Between October 2009 and January 2014, the civilian, non-institutional population rose by 10.4 million, to be expected considering the far greater general population of the US - it is also a number which, on average, increases by about 230K or so every month. So what about the labor force? It is here that things get zany, because it is here that the Obama Recovery has somehow only managed to add a paltry 1.7 million people to the workforce: from 153.8 million to 155.5 million!
The death of the middle class in America has become so painfully obvious that now even the New York Times is doing stories about it. Millions of middle class jobs have disappeared, incomes are steadily decreasing, the rate of home ownership has declined for eight years in a row and U.S. consumers have accumulated record-setting levels of debt. Being independent is at the heart of what it means to be "middle class", and unfortunately the percentage of Americans that are able to take care of themselves without government assistance continues to decline. In fact, the percentage of Americans that are receiving government assistance is now at an all-time record high.
For all of 2013, 29.1 percent of U.S. residential sales were all-cash purchases, but the percentage trended substantially higher in the second half of the year. The 29.1 percent in 2013 was up from 19.4 percent in 2012 and 20.6 percent in 2011.
Five years into the Obama presidency, the economy is grossly underperforming. Contrary to the dominant media narrative, it's not bad luck or the financial crisis to blame, but bad policies — from the $860 billion "stimulus" that didn't stimulate to the Dodd-Frank financial reform that killed lending.
"Today's ransom is the billions of dollars in the form of QE; today's hostage is the US economy which the kidnappers threaten to kill by a collapse in asset prices if they don't get more and more free money."
During 2013, America continued to steadily march down a self-destructive path toward oblivion. As a society, our debt levels are completely and totally out of control. Our financial system has been transformed into the largest casino on the entire planet and our big banks are behaving even more recklessly than they did just before the last financial crisis.
Over the past decades, computers have substituted for a number of jobs, including the functions of bookkeepers, cashiers and telephone operators. More recently, the poor performance of labour markets across advanced economies has intensified the debate among economists about technological unemployment. While there is ongoing disagreement about the driving forces behind the persistently high unemployment rates, a number of scholars have pointed at computer-controlled equipment as a possible explanation for recent jobless growth.
It was announced that the unemployment rate has fallen to "7 percent", and the mainstream media responded with a mix of euphoria and jubilation. For example, one USA Today article declared that "with today's jobs report, one really can say that our long national post-financial crisis nightmare is over." But is that actually the truth?
More than six in 10 workers in a recent Washington Post-Miller Center poll worry that they will lose their jobs to the economy, surpassing concerns in more than a dozen surveys dating to the 1970s. Nearly one in three, 32 percent, say they worry “a lot” about losing their jobs, also a record high, according to the joint survey, which explores Americans’ changing definition of success and their confidence in the country’s future.
"I can only say: I'm sorry, America. As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed's first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing. The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I've come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time."
Millennials face scarce job prospects, low wages, astronomical student debt, and exploding health insurance costs. But they also face extremely expensive housing. And it’s the result of U.S housing programs and policies aimed at getting more Americans to buy homes and keeping home prices high.
There were 108,592,000 people in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2011 who were recipients of one or more means-tested government benefit programs, the Census Bureau said in data released this week. Meanwhile, according to the Census Bureau, there were 101,716,000 people who worked full-time year round in 2011.
In total, the Census Bureau estimated, 151,014,000 Americans out of a population then estimated to be 306,804,000 received benefits from one or more government programs during the last three months of 2011. Those 151,014,000 beneficiaries equaled 49.2 percent of the population.
Statistics from Walmart claim that more than 475,000 of its 1 million hourly store employees earn at least $25,000 a year for full-time work. That means as many as 525,000 full-time hourly employees earn less than $25,000 a year.
A majority of students in public schools throughout the American South and West are low-income for the first time in at least four decades, according to a new study that details a demographic shift with broad implications for the country.
According to researchers from the George Washington University (GWU) School of Public Health, in 2010, almost half of all births in the United States were paid for by Medicaid, and that rate is only going to go up. Medicaid was responsible for 48% of the 3.8 million births in 2010, an increase of 90,000 births from 2008, which was an 8% increase during that period.
A Census Bureau report reveals that the typical American family now earns less than it did in 1989. In 1989, median household income was $51,681 (in current dollars). In 2012, median household income was $51,017.
More Americans are struggling to afford food -- nearly as many as did during the recent recession. The 20.0% who reported in August that they have, at times, lacked enough money to buy the food that they or their families needed during the past year, is up from 17.7% in June, and is the highest percentage recorded since October 2011.
"I estimate the US fiscal gap at $200 tn, 17 times the reported $12 tn in official debt in the hands of the public. And this incorporates this year’s tax increases and spending sequestration. What would it take to come up with $200 tn in present value? The answer is tax hikes or spending cuts, or a combination of the two, amounting to 10 percent of GDP, starting immediately and continuing indefinitely. To do so via spending cuts, alone, would require an immediate and permanent 36% cut in all non-interest spending. To do so via tax hikes, alone, would need an immediate and permanent 55% increase in all federal taxes."
It is interesting to note that while the unemployment rate has been falling, currently at 7.3%, it has not been because of a strongly increasing workforce. Rather it has been a function of people leaving the workforce. This, of course, brings up the obvious question of how these people are living if they aren't working.
The very wealthiest Americans earned more than 19 percent of the country's household income last year - their biggest share since 1928, the year before the stock market crash. And the top 10 percent captured a record 48.2 percent of total earnings last year.
Lawrence Lindsey, president and chief executive officer of The Lindsey Group, estimates that if the labor force participation rate were the same today as it was before the recession began, the unemployment rate would be 11.2 percent, rather than 7.3 percent.
Are American workers paid enough? That is a topic that is endlessly debated all across this great land of ours. Unfortunately, what pretty much everyone can agree on is that American workers are not making as much as they used to after you account for inflation.