Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, March 9, 2012

Unemployment In Handy Chart Form

The US added 227,000 jobs in February, leaving the unemployment rate at 8.3%.  Not as good as the January numbers.  Needless to say, the RNC, Cantor and Boehner have all said that this isn't good enough.

Well, no shit, Sherlock.  But why are the numbers not improving as fast as we'd like?

Via Bonddad, here are some charts.

First, we have manufacturing jobs.  This chart will show that manufacturing, despite being in a strong recovery and selling more product, has not really increased its hiring.

Because housing hasn't picked up, we're looking at basic manufacturing.  Those "jobs" are being replaced by robots.  Screw you, robots.

The service sector of the economy is doing well.  They are hiring and are accounting for most of the job growth.

That's a good looking chart.

Both of those charts are positive.  So why isn't employment going up?

Let's look at government sector jobs.

So, the government sector is still shrinking.  This is the product of austerity, of balanced budget amendments and "starve the beast" thinking.  This is what happens when you have people saying crap like, "The government has never created a job."  (That big spike is census hiring.)

If we weren't laying off teachers and other public sector jobs, we'd be looking at 7.5% unemployment, at least.

Instinctively, we assume that only manufacturing or agriculture are "real" jobs.  Because they make "stuff", and "stuff" is what makes the economy run.  But with the extraordinary improvements in mechanization and productivity, we still make a ton of "stuff".  

A job is simply a say of adding value to the economy as a whole while also accruing value to your self.  A job that has you working caseloads of children at risk is just as worthy as a job that has you building TVs.  

Until we realize that government jobs are jobs, we will continue to have a soft job recovery.

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