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Looking at the stock market hitting new highs almost every day one could be forgiven for thinking that the economy is actually improving.

In case you think there is some "real" improvement going on just remember that the Fed is printing $85 billion a month and the government is running a deficit of about the same magnitude. Even with all this stimulus barely enough jobs are being created to handle new entrants into the labor force.

My thesis is that current policies will not create jobs, but will create asset bubbles (helping the 1%). I maintain that underlying structural changes in the job market remain unaddressed and even unrecognized. I further maintain that if you look at the data below it is clear that current policies can not bring long term unemployment down without major changes in policies.

To start ... let's look at what has happened to the job market over the last 10 years (an arbitrary point I agree, but let's see where it takes us - all data compare April 2013 to April 2003).

For reference ... the economy added 5,586,000 jobs in total over the 10 year period.

1. Q: Did government employment grow excessively?

A: No! Over the last 10 years government has added 226,000 jobs while the private sector has added 5,324,000. So in fact, the government share of jobs in the economy has dropped from 16.94% to 16.43%

2. Q: Have we become a more of a service economy?

A: Yes!  Over the last 10 years we have added 8,548,00 jobs in services and lost 3,224,000 jobs in good producing sectors. That is a huge swing in 10 years. As a result service jobs now account for 83.7% of private sector jobs (up from 79.9%) and goods producing jobs have dropped to 16.3% from 20.1%.

Why is this important? Because in order for unemployment to drop, jobs have to be created  somewhere and it is clear that one key sector in the economy is lagging badly and acting as drag on performance. The bigger problem is that jobs in this sector tend to be higher paying.

3. Q: Which goods producing sectors have been hit the hardest?

A: We can start by looking at three broad classifications.
Manufacturing has lost 2,633,000 jobs or 18.1% of total 2003 employment.
Construction has lost 889,000 jobs or 13.% of 2003 employment.
Mining/logging/oil&gas is the lone bright spot adding 314,000 jobs or 63.8%!

The manufacturing changes can be broken down into durables (think cars etc) and nondurables (think food/clothes etc). Both classifications had big losses. Durables were down 16.8% and non durables by 20.2%. Stop and think for a second how important these stats are. Over the last 10 years the number of jobs in the US has climbed by about 5%, but manufacturing jobs have dropped by about 20%.

Within these classifications we also have some even bigger losers. Motor vehicles and parts are down by 28.2%, wood products by 36.2%, and perhaps most worrying (this is supposed to be the tech engine) computers and electronics by 21.4%. The one somewhat healthy sector seems to be food manufacturing (which accounts for about 1/3 of non-durables) which only lost 2.6% of its workforce.

Q: What sectors have added the most jobs?

A: It is pretty simple. Although there have been changes in many categories two stand out above all the rest. Remember from above that services added about 8.5 million jobs over the last 10 years.

Restaurants and bars up 1.7 million or 20.3%

Health care - up 2.7 million or 23%
           Home health care up 75%
           Outpatient care up 60%
           Physician offices up 22%

Together these two categories which made up about 1/4 of service jobs in 2003, added fully 1/2 of the service jobs.

Think about it. These are the two biggest drivers of employment over the last ten years - food service and health care - essentially two fields that are hard to outsource. One (food service) performs a service that most people could do on their own if they had the time or inclination. As such a severe recession could decimate these businesses. The other (health care) is an industry where the US already spends double what any other nation on earth spends (as a % of GDP). One has to wonder where further growth is going to come from without consuming the entire economy. Heath care already employs more than 1/10 people in the US. Surely this can not be the future engine of growth for much longer.

There are some other interesting tidbits. Both financial services and information lost jobs over the last 10 years and retail added a measly 200,000 jobs (1.5%).

Social services was not surprisingly another big source of jobs - up 657,000 or a whopping 31%! as was temp hiring - up 500,000 or 25%.

Conclusion:

Current economic policies seem concentrated on waiting for things to somehow magically get back to normal. What I hope these figures (sorry about the number overload) show is that "normal" in the future can NOT be what "normal" in the past used to be.

Over the last ten years not only has new employment not kept up with population growth, but the jobs that have been added are not what one would consider to be jobs that are building a stronger more sustainable, wealthier economy.

