Saturday, May 9, 2015

Slow Saturday Special: $$DW

Related: Slow Saturday Special: $$DD

"A hazy view of US economy emerges ahead of April jobs report" by Josh Boak Associated Press  May 08, 2015

Hazy is one of those code words (murky is another) that gives you warning to put on your waders.

WASHINGTON — When the government reports Friday on job growth during April, it could help clarify an increasingly nagging question: Just how strong is the US economy?

Doubt it.

The picture has grown hazier of late. Weaknesses have emerged in reports showing falling worker productivity, a slowdown in exports, modest consumer spending, and sluggish overall economic expansion.

Over the past few years, the United States has served as a powerful engine for the world’s economy, but still, there are optimistic signs:

You know, the MIXED MESSAGES are really getting to me.

Most economists have attributed the barely there US growth during the January-March quarter mainly to temporary factors: nasty winter weather, the impacts of cheaper oil, and a since-resolved West Coast ports dispute. 

Convenient to blame for the economy, and the ports crisis was really undersold. Wouldn't want American sheeple getting any ideas.

Recent economic indicators have drawn a muddy picture:


■ It’s possible that companies facing uncertainty are refraining from layoffs while delaying hiring until they get a better sense of the economy....

■ Worker productivity slipped in the first quarter while labor costs surged, the Labor Department said Wednesday. The report marked only the third time in 25 years that productivity has suffered back-to-back quarterly declines. Lower productivity is usually a negative for the economy because it suggests that workers are becoming less efficient.

No need for concern.

■ The US economy also shrank during last year’s first quarter during a brutal winter. But many employers expected 2015 to produce additional strength because of strong hiring in much of 2014. Instead, growth has fallen well below its 3.6 percent annual rate in the second half of last year. Lackluster consumer spending helps explain the deceleration.

Yeah, blame consumers that have no money. 

My next budget cut? Boston Globes.

■ But the housing gains come as pay raises are starting to benefit some, especially at the lower-paid levels of the workforce.

Oh, yeah? I'll keep that in mind and check my check!

Walmart last month raised pay for 500,000 workers to $9 an hour.

You check yours?

Even as the GDP numbers have stirred pessimism, other economists foresee an economy gaining speed. They see the 5.5 percent unemployment rate as beginning to force more employers to start boosting wages.

‘‘The economy is not in bad shape,’’ said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisers. ‘‘We’re finally switching to the point where it’s labor instead of management that have growing power in the job market.’’

I think it is ready to crash. There is no money circulating, or very little. It's all up top and they can only spend so much. Other than that they sit on it, or move it around to make more money.



Now, about those rising wages:

"Wages stuck, despite 7-year jobless rate low" by Nelson D. Schwartz New York Times   May 08, 2015

The US job market rebounded in April, the government said Friday, helping to ease worries that the economy was on the brink of another extended slowdown after a bleak winter stall. But the growth in jobs failed to translate, once again, into any significant improvement in pay.


Employers added 223,000 positions last month, the Labor Department reported, and the unemployment rate decreased to 5.4 percent, a turnaround from the disappointing performance in March, initially reported as a modest 126,000 gain and then revised down Friday to 85,000.


Sorry, but WHAT A$$HOLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“We expected a rebound following the numbers in March and we got it, but not much more,” said Guy Berger, US economist at RBS. “Wage growth is still the missing piece.”

I was told YESTERDAY that WAGES were SURGING!!!!!

Even though payrolls have risen at a healthy pace recently — averaging gains of 243,000 positions per month since the beginning of 2014 — the prospect of a real raise for most workers has taken on a “Waiting for Godot”-like quality.

It never comes! In fact, you are MORE LIKELY to see a CUT! 

You want your job? Then shaddup!!!!

As the unemployment rate has dropped, many economists have kept predicting that substantive pay increases would come soon. But as long as wage gains remain just around the corner, their absence is expected to fuel increased public frustration and become a central issue in the presidential campaign.

