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The trend has continued for the past 5 years, as there aren't enough jobs to keep pace with natural population growth for high school and college graduates. And of the new jobs being created, an ever increasing number are part-time low-wage jobs without benefits in the service and retail industries.

The better jobs might be found in the healthcare industry with an aging population; but  more and more of the high-tech jobs seem to be going to H-B1 visa applicants.

Older workers who were laid off during the recession may never work again, as those jobs are going to younger workers.

And there doesn't appear to be any change in the future, as China's middle-class continues to grow. For America, the job market looks very bleak for this, and for the next generation of U.S. workers.

40 years ago we could graduate (or drop out) of high school and get a job in a local factory paying a "living wage" --- and if we so chose, could work there all our life. And most college graduates were almost guaranteed to succeed. But those days are long gone.

Unemployment & Stocks (December 2007 to April 2013)

I super-imposed (scaled to fit) an unemployment chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to a Google Finance chart of the Dow Jones to show the correlation of the stock market to the unemployment rate from the start of the recession to the present --- CHART HERE.

Also, there are links below (related to the numbers in the time-line on the chart) for new Social Security recipients (both for disability and retirements) and for new high school graduates during that same period of time (from December 2007 to April 2013).

Quick facts that are noted in the time-line of the chart:

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics currently reports 11.7 million Americans as unemployed. The U-3 unemployment rate is 7.6%.

  • There are 7.6 million who are working part time because their hours were cut or they were unable to find a full-time job. The U-6 unemployment rate is 13.8%.

  • According to an article in the New York Times, there are 5.8 million fewer Americans working full time since the start of the recession in December 2007 (About the same number as jobs created since March 2010).

  • Since the start of the recession, there has been an increase of 2.8 million Americans working part time. And a loophole in ObamaCare® might only make it worse, creating many more part-time jobs.

  • According to the  Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 8.7 million jobs were already lost between the start of the recession in December of 2007 and June of 2009.

  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, only 5.87 million new jobs were created since March 2010 to the present (when the U.S. finally began adding "net new jobs" after continued monthly losses).

  • The unemployed rate peaked at 10.2% in October 2009 when 15.9 million Americans were reported as unemployed.

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics currently counts 26 million Americans as either unemployed, involuntarily working part-time, or those who stopped looking for work within the last year. The current national U-6 rate is 13.8% and can be found here.

  • According to the Social Security Administration, from April 2010 to April 2013 an estimated 6 million Americans either went on either Social Security disability or took a regular Social Security retirement.

  • When the unemployment rate had peaked the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in October 2010 that 4.5 million Americans were unemployed for one year or longer (and made up 31 percent of all those who were reported unemployed). Today they report (April 2013) that the long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) is 4.6 million and account for 39.6 percent of the unemployed --- almost the same as it was 3½ years ago.

  • According to the Social Security Administration, 50% of the U.S. workforce takes home an after-tax weekly paycheck of $520 or less (which is $27,000 a year net income).

  • According to the National Center for Education Statistics, a record 3.4 million students are expected to graduate from high school in the 2012-13 year. Now add to that, what the colleges and universities are also expected to award in degrees. That would total an estimated 7 million NEW PEOPLE if everyone decided to look for a new job by the end of this year.

The chart shows these statistics from the beginning of the recession (December 2007) to the present (April 2013) as these events relate to the stock market (The Dow Jones Industrial Average).

The Long-Term Unemployed

Paul Krugman recently wrote in the New York Times, "Our worst fears about the damage from long-term unemployment are being confirmed. What’s really striking is the huge number of long-term unemployed, with 4.6 million unemployed more than six months and more than three million who have been jobless for a year or more. Oh, and these numbers don’t count those who have given up looking for work. Workers who have been unemployed for a long time eventually come to be seen as unemployable, tainted goods that nobody will buy."

In another New York Times article: Part-Time Work Becomes Full-Time Wait for Better Job - Part-timers generally earn less per hour than their full-time counterparts. The senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research says, “The only remaining legal form of discrimination in the labor market is against part-time workers. You can hire part-time workers and full-time workers doing the same job, and you’re allowed to pay them different money and different benefits.”

