Pethokoukis

November Jobs Report: Another nasty, ‘new normal’ month for US workers

romerbernsteinnov12

The more you drill down into the November jobs report, the worse it looks. On the surface, not so bad. Nonfarm employment increased by 146,000 jobs last month, beating expectations of around 93,000. What’s more, the jobless rate fell to 7.7%, the lowest since December 2008, versus expectations of 7.9%. And the broader U-6 rate — taking into account some discouraged workers and the underemployed — fell to 14.4% from 14.6%. Private sector jobs rose by 147,000.

But those numbers, unfortunately, are only part of the story. As Citigroup notes this morning, “Far more robust monthly averages than 150,000 jobs per month would be needed for a true restoration of normal labor markets.” Here’s why:

1. The two-tenths drop in the unemployment rate was because people gave up looking for work. The labor force participation rate fell to 63.6% from 63.8% in October. If it had just held steady since then, the unemployment rate would be back over 8%. Indeed, if the LFP rate was just where it was in November 2011, the unemployment rate would be 8.3%. Some 542,000 Americans left the labor force just last month.

2. If labor force participation was at its January 2009 level, the unemployment rate would be a whopping 10.7%. Now, some of the drop in the LFP is due to demographic reasons, primarily the aging of the US population. But even taking that into account would give you a much higher unemployment rate than 7.7%. If you go by the pre-recession CBO forecast of the 2012 LFP rate, the unemployment rate would be 10.4%.

3. In November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $23.63. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.7%. Unfortunately, inflation — as measured by the consumer price index — has risen by 2.2% over the past year, meaning average hourly earnings have fallen by 0.5% in real terms.

4. The number of long-term unemployed remains at a sky-high 40.1%, the same as in August.

5. Since the beginning of this year, employment growth has averaged 151,000 per month, about the same as the average monthly job gain of 153,000 in 2011. At that pace, the US would not return to pre-Great Recession employment levels until after 2025, according to the “jobs gap” calculator from The Hamilton Project.

6. Also note that the misleadingly low 7.7% unemployment rate is still 2.5 percentage points above the 5.2% rate that Team Obama predicted for November 2012 if Congress passed the $800 billion stimulus.

Bottom line: The November jobs report showed job creation far too slow to get the labor market back to pre-recession levels or boost wages. Faster, please.

70 thoughts on “November Jobs Report: Another nasty, ‘new normal’ month for US workers

  1. One day, all think tank hacks will be part of the “long term unemployed” and put to socially useful purposes.

    Enjoy the next four years.

    • And “Jimmy P” can be in that inaugural class! But before that he’ll attend President-elect Romney’s inauguration, an event he correctly predicted.

    • Would that be flakey Progressive think tank types or just the conservative ones?

      It is the Obama Economy now. Enjoy. Give it a few more years. The excuse will change from, it is all Bush’s fault to This is the new normal.

    • The new normal is the best Obama can do.
      It’s not the best America can do.
      Not by a long shot.
      But we’re stuck with Obama’s ongoing culture of failure at everything but elections.
      We’ll be nostalgic foe 7.9 percent unemployment by this time next year.

  2. It was a decent jobs report. Not great, but not terrible.

    Looking at non-seasonally adjusted numbers (I don’t like seasonally adjusted numbers. There is just too much of a fudge factor for whoever is calculating the numbers. I am not trying to say they are fake numbers or anything stupid like that. Just that they are not “hard” numbers), the jobs report in November was weaker than average, but within a normal range. Employment from one year ago was up 1.8%. Again not bad but not great either.

    Annual Average Employment (12 month moving average) did rise to a 39-month high, which is a good thing, but the pace of rise is diminishing. As employment is a lagging indicator, this business cycle peak is related to the peak we saw in US Industrial Production back in July.

    So, let’s not lose sight of what’s going on here. The employment picture is improving, albeit slowly. Whether or not the pace is “good”, I’ll let you guys debate, but employment is improving.

    We’re probably be looking at a similar pace through 2013 as firms adjust to whatever conditions come down from the fiscal cliff, as well as higher taxes that go into effect in 2013 regardless.

    • No

      This report was beyond horrific.

      Participation rate- all time low. Most important stat.

