New unemployment claims were up sharply and have not in three years to dropped to levels where you could think jobs were being created. Yet the government survey says 151,000 jobs were created October. The apparent contradiction is accounted for by where the jobs were created, almost entirely in temp services, retail and health care. Corporations continue to pad the bottom line by firing people and replacing them with cheaper workers.
Even though overall they are hiring more people, the high unemployment rate gives corporations the leverage they need to drive down wages. The latest scam, cutting nursing home workers from $10/hour to $8 because Obamacare cut Medicare payments, this is not true of course, nursing homes continue to be highly profitable and are a growth industry.
Temp workers accounted for 35,000 new jobs mostly in October with strong demand for professionals in accounting, IT and finance. All used to be good paying middle-class jobs but no longer. Retail is hiring on stronger sales but they are up on heavy discounting and those jobs are not likely exist after inventory is sold down again after Christmas. The fundamentals of the economy are getting worse and not better.
You can expect to find bargains at Christmas if you still have money to spend, especially on Chinese made products (the renminbi is still tied to the USD) but your canned goods and such will be going up with the weak dollar and from Wall Street using its free money from the Federal Reserve to run up the commodity markets. Obama could force commodity traders to have higher margin reserves and that would drop oil prices back down close to the cost of production that is around $30 a barrel or less.
Gold set a new record, closing in on $1400/oz and oil is edging toward $90/barrel (3 times what it should be). But Wall Street has to make money somehow, you can’t expect rich people to go out and get jobs in this economy.