Friday, March 10, 2017

New DNC Chair Tom Perez Can Celebrate Another Month Of Job Growth


There was more good news on the job front today. This morning the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that payrolls employment rise by 235,000 in February and unemployment remained at 4.7%. Wow what a great job Andy Puzder has already done and he didn't even get confirmed! Enough Republican senators announced they couldn't vote for him that the Trumpanzee Regime withdrew his nomination on the eve of the confirmation vote but still...And if he had been confirmed the Feb 15, the job increases might have been 470,000. Sow gets the credit? Tom Perez? Señor el Presidente Donald J. Trumpanzee? Depends who you ask. Look at the change jobs charter over the past 3 years. Does that give any hint?

Trump is telling his fans-- "the poorly educated; we love the poorly educated"-- that he brought the job growth. Fox and Drudge agree. No one in a position to understand how these things work, though, does. Trump had as much to do with job growth as Andy Puzder did and factors like good weather had more to do with it than either of them.

Here's an old tweet Trumpanzee forgot to delete

The overall economic momentum and optimism was given an extra push by February’s unusually warm weather, with almost a quarter of the jobs-- about 58,000-- coming from construction alone. Manufacturing also bounced back.

Over the past three months, including revisions announced Friday, monthly job growth has averaged 209,000, while year-over-year wage growth jumped up to 2.8 percent.

Although the economic anxiety that helped put President Trump into the White House remains, the official jobless rate is near what the central bank considers full employment-- a threshold where, in theory at least, everyone who wants a job at the going rate can find one.

At the same time, jobless claims are near a 44-year low, the stock market is surging, and consumer spending is growing, bolstering the case for those who argue the economy is strong enough to withstand a rate increase.

Particularly significant in February was the bump up in the labor participation rate to 63 percent-- a result of rising employment even among people without a high school diploma. “There’s got to be some optimism that these people are feeling they finally have a chance,” Ms. Swonk said.

On the other end are employers who are seeing acute labor shortages. “They offering training programs now,” she said. “They’re complaining about it. That’s what tight labor markets do. It forces you to invest more to work with less.”

Recruiters and employers complain that qualified workers are scarce, pushing them to raise wages, strengthen benefits and offer cushier amenities at the office. “There is a war for talent,” said Lauren Griffin, senior vice president at Adecco Staffing USA. “We’ve got people in orientation classes and they get up and leave because they’re contacted about another job that might be more money.”

Even lower-skill workers in some sectors are finding themselves in more demand. The year-over-year wage gains for store managers and cashiers, for example, were twice the national average, said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor, a career website.

Bigger paychecks are something that most Americans, after years of stagnant wage growth, are particularly eager to see. The Federal Reserve, too, has been waiting for an increase, but it is also wary of wages rising too fast. The board’s members want to head off incipient inflation and so have begun to slowly raise rates, which makes borrowing and risk-taking more expensive. At the same time, the Fed wants to avoid putting the brakes on job hiring, especially because the benefits of the eight-year-old recovery have been so unevenly distributed.

Balancing those two goals is tricky.

A broader measure of unemployment-- which includes the millions of Americans who have given up looking for work altogether or are working part time but would prefer full-time jobs-- dropped to 9.2 percent but is still high given how tight the labor market otherwise looks.

...Where you live and what you do for work can determine how bright your economic prospects are.

Those who reside in or near larger cities are receiving the highest gains, despite high housing costs. Large metropolitan counties have seen more than twice the annual wage growth of nonmetropolitan areas, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Higher-wage jobs might be following educated, young workers, who are increasingly living in dense, urban neighborhoods as other demographic groups move to the suburbs,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist at the job-search site Indeed. “Broader economic shifts also favor big cities: The occupations projected to grow tend to be more urban, while shrinking sectors like manufacturing and farming tend to be located outside large metros.”

That is disappointing for people with longstanding ties to smaller, more rural communities. “A lot of this has to do with mobility,” said Steven W. Rick, chief economist at CUNA Mutual Group, an insurance company. “People are going to have to move where the jobs are and not expect the jobs to come where they are.”

