1.3 Million Women Have Exited Labor Force Since February as Shutdowns Continue

Re-Blogged From Headline USA

Research is increasingly pointing to a retreat of working mothers from the U.S. labor force as the government shutdowns leave parents with few child care options and the added burden of navigating computer instruction.

Thousands of school districts are starting the school year with remote instruction, including most of the largest ones.

At least half the country’s child care providers are closed and may not survive the crisis without financial help to cope with implementing safety standards and reduced enrollment.

Negotiations for a bailout of the industry have stalled in Congress.

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Denial Dominates the Dummies

One of my reasons I started this website years ago was to counter all the denial that I saw in the mainstream media about how long and deep the problems from the Great Financial Crisis would be and about how we were failing in every way to resolve the greed, decay and especially faulty thinking that would assure our next collapse would be even greater than the Great Recession.

Today, the same lame thinking still dominates, but not just in the media. It’s pervasive in the general public, too. Of course, it is particularly prevalent among high-flying stock investors, who actually think because stocks can float above it all, the world must be doing fine.

How Long Can Fed Cancel Gravity?

By Rick Ackerman – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

True enough, statistically speaking. But the hardships of being jobless will be more easily borne by millions of Americans to the extent they are cushioned by generous checks from The Government. The handouts have in fact been so unstinting that two-thirds of those laid off due to the pandemic are eligible for benefits that exceed what they made working .

Look Ma, No Taxes!

Ordinarily, we might infer that it is deflationary for unemployment checks to be used to retire debt. But because no taxes have been levied to pay for the benefits, and because the benefits will decrease the burden of debt for millions of down-and-out workers, the net economic result is neither inflationary nor deflationary, at least for now. Factor in the bullish effect stimulus has had on the stock market, and inflation wins out, just as the Fed had intended. How long can the central bank continue to cancel gravity? It’s impossible to say, although we do know that the felicitous effects of helicopter money cannot last indefinitely.

We also know that every penny of it will have to be paid by someone at some point. Hyperinflation or deflation are the only conceivable avenues to achieve this, but it would be overly optimistic to assume we will have a choice. Politicians will always opt for the former, but they should have noticed by now that the trillions they have shot at the problem so far have inflated only stock prices. Judging from the headlines, one might infer that most of these pandering fools actually believe that Fed alchemy is an actual example of free lunch and that the bull market will continue indefinitely. The alternative is too scary to ponder — not just for politicians, but for all of us.

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Now Would Be a Terrible Time to Raise the Minimum Wage

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Fiscal Cliffs and the Self-Destructing Treasury

We can all be very confident that there will be no change to monetary policy for a very, very long time. But there is a fiscal cliff coming—and indeed has already begun.

It is clear that Mr. Powell is all-in on his unlimited QE and ZIRP. And, that he is “not even thinking about thinking about raising interest rates.” Therefore, the stock market does not have to worry about a contraction in the rate of money printing any time soon. However, equities could soon plunge due to the crash in the amount of fiscal support offered to the economy.

  • Last month, the auto-loan and credit-card forbearance period ended
  • On July 1, state and local government budget cuts kicked into high gear, as the $330 billion in aid already dispensed has been wasted

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Minimum Wage Cost Me My Job

By Simone Barron

What happens when politicians decide they are in a better position than business owners to know how much workers should be paid? We don’t have to guess. Cities like Seattle and New York have already done so with their $15/hour minimum wage mandates. Simone Barron, a lifelong restaurant worker, recounts how “helping” her impacted her wallet, her career, and her life.

Please watch the VIDEO

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How Deep Is Your Depression?

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

We are nearing that mid-point in July when I said we would start to see the news turn from euphoria-inducing reopening positives to depression-developing realism.

Speaking of stock-market bulls who are stampeding uphill on the euphoria side, I wrote,

Right now the farce is with them — reopening has arrived! And these stupid people will believe that means they were right about the “V,” virtually assuring they continue to bet the market up for a little while…. The reopening means economic statistics will improve rapidly. That will give a lot of stupid people many reasons to believe they were right to think the obliterated economy would experience a V-shaped recovery.

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What Were the Benefits of Locking Down?

– Re-Blogged From AIER

The school closures, stay home orders, shuttering of businesses, banning of elective surgeries, closure of physical entertainment events, blocked flights, and sudden imposition of a central plan – it all happened suddenly from mid-March in the course of only a few days, and to enormous shock on the part of people who had previously taken their freedom and rights for granted.

