Sunday, December 14, 2014

Jobs Report Not as Rosy as Touted

In a recent radio address following the release of November's job figures, President Obama touted the jobs report as proof that his economic policies are producing positive results.

But a closer look at those figures shows that serious problems in the jobs market remain.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) disclosed that the economy produced 321,000 new nonfarm jobs in November, more than many Wall Street analysts had predicted.

But the unemployment rate remained at 5.8 percent, and there were actually just 4,000 more Americans working compared to October since job gains were offset by Americans who became unemployed last month.

It also must be noted that the jobs created "skewed heavily toward lower quality," CNBC observed, and part-time positions rose by 77,000.

The BLS report also showed that families were under pressure. There were 110,000 fewer married men at work in November, and the number of married women at work declined by 59,000.

While the overall unemployment rate held steady, the rate for adult men rose and the rate for teenagers remained high at 17.7 percent.

The number of long-term unemployed — those jobless for 27 weeks or more — was little changed at 2.8 million in November, and accounted for 30.7 percent of all unemployed Americans.

The number of persons working part-time because their hours had been cut back or they were unable to find a full-time job stood at 6.9 million, little changed in November.

Also 2.1 million Americans were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the BLS survey.

More distressing news: While the BLS report cited 314,000 new private sector jobs in November, a report from the payroll management firm ADP showed just 208,000.

"Taken in total," CNBC concludes, "a peek beneath the hood of these numbers suggests a job market that still has a ways to go."

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