      25-54 age segment lost jobs. Jobs were gained in the age segments that have to accept the lowest denominator of employment.

  3. For some perspective, more private sector and less public sector employment will be created in Obama’s first term than in Bush43′s first term. Bush43 actually printed negative private sector employment.

      • Maybe because Obama took office at the trough of US employment while Bush took office at the end of a huge economic expansion?

        There were negative 646,000 private sector jobs created during the eight year Bush43 administration. Guess how many public sector jobs?

        • Yes, Bush took office at the END of a economic expansion, at the beginning of a recession. Obama took office in an economic trough, which occurred two years after the beginning of the Pelosi-Frank administration. Let the good times roll.

          • The blaming of the economic meltdown on a brief period of Democratic control of the House is one of the greater self delusions of “Conservatives.”

            The “Conservatives” imposed and passed every policy fantasy they dreamed of, and practically destroyed the country.

            They blame everyone but themselves.

      • It is always important for the Progressive to pick the comparison point of their metric.

        And those metric comparison points are now about 4-5 years old.

  4. On the bright side, if recent history is anything to go by, this inadequate job creation number will be revised downward, which is also a part of the new normal under Obamanomics.

  5. Obama is quite the economic wizard. His anti-business, job killing acumen in the first term was so successful that the unemployed were actually able to retire early instead of returning to work! And now that ObamaCare is being implemented in the second term, Obama will get credit for the new 29 hour work week! Obama be my mama, mmmm, mmmmm, mmmmmmm!!!

  6. The re-employment rates are a sham. First, the quality of jobs is still declining. Obama fudges it by counting every part-time, lower-paying job created with as much weight as a full-time, higher-paying job lost. He counts one lost 40-hr, $20/hr job replaced by four 10-hr, $8/hr jobs as a gain of three jobs!

    Second, Obama reversed a long-term decline in government jobs just in time for the election. Over the last six months, there were three times as many new government jobs as private jobs. In my opinion, Obama inflated the employment numbers just so he could buy re-election.

    Employment may be improving, but it’s the employment of more non-producers who ride on the shoulders of those who create real value. It’s a bought election, paid for with taxes and more borrowing.

  7. Hey, O-lovers: More than a trillion of borrowed $ was spent paying off Dem constituencies via “stimulus,” for which we got almost no “infrastructure”; Uncle Sam now borrows about 40 cents on each dollar spent; the Fed is by far the largest buyer of Uncle’s debt; the jobless rate is still MUCH higher than predicted by O in ’09 in return for all the debt; the cliff and ObamaCare, which militates against employment, threaten; and you’re saying JIM P is crazy? He didn’t vote for O; you did. Welcome to the United States of France, which you’ve worked so hard to achieve!

    • I have never thought of myself as a “liberal.” I have always been a centrist most of my adult life.

      The GOP has wandered so far off the reservation that they think anyone who disagrees with them must be a Marxist. But that’s their problem, not mine.

      And if I’m a liberal, based on the last election, most Americans are too.

      • Hmmm. Sounds like you are a centrist alright. In the center of far left and further left. Obama received about 51% of the popular vote while Romney received a little less than 48% of the popular vote. Less than 60% of those eligible to vote, voted in the election. I don’t think the last election results provide any support that the majority of Americans are either liberals or conservatives. Given that you are a super-liberal I can see how you quickly jump to your faulty conclusions.

        • Here is a response from a fellow who calls himself “Conservative Joe.” (snicker)

          “Hmmm. Sounds like you are a centrist alright. In the center of far left and further left. Obama received about 51% of the popular vote while Romney received a little less than 48% of the popular vote.”

          Let me refine that statement for you: YOU LOST.

          : Less than 60% of those eligible to vote, voted in the election.”

          Think how much higher it would have been were it not for targeted voter supression efforts that recalled the intimidation we once saw from the Ku Klux Klan. Bet you’re real proud of THAT episode in GOP history, huh?

          “I don’t think the last election results provide any support that the majority of Americans are either liberals or conservatives. Given that you are a super-liberal I can see how you quickly jump to your faulty conclusions.”

          Despite all those lost elections? In the popular vote, a Republican presidential candidate has only one ONCE in the last five elections. In terms of Congress, more Democratic votes were cast than for republicans, and if it weren’t for blatant gerrymandering, Boehner would be back where he belongs, tending bar somewhere.

