Friday, August 04, 2006

Unemployment Rate Hits 5-Month High

July 28, 2006. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez: "'President Bush's economic policies have steered America on a path of even greater prosperity and opportunity.'" On the other hand. AP (08.04.06):
"Hiring slowed in July as employers added just 113,000 new jobs, propelling the unemployment rate to a five-month high of 4.8 percent and providing fresh evidence that companies are growing cautious amid high energy prices. Wages grew solidly. The latest snapshot Friday from the Labor Department added to the evidence from a variety of economic barometers that the economy is slowing and inflation is rising." Unemployment Rate Hits 5-Month High
"The tally of new jobs last month did not match the 124,000 added in June and was the lowest total since May, when payrolls grew by 100,000." As to wages, Reuters uncorks the bullshit (08.04.06):
"Still, average hourly earnings increased 7 cents for a second straight month to $16.76 in July, a 0.4 percent increase, the same as in June. In the year through July, average hourly earnings rose 3.8 percent, down slightly from the 3.9 percent year-over-year gain posted in June." July jobs growth weaker than expected
The bitch of this is that because the wage numbers these guys use are not adjusted for inflation, they're meaningless for analyzing trends. Yet Reuters, Bloomberg, the AP, they all do it. Once again. Go here, click the box for "Current dollars" and the one for "Constant (1982) dollars". Hit the "Retrieve data" button, and voila. In constant 1982 dollars, there was no "year-over-year gain posted in June [for 2006]". The hourly wage was $8.17 in January. It was $8.17 in June. It was $8.16 in October, 2001. It's gone up one cent in the past five years. Whoopee. Even though our brown-nosing buddy Carlos pretends he hasn't noticed, John and Jane Q. Public have. LATimes (08.03.06):
"A Times/Bloomberg poll found discontent with President Bush's leadership on a variety of key fronts, including the war in Iraq, with 60% disapproval, and the economy, with 59% disapproval." Poor Marks for Bush on Iraq, Economy
George and the GOP are in big trouble. Bloomberg (08.03.06):
"The Bush administration has counted on growing public appreciation of a strong economy to bolster Republican prospects in fall congressional races. That hasn't materialized, and the economy may have peaked months before the election." Bush Finds Economy Is Turning From Potential Asset to Liability
You ain't seen nothing yet. Just wait until the slowdown in the housing market catches up to the rest of the economy.


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