Despite enormous pressure from Washington, eight states did not lock down or used a very light touch: South Dakota, North Dakota, South Carolina, Wyoming, Utah, Arkansas, Iowa, and Nebraska.

new york, closed stores

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Alternate Unemployment Charts

By John Williams – Re-Blogged From Shadow Stats

The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.

The U-3 unemployment rate is the monthly headline number. The U-6 unemployment rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment.

 

Public Commentary on Unemployment

Unemployment Data Series   subcription required(Subscription required.)  View  Download Excel CSV File   Last Updated: June 5th, 2020

May 2020 ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment is 34.0%, 36.5% net of BLS errors (Flash Nos. 1435 and 1439).

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I Believe In The Stupidity Of The Stock Market

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Democrats Made the COVID-19 Pandemic Even Worse for Small Business

By Joseph Semprevivo – Re-Blogged From the Western Journal

One hundred thousand. That’s how many small businesses have already closed for good because of the COVID-19 pandemic — and counting. Hundreds of thousands of more closures may be on the way.

Simply put, the U.S. economy is bleeding small businesses. And it’s not just small business owners who are suffering: America’s 30 million small businesses employ nearly 60 million workers — half of the private-sector workforce.

When small business employers suffer, their employees feel the pain too.

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World Now Faces ‘Monetary Armageddon’

By Mike Gleason – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Mike Gleason (Money Metals Exchange): It is my privilege now to interview our good friend, Greg Weldon, CEO and President of Weldon Financial. Greg has decades of market research and trading experience specializing in the metals and commodity markets and he even authored a book back in 2006 titled Gold Trading Boot Camp where we accurately predicted the implosion of the U.S. credit market and urged people to buy gold when it was only $550 an ounce. He’s made some fantastic calls over the last few years here on our podcast and it’s great to have him back with us.

We did speak to you back at the end of February before all this madness started. At the time, COVID-19 had begun seriously impacting economic activity in global markets, maybe not so much in the U.S. Now, just two months later, more than 30 million people have filed for unemployment, GDP was deeply negative in the first quarter and figures to be even worse here in Q2. But the equity markets are acting as if the worst is behind us. We got a major correction followed by an almost relentless rally. Our take is that equity markets are completely disconnected from reality. They are hitched, instead, to the Fed’s magic money machine. What is your take on how stock markets are behaving here, Greg?

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April’s Sales Drop Sets a Record

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Fireside Chat

Ep. 134 — Which Will Do More Harm: The Virus or the Lockdown?

The LA Times reports that extreme poverty may be the pandemic’s heaviest toll. But it isn’t the virus causing this suffering—it’s the lockdown. Dennis also addresses the latest new media lie about him—these leftists are determined to discredit Dennis, but they are just too easily proven wrong every time they try.

Please watch the VIDEO

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Will Job Market From Hell Support Gold?

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

April job report shows a terrible US labor market. Coronavirus destroyed 20.5 million jobs, pushing the unemployment rate to almost 15 percent. How far does the number reflect reality – and what does it actually mean for the gold market?

Apocalypse in the US Labor Market

14.7 percent. Remember this value well, as it will go down in history. This is the official US unemployment rate for April calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate soared from 3.5 percent in February and 4.4 percent in March. As the chart below shows, the spike is really historic, as such high level has not been seen in modern history.

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Rising Wages and More Bad News From Friday’s Horrific Payrolls Report

By Lisa Bellfuss – Re-Blogged From Barrons

The coronavirus pandemic claimed 20.5 million jobs in April as companies across America were forced to close and consumers stayed home to cap the disease’s spread.

The Labor Department said Friday that the job losses in April followed a downwardly-revised loss of 870,000 in March . So far, about one in five workers are unemployed.

Investors knew this would be one of the worst jobs reports in history . The decline in nonfarm payrolls for April is about three times as bad as the jobs lost over the entire Great Recession, with the depth of the losses not seen since the Great Depression. But the headline number was about in line with the 21 million job losses economists predicted, and the unemployment rate—at least on the surface—looks not as bad as feared. Stocks rose following the report, with the S&P 500 up about 1.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average higher by 1.2% in afternoon trading.

The question that remains is how quickly these laid off workers can be rehired and start spending again to restart the U.S. economy.

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Money Printing Is The New Mother’s Milk Of Stocks

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

My friend Larry Kudlow always says that Profits are the mother’s milk of stocks. That used to be true when we had a real economy. But sadly, that is no longer factual because we now have a global equity market that is totally controlled by central banks. To prove this point, let’s look at the last few years of earnings. During the year 2018, the EPS growth for the S&P 500 was 20%; yet the S&P 500 Index was down 7% over that same time-frame.