          You’re finished. You’ve turned the country into an international laughing stock, and the tide has clearly turned against your bogus “Conservatism.” You’re NOT a Conservative. You’re what’s being passed off as one by Roger Aisles.

          • Targeted voter suppression? You mean, like voting machines in a half dozen states that switched votes to Obama, no matter for whom you voted? You mean, like ensuring that a hundred thousand service member never got to vote? You mean, like in dozens of precincts that got 100% of votes for Obama? You mean, like precincts in Philadelphia where they barred Republican poll-watchers from the premises? You mean, like angry gang members armed with clubs, blocking the doors to the polling places? You mean, like busloads of Somali non-citizens trucked in and told how to vote? You mean, like Democrat-dominated precincts where there were 50% more votes than registered voters? You mean, like UNSUCCESSFUL attempts to get states to ask for ID? You mean, SEIU- and ACLU-types ushering groups of black voters to the fronts of the lines so that those already in line couldn’t vote without missing work or classes? You mean, like boxes of votes from Republican precincts found in landfills? You Marxists are brain dead hypocrites, and you don’t even know it.

        • Poor “Conservative Joe!” He just can’t bring himself to face up to the fact that Mitt Romney got 47% of the vote. What is it with you people, anyway? You lost! Got it? You lost!

          And it turned out that you can only count on the 47% of Americans who wouldn’t know a fact if it slithered up behind them and bit ‘em on the rear end. Joe, you lost! Lost, lost, lost, lost.

          Lost for the second time in a row. The country rejected your party and its nastiness, and now you can swallow all the bitterness while we laugh at you.

          • Wow. Real mature, Jake. Real mature. Now, turn off the computer and go to bed. And don’t forget to say your Hail Obamas and Busha Culpas.

          • Rich: Another wingnut who just can’t face the bad news. Tell us, are you one of the 25% of Republicans who hates America so much that you want to secede? What made you whackjobs so unpatriotic?

          • Jake, you’re such a funny little Marxist troll. You’re so good at knocking down straw men. Too bad you’re too much of a weak-brained sissy to engage in serious issues with honest arguments. Go upstairs to your mommy and cry on her so she can protect you from those mean-spirited haters and tell you how the world revolves around her sweet little man, you anencephalic commie.

      • Planck: you are clearly either a liberal or just a fool who is too far up Obama’s a.s.s. to acknowledge that this jobs report, like many under the current administration is pure spin. To actually request that the administration actually actually report the jobs situation without accounting gimmicks is not some far right wing conspiracy. There’s no way you are a centrist if you believe such a benign request to be radical partisan politics. Ironically, the truth is such that the left in this country is gone so far off the deep end, so be a few meters right of Michael Moore is something you twits actually consider centrist. Not so much.

        • “Planck: you are clearly either a liberal or just a fool who is too far up Obama’s a.s.s. to acknowledge that this jobs report, like many under the current administration is pure spin. To actually request that the administration actually actually report the jobs situation without accounting gimmicks is not some far right wing conspiracy. There’s no way you are a centrist if you believe such a benign request to be radical partisan politics. Ironically, the truth is such that the left in this country is gone so far off the deep end, so be a few meters right of Michael Moore is something you twits actually consider centrist. Not so much.”

          The incoherency of your reply speaks for itself.

      • This is an example of leftist relativism, where “centrist” is defined by the center of the universe, self. Relativism allows one to validate one’s opinion by discarding measures based on principles and substituting popular opinion. That is one reason leftists gravitate toward teaching and media: They can change the nation by changing its opinions.

        • “This is an example of leftist relativism, where “centrist” is defined by the center of the universe, self. Relativism allows one to validate one’s opinion by discarding measures based on principles and substituting popular opinion. That is one reason leftists gravitate toward teaching and media: They can change the nation by changing its opinions.”

          Your answer solidly proves the point I made. It reveals your pathologies.

          Again: “The GOP has wandered so far off the reservation that they think anyone who disagrees with them must be a Marxist. But that’s their problem, not mine.”

          • Ooh, I’m just overwhelmed with the intellectual content of your reply, the principled reasoning, the nuance, the originality.

