong.

      True, taxing the rich isn't the way to solve anything. Cutting off food stamps now isn't the way either. But, they should be cut away, because all they do is, yes, help people temporarily while making them dependent and disenfranchised with working hard for themselves.

      Tiny government - yes. Isn't this the way it was supposed to be? And absolutely not, the government should have no involvement in the business cycle. It should remain on the sidelines. If the economy booms, it should stay out. If it falters, it should stay out. The economy goes up and down, but having the government interfere is only a way to shift and expand the power of the government. And no, you cannot spend through tax cuts. If I had to take a pay cut at work, that's not a spending mechanism. Please stop saying that. The GOP wants tax cuts because putting MORE money back into the economy is better for the economy than taking more money out of it. Keynesian economics is a terrible way to look at things, and we are seeing that now.

      Austerity has NOTHING to do with the crisis in Europe. The European crisis is due primarily to 2 things. The commonization of a currency (the Euro) among many, many different cultures, work ethics, backgrounds, and 2, incentive-squashing, live off the government policies.

      If a double dip recession hurt because of a small government, so be it. Small government would mean a need for less government revenues. This would mean lower taxes, which would put more money into people's pockets, which would mean more spending and an increasing economy. The best thing the government can do is move out of the way. I don't want a big government, and I don't want my liberties and the economic liberties of this country stifled any more.

  2. All right......the unemployment rate dropped again. Yee haw, happy days are here again. All hail and praise to Ceaser 0bammus.

    Boy those shovel ready jobs in that Stimulus Bill are finally kicking in. Of course people just trading their unemployment benefits for Social Security disability is a big help to 0bama too.

    Hype & Blame 2012

    1. Good morning, 32slim32!

      Interesting article. I hadn't even thought of looking at that connection.

      Additionally, the article say says 342,000 workers left the labor force, but the number, according to page 4 of the BLS report says it's actually 522K. Either way, it's still bad.

      Also, to you, Texas and RKen: did you guys vote in our poll?

    2. Good morning to you as well LME. It is FRIDAY.

      What a good deal huh? What is their disability? The inability to find gainful employment?

  3. Tex:

    I wouldn’t be reading this blog if I wasn’t open to contrary opinions. :)

    And I certainly wouldn’t bother asking questions/engaging in discussion if that was the case.

    I don’t disagree with Obama, as the POTUS, being at the very least partially responsible for the country and its debt/spending while it is under his watch. That wasn't my argument though. I just feel there’s a lot of confusion on how many new spending bills Obama has actually pioneered, which is why I wished to clarify the ~$1.3T part. You may feel it’s irrelevant, but I don’t.

    **Class warfare**
    I wasn’t attempting to spin the class warfare discussion off-topic. My problem with that part of the discussion, is I can’t agree with the contradiction in fighting against the other side incorrectly blaming the rich, while continuing to incorrectly blame the poor.

    Like I said, it is wrong. And both sides should stop it. But you can’t fairly demand the other side stops while you continue to do it yourself. Liberals can’t sit there and blame the rich for problems, but then be upset when conservatives blame the poor for problems. Likewise, conservatives can’t sit and blame the poor for problems, and then be upset when liberals blame the rich for problems.

    For both sides, it is senseless arguing in circles, and just plain incorrect when it comes to the topic of where our spending is really going. All it really does is distract from the real issues and promote useless blame games.

    I never said that the European crisis was caused by austerity; I said that the continuation of their ballooned struggles in recovery very recently were at least in part caused by it.

    I’d like to see sources that recommend otherwise, because I’ve yet to find any.

    Cutting taxes is a form of spending cuts. The pay cut example isn't equivalent, because you don't decide when you take a pay cut (like the government does); it is from outside forces. Your example is more closely related to the logic of someone arguing "government revenues decreasing is a spending cut."

    If you like, as a recent example search for the payroll tax cut, and see why it was held up this year. It was because there was a disagreement between the parties on how to pay for the payroll tax cut. Key phrase there, being “pay for the tax cut.” Our legislative body seems to agree that tax cuts have to be paid for, somehow.

