back to article US economy not eager to create jobs in April

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job-counting arm of the US Department of Labor, says that job creation in April was lower than economists had been expecting, but went back and revised its figures for February and March, saying that more workers found jobs than it originally thought. The latest jobs report (PDF) shows the …

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The US needs to re-elect Obama, and the world needs it desperately. The stimulus is slowly working, with employment very slowly easing and growth in key sectors.

With the Republican war on women in full flow and this good news [any positive economic news is gold dust, even stuff that would be pitiful in better times] is another shot into the sails of those that aren't just keen to kick the US while it is down but turn it into a quagmire of elected fundamentalism.

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WTF?

Elected fundamentalism??

You haven't been paying attention we've had elected fundamentalism in the US for as long as I can remember and my beard, if I had one, would be nearly completely gray. The fundamentalists don't all agree and wear different color hats but it's still two competing teams of fundys, both of whom are largely dysfunctional and totally incompetent.

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Construction Hole

There is still a major hole in the US economy - Construction. That includes not only the direct labor construction jobs, but all the suppliers of materials for building, and the peripheral jobs in real estate, finance, insurance, etc, and the downstream purchases by construction workers.

Until that hole gets filled, the US will take a long time to reach full employment again.

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Meh

Protectionism

Good to see protectionism is working then.

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Facepalm

Re: Protectionism

Countries need some level of protectionism. You can't expect to get everything done by other countries and have a thriving economy.

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FAIL

Re: Protectionism

So when youre in a situation like I'm involved in where a company is trying to setup in the US and migrate already employed officers over; so they can build a US presence and train and hire American workers, but your getting push back and visa denials from US immgration, that's a good thing is it?

Free trade benefits both sides, contrary to the fear and paranoia spread by American media. The US government just doesn't know how to follow the money, they only appeal to the lowest common denominator which is set by the afformentioned media.

Sure manufactoring should be afforded some protection but don't turn away entities that actually want to spend money in your economy.

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Re: Protectionism

"Countries need some level of protectionism."

Sorry but you've struck a bit of raw nerve here. In short, no, they don't. Protectionism hurts everyone, always and there is no such thing as a little bit.

As example consider a simple little tariff to protect political allies sugar farmers in Florida from the low prices of sugar farmers in Brazil which winds up raising the price of sugar for every American and pushes soft drink manufacturers to switch to high fructose corn syrup to save money. It is now an artificial subsidy to the corn farmer who gets to raise the price of corn to meet the higher demand. This artificial inflation means people have to be paid more money just to stay even. This in turn raises the cost of everything their employers produce and this repeats until some new equilibrium point is established where some people lose their jobs in order for their former employer to remain competitive. Meanwhile in Brazil there is a surplus of sugar driving the price of sugar down even further so the living wage farmers there were making before is harder to achieve but at least they can turn to producing rum and alcohol fuels changing the economic balance for someone else and so on. The end result is everyone is worse off, even without a retaliatory tariff, all because some idiot pol decided his campaign contributing friend shouldn't have to modernize or adapt or change crops to remain competitive.

Consider when the UN gangs up on a country and applies reverse protectionism in the form of economic sanctions. They aren't doing it to protect that countries economy and industry.

"You can't expect to get everything done by other countries and have a thriving economy."

You're right, but you do have to figure out where your advantage lies and rather than give a further dissertation on comparative and competitive advantage, I'll leave that as an exercise for the interested.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Protectionism

It depends upon how you look at it. Yes, if you are looking at global gross production, protectionism takes that number down. If you take a manufacturing company say and shift the production to China, Chinese production goes up, excess profits which theoretically are reinvested elsewhere go up and prices go down. It seems like a win for all involved, but it isn't in all ways.

If you shift one company or industry to China or take your pick of developing economy, it is not a major problem as the developed world (Europe and US) can adjust. If you wholesale shift virtually all manufacturing to China, a good deal of IT to India and other countries, call centers to Manilla, etc, etc. You eventually have a situation where all of the services, or at least a good majority of the services/products are being created in one section of the world and the consumption is being driven by another section of the world, US and Europe. It is unsustainable as US and Europe cannot continue producing way, way less than they consume. Right now the US and Europe, to an even greater extent, are in hock up to their necks. The systems needs to rebalance where the developed nations are producing more to pay for their consumption. Even at the low prices from the developing world, we can't pay for the consumption. The Chinese in particular, but other countries as well, are sterilizing their currency to avoid inflation. This will have to come to a head at some point because the Chinese cannot continue buying US bonds forever to keep their currency undervalued vis a vis the dollar, which basically means the Euro as well as it is the dollar is the currency of exchange.