Conversely, during 2019, the S&P 500 EPS growth was a dismal 1%; yet the Index surged by nearly 30%. What could possibly account for such a huge divergence between EPS growth and market performance? We need only to view Fed actions for the simple answer: it was the degree to which our central bank was willing to falsify asset prices.

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Thai Elephants, Out of Work Due to Coronavirus

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Fiercest Economic Collapse In History Is Best Month For Stock Market

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. April closed as the best month for the US stock market since the V-shaped recovery that followed the Black Monday stock market crash of 1987. April also delivered the deepest, broadest economic collapse of any month in history.

The economic collapse was simultaneously global. What is written here about the US can pretty well be said for all nations in the world. The collapse crushed jobs, personal income, consumer spending, consumer sentiment, car sales, and general economic activity more than any month in the history of the nation. Some of those sharpest declines happened in March, but April relentlessly drove to to greater depths. But stocks rose.

What’s Causing Job Loss

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From WUWT

I’ve read claims on the web that the job losses in the US were due to the virus itself, and to the fear of the virus making people cut back on activities. The claims are that the job loss is more from that, and not so much a result of the American Lockdown. So I thought I’d take a look at the weekly new claims for unemployment insurance. Of course, the different states have been hit differently by the changes. Here’s the graph of weekly new unemployment claims for one of the least affected states, Oregon.

Figure 1. Weekly new unemployment claims, Oregon, since 1999. “Usual” refers to the one-year period preceding the record rise.

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Coronapocalypse Is Deeper Than The Great Recession

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The recent economic reports show that the current coronavirus crisis will be bigger than the Great Recession. What does it imply for the gold market?

US Economic Data Paints a Gloomy Picture

This week was full of new reports about the US economy. And guess what, I don’t have good news… First of all, let’s start with the update about the weekly initial unemployment benefits. In normal times, the initial claims are not too keenly watched by investors. But in times of a pandemic, they are very informative. The spike in the initial claims may even become the symbol of this crisis. Anyway, the number of new claims for the unemployment benefits declined from 6.6 million in the previous week to 5.2 million in the week from April 4 to April 11, as the chart below shows.

Chart 1: Initial jobless claims from April 2019 to April 2020

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Will Fed And President Trump Save The US Economy

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The Trump administration will seek an additional $250 billion to support small businesses hurt by the widespread economic shutdown and slowdown. Will the government and the Fed save the US economy? What would be the consequences for the gold market?

US Epidemiological Update

As of April 7, more than 360,000 people were confirmed to be infected by the coronavirus in the US, and more than 10,000 out of them died because of the COVID-19, as the chart below shows. Actually, the US is entering the worst period of the epidemic, as hospitals are struggling to maintain and expand capacity to care for infected patients.

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The Coronavirus Shutdown “Could Collapse The Mortgage Market”

– Re-Blogged From The Economic Collapse

The cascading failures that have been set into motion by this “coronavirus shutdown” are going to make the financial crisis of 2008 look like a Sunday picnic.  As you will see below, it is being estimated that unemployment in the U.S. is already higher than it was at any point during the last recession.  That means that millions of American workers no longer have paychecks coming in and won’t be able to pay their mortgages.  On top of that, the CARES Act actually requires all financial institutions to allow borrowers with government-backed mortgages to defer payments for an extended period of time.  Of course this is a recipe for disaster for mortgage lenders, and industry insiders are warning that we are literally on the verge of a “collapse” of the mortgage market.

Never before in our history have we seen a jump in unemployment like we just witnessed.  If you doubt this, just check out this incredible chart.

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Bills Are Coming Due

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Friday related to the global economy, the work place and the spread of the virus.


UNDER REVIEW: This week, the U.S. reported that a staggering 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a five-fold increase over the last high sent in 1982. On Friday, President Donald Trump signed a $2.2 trillion aid package into law. Few believe it will be the last in the aftermath of this viral outbreak. Credit ratings agencies are taking note of the financial standing of the U.S., and other nations.

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Record 3.3 Million Americans Apply for Unemployment Benefits

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

Nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — almost five times the previous record set in 1982 — amid a widespread economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus.

The surge in weekly applications was a stunning reflection of the damage the viral outbreak is inflicting on the economy. Filings for unemployment aid generally reflect the pace of layoffs.

Layoffs are sure to accelerate as the U.S. economy sinks into a recession. Revenue has collapsed at restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, gyms and airlines. Auto sales are plummeting, and car makers have closed factories. Most such employers face loan payments and other fixed costs, so they’re cutting jobs to save money.