The Times article also notes that, since the economy began to recover almost four years ago, hiring has been concentrated in relatively low-wage service sectors...nearly one out of every 13 jobs is at a restaurant, bar or other food-service establishment, a record high. (I mentioned this in another post at the Daily Kos.)

Darden Restaurants, which operates brands like Red Lobster and Olive Garden, suggested last year that they might seek to limit full-time staff to avoid activating the [ObamaCare®] mandate.

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics about The Working Poor: "More than 10 million Americans worked, but nevertheless, had annual incomes below the federal poverty line. One-third of them worked in the service industry. The Census Bureau reported that 28.6 million households had a median income of only $19,315 a year." (Excel file)

Meanwhile, H-1B visas will expand --- even though we will need another 3.4 million more jobs this year  just for natural population growth.

But China is Doing Well

According to the Wall Street Journal: China's rapidly expanding middle and upper classes have discarded old cellphones for new smartphones in surging numbers over the past two years, scooping up expensive smartphones made by Apple. Almost 300 million Chinese are subscribing to high-end mobile services. Apple is trying to reach a deal with China's largest carrier, China Mobile Ltd, which would allow Apple to sell to the carrier's more than 700 million customers. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company would double the 11 Apple stores in Greater China within the next two years.

Also from the Wall Street Journal: There were 2.04 million vehicles sold in China last month, up from 1.84 million a year earlier.

The Wall Street Journal also reports: Dell Inc. plans to expand into smaller cities and double its sales outlets in China over the next two to three years to help cushion the U.S.-based company against the steep fall in global personal-computer shipments.

According to the New York Times, the wealthy in America continue to do better: "The top one-tenth of 1 percent received about one-thirteenth of the nation’s income, while they received only one-fiftieth in the 1960s and 1970s."

But despite all this very bleak news for American workers, they still cling to the belief that a poor person has a chance of becoming rich; and that a rich person has a chance of dying penniless. Dream on. Dream the American Dream.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    If people won't go protest in the streets, then they'll end up sleeping on them instead.

    by Bud Meyers on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 01:28:30 PM PDT

  •  There's a bleak outlook for unskilled labor... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BusyinCA, cynndara, IowaPopulist, Papuska

    ...and a very good outlook for skilled labor. Here's a recent Hays outook summary:   

    In north america
    , the US has the highest score in the Hays Index, indicating one of the tightest markets in terms of skilled labour. Shortages are particularly evident in sectors such as oil and gas, life sciences and information technology. Paradoxically however, the US is also witnessing stubbornly high levels of unemployment within a weak
    economic recovery. This can be explained by an excess supply of semi-and unskilled workers who are not suitable for the sorts of roles that are being created by the industries that are currently generating economic growth in the US. Canada faces similar issues with acute shortages in the natural resources sector in particular.
    Unfortunately, one of the skills this more competitive economy has is represented by a year or more of on-the-job experience. Therefore, a new registered nurse just graduating with a 4 yr degree does not qualify for a nursing job. That first year training is no longer a justifiable expense so employers simply establish experience as a requirement. H1B nurses with just 1 or 2 yrs experience can fill such jobs but new US grads can't.

    That's a problem that Congress can fix. Also Governors and colleges should partner with employers to do whatever it takes to ensure grads get employed.

    Unskilled labor will either have to get skilled or learn Spanish and migrate South.

    •  The problem is not structural (0+ / 0-)

      There is almost no evidence to support the idea that we have a structural unemployment problem and mountains of evidence suggesting we have a demand-based unemployment problem.

      If the problem with labor really was structural, you'd be seeing skyrocketing wages among the industries with positions that are particularly hard to fill. We've been seeing the opposite of that--as the article notes, most jobs created in the "recovery" are part-time, minimum wage jobs in service or retail. All that points to the unemployment problem being equal parts lack of demand and the divorce of productivity from wages, which each help reinforce the other.

      The problem is that the feral rich are using massive long-term unemployment--with the aid of the politicians they bought--to correct the "error" of the erosion of traditional class systems in the post-war period.

