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In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The February 2013 Jobs Report

Here is the February 2013 employment situation report from the BLS:

Key Highlights:

- The unemployment rate dropped to a new, four-year low of 7.7%. Non-farm employers added 236,000 new jobs, beating analysts' predictions.

- The number of unemployed persons edged downward to 12 million in February.

- The civilian labor force participation rate dropped to 63.5% form 63.6% in January.

- The "not in labor force" count (those who have no job and have stopped looking for work) increased by 296,000 from 89,008,000 in January to 89,304,000 in February.

- The number of persons employed for part-time economic reasons (those that are considered part-time involuntary workers) rose by 15,000 to 7,988,000.

- Average hourly earnings rose by 4 cents. The 12-month average for hourly earnings have risen at a 2.1% yearly rate.

The change in total non-farm payroll employment for December was revised upward from +196,000 to +219,000, and the change for January was revised downward from +157,000 to +119,000.

What's your take on these figures? To me, the number of new jobs added is a slight plus, but it is overridden by the decrease in the civilian population force (-130,000) and the not-in-labor-force number (+296,000). It appears, again, that many people simply gave up looking for work, and the new jobs created (when coupled with January for an average of 177,000) is barely enough to keep up with the growth in population. I'm sure the media will LOVE this report, but when you look at it, it's not all peaches. 


  1. Hi LME : )

    Of course the lame steam media tout this drop as a 'Victory for 0's 'policies'. It's certainly a sign - of something, but looking at the stock market, I'm not sure it's as great a sign as they're promoting.

    Call me crazy, but those market numbers today - are about where they were in '08 - just before the 'crash'. I also read that 'billionaires' are pulling OUT of the market. I'm totally ignorant in this arena, but I can look back at 'things that have gone before'.

    Add in Bernanke's QE-Infinity - printing $85B out of thin air each and every month, to buy up our OWN debt, and I get a sneaking feeling those stock market numbers a quite possibly 'artificial'.

    They also don't factor in that PART of the drop in the participation rate is due to retirement of 10,000 Baby Boomers each month. Those people are now RECEIVING instead of PAYING IN. Yes, they paid into the 'system' - but THAT money was wasted LONG ago and it's now got to come from 'somewhere'.

    I have a hunch the banks that are getting those Bernanke Bucks are NOT loaning, due to the low return rate on interest... and they ARE investing in the market instead. THAT looks like a house of cards to me.

    They also say housing is coming back? Maybe, but Fanny and Freddy are up to their same old same old 3% down payment... which is PART of what caused the problem in the first place. It 'appears' they've tightened the income requirements - ie: you actually have to HAVE a j.o.b. before they loan - BUT as I said before, their idea of acceptable percentage of loan amount to income is WAY too high IMO.

    Their 43% leaves VERY LITTLE wriggle room for family emergencies - and NOTHING left over to stash 'for a rainy day'... which should NOT surprise me - after all - they're the GOV.

    All in all, I'm going with 'cautiously optimistic'. 'Just in case' I've been stocking up on stuff like - T.P. and coffee : )

  2. Hey Lme this is Patrice. I think your analysis is spot on. My take on it though is that it is good news. Not great not amazing but good news. All I want is for Dems and Reps to come up with a long term reasonable budget. If business's knew that the government had their shit together I think we would see much better growth.