MACRO-US: The Math Does Not Lie

Posted by Greg Weldon - Weldon's Money Monitor

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Unemployment, US Dollar, Palladium Aluminum & Gold:

We note commentary from President Obama’s Chief Economic Advisor Alan Krueger, a wildly accomplished academic-economist, following Friday’s release of the BLS Employment Situation Report for November …

— “Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the US is continuing to heal. It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class. The types of programs that the President has been proposing to support the economy in the short-run, get us on a sustainable fiscal path in the long-run, and protect the middle class. We are going to continue to see progress in this economy.”

Indeed, appearing on radio following the report, Krueger specifically singled out one data point, one which could have easily been gleaned from watching television, as a ‘major positive’. Mister Krueger focused solely on the sizable single-month increase in hiring by the Retail sector posted in November. Alan even stated how this headline figure defined a resurrection in consumer confidence within the middle-class.

Confidence, linked to this labor report ???

Why, because the Unemployment Rate declined and retailers hired more people during their busiest season ???

Try selling that thought to the MILLIONS of CHRONICALLY UNEMPLOYED.

Try selling that thought, to those who once represented the middle-class.

Indeed, we would quickly point out that the rise in Retail Employees posted for November was NOT as large as the rise posted in November of 2007, during a period immediately preceding the biggest collapse in the US labor market in decades.

In fact, an even larger rise in Retail Employment, posted in November of 2007, marks what is still the all-time peak in Retail employment in the US. The simple fact is, that the total number of people employed in the Retail Industry fell to a new multi-decade low in December of 2009, and has only managed to climb back to the SECULAR LOW set in 2003.

This is a sign of building confidence ???

Moreover, we note that Retail Employment has regained ONLY 44.8% of the jobs lost during 2008-09 … and … despite the sizable single-month gain in November, hiring in this macro-sensitive sector continues to LAG the overall, still-feeble and sub-par, ‘recovery’ in total employment.

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