      Every human being must be viewed according to what it is good for; for none of us, no, not one, is perfect; and were we to love none who had imperfections, this world would be a desert for our love.

      by Daniel Roche on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 11:40:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "The" problem? There are multiple problems, no? (0+ / 0-)

        There are, all resolvable but they all require aggressive government action which is an unreasonable expectation. The deadly concentration of wealth, wages (lower demand), and political leverage/corruption is severe, as are the overall failures of governments in the developed economies to govern, as are deleveraging, globalization, global contraction (lower demand), technology, and productivity.  Increasing demand in the US middle class is not a solution but a stimulation. The economy can be bolstered with more capital flowing into the middle class but not fixed. A slow slog v. a slower slog seem to be the choices, especially without governance, for the next decade or  more.

  •  Excellent piece. You'd think in a world (3+ / 0-)

    where over 70% of the electorate wants a massive Federal Jobs Stimulus that it would be a major topic some political party would harp on 24/7. At least, in a Democracy.


    Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest. route to More Democrats

    by Jim P on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 02:22:34 PM PDT

  •  Thank you government support for outsourcing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Free Jazz at High Noon, cynndara

    through capital protection agreements like NAFTA, as well as favorable tax treatment, for destroying good paying jobs for unskilled workers.

    Keep the TVA public.

    by Paleo on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 02:35:13 PM PDT

  •  This is, in my view, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cynndara

    an existential crisis for American working people and should be addressed with a Manhattan Project response.

    Yet neither party is doing anything of substance, nor will they until we organize and demand it.  The reserve army of the unemployed is too useful and far too complacent.

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 04:49:11 PM PDT

    •  This is exactly (0+ / 0-)

      what the people who own and operate this country WANT.  Workers are irrelevant.  They don't even vote half the time, and when they do vote, they can be reliably hoodwinked by the expensive propaganda bankrolled by the 1%.  Corruption cannot be legally controlled because according to our corrupt Supreme Court, it's constitutional.  And it is now so entrenched that no one in Congress who values their position would vote for it.

      You cannot reform a system where the rot has spread so thoroughly into the foundations.  If we want a government of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE, and for the PEOPLE, then the current government has to go.  Probably suicide-by-idiocy, if present trends are indicative.  Consider it a Darwin Award for the national culture.

  •  This has another aspect related to immigration (0+ / 0-)

    From 2000 to 2010 the U.S. received 6.9 million new working-age immigrants, and the number of immigrants employed increased by 4.5 million. During the same period the number of native-born working-age adults increased by 13.5 million, yet the number of native-born workers who were employed actually decreased by 1.1 million. Much of the drop in employment rate for native-born workers occurred during the two recessions, but it was not significantly reduced during the recoveries, because as jobs returned employers hired immigrants instead of unemployed native-born workers.

    The share of working-age natives who are employed declined during the 2000 to 2010 decade from 76% to 69%, but the job loss has been concentrated in less-educated workers who compete most directly with immigrants. Even in the part of the decade that experienced rapid economic growth the huge influx of less-educated immigrants exerted downward pressure on the employment prospects of less-educated Americans. From the first quarter of 2000 to the third quarter of 2007 the employment rate for natives with only a high school education fell from 74% to 70%, before falling to 65% in 2010. For natives with less than a high school education, employment fell from an already abysmal  52% in 2000 to 48% in 2007, and to 41% in 2010. As always, the poorest Americans have been most effected.

    To update the earlier numbers, with some temporal overlap. From the start of 2009 to the 3rd quarter of 2012, the number of immigrants working increased by 1.9 million, while the number of native-born Americans working increased by only 0.9 million. Of the newly employed immigrants, 1.6 million arrived from abroad since the start of 2009 – 70 to 90% of them legally. Almost all the newly hired immigrants are in occupations where the vast majority of workers are native-born and where unemployment rates remain high (Camarota and Zeigler, 2012).

    Our immigration policy is allowing businesses to  increase profits and achieve competitive advantages by almost totally bypassing unemployed native-born Americans in favor of more pliable immigrants who work for less. This pathological process, which represents an effective prejudice against Americans, and particularly minority Americans, has become well established in the business community, and the only way to eliminate it is to cut off the supply of immigrants willing to work for less under worse working conditions and under the kind of 19th century labor relations that businessmen covet.

    Yet we are now confronted with a Comprehensive Immigration Reform that will increase legal immigration from 1 million/yr. to  3 million/yr. for the first 10 years, and 2 million/yr. after that.

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