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Pandemic Virus Impacts An Economy Already In Decline Before The Crisis

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

The soup lines hadn’t formed yet. Jobs had not even noticeably started to dry up, but they weren’t as easy to find anymore. You had to be angry to quit without having a better job firmly in hand. Stocks were climbing furiously above an economy that had been slowly ebbing away since summer. Sales were down for months, so revenues were down for months, and profits were down. Funding in the world’s easiest credit market — interbank repos — was extremely tight — so tight the Fed had to come to the rescue every single day for months, and the problem was only getting worse.

Such were the times before COVID-19 struck the world in 2020 like an asteroid from some far reach of the solar system crumbling the walls that already sat on cracked foundations, burying in ash a partying world that hadn’t yet figured out it was already slowly dying from its own internal decay.

Great Recession 2.0 is Obscured but Here!

How’s That Recession Coming?

Pretty good if you ask me. Most economic indicators this year have moved relentlessly in the direction of recession, and now the Cass Freight Index is saying a US recession may start in the 3rd quarter, fitting up nicely to my prediction that we would be entering recession this summer.

Cass comes on board

The Cass Freight Index is one of the most robust proxies for the US and global economies there is. If freight isn’t moving, the economy is dying. As Cass says, their’s is a simple, fundamental approach to encapsulating the economy:

It’s Been A Great Recession For A Few

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

This month the economic expansion brought to you by your Federal Reserve and by US government largess becomes the longest expansion in the history of the United States! That’s something, right? Something? Let’s take an honest look at what we now call great.

By “the longest expansion” we mean the longest period in which US GDP has been growing without a recession. Now, that’s something to crow about, right?

Not so fast for many reasons. It’s also been the most anemic expansion on the books, and it’s not too hard to see why it’s been the longest, having nothing at all to do with a great economy. It has cost us far more than any expansion (by an order of magnitude) because we’ve piled up ten times the national debt over any amount we accumulated during previous expansions. (I’ve said before, it’s easy to let the “good times” roll when you are buying it all on the company credit card.) We also quadrupled the size of the Fed’s balance sheet. That didn’t cost anything, but we sure didn’t get much bang for the buck! We actually got less bang than in any previous expansion!

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10 Big Steps Down The Road To Recession

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

First, a decline in manufacturing, and then a slump in service industries, now a broad-spectrum inversion of the yield curve hitting its most critical metric this week, unemployment finally starting to rise again, a one-year relentless housing decline across most of the nation and the world, carmageddon pressing car dealers to offer big incentives once again just to hold sales flat, shipping everywhere sinking rapidly, broadly deteriorating general business conditions, plus tariff troubles for the US throughout the world — all of these economic stresses have gotten remarkably worst in just the past month.

Wages, Salaries Rise by Most in Decade as US Adds 227,000 Jobs

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

U.S. wages and salaries rose by the most in a decade while private sector payrolls increased by the most in eight months in October, suggesting overall job growth accelerated this month after Hurricane Florence weighed on restaurant and retail employment in September.

The Labor Department’s Employment Cost Index showed wages and salaries, which account for 70 percent of employment costs, jumped 0.9 percent in the third quarter after climbing 0.5 percent in the prior period.

The “Strong Dollar” Buys Less

By Clint Siegner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Some of last week’s weakness in the stock market was attributed to surprisingly week jobs report on Friday. Non-farm payrolls came in significantly below projections.

However, much of that weakness was explained by Hurricane Florence. And the headline unemployment rate dropped to 3.7% – the lowest in almost 50 years.

Much was made of that, while almost nothing was made of the rate of employment at 60.4% – also near 50-year lows.

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Jobless Claims Fall to Near 49-Year Low

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment aid fell to near a 49-year low last week and private payrolls rose steadily in August, pointing to sustained labor market strength that should continue to underpin economic growth.

The economy so far appears to be weathering an escalating trade war between the United States and China as well as tensions with other trade partners, including Canada, the European Union and Mexico, which have rattled financial markets.

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Why Aren’t Widespread Labor Shortages Translating Into Roaring Wage Inflation?

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Google “labor shortage” or “wage hikes” and the result is a picture of an overheating economy. Some examples from August 10:

Why Disneyland’s $15-an-hour labor deal is a win for workers everywhere

Colorado small businesses seek help with labor shortage

Washington growers struggle with labor shortage

Now hiring: teenagers (and anyone else willing to work)

You can’t read these headlines and not expect wages to climb dramatically as desperate companies pay what they have to in order to keep their customers happy. But the macro numbers tell a different story. Here’s the change in average hourly earnings over the past decade:

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‘Amazing’ US Economic Growth

By Todd Beamon – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

President Donald Trump on Friday hailed the “amazing” 4.1 percent quarterly growth rate — the fastest pace since 2014 — as proof that “we’ve accomplished an economic turnaround of historic proportion.”

