Employment Figures Mislead

The recent report of newly created jobs and a low unemployment rate have renewed claims that the U.S. is facing a labor shortage, one requiring more foreign workers. Paul Craig Roberts, an economist who served as undersecretary of the Treasury during the Reagan Administration, has a much different take:

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the U.S. economy created 148,000 new private sector jobs during July.  The jobs number does not translate into employed people as increasingly Americans hold two or more jobs.  For example, the BLS reports that from June to July the number of multiple job holders rose by 233,000 which is 85,000 more than the 148,000 new private sector jobs.  What we are seeing is not more people employed, but more multiple job holders. Since May the number of multiple job holders has increased by 534,000.  https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t09.htm 

“The claim of a falling rate of unemployment over the past decade is inconsistent with the falling labor force participation rate. Normally, when employment prospects are good the labor force participation rate increases.  To explain away the inconsistency, economists claim that the decline in the labor force participation rate reflects the increased retirements of the baby boomer generation.  However, the  BLS reported that the labor force participation rate for older workers of retirement age surged to the highest level in 7 years.”

Read more at paulcraigroberts.org  

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