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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Economic Stories of Relevance in Today's World -- November 4, 2012

Job Creation Under Barack Obama: Less Than Meets The Eye? - Zero Hedge - Tyler Durden November 3, 2012 - In the aftermath of yesterday's better than expected jobs number there have been many analyses in the media on both sides of the aisle, either attacking or defending Obama's track record in creating jobs. All have come up with arguments which according to their authors, are solid and defensible. There is one analysis, however, which is missing, and that is a follow up of what we showed yesterday in "Chart Of The Day: America's Geriatric Work F(a)rce."  In it we demonstrated the very much "under the radar" schism of America's workforce since the NBER-defined official end of the recession in June 2009 into the "haves", or those above 55, who have been able to get a job since the end of the recession, and the "have nots", or all those in the labor force who have not been able to find a job. So how does this data look when extended to the beginning of Obama's term, or the 46 full months starting with his inauguration in January 2009, and continuing through the latest, October 2012 data point. The chart is presented below; you decide.                      In summary: while those in the 55-69 age group have gained nearly 4 million jobs under President Obama, everyone else has lost just over 2.5 million.              In other words, those aged 55 and over should be scrambling for "4 more years." Everyone esle... perhaps not so much.

Chart Of The Day: America's Geriatric Work F(a)rce - Zero Hedge - Tyler Durden - November 2, 2012 -The traditional excuse apologists for America's collapsing labor force participation rate use every month is that due to "demographics" and retiring baby boomers, increasingly more old workers are no longer counted by the BLS and as a result, are skewing the labor force. That's where they leave it because digging into details is not really anyone's forte anymore. This would be great if it was true. It isn't.                            A month ago in "55 And Under? No Job For You" we presented visually and quite simply that of the 3.3 million jobs "created" (updated for October's data), a gasp-inducing 3.8 million has gone to workers aged 55 and over, or the one cohort that according to conventional wisdom is retiring, and actively leaving the workforce. How can America's elderly workers account for more than the total? Simple: workers in the young (16-19) and prime (25-54) cohorts have cumulatively lost a whopping 1.3 million, with just the 25-54 age group losing 842,000 jobs (don't believe us: spot check it right here courtesy of the Fed).                           In other words, America's edlerly are not only not in a rush to retire, they are reentering the workforce (thanks to the Chairman's genocidal savings policy which has just rendered the value of all future deposits worthless thanks to ZIRP), and in doing so preventing younger workers, in their prime years, from generating incremental jobs.                                 And nowhere is this more visible than in today's jobs report. On the surface, the US generated a whopping 413,000 jobs (after generating a massive 873,000 last month) according to the Household Survey in October. That's great, unfortunately breaking down this cumulative addition by age cohort confirms precisely what we have said: all the jobs are going to old workers, who have zero wage bargaining leverage (as they just want to have a day to day paycheck). To wit: when broken down by age group, the total October increase shows that of the new jobs, 10.7% went to those aged 16-19 (source), 11.6% went to those aged 20-24 (source), a tiny 9.8% went to the prime agr group: 25-54 (source), and a massive 67.8% went to America's baby boomers: those aged 55 and over (source), and who refuse to leave the workforce and make way for others.

Food Stamp Growth 75X Greater than Job Creation - The Weekly Standard - Daniel Halper - November 2, 2012 - With the latest jobs report, it is now the case that "Under Obama, Food Stamp Growth [Is] 75 Times Greater Than Job Creation," according to statistics compiled by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee. "For Every Person Added to Jobs Rolls Since January 2009, 75 People Added To Food Stamp Rolls." Here's a chart detailing the growth:

October Jobs Report Shows Incomes Continuing to Decline - - Noel Sheppard - November 02, 2012 - One of the negative features of the current economic recovery has been declining incomes of average Americans. This trend continued in October.                      The Labor Department reported Friday that despite 171,000 jobs being added to nonfarm payrolls in October, average hourly earnings for such employees edged down by 1 cent to $23.58.
Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees also dropped by 1 cent to $19.79.                        This continues a trend reported by the Census Bureau in August finding that since the recovery began in June 2009, median household incomes have fallen 4.8 percent adjusted for inflation.                    Also of note, the manufacturing workweek edged down by 0.1 hour to 40.5 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls also edged down by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours.                 As such, despite the positive headline numbers in this report, this is by no means a strong jobs market this far into an economic recovery.             

America's best job creators are slowing down - Fortune through CNN Money - Nin-Hai Tseng - October 31, 2012 - We're only halfway through earnings season, but it's clear corporate America is struggling. After seeing remarkable growth amid a shaky economy, U.S. companies expect a decline in year-over-year earnings for the first time in three years. And Sandy's economic toll certainly won't help most companies.                             As big companies brace for tougher times ahead, the niche market of mid-sized firms expect trouble, too, as a blast of tax hikes and spending cuts threaten to weigh on earnings, according to a survey by the National Centre for the Middle Market at Ohio State University. This suggests another piece of bad news for the job market, given that in the years following the Great Recession, mid-sized companies created more jobs than most other companies. 

Without Electricity, New Yorkers on Food Stamps Can’t Pay for Food - Color Lines - Jorge Rivas - Thursday, November 1 2012 - It’s been more than three days since power went out in many parts of New York City, including the Lower East Side where multi-story public housing complexes like the La Guardia Houses don’t have electricity, heat or water.                    Many of the residents are also without food.                 Many of the low-income residents receive cash and supplemental nutritional assistance from the state electronically through what the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance calls Electronic Benefit Cards (EBT.)                      Recipients buying eligible foods are suppose to swipe their EBT cards like any other credit card for their purchases but since Hurricane Sandy hit, most Lower East Side stores don’t have electricity to run credit card transactions and are only accepting cash. Leaving many people on EBT with empty wallets, empty refrigerators and no access to food.                   “The supermarkets don’t even really want to sell anything. They’re open but if you don’t have cash, you messed up. And everybody in these projects, they take EBT…food stamps,” a La Guardia Houses resident told WNYC’s Marianne McCune.                 Listen to Marianne McCune from the La Guardia Houses below and visit to read her story.

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