If some are in the wrong place, others lack the right skills for an economy heavily geared toward information and services. “There is a certainly still a talent shortage out there,” said Michael Stull, senior vice president at Manpower North America, a staffing agency. The firm’s annual survey of 2,200 hiring managers showed that 46 percent reported they had difficulty filling job vacancies in 2016, up from 32 percent in 2015.

There are potential headwinds. Dissension among Republicans and unpredictability about President Trump’s course in several policy areas could constrain the hiring outlook. “Uncertainty means you don’t pull the trigger right now,” Ms. Swonk said.

Washington Post fact checker Michelle Ye Hee Lee was less willing to humor Trump's bombastic claims about how he's as the root of the job growth. She started by pointing a typical Señor Trumpanzee claim, this one on March 6: "I’m very pleased to announce the great company ExxonMobil is going to be investing $20 billion in the Gulf Coast and the Gulf Coast region. … This was something that was done to a large extent because of our policies and the policies of this new administration having to do with regulators and so many other things." And then explained the facts:
On March 6, the oil giant announced its “Growing the Gulf” investment plan to spend $20 billion over 10 years in projects in Texas and Louisiana. The company said its plan would create 35,000 construction jobs and 12,000 full-time jobs, through 11 chemical, refining, lubricant and liquefied natural gas projects. The company acknowledged that its investments began in 2013 and are expected to continue through at least 2022.

ExxonMobil’s spending plan may seem like a lot, but it represents only 10 percent of the company’s current capital spending levels, our colleagues reported: “Those levels would probably increase with higher oil prices. Moreover, ExxonMobil has been a major operator and investor in the Gulf of Mexico region for decades. The gulf accounts for nearly a fifth of U.S. domestic oil production.”

Indeed, ExxonMobil and other oil companies have been expanding and investing in the Gulf Coast for years, using new hydraulic fracturing technologies to extract natural gas and export it overseas.

In 2013, when ExxonMobil began its investments, there were more than 120 petrochemical construction projects totaling $80 billion that were announced for the Gulf Coast region, the Houston Chronicle reported at the time.

The White House news release quoted Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive of ExxonMobil, as praising Trump’s commitment to “a pro-growth approach and a stable regulatory environment.”

“The energy industry has proven it can operate safely and responsibly. Private sector investment is enhanced by this Administration’s support for smart regulations that support growth while protecting the environment,” Woods said, acknowledging Trump’s pro-business policies but stopping short of giving any credit to the administration for his company’s business decisions.

Trump has credited himself for a host of other corporate decisions. (In fact, his claims about creating jobs are among the most common claims we recorded so far in our 100 Days of Trump’s Claims project, tracking every false or misleading claim in Trump’s first 100 days.)

Here’s a running list, and a link to separate fact-checks where available.

Ford. Ford decided to expand in Michigan rather than in Mexico. But the decision has more to do with the company’s long-term goal-- particularly its plans to invest in electric vehicles-- than with the administration. Here’s what Ford chief executive Mark Fields said about the company’s decision to abandon plans to open a factory in Mexico: “The reason that we are not building the new plant, the primary reason, is just demand has gone down for small cars.”

Fiat Chrysler. The company announced its plan to invest $1 billion in Michigan and Ohio plants and create 2,000 jobs. Sergio Marchionne, the Fiat Chrysler chief executive, said his company’s plan to invest $1 billion for a factory in Michigan had been in the works for more than a year and had nothing to do with Trump. Marchionne credited instead talks with the United Auto Workers in 2015.

General Motors. The company plans to add or keep 7,000 jobs in the United States and invest $1 billion. Trump touted the decisions on Twitter, but a company spokeswoman said the decisions “had been in the works for some time” but that “the timing was good for us to share what we are doing.” Just two weeks before GM’s announcement, Trump had blasted the company on Twitter over its Mexican-made models of the Chevy Cruze.

Walmart. Walmart said it would create 10,000 jobs in the United States in 2017-- a part of a $6.8 billion capital spending plan announced in October, before the presidential election, Reuters reported.

Intel. Intel announced it would create at least 10,000 jobs at a “new” plant in Arizona. But Intel actually announced a $5 billion investment in this factory in 2011 with then-President Barack Obama. The factory never opened, making it technically “new” in 2017. The company told CNN Money that it’s resuming its factory project because it is expecting a demand in the computer chips to be created there.