Yeah, just wait another 18 months or so. You've already waited six years. 

You $ee why I'm so angry about this shoveled slop? $ame thing for the last eight years!!!!

Before Friday’s report, some economists were estimating that average hourly earnings might rise 0.2 percent or more in April, signaling an upswing from the slow pace of wage gains since the end of the recession.

But average hourly earnings rose only 0.1 percent in April, producing a 2.2 percent annual gain. That modest showing suggests that any meaningful wage gains for most workers are still delayed, despite the steadily falling unemployment rate.

Conservative critics of President Obama’s economic policies cite stagnant wages as evidence of how weak the economy remains, despite other seemingly rosy data points like the falling unemployment rate, healthy corporate profits, and a buoyant stock market.


"The typical US household saw its net worth actually decline 1.2 percent from 2010 to 2013....

Incomes for the highest-earning 1 percent of Americans soared 31 percent from 2009 through 2012....

And after 30 years of skyrocketing income inequality, the top 1 percent now control a bigger share of wealth than they have since FDR, [and] not only are the rich getting richer — they’re getting taxed less, too."
That's how they can build palaces and write them off on the taxes.

But the course of the economy over coming months will be shaped largely by the Federal Reserve, and the lack of wage pressure means the central bank will not be in a rush to take its long-awaited first step in raising short-term interest rates, which have been near zero since late 2008.

Many experts once expected the Fed to move in June, but the consensus has recently shifted to September or beyond as the probable beginning of any gradual tightening effort by the central bank.

“All things considered, any lingering possibility of a June rate hike from the Fed is now off the table, with September probably the most likely liftoff date now,” said Paul Ashworth, chief US economist for Capital Economics, a research firm.

Berger agreed that if monthly job gains could be sustained at this pace, the Fed would probably act in September.

The prospect of steady hiring without the risk of inflation brought by rising wages, leaving the Fed in a wait-and-see mode, is welcome on Wall Street.

As long as they are happy.


Underscoring the uncertain picture, the government said in a separate report Friday that wholesale inventories rose more slowly than expected in March. With businesses restocking shelves less aggressively, experts at Barclays and Macroeconomic Advisers revised their estimate for economic activity in the first quarter downward Friday to show a contraction of 0.6 percent, even worse than the Commerce Department’s initial estimate of a tiny 0.2 increase. 

Who do you believe! It's not a recession, but it's close!

Adding to the mystery of missing wage growth is the fact that the composition of new jobs has improved markedly lately, a reversal of what was the case early in the recovery.

Look at them talk about the "my$tery of the mi$$ing," and dare say they are spouting facts!

In April, higher-wage sectors like professional and business services and construction were big winners. Relatively low-paid categories like retailing and leisure and hospitality were much less robust.


Yeah, it's a MYSTERY!!!

One notable loser in April was the energy industry, which has been stung by the sharp decline in oil prices since last summer. Energy prices have ticked higher recently, as have gasoline costs, but energy companies continued to shed workers, cutting more than 10,000 jobs in April.

But the unemployment rate fell and jobs are plentiful, yup. Almost time for lunch.

At 5.4 percent, a seven-year low, the headline unemployment rate is down sharply from nearly 8 percent two years ago and experts say it could fall below 5 percent by the end of the year if hiring continues to gain steam.

But the broadest measure of unemployment, which includes people forced to take part-time positions because they cannot find full-time work, remains high for nonrecessionary times at 10.8 percent.

At the same time, millions of workers have given up the search for jobs entirely and dropped out of the workforce.

You can count me there. I'm living off family and friend's charity. Thank God the crap home is paid for.

Although it ticked higher to 62.8 percent last month, the labor participation rate has been stuck for years near multidecade lows.

That is MORE IMPORTANT than the "OFFICIAL" UNEMPLOYMENT RATE, and is PROOF of what history will call the GRAND DEPRESSION and the END of AmeriKan Empire!