YoY Household Survey Debunks Several Recent Employment Claims
There is no doubt that the current shape of the US economy is wanting, but what is most ironic, is that despite claims to the contrary, Republicans demanded (and got) a slowing of government spending. Then they decry the current state of the economy, hobbled by austerity. To top it all off, they point to the towering Federal debt, one largely accumulated by years of Republican governing, with unfunded wars, tax cuts, etc., and blame this debt clock on Obama.
Run up the bills and then pin the tail on the donkey. SOP for the GOP, and they've made it an exact science.
Now in an election year the most recent version of twisting the numbers to suit a political narrative has to do with the employment reports. To hear the Republicans tell it (and which is then repeated almost, if not, verbatim in the mainstream media), the economy is not producing jobs, and it's all Obama's fault.
There are a number of reasons that the BLS report shows soft job growth over the past few months, but the reality is, we have enjoyed 29 consecutive months of private (NOT goverment!) sector job growth under Obama, using the restrictive Nonfarm Payroll method, which is the method used by the mainstream media when they tell us how many jobs were added (or lost) the prior month.
But the NFP method, while actually doing OK, is not a broad measure of the jobs in our economy. If one wants to get the "big picture," and include literally all the jobs, it is the Household Survey that one needs to turn to, but which is seldom reported.
The Household Survey is a little known (at least among laypeople) gem. From it the BLS derives the official "Unemployment Rate" (U3), which at last report had neither risen, nor declined, on a seasonally adjusted basis, verifying some headwinds in the present job market. More importantly, what is not reported by the mainstream media, but which has been a very reliable indicator of whether the US is in recession or recovery, has been the Year-over-Year change in the broadest employment level as tracked by the Household Survey.
As can be seen in the complete graph below, the Y-o-Y percent change in all employment shows that the entire economy, including the underground economy, is compensating for much of the weakness that the public reports have been advertising.
This is not a picture that supports a recession call.