Lockheed Martin. Trump says he lowered the cost of the company’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter planes. But the Pentagon had announced cost reductions of roughly $600 million before Trump began meeting with Lockheed Martin’s chief executive.

SoftBank. The Japanese company announced its $100 billion technology investment fund three weeks before the U.S. elections, when Trump faced a narrow path to victory. After a December 2016 meeting with President-elect Trump, SoftBank announced that $50 billion would go to the United States. But the United States outpaces all other countries in venture capital investments, and it is questionable that none of the $100 billion would have gone to the vibrant and promising tech industry in America-- regardless of whether Trump was elected.

Sprint. Sprint announced it would add 5,000 jobs in the United States, and Trump took credit. Sprint later said its hiring plan was a part of a commitment by SoftBank, which owns a controlling stake in Sprint, the New York Times reported.

Alibaba. Chinese e-company Alibaba pledged to create 1 million U.S. jobs. Trump said that until he got elected, Alibaba founder Jack Ma had “no intention” of investing in the United States. But Ma has been pitching his company as a U.S. job creator since as early as 2015, when Ma outlined a plan similar to what he promised in his announcement with Trump.

The Pinocchio Test

Trump’s bravado on these jobs announcements is becoming a bad joke. He claims credit when little or no credit is due to his policies. Moreover, he is counting these jobs as jobs in the bank, when corporate plans frequently change according to market or economic forces.

Trump has promised to create 10 million jobs over the next four years, and that ultimately is what he will be judged on. (We are tracking this promise and more on the Trump Promise Tracker.) All the job announcements in the world will mean little if actual hiring does not turn up in the monthly reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the meantime, he earns Four Pinocchios for his repeated, inaccurate claims of credit.

Four Pinocchios

Labels: ,


At 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The so-called job growth is little more than the working class adapting to the gig economy so beloved by the Democrats, who continue their blatant hostility toward a corrupt organized labor. Obama betrayed the unions over card check, and yet labor stumped for him and the Democrats as if nothing happened. My own children are ensnared in this, unable to find and hold a full-time job with benefits such as I continue to hold - for now. I can say that my prospects for keeping it aren't as secure as I would like. Very few young people can now say they can expect a good living in the future as they watch their futures be taken away, to benefit the rest of the world where wages and living standards aren't going to cost corporations a lot of money.

We have an engineering staff where I work, and there aren't many American citizens in the bunch (outside of female interns so as to become more demographically "balanced" because there are few women to recruit as engineers in Southern Asia). The bulk are South Asian men clearly working on H-1b visas. I know of many American citizens with engineering backgrounds who have accepted lower-wage positions in order to have a job at all - IF they were hired.

This is what the Republicans want, so they are cheering. The Democrats aren't going to celebrate this, for their power base is directly affected, but the people who count are continuing to send them large checks as rewards to assisting in the corporatist plan to impoverish America.

At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:00, quite correct.

You have to search a bit, but you can still find the bad news undermining the happy face bullshit emanating from the "official" press release every month.

In a typical happy-face month:
another 50,000 jobs paying $50K+ are lost to outsourcing and not replaced
of the 235K jobs "created", 200K are in the low-paying service sector (think: McJobs).
In the event the press release pukes up "good news" on salaries, the offset of wages due to the middle-class losses are made up by increases in compensation to the CEO caste plus a few localized increases to the minimum wage. Think of it. We're encouraged by a $.06/hour average wage increase because a couple of states passed an increase to the minimum wage!!

In fact, the LD stats NEVER, EVER mention a more important stat than E4 because that stat is always bad news. That stat is the total wages in the economy. Our economy is > 70% consumer-driven (the usa doesn't make shit any more... our $50 billion + monthly trade deficit is proof). If the economy doesn't add wages, the economy cannot grow.

And, as noted by 7:00, the better jobs going to immigrants and temps further destroy the jobs/wages of americans. This is a double-edged sword as it emphasizes just how horrible our education system is AND how stupid americans are that so few CAN go to college and those that can are graduating with liberal arts BAs instead of BSs (art history is an easier degree than chemistry, physics, math, computer science...).


Post a Comment

<< Home