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Affluent Christian Investor | October 22, 2017

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Unspinning The Labor Markets

Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images

The press is swooning over this morning’s decrease in new jobless claims numbers. Case in point:

“(Reuters) – New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits hit a seven-year low last week while consumer prices recorded their largest increase in 10 months in April, pointing to a firming economy.”

“The economy’s outlook was further brightened by other data on Thursday showing factory activity in New York state expanding at its quickest pace in nearly four years in May.”

“”It conveys the message of solid economic activity. Labor conditions continue to improve and I expect this will be validated by payroll reports over the next few months,” said Anthony Karydakis, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak in New York.”

Wow, hard hitting stuff, truth to power and all that.

Before we pop open the bubbly, let’s take a look at what the administration and its boosters probably will not talk about today. The unemployment claims numbers is only a metric of newly unemployed workers. But precisely how many more of those can we possibly find. We’ve had a steady decrease in the proportion of Americans in the labor force. Over the past several years, the average time spent unemployed has risen to historic highs. It’s inevitable that eventually almost all of the workers who are not employable in a stagnant economy will run out. Looking at the whole picture, including today’s revelation that those who are employed had their real wages fall by 3% last month and the data in the JOLTS report last week which shows no upward spike in job availability, and the data showing the chronic problem of long-term unemployment essentially unchanged, and you’ll see that a metric which shows nothing more than a drop in the number of people who are newentrants into the unemployment compensation system is nothing to brag about.

 

Article originally published on Forbes.com.

Jerry Bowyer is a Forbes contributor, contributing editor of AffluentInvestor.com, and Senior Fellow in Business Economics at The Center for Cultural Leadership.

Jerry has compiled an impressive record as a leading thinker in finance and economics. He worked as an auditor and a tax consultant with Arthur Anderson, as Vice President of the Beechwood Company which is the family office associated with Federated Investors, and has consulted in various privatization efforts for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. He founded the influential economic think tank, the Allegheny Institute, and has lectured extensively at universities, businesses and civic groups.

Jerry has been a member of three investment committees, among which is Benchmark Financial, Pittsburgh’s largest financial services firm. Jerry had been a regular commentator on Fox Business News and Fox News. He was formerly a CNBC Contributor, has guest-hosted “The Kudlow Report”, and has written for CNBC.com, National Review Online, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as many other publications. He is the author of The Bush Boom and more recently The Free Market Capitalist’s Survival Guide, published by HarperCollins. Jerry is the President of Bowyer Research.

Jerry consulted extensively with the Bush White House on matters pertaining to the recent economic crisis. He has been quoted in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, The International Herald Tribune and various local newspapers. He has been a contributing editor of National Review Online, The New York Sun and Townhall Magazine. Jerry has hosted daily radio and TV programs and was one of the founding members of WQED’s On-Q Friday Roundtable. He has guest-hosted the Bill Bennett radio program as well as radio programs in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles.

Jerry is the former host of WorldView, a nationally syndicated Sunday-morning political talk show created on the model of Meet The Press. On WorldView, Jerry interviewed distinguished guests including the Vice President, Treasury Secretary, HUD Secretary, former Secretary of Sate Condoleezza Rice, former Presidential Advisor Carl Rove, former Attorney General Edwin Meese and publisher Steve Forbes.

Jerry has taught social ethics at Ottawa Theological Hall, public policy at Saint Vincent’s College, and guest lectured at Carnegie Mellon’s graduate Heinz School of Public Policy. In 1997 Jerry gave the commencement address at his alma mater, Robert Morris University. He was the youngest speaker in the history of the school, and the school received more requests for transcripts of Jerry’s speech than at any other time in its 120-year history.

Jerry lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Susan, and the youngest five of their seven children.

 

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