            Go back to your flock of radical left-wing parrots, numb-nuts.

      • I have never thought of myself as a “liberal.” I have always been a centrist most of my adult life“…

        LMAO!

        Apparently reality has also wandered off your reservation too…

  8. In view of the amount of individuals leaving the labor market, of which are about 10,000 boomers retiring every day, these numbers indicate we’re just treading water and we have yet to see the impact of expected new taxes and, more importantly, likely abandonement of any real reduction in the ruinous rise in entitlement cost will have. Sounds like a bad time to stop drinking.

  9. agreed – the Nov 1 number would have raised eyebrows just ahead of election. And a blurb elsewhere noted that the entire downward revision was govt. jobs. So govt. jobs reported by govt were off by about 50%. Coincidence? not likely.

  10. The boomer retirement demographic is male bovine dung.

    The number of 55+ workers ( i.e. can’t retire, will greet at WalMart) is increasing. The all important 25-54 segment is now at 1997 employment numbers. This segment actually lost jobs in November.

    The November 2012 “jobs” report is beyond horrific.

    Odumbo should just put them all on welfare. More time for the Odumbo phone minutes.

    • The all important 25-54 segment is now at 1997 employment numbers

      Do you think that that data point has something to do with the lead edge boomer being 66 and the trailing edge boomer being 48 years old today and 51 and 33 years old, respectively in 1997?

      • Ahhhh…like…..no

        What it means is that 66 year olds can’t retire and are taking The “retail” jobs that dominate these monthly reports.

        Quite obvious in the non Odumbo world

        • patsfaninpittsburgh, great response. I am always amazed at how liberals, such as marmalade, throw a couple of numbers together and try to use them to say or imply something that makes absolutely no sense.

          • Thanks Joe

            Imangine that the average Odumbobot can’t look at two graphs and see that the huge drop during the Odumbo years for the 25-54 segment should have the exact opposite for the 55+ graph if this was all demographic.

            Maybe they are less partisan and just really, really stupid.

  11. This is missing some points which should be considered when deciding how good this news is:

    1) what kinds of jobs are being created vs. have been lost? 2) the composition of who is employed and who isn’t by age, race, region, educational level, etc…
    3) The average wage of jobs created.

    Until you know these things, the fact that X jobs were created alone is virtually meaningless.

    • Me-me-me-my-my-my-I-I-I-bama counts four $8/hr, 10-hr jobs replacing one $20/hr, 40-hr job as an increase of three jobs… which demonstrates that when Democrats figure, figures lie.

  12. That’s right, good news is actually bad, and up is down, and deficits don’t matter until they do, and George w Bush was never president, and Obama is a communist Muslim Kenyan….. You people….where did you come from ?

    • Gosh, Kurt, I’m sorry if all this technical stuff is just too hard for you…
      Think of it this way, if 500 engineers and 500 auto assembly workers lose their high paying jobs, but 1500 burger flipper jobs at $8 per hour are created, gosh, that has to be a gain for Obamanomics, don’t ya think?

      • “Gosh, Kurt, I’m sorry if all this technical stuff is just too hard for you…
        Think of it this way, if 500 engineers and 500 auto assembly workers lose their high paying jobs, but 1500 burger flipper jobs at $8 per hour are created, gosh, that has to be a gain for Obamanomics, don’t ya think?”

        Unfortunately, that is precisely the track the country has been on for some time- even before Obama was even born.

  13. I hope the college graduates are finding full time work in their fields…not!
    Federal government borrows $4 billion/day and with 134 million Americans working, that means $30/day of debt per worker…$900/month…$10800/year.
    73% of new jobs, I hear, are in government for which we receive a $900/month bill.
    It’s all too much for me to take and all of us should fear the future tax man coming after our retirement savings. Those college grads are too busy paying off their college loans to contribute much – if they can find a job at all.

  14. First line of the jobs report:

    “The unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent in November. The number of unemployed
    persons, at 12.0 million, changed little.”

    And here is why the UE rate dropped

    “The civilian labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 63.6 percent
    in November, offsetting an increase of the same amount in October. Total employment was
    about unchanged in November, following a combined increase of 1.3 million over the prior
    2 months. The employment-population ratio, at 58.7 percent, changed little
    in November.”

