Tags: Newman | job | unemployed | labor

Yahoo's Newman: Job Picture Not as Rosy as it Appears

By    |   Friday, 03 October 2014 12:19 PM

At first glance the labor market looks quite strong. Non-farm payrolls rose a larger-than-expected 248,000 in September, and the unemployment rate fell to a six-year low of 5.9 percent.

But beneath the surface, things don't look so great, says Yahoo columnist Rick Newman.

A total of 9.3 million Americans are unemployed now, up 1.7 million from in December 2007, when the Great Recession began. Another 7.1 million are working part-time, but want to be working full-time, up from 4.6 million in 2007.

The labor participation rate dipped to 62.7 percent last month, a 36-year low. Meanwhile, average hourly wages have increased only 0.8 percent inflation-adjusted since December 2007.

"The Fed still hopes super-low interest rates will help stimulate hiring, but the connection is tenuous at best," Newman writes.

"A lot of factors are still working against job creation. Companies aren't really using borrowed money to make big investments and create jobs. They're more likely to use it to repurchase stock or pay dividends to keep shareholders happy."

Many economists were more enthusiastic about the September data. "This report was strong across the board," Dean Maki, chief U.S. economist at Barclays, tells Bloomberg.

"The labor market continues to grow fast enough to keep pushing the unemployment rate down. . . . As the unemployment rate keeps falling, wage growth will pick up month to month."

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At first glance the labor market looks quite strong. Non-farm payrolls rose a larger-than-expected 248,000 in September, and the unemployment rate fell to a six-year low of 5.9 percent.
Newman, job, unemployed, labor
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2014-19-03
Friday, 03 October 2014 12:19 PM
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