Bureau of Labor Statistics Up to its Usual Tricks, Lousy Facts Hidden behind Rosy Data

Joe's picture

By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

November 7, 2014

The monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics reports are monotonously similar. One month, the economy adds a few more than anticipated jobs. The following month, fewer jobs are created – often too few to keep up with population growth. In October, 214,000 new jobs pushed the unemployment rate down to 5.8 percent. But the more significant U-6 or underemployment rate is 12.5 percent, with California at 15.8 percent.

Growth Industry: Pouring cocktails and waiting tables.

A closer look at which industries added jobs is discouraging. Food services, business services, retail and health care added, respectively, 42,000, 37,000, 27,000 and 25,000 jobs. Most are low paying and many, part-time. Accordingly, earnings grew only 0.1 percent to $24.57 which would be paid out over a 34.6 hour average workweek, or a gross weekly income of about $850.

Zerohedge.com, indispensible because of its forthright analysis, noted that in October, the economy added more bartenders and waiters, one in every five new jobs, than in any month during the last year. Since 1990, bartenders and waiters have nearly reached the total of manufacturing workers. In summary, President Obama’s manufacturing renaissance promise hasn’t materialized. Since the Great Recession of 2008, manufacturing workers have still not recouped their job losses, while America has never had more waiters and bartenders.

Speaking of Obama, despite his Tuesday drubbing, he’s still making noises that he’ll legalize at least 5 million unlawful immigrants by December. If he acts by fiat on an immigration amnesty, he’ll also be adding 5 million legally authorized workers to the labor market, further diluting it and making it much harder for unemployed Americans to find jobs. Since many of the aliens who will get work permits have limited education and skills, even industries that showed growth in October, like restaurant services, will become more competitive.

Exit polling found that 80 percent of voters want new jobs to go to Americans or legal immigrants already in the country instead of adding more foreign workers to compete. Please go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to ask your Senators if they stand with Americans workers or support massive increases in immigration.

CAPS blog posts may be republished or reposted only in their entirety. Please credit CAPS as www.capsweb.org. CAPS assumes no responsibility for where blog posts might be republished or reposted. Views expressed in CAPS blog posts do not necessarily reflect the official position of CAPS.

Top