  15. Wow… Obummer is really the harbinger of the “New Normal”, just like the ACLU was concerned about. By the way, by the impatient New World Orderers putting Obummer back in office (rather than trying to mix it up with Romney) are bringing about their own doom- four more years of Obummer is going to pretty much completely destroy the “Obamessiah” propaganda piece.

    • “Wow… Obummer is really the harbinger of the “New Normal”, just like the ACLU was concerned about. By the way, by the impatient New World Orderers putting Obummer back in office (rather than trying to mix it up with Romney) are bringing about their own doom- four more years of Obummer is going to pretty much completely destroy the “Obamessiah” propaganda piece.”

      This is what passes for a cogent remark in today’s Republican dialectic.

      Help yourselves….

  16. A few more reports like this and there won’t be anyone in the workforce so we will be at full employment.

    Shrinking the workforce by 350,000 so that an increase of 150,000 actually brings the unemployment rate down is not a good thing.

    As well manufacturing lost 7000 jobs continuing a losing streak and the last five months 75% of the jobs have been government jobs.

    Translated the private sector stinks on ice.

  17. Well, just like the Bush tax cut stimulus program of tax cut after tax cut after tax cut failed to create jobs as fast as Reagan tax hike driven recovery (from his tax cut driven recession), or Bush-Clinton’s tax hike driven recovery, Obama’s tax cut driven recovery has failed to work.

    Tax cuts in 2009 after Bush’s 2008 tax cuts (to prevent a recession) followed by tax cuts in 2010, then tax cuts in 2011, have been declared by all to have failed.

    The Federal tax burden is 25% less than in the 90s, down to under 15% of GDP from over 20% in 2000.

    • I had to read this one twice…

      mulp actually used the phrase “tax hike driven recovery”.

      I have seen many things which can be described as Orwellian but this one is up there.

      Just for the record, the Bush tax rate reductions were made in answer to the Clinton recession and 9/11 and, contrary to the insane meme of leftists like mulp, resulted in record tax revenues collected by the government as the economy expanded.

      Also, the housing bubble, crash, and great recession were caused by Democrat government policies that distorted the mortgage markets to promote affordable housing.

      But, like most Democrat/liberal/leftist/RINO government garbage, it ended up hurting many more people than it helped.

      Obama is doubling down on dumbass with his big government policies, unfortunately.

      • “Just for the record, the Bush tax rate reductions were made in answer to the Clinton recession”

        What you call the “Clinton recession” was in fact, the shallowest one of the post war era, and probably would have played itself out, just as the economy normally does. You can’t issue a tax cut for every slowdown that comes along because what happens if you do is that you wind up WHERE WE ARE NOW.

        “and 9/11 and, contrary to the insane meme of leftists like mulp, resulted in record tax revenues collected by the government as the economy expanded.”

        Ahh, the “record tax revenues” meme, oddly excluding the two unfunded (and unbudgeted) wars and Medicare Part B- great job. Love those revenues. Especially since they’re blown before we collect ‘em.

        “Also, the housing bubble, crash, and great recession were caused by Democrat government policies that distorted the mortgage markets to promote affordable housing.”

        The standard “Big Lie” ingrained by reading to many Breitbart e-mails. Once again- the government didn’t “distort” housing markets- non government affiliated lenders did.

  18. And has anyone see Obama’s approval ratings over on REal Clear Politics? What alternative universe are these people living in? On second thought, they must be part of the 47% who are just sitting back, relaxing and collecting those gov’t checks every month. No need to worry about a job when you’re lying in a hammock with every need taken care of. Just like a baby.

  19. How can any national economy that is vastly undeperforming its potential ever be considered good? And why would destructive policies like we have now ever be expected to produce a national economy that meets potential? And why would we expect much to change when the same policymakers remain in place?

  20. And to spread the blame around a bit more from the obvious suspects in the White House & Fed… Has anyone noticed that there may be more agremeent in Wash DC on raising the social security retirement age than any other current fiscal issue? This BEFORE reducing other government freebies. Keep in mind, social security is something people pay in advance in order to receive later. It’s nowhere near an entitlement the way Medicaid is for example.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>