Captain Rick: The January Jobs Report shows a continuing drop in new jobs created and a reality that job creation in America is stuck in neutral … or possibly reverse. 150,000 new jobs are needed to be created every month just to keep pace with population growth as represented by my red line in the chart below. Overall, the U.S. economy lost 8.8 million jobs during the Great Recession, and is still down about 3.2 million jobs from the labor market’s height in January 2008. The 5.6 million jobs that were created since the Great Recession also had to provide for the 9 million new job seekers entering the market since January 2008, due to population growth. Realistically, another 8.8 million jobs would have been needed to be added during the past few years to equal the American job scene of January 2008. At the current pace, those jobs will not be returning any time soon. Making things even worse is the fact that many of the jobs being added are relatively low paying in comparison to the jobs that were lost.

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The U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs in January. That’s slower growth than in December, when employers hired 196,000 workers. Some call it “Groundhog Day in the labor market” and say “We’ve been waking up to this same story for four years.”

The biggest job sector gainers
In January, businesses added 166,000 jobs while federal, state and local governments cut 9,000. The government continued to cut jobs for the fourth month in a row.

Retail added 33,000 jobs, with about a third of those gains at clothing stores.

Construction firms added 28,000 jobs, reflecting a stronger housing market and rebuilding efforts after Superstorm Sandy.

Health care added 23,000 jobs. Most of those jobs were in ambulatory health care services, a category that includes doctors’ offices and outpatient care centers.

Manufacturers added only 4,000 jobs. The Labor Department noted that employment in this sector has changed little since July. Manufacturing once was the job sector that built and sustained America as a great country. America’s manufacturing jobs have mostly been lost to places like China because of lower wages and NO unions!

Unemployment Rate
The unemployment rate increased to 7.9% in January, as 12.3 million people were counted as unemployed.
The number of jobless Americans out of work at least six months was roughly unchanged at 4.7 million and that group represents only 38% of the unemployed.

A broader measure of the job market’s health called the underemployment rate — it includes the unemployed, discouraged Americans who have stopped looking for work and part-time workers who want full-time jobs — was unchanged last month at 14.4%.

Outlook for 2013 and beyond
Economists are expecting job growth to remain stalled during 2013.  Political uncertainty that is still hanging over employers, as they wait for Congress to hash out a budget deal. Amid an impasse between Democrats and Republicans, chances are growing that automatic spending cuts, which aim to reduce deficits by $1.2 trillion over a decade, could take effect starting in March. All of this will likely have significant negative impact on the job scene.

The best hope we have of seeing an improving job scene in the next few years is for the U.S. Congress to pass legislation to permanently solve the U.S. Debt Crisis, including working towards balancing the budget. Our nation can not continue living on deficit spending … money it does not have. That is a recipe for eventual total economic failure. While it’s continuing practice of ‘kicking the can down the road’ might prevent further erosion of jobs short term, it will most assuredly will set our nation up for a much larger recession and loss of jobs in a few years.

View prior reports on Jobs: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/jobs/

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