Food for thought.... If you are one of those that believes in national autonomy, the global shift of wealth from the West to the East is basically a veto on anything the Chinese and Russians do not like coming out of the US and their friends in Western Europe. The US and friends supposedly "won" the cold war, but it is interesting to note that the Communist countries that lost the cold war have control over our economies. If the Russians and Chinese decided that they were just going to dump their trillions in US, UK, and the rest of the EUs bonds, they would lose a bunch of cash and hurt their economies as well, but they would destroy the West's economies. The interesting part is that they don't need to actually dump the bonds. It is enough that the US and the Europeans know that they had better not mess with their landlord. The threat becomes the reality. It is ironic that the Communists may have won the Cold War round 2 using capitalism. What if in 1980 something the comrades got together and said, "The current approach to beating the West is not working. What if we superficially opened our markets to the West, allowed Western corporations to use our labor forces through state sponsored entities to transfer all of their wealth to us while making it profitable for the corporations as well. After we have effectively purchased enough Western government debt to control policy making, we wouldn't need to send in the Migs as we would have pretty close to full title over the governments and economies of the West." If you haven't noticed, the Chinese and Russia are still basically state run countries through artificial companies closely linked to state power. They may not be as committed to capitalism, and are certainly not as committed to Western style liberal democracy, as some might like to believe. Regardless of how you look at it, the governments of Western nations are far less powerful within their own countries and within the world than they were a generation ago.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't believe it

Bama says everything is fine in DC... They are all still on the gravy train and stealing all they can.

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Go

Re: on the gravy train and stealing all they can.

and when you consider how little Bush left them to steal....

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Fundamentalism

As a British man I'm fundamentally baffled by American politics. But I am protectionist about British politics.

I cannot see democracy surviving in Britain or America. America looks like ancient Rome - they had a democratic system in theory: but in practice?

Europe? People seem to think you can vote austerity away.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fundamentalism

Agree, it is a similar scenario to ancient Rome. A huge disparity of wealth between the elites and the rest. There is no real unifying bond between the elites and the rest... or really between any group of people. You get to perform the social act of pulling a lever every now and again to elect one of two people both of which will do approximately the same things for exactly the same people if they are elected. The only difference is that this time Rome is asking the Germans to come down to help them as opposed to being uninvited guests.

The austerity measures forget that 100% of zero is still zero. They are sending their tax receipts, already a high percentage of GDP, to pay down debt, which tanks their economies (the "signal to the market" hasn't exactly worked as planned), which provides them with a smaller tax base from which to pay down their debt, which makes their debt greater even though they are spending a larger and larger percentage of taxes to pay debt. They will eventually have to get out of the EU so they can dilute their debt... or just tell their bond holders to come and take the title for the Parthenon.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fundamentalism

"Europe? People seem to think you can vote austerity away." .. Actually you can. Simply devalue your currency. Unless of course, you were stupid enough to give up your own currency in which case you're SOL.

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Heh

Choice in American politics?

You have one extremely right-wing party and one less-extremely-right-wing party. What's worse is that its a false dichotomy. One caused by a few essential failures of democracy: that you can influence voting with money and once a dual party system is installed it becomes almost impossible to remove without a civil war or revolution.

They've been calling Obama all sorts of racial slurs and a communist too. He should start pulling the leash on a few megacorps and get them to move some jobs back to the US and regarding the banks...I'll let Old Hickory Jackson speak for me (to place proper context, this words were recorded by Jackson's secretary during a meeting with a delegation of bankers before Jackson closed the Second Bank of the United States):

"Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out!"

We don't need a god or miracles to fix the problem: we need a Mensch.

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Re: A favorite tune of mine

"Sag mir wo die Menschen sind.

Wo sind sie geblieben." (repeat)

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Anonymous Coward

Those who financially benefit rule

The U.S. government is run by big money and the tax payers just suffer and pay the bills. Unemplyoment is likely to stay high if it benefits the wealthy. If the U.S. exported all the illegally aliens they could actually pay their bills and create real jobs but instead they must deal with Mexico's problems.

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Stop

Re: Those who financially benefit rule

If the object here is creating jobs, it would be counterproductive to export all the illegal aliens in the US. To pull all the money the illegals spend every day out of the economy would cause a negative ripple through it.

"" According to UCLA research, immigrants produce $150 billion of economic activity equivalent to spending stimulus every year. ""

$150 billion of economic activity is only1% of a $15 trillion GDP, but to withdraw it would hurt the taxpaying land lords, and the owners of small and large stores, restaurants and mechanics, who in turn would spend less at the businesses they frequent.

If your argument is that those who financially rule do not want the aliens repatriated, you're absolutely correct.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Those who financially benefit rule

Wrong...

Illegals have no money to spend unless they take a job that someone else can do. So deporting them would actually create jobs for legitimate U.S. citizens and LEGAL aliens. Those legitimate citizens would still spend the same money or more than the illegals spend as much of the illegal's money is sent to Mexico. Illegals fill the prisons in CA, AZ and TX and many other U.S. prisons and that cost billions of dollars to house them.