I think we have reached a point in the recovery where things are not getting worse, As such weekly jobless claims are down and there is some minimal hiring. BUT this is with the MASSIVE tailwinds of printing money (equal to about $500,00 for each job created) and government deficits. I think given the structural changes in the economy it is going to be exceedingly difficult to move from neutral (where we are now) to first or even second gear.

The only beneficiaries of current policies are the 1% - the people with stock investments, and assets that will appreciate as the financial bubbles expand. So we, the 99%, are stuck in neutral at best. Major changes are required, but unfortunately that are not happening. The 1% still rules.

Note: all data from http://www.bls.gov/...

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (19+ / 0-)

    There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

    by taonow on Thu May 09, 2013 at 06:53:49 PM PDT

  •  And when the boomers die off (13+ / 0-)

    What will be left for employment? All those health care jobs will become " redundant"

    The trajectory isn't sustainable. People need careers, not a job servicing the rich like so many fluffers.

    Thanks Taonow for your research.

    Society is like a stew. If you don't stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top. ~Edward Abbey

    by cosmic debris on Thu May 09, 2013 at 07:23:04 PM PDT

    •  For many hundreds of years, (0+ / 0-)

      Before industrialization, that is how most people lived. There were the rich, or the nobility, and there was everybody else, most of whom directly or indirectly worked to make the rich more comfortable. Like Downton Abbey. It seems we are returning slowly to that society. Maybe it is our natural state. Maybe we're just downstairs people.

      •  Industrial Farming and Assembly Line / Info Tech (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim P, blueoasis

        have eliminated the work most people historically did. That's why the notion of a new feudalism is such a sick joke. Feudalism happened because the nobility needed our labor. They don't, today.

        We'll conduct a mass dieoff of 4-6 billion via climate change and resource bottlenecks, and that will leave more than enough poor labor to support the legacy of our species that will be left by today's ownership.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Thu May 09, 2013 at 08:48:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't forget the coming thing: Robots. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto, blueoasis, Sarenth

          No, they just don't assemble cars and clean your floor anymore. The advancements in hardware and software are not far from making almost any task possible for them.

          And robots will work perfectly for you 24/7, will never take a coffee or bathroom break, will never complain. And will never revolt. (Excepting some sci-fi scenarios.)

          One can find think tank papers of the rich where they discuss whether it's 500M or 2B which is the right amount of people to have living.


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

          by Jim P on Thu May 09, 2013 at 09:19:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  What is the goal? Is there "an" economy or multi? (9+ / 0-)

    It almost seems like a silly quaint notion to think of the health of "an economy" b/c the reality seems to me that there has been a huge effort to protect a sector of the economy - the market driven, high end economy of the investment class - - that one seems stable, even growing.

    The "real economy" of people who live pay check to paycheck is clearly in trouble and has not really grown in 30 years.

    For people out of work, highly educated people but with non-technical skills, the outlook is extremely bleak. The "new" job market is one of companies that pay 2 types of wages, stratospheric for a sliver of upper management and shamelessly low for damn near everyone else. They give shitty insurance options, IF one is able to get a full-time position as the new norm is hiring 2 part time people instead of one full time.

    I often think that Henry Ford would probably have loved to run his company in the Wal-Mart model, but never dreamed he could do it legally, now it is called the new model. And imagine where this country would be now if the auto  workers of the 50s-80s were treated like the Wal Mart workers of today are?

    Sorry for the rant, it is a fantastic diary.

    Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

    by 4CasandChlo on Thu May 09, 2013 at 07:26:04 PM PDT

    •  the sliver (10+ / 0-)

      Then you read about Bank of America or JPM or Goldman making money trading almost every single day (they rarely lose), sometimes $100 million a day ... for adding NOTHING to the economy. Just leeches. How long can the host survive if the only ones prospering are the leeches.

      There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

      by taonow on Thu May 09, 2013 at 07:29:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Such a wonderful point: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, Sarenth, taonow

        And then these are the same people that break their arms patting themselves on the back for providing jobs and "contributing" versus what they call the "moochers" of society that stoop so low as to supplement their Wal-Mart income with EBT or Medicaid.

