Friday, July 02, 2004

JOBS DOWN THE MEMORY HOLE


The US economy, excluding farmers and fighters, added an anemic 112,000 jobs in June--short of the 150-200,000 needed just to keep pace with population growth, and well short of a pace that would entice back into the labor force the 2.4 million some people who have in frustration given up looking for work.

Particularly troubling, manufacturing employment fell after posting gains in the previous four months which reversed four years of hemorrhaging manufacturing jobs.

To go on public record and to highlight what might otherwise be swept under the carpet by the business press, tepid job growth in June is not the only worrisome point in today's employment situation release. The Department of Labor also revised downward job growth in the previous two months, setting total employment back by another 35,000 jobs--not a heck of a lot, but not as strong as was thought. Still, the 112,000 jobs figure marks growth from a smaller base.

Now that Fed Chairman Alan "Captain Ahab" Greenspan has reached his limit of expansionary monetary policy and fanatically chasing his white whale (i.e. inflation), and considering that Bush already blew his wad as far as expansionary fiscal policy is concerned, it looks like the labor market is in for some dark days ahead.

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