    Also, no matter what government we have, it _has_ to respond to changes in our economy.

    The level of response of course can differ, but the fact of the matter is that even with a tiny government, tax revenues will fall during a recession/depression.

    This means that taxes either have to be raised to keep running the tiny government, or the tiny government has to find places to cut. It also has the option of incurring debt, but ultimately that still leads to the same situation down the road (either raise taxes or cut spending). Of course though, when the government is already tiny, cutting further might not even be an option.

  4. Another interesting little tid bit from the April Jobs numbers. On Table A found here:

    Notice how even after "adding" 115,000 jobs that the number of EMPLOYED people DECREASED by 169,000. There are now 169,000 less Americans with a job, another 522,000 who either quit looking for work or got on disability and we are supposed to celebrate the creation of 115,000 jobs and the rate dropping to 8.1%?

    Didn't we actually LOSE jobs if 115k were created and 169k lost, isn't that like a NET of -54,000 jobs?

  5. This administration's manipulation of the jobs numbers leads me to believe that THEY think WE are stupid. Unfortunately, looking at Obama's current poll numbers, it appears that you can 'fool SOME people ALL of the time.'

    President Downgrade PROMISED that HE'D get unemployment below 8%. By slight of hand and crookedness, he's bound and determined to MAKE it LOOK like he got it there... and then he'll puff out his chest and crow - 'Look at ME, look at what I, I, I, did'

    NOW... he wants ANOTHER stimulus bill! Good Grief! Those in the Ivory Tower can't even show We the People where they spent MOST of Stimulus One OR Son of Stimulus... and he wants another? And yes, I know that Stim. One was (lame duck) Pres. Bush - with the hysterical prodding of Obama, the Dems and a few like minded RHINO'S (like McCain.)

    'We need money for Infrastructure!' Obama wails. 'Fix our schools, and put people back to work!' he cries. BACON/DAVIS ASSURES that government 'infrastructure' jobs go to ONE sector - and ONE sector only... THE UNIONS! ... slow, shoddy work, many delays - MUCH higher cost!

    Ex: A small elementary school, in Vegas, took TWO years to build with union labor. A massive hotel casino, in the same area, with mostly NON-union labor, was finished and OPEN in LESS than a year! ('Mostly' b/c, even in Right to Work NV, the unions have a choke hold on certain trades.)

    And let's not even TALK about the astronomic increase in SS Disability claims! A blind man can see this is FRAUD on an already strained system, and no one seems to care! There ARE people who CANNOT work and NEED Disability and I have NO problem with them.. But what? Did all of these NEW people suddenly develop debilitating/life threatening allergies... to WORK?

    And businesses HAVE jobs that they CANNOT fill! Applicants are turning them down due to the fact that the STARTING salary is ONLY $11.00 an hour - for UNskilled positions with pay while the business trains them and a RAISE once they're fully trained!

    I don't get it!


    You said, "If you like, as a recent example search for the payroll tax cut, and see why it was held up this year. It was because there was a disagreement between the parties on how to pay for the payroll tax cut. Key phrase there, being “pay for the tax cut.” Our legislative body seems to agree that tax cuts have to be paid for, somehow."

    That tax cuts 'have to be paid for somehow' are the direct result of no one (on either side) having the guts to actually CUT spending. They sit up there in their Ivory Tower and they ALL have 'pet programs' that they spout 'are absolutely necessary'. The TRUTH is that they're necessary for one simple insure THEIR own re-election.

    I think it was Rand Paul that came up with the Penny Plan - in which they would cut a TINY percentage from EACH and EVERY program across the board (I think it was 1%) EVERY year. The plan, as presented would remove the deficit in 10 years. Did we hear any more, did we even get to investigate it further? *crickets*

    The bottom line that no one talks about is employment and tax revenue are entwined.

    Less jobs = less tax revenue.

    More jobs = more revenue - even at an across the board lower tax rate (flat tax : )

    If the gov would just get their grubby, greedy fingers OUT of the economy, and STOP with their costly schemes to 'fix' it, it CAN and WILL self correct.