        How do you like THAT government welfare? Since Wal-Mart and McDonald's can't pay a living wage, many of their workers qualify for EBT benes and Medicaid - - payroll government subsidies!

        Last little rant note - - look at any Wiki page of some community with population 50,000 to 500,000 across the country - look at biggest local industries, nearly all will list "health care" as the biggest local industry. Not that I am against health care but how long can an economy survive when then biggest industry is caring for the sick?

        Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

        by 4CasandChlo on Thu May 09, 2013 at 08:23:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well at least they're American companies, (0+ / 0-)

        and create American millionaires and pay American taxes on their trading gains.

        •  The snark is strong in this one. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          srkp23, blueoasis, Illinibeatle

          "pay American taxes" -- what a knee-slapper!

          Man, they all got some secret accounts somewhere. They might pay taxes, but not like their secretaries pay taxes.


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

          by Jim P on Thu May 09, 2013 at 09:21:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Goldman Sachs paid $3.7 billion (0+ / 0-)

            in taxes in 2012 on $11.2 billion of pre-tax income.

            •  And how much did they avoid paying? (0+ / 0-)

              pdf

              Number of offshore tax havens in 2010?  39.

              In 2010, Goldman Sachs operated 39 subsidiaries in offshore tax haven countries.

              Amount of federal income taxes Goldman Sachs would have owed if offshore tax
              havens were eliminated?  $2.7 billion.

              Think they stopped using offshore tax havens between '10 and '13?


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

              by Jim P on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:25:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  From Robert Reich: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, Jim P
        We remain in the gravitational pull of the Great Recession. The Labor Department reports that 165,000 new jobs were created in April -- below the average gains of 183,000 in the previous three months.

        We can't achieve escape velocity. Since mid-2010, the three-month rolling average of job gains hasn't dipped below 100,000 but has exceeded 250,000 jobs just twice.

        This isn't enough to ease the backlog of at least 3 million (estimates range up to 8 million) job losses since 2007, just before the Great Recession began. (And as I'll point out in a moment, 2007 wasn't exactly jobs nirvana.)

        Moreover, most of the new jobs now being created pay less than the ones that were lost.

  •  The stock market may have hit a new high (4+ / 0-)

    because corporate profits are at record levels, but this is not felt on Main Street. That's a disconnect that can't be sustainable long term.  

    The unemployment rate remains terribly high. The drop we have seen is partly due to discouraged workers dropping off the rolls.

    In addition, so many people are working for such a low wage.

    I wish we could put together a big jobs plan that would help solve our unemployment and environmental problem with the same dollar...a "2 for 1."

    As a member of Courtesy Kos, I am dedicated to civility and respect for all kossacks, regardless of their opinions, affiliations, or cliques.

    by joedemocrat on Thu May 09, 2013 at 07:40:39 PM PDT

    •  short and long term (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joedemocrat, Jim P, Sarenth, Lawrence

      I think there are some cool things that could be done short term, but longer term I am slowly coming round to the idea of shorter work weeks and maybe guaranteed annual incomes. I think the era of strong growth is done. The trick will be to find ways to distribute the gains form technology to the whole society, not just to those that own or benefit from the technology.

      There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

      by taonow on Thu May 09, 2013 at 07:49:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The 1% will never willingly consider this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        praenomen, Sarenth

        which means their wholey-owned subsidiaries called our governments never will either.  

      •  The days of 6-12% GDP growth are gone (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        praenomen

        Most economists agree on a top of 3.5%, looking forward 10-15 years..

        We're underperforming massively @ 1.8% over the last year.

        These conditions over the last 4 years are intentional. The drop in infrastructure spending alone from the New Deal era, accounts for the 23-26 million people without a job.

        I mean shit... we used to spend 3.5% of GDP on infrastructure in the 70's, but since we stopped that, we now have the jobless recovery. In the 1930's we spent 5-6-7% of GDP on job creation and had 9% to 14% GDP growth.

        I hope youre not saying the current 1.8% is the new normal, cause I will smack you on the head until you say uncle.

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Thu May 09, 2013 at 09:15:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  high unemployment is bullish for the market. (0+ / 0-)

      Equity owners are safer from rising costs when there is slack in the labor market.

