Thursday, January 5, 2012

Worms, the good kind and the bad kind

The biggest payroll processing firm is estimating that the private sector created 325,000 jobs in December. This would be consistent with the weekly jobless claims number that have been remaining well under 400,000 for several weeks. Conservative business news outlets are suggesting this estimate be taken with a grain of salt, and that we should wait for the government survey of employers coming out tomorrow. The thing about that employer survey number is that it has been deviating further and further from the Labor Dept survey of actual working households. According to actual workers, the private sector created 500,000 jobs in November. Tomorrow could be a bad day for Republicans when the December numbers come out.

Reports from the manufacturing sector suggest strong growth in December with this being the 29th straight month of improvement. Of course new US manufacturing jobs only pay $15/hour if you’re lucky. Manufacturing jobs in Germany pay $56/hour. Their new unemployment numbers are the lowest since Mr Gorbachev tore down that wall. Here the Republicans who take credit for the reunification of Germany even though they had nothing to do with it, are getting ever richer while the middle class descends to the level of East Germany. Maybe Mr Gorbachev could be persuaded to hook us up with Germany, or maybe it’s time to march our own Ceausescu types out in front of the tanks. (Romania 1989)
Mitt Romney’s spokesman says he created 100,000 jobs while the head of Bain Capital. They give no numbers for how many jobs were destroyed by Mitt deliberately bankrupting companies after stripping them of their assets to take as booty (I mean profit). The bulk of the jobs he claims that he “created” were at the office supply chain Staples, but this was not any sort of innovation that created new jobs. This was simply the Walmart-ization of the office supply business destroying thousands of mom and pop businesses that had provided excellent pay for generations. Now the next generation can work for minimum wage, or even if they managed to go college, half of them are unemployed or working at Staples.

Out here on the prairie, global warming is working quite nicely. It was 61 degrees this evening, shattering all previous records. The farmer across the road is running a Caterpillar to groom his drainage. Normally the temperature would be between 30 degrees and minus 20 this time of year and the ground  frozen rock solid several feet deep. The night crawlers are still on top of the ground; I could catch some and go fishing. The regular kind of fishing; there‘s no ice; that is if the fish were safe to eat. You can eat worms; they’re high in protein. I keep a few chickens, they think the worms are more tasty.


Anonymous said...

All the economic news is positive - employment is up in December!

But has anyone noticed this is all temporary for Christmas? This is just like when people were employed for the census. Expect an 'unexpected' increase in unemployment in January.

prairie2 said...

These are seasonally adjusted numbers, the un-adjusted numbers are quite different. That doesn't mean you can't have a down turn in January, but the advanced indicators are positive. The lack of a manufacturing base makes the US economy quite volatile.