Illegals suck the social systems financially dry and are causing financial dispair for hospitals that must treat them for free and police agencies they must arrest them and judicial systems that must prosecute them and prison systems that must provide three hots and a cot and the DEA that must deal with them and the U.S. Immigration services that must deport them.

Until the U.S. resolves their illegal alien issues they will never have a sustainable low unemployment society again.

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FAIL

Re: I guess you've figured it out.

I confess I don't know how many of the Mexicans picking vegetables under a cloudless sky in the 90 degree heat of Southern California are legal and how many are illegal. And who else wants to do that work? Same for the gardening crews that come around every week to weed-wack, chainsaw, mow and leaf blow. Same with the garbage truck drivers. I suspect that a large minority are illegal. And I also have a feeling that it's not going to be easy to find replacements for them. And that might mean offering a higher wage to get replacements. And if you do that, you have to raise the wages of the legal aliens and, it goes with saying, you have to charge the customers more.

Two other considerations. I have seen a number that there are from 12 to 20 million illegal aliens in the US. What is your estimate as to how long it would take to round them all up? And more to the point how many agents would be required to get them all? And how much would it cost the Treasury? You know those Republicans. They like to stick to a budget.

Finally, how will our good ally and trusted oil supplier, Mexico, feel about 12 - 20 million of their expatriates dumped all of a sudden back onto the Streets of Laredo, Tamaulipas? Especially if they're having an unemployment problem?

To cut to the chase, all those illegals were remitting to their wives and children and their frail, old madres 200 billion a year. Don't you think those funds were goosing the Mexican economy a little and will be sorely missed when Christmas bonuses come round? I do.

I don't think your plan will get an inch off the ground.

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Anonymous Coward

Until the U.S. deports millions of illegals they haven't got a chance

There is so much statistical data to support that the illegals from Mexico are a serious financial burden on the U.S. it's incomprehensible they don't force Mexico to stop the flow of illegals.

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Unhappy

Re: I've got a delivery of 12 million Mexicans for you. Where should I put them?

No one is going to argue with you that illegal aliens in the US aren't a problem. Unfortunately, solving the problem for the US, creates one for Mexico. Probably destabilizes it. Their unemployment rate immediately goes up. The $200 billion a year in remittances goes down. Even if the US and Mexico split the cost of a wall (what a horrible image that invokes, what with East Berlin, the West Bank, etc.), it's an unaffordable burden for them. And having to police the wall to keep its citizens from leaving...

It's a huge hit on the Mexican economy. And when all these young Mexicans go home and there are no jobs, how many of them will be recruited into the drug cartels?

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Anonymous Coward

According to the Think Tanks...

High unemployment is the new U.S. economic model. They do not expect unemployment to ever be low again. They expect more middle class will slip below the poverty level and that the 1% will not pay more taxes despite the lip service.

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Re: "Then is doomsday near"

How can it be that unemployment will never be low again? The unemployed in large numbers are either dead, in prison or in the army. No satisfactory option there. If modern capitalism can not counter unemployment with all its technology and rocketing productivity, we must be under attack by diminishing returns and can only be delivered by some genius economist.

The oceans are dying, the climate has changed (maybe man is responsible. who cares?) our ground water is polluted, viruses and bacteria are becoming more drug resistant, we are about to run out of our most essential natural resource, the population growth will soon be a serial killer of the elderly.

Figuratively, a book George Orwell wrote over 60 years ago is becoming reality, like CGI in a billion dollar box office, 3D, action, sci-fi flick. Finally, the cold war is heating (freezing?) up again with the US/NATO encircling Russia with its missile shield defense. In February, it was reported, "Russian strategic nuclear submarines will resume routine extended patrols in international waters around the world in June 2012, Russian Navy Commander Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said. “On June 1 or a bit later we will resume constant patrolling of the world’s oceans by strategic nuclear submarines,” Vysotsky said at a meeting with naval personnel on Friday.

The annual number of extended patrols performed by Russian strategic nuclear submarines and nuclear-powered attack submarines has dropped from more than 230 in 1984 to less than 10 today."

Then there are the Iskander missile that the Russians are moving into the their western Kaliningrad district right next to Poland, which is hosting the NATO ABMs. Just last week the Russian General Staff announced it was reserving the right to make a preemptive strike against the NATO states hosting anti-missile missiles.

Have TPTB decided that this current 'weak recovery' needs a war like the Great Depression needed WW2?

It is the best of times for the 1% and soon will be the worst of times for everybody else.

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Anonymous Coward

Let Mexico and China fix their own problems

It's funny to hear people say the U.S. shouldn't fix their issues with illegal Mexican aliens or Chinese imports from sweatshops because it will cause these two countries hardships. These countries had the same issues before the U.S. started importing billions of goods annually and tens of thousands of Mexican illegals moved into the U.S. It's time these countries took responsibility for their own economic recovery and stability and stopped depending on the U.S. to bail them out economically.

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