Tags: Employment | worse | one | year

Fortune: Forget Four Years Ago, Labor Market Worse Off Than in 2011

By    |   Saturday, 08 September 2012 04:28 PM

In the presidential campaign, the combatants are arguing about whether we’re better off than four years ago. But when it comes to jobs, we’re worse off than just one year ago, according to Fortune magazine Senior Editor Stephen Gandel.

Several statistics bear this out, he writes. First, payrolls have gained an average of 97,000 over the last six months, compared to 136,000 for the same period last year.

Salaries are no great shakes either. Average hourly wages dipped one cent in August to $23.52. That’s up 40 cents from a year ago, translating into a 1.7 percent increase, which barely beats inflation. And that appreciation trails the 49-cent gain for the year ended in August 2011.

Editor's Note: Prophetic Economist Warns: “It’s Curtains for America.” See Evidence.

The problem is that the economy is generating largely low-paying jobs. The restaurant industry produced the biggest increase in jobs last month, for example.

The bleak hiring picture has led many of the unemployed to stop even looking for a job. The number of people dropping out of the labor force totaled 2.7 million over the last year, up from 2.2 million a year earlier.

The weak August jobs report has many experts worried about the economy.

“This is definitely a setback,” Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase, tells Bloomberg. “This clearly validates [Federal Reserve Chairman Ben] Bernanke’s concern. We have Europe, the fiscal cliff, and it is a generally cautious business environment.”

Editor's Note: Prophetic Economist Warns: “It’s Curtains for America.” See Evidence.

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