  •  U6 went up, from 13.8% to 13.9% in April (4+ / 0-)

    Thats the wrong direction. About 21.4 million people. COunt everyone and you end up with 26 million people.

    AS far as job creation is concerned we used to spend 6-8% of GDP back in the days of the Great Republican Depression in the 1930's.

    Today, if you wanted to create 22.5 million jobs, you'd have to spend 900 billion in infrastructure. About 6% of GDP. Obamas stim was 1.7% of GPD.

    Returning to New Deal policy will return us to near full employment, and add enough FICA to make SS good thru 2090.

    Current economic policies seem concentrated on waiting for things to somehow magically get back to normal.
    If you mean keeping the status quo, yes you're right.
    I think we have reached a point in the recovery where things are not getting worse, As such weekly jobless claims are down and there is some minimal hiring.

    Source: tradingeconomics.com

    WE went double dip in 2012, and over the last 4 quarters averaged 1.8%. Over the last 13 quarters the trend is down, so no, I wont call that recovery when the trend is down,

    Source: tradingeconomics.com

    .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Thu May 09, 2013 at 07:55:12 PM PDT

    •  neutral (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler, Jim P, Sarenth

      I am looking at the most recent unemployment data (last few weeks) which seems to show a stabilization ... in that firms are not laying off, but also not hiring.

      I in no way think that there is any kind of real recovery. The anemic response to the massive stimulus is proof that all is not right. Take it away and all those corporate profits would go "poof".

      As for stimulus ... government deficits by definition are stimulus. So it is not just the stimulus package that counts, but the entire deficit ... so we have been running at 6+% for a couple of years already. But that is also part of the problem ... the Bush tax cuts and 2 wars had already started to dig a hole (he was stimulating before there was a recession).

      There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

      by taonow on Thu May 09, 2013 at 08:09:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the ARRA worked as advertised: Anemic? Not. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim P, aznavy

        170 billion bucks spent on infrastructure created a 4.2 million jobs, a 2.5 multiplier.

        Thats why when you hear the White House claiming 4.25 million jobs were created by early 2008, you know the stim worked. In the Campaign Obama cited 5.2 million jobs were created,

        170 billion is hardly massive, its 1.7% of GDP.

        In the 1930's Gov Spending went from 12% of GDP to 20% of GDP. so the New Deal cost 8% of GDP, and knocked down unemployment from 20% to 9.9% by early 1937.

        As for stimulus ... government deficits by definition are stimulus.
        SO the ARRA spent 830 billion, and created 20 million jobs? No it didnt. And trust me 50 billion for corporate tax breaks, aint stim.

        70 billion in income tax breaks for couples making 175k or more, isnt stim.

        100 billion for keeping teachers jobs aint stim.

        Were there other spending beyond infrastructure that stimulated the economy, sure, I'll give you that. The FICA holiday had a 1.1 multiplier. Unemployment insurance has about a 1.8 multiplier.

        The problem is that when a person loses a 40k job, and gets $550 a week in UI, its a net contraction.

        But overall about 5.2 million jobs were created in Obamas first term, and when you line up the ARA spending and where it went and assign multipliers, its clear that about 300- 320 billion had some level of stimulus.

        It should be quite clear that the whole 830 billion was not all stimulative.

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Thu May 09, 2013 at 08:44:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What is your suggestion for fixing the problem? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence

    I'm just curious ... I think we have all heard about all these problems before, especially during the 2012 campaign. We have heard about all these jobs moving overseas, changes in the types of jobs that are now in vogue and disappearing job categories, ..etc.
    Democrats are printing money and Republicans are proposing all types of legislation to give even more money to the .001%. (999, tax cuts, .. etc).
    But, what are the progressive solutions to this massive problems?
    Does increasing the minimum wage help? I doubt it does. People don't build wealth by adding $1 or $2 to their salaries. Wealth Building is a long term strategy.
    Home ownership for everyone? We saw that it just doesn't work.
    Since the Stock market is making so many millionaires, why aren't most "poor people" in the stock market too? What prevents them? What other ways are there for poor people to build wealth? Yes, they need to get better jobs ... but which jobs?
    I'm just asking questions ... Just curious what people's thoughts are.

