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Friday, April 3, 2015

A Really Poor Jobs Report

It is a good thing that the stock market is closed for Good Friday.  The government issued the jobs report for March, and it was extremely disappointing.  Job growth was 126,000 rather than the 241,000 that the "experts" were predicting.  Prior months; numbers were revised and another 76,000 jobs disappeared.  That means that compared to the number of jobs last noted in the February report a month ago, the total was only up by 50,000.  The unemployment rate stayed at 5.5%, but that was due to yet another decline in people seeking work.  Average wages were up slightly, but hours worked were down, so the overall effect was that the average weekly wage was down during the month.

It seems that this is yet another instance of the much ballyhooed Obama "recovery" fizzling out.  In the third quarter of 2014, there was relatively robust growth in GDP.  At that point, the media chorus that supports Obama told the country that the economy was finally taking off.  Then we had the fourth quarter in which growth went back to an anemic number in the low 2% range.  Current estimates are that there may have been no growth during the first quarter.  In truth, however, even if the first quarter replicated the poor results of the fourth quarter of 2014, it would be another indication that the economy is anything but strong.

The sad thing is that there are so many things that could be done to get the economy moving again.  President Obama is just not interested in this subject, however.  There are ways that the government could change the corporate tax structure so as to encourage massive investment in the US economy while actually raising the income of the federal government.  The Republicans who control Congress have already said many times that they are prepared to come up with an agreed method to do this by working together with the Democrats and Obama.  Many congressional Democrats (although not the leadership) have also said that they would like to try this.  Only Obama has done nothing.  He says he favors changes to the corporate tax structure, but no one from his administration ever takes the next step.  The Obamacrats just won't even sit down to discuss this issue.  As a result, millions of Americans see their incomes stagnate or fall while the president spends his time playing golf.


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