    •  Most of my dairies are on economics and energy. (0+ / 0-)

      I've had 3 dairies in one day on the rec list. So I'm not too much of a jerk

      Looking at just jobs and breakin the gridlock in DC

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Thu May 09, 2013 at 09:18:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Solutions (0+ / 0-)

      Short term:
      1. debt relief:The banks are the ones getting the 0% money. I suggest allowing anyone with a credit card balance as of a certain date to be able to refinance at 3% - with 1/2 of any interest savings going to paying down principal each month. The rest would be a cash injection into the economy from the bottom. Something similar could be done for student loans.
      2. Infrastructure: Tons of infrastructure work is needed, and that is work that can not be outsourced (except maybe for some of the equipment), plus it helps employ some of the construction and maybe manufacturing workers.
      3. Single payer health care (ok maybe not short term). Single payer would give workers more flexibility on hiring and would treat all employers the same on worker health care. It would also cut the nation's health care costs (which are hurting overall competitiveness).
      Long term: I think we need new ways to recycle the benefits of technology to all members of the society. That could be in some form of guaranteed annual income.

      There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

      by taonow on Fri May 10, 2013 at 04:02:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nothing Is Going Unrecognized. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim P

    If you see ownership and its governance neglecting indicators or solutions, it's because they're addressing different problems than you assume they are.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu May 09, 2013 at 08:50:11 PM PDT

  •  Bloody brilliant. The kind of thing DKos got (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    taonow

    famous for, in the long ago. Excellent presentation.

    Thank you for doing the work. And one part of the work -- breakdown of new jobs -- that just last night I was trying to find, without success. Thanks for that.

    Okay, here's how it looks to me:
    The massive printing of money is available to bankers, and the bankers gamble with it.

    It's circulated in the Fake Economy and some drops might Trickle Upon the Real Economy. Overwhelmingly, no.

    We don't get stimulus from this printing; we lose in that the Untouchable Gambler Class drives up prices through speculation. As they don't want to invest in real things.

    The strategy behind the money printing rests on the Too Big To F/Jails being insolvent, were honest books done. Everything possible is being done to hide, and to relieve, that fact.

    The thinking goes:
    Money is the beating heart of Society and Nation; Banks are at the Heart of Money; therefore, Happy Banks = Happy Society.

    It's hard to tell with such reasoning if it's more blindingly stupid or more wildly lunatic. They don't exclude each other.

    Else, it can only be a conscious plan.

    Speaking of Globalization, we'll often hear Presidents and Congress, of both Parties, talk of "we must compete in the Global Marketplace."

    Right now, that means child and slave labor. And where it isn't, it would be close to it by the standards we became accustomed to after Labor had meaningful influence in policy. (But that's gone now.)

    Interesting, in this context, to ask "And what exactly do we call people who provide Services?"

    Servants.

    (btw, another number I couldn't find: the dollar income value of the jobs lost vs. the dollar income value of the new jobs.)

    You can only have wages go down in the US if there is sufficient unemployment to get people to work for less.

    In short, because the people in power completely buy into the Golden Calf theory of society; and enough of them get "gold" from the Financial/Corporate Complex to change laws so the unjust becomes legal, and to fail to enforce laws which punish injustice --

    -- because of this, and the "globalization" (read: drive wages down in Western democracies), there's no real agenda happening to change this around. Everybody in power knows what the structure is, and they like it. Except it's too restrictive to Big Money. Hence, things like the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership and European Trade Agreements.

    There will have to be a ubiquitous revolt. Sadly, we've not used the Internet wisely to this point, as demonstrated by how the class war finds us losing a little more ground with each passing day.


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

    by Jim P on Thu May 09, 2013 at 09:13:37 PM PDT

  •  Can't really argue w/you b/c (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sarenth

    I agree that only policy changes can turn the situation around. At this point, we kind of need a combination of FDR & Teddy Roosevelt, rolled into one dynamic president.

    I don't see him or her on the horizon, though.

    But a bunch of trust-busting, bankster-bashing, and infrastructure spending would surely help the economy recover quickly.

    I fear we're going to lose at least a decade, if not more, without major policy changes.

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Thu May 09, 2013 at 10:34:55 PM PDT

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