“Once again, we are the economic envy of the entire world,” Trump, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and his economic team, said at the White House. “America is being respected again and America is winning again because we are finally putting America first.

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Inflation Is Back, Part 8: Labor Shortage Reaches “Critical” Point

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Economist Peter Bookvar recently analyzed the the anecdotal evidence of capacity constraints piling up in recent industry surveys, including the following:

“Business is strong in all regions. Materials are tight. Trucking continues to be a major challenge.” (Chemical Products)

“Strong economic growth continues to put pressure/strain on capacity, lead time, availability and pricing across a broadening array of commodities and components.” (Computer & Electronic Products)

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US Adds 213,000 Jobs as Unemployment Hits 4 Percent, Wages Rise

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

U.S. job growth increased more than expected in June as manufacturers stepped up hiring, but steady wage gains pointed to moderate inflation pressures that should keep the Federal Reserve on a path of gradual interest rate increases.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 213,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. Data for April and May was revised to show 37,000 more jobs created than previously reported. The economy needs to create roughly 120,000 jobs per month to keep up with growth in the working-age population.

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Failed States, Part 1: Hopeless European Millennials And The Populist Takeover

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Europe is frequently held up as an example of how the rest of the world should behave on a variety of issues. But this comparison misses at least two things: First, “Europe” is actually a lot of different countries in a lot of different situations. Second, much of what seems to work over there only does so because it’s being financed with ever-increasing amounts of debt.

For countries, as for individuals, borrowing money is fun at first but beyond a certain point becomes debilitating, as interest payments begin to crowd out everything else. That’s where a growing number of Europe’s failed states now find themselves, with overly-generous pensions and overly-restrictive labor laws making it virtually impossible to run a functioning market-based economy.

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The Dangers of Investing Based on Phony Government Statistics

By Stefan Gleason – Re-Blogged From Money Metals Exchange

President Donald Trump recently took to Twitter to boast, “The U.S. has an increased economic value of more than 7 Trillion Dollars since the Election. May be the best economy in the history of our country. Record Jobs numbers. Nice!”

“We ran out of words to describe how good the jobs numbers are,” reported Neil Irwin of the New York Times, amplified in a Trump retweet. If you believe the headline numbers, joblessness is at a generational low with the economy booming.

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Nearly 102 Million Working Age Americans Do Not Have A Job

By Michael Snyder – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

Don’t get too excited about the “good employment numbers” that you are hearing about from the mainstream media.  The truth is that they actually aren’t very good at all.  For years, the federal government has been taking numbers out of one category and putting them into another category and calling it “progress”, and in this article, we will break down exactly what has been happening.  We are being told that the U.S. unemployment rate has fallen to “3.8 percent”, which is supposedly the lowest that it has been “in nearly 50 years”.  If these were honest numbers that would be great news.  But these are not honest numbers…

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Universal Basic Income To The Rescue?

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From http://www.PentoPort.com

The Keynesian Illuminati that run the world are now scrambling to find solutions to the rampant condition of income inequality that they themselves have created. After a decade of global fiscal and monetary policy madness, which were in effect Robin Hood in reverse, they are now seeking to repair the damage caused to the middle classes by making them become permanent wards of the states, just as they strip away ever more of their freedoms.

A genuine solution to reduce the wealth gap would be to eliminate central banks and replace them with a gold standard of money. This would automatically fetter the monetary base to the increased mine supply of gold, which historically has closely matched the productive capacity of the economy. This leads to stable growth without asset bubbles, which serves to eliminate trenchant differences between the classes. But that type of solution wouldn’t achieve their real objective, which is to increase power. Therefore their answer to the imminent manifestation of the next global financial crisis, of their own making, is to invent another government wealth redistribution scheme of even greater proportions.

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Unemployment Rate Drops Below 4 Percent for First Time Since 2000

[Not included in the 4% number are the 6 million or so Americans who have dropped out of the labor force since the last Recession, as alluded to near the end of the article. – Bob]

By Thomson/Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

U.S. job growth increased less than expected in April and the unemployment rate dropped to near a 17-1/2-year low of 3.9 percent as some jobless Americans left the labor force.

The Labor Department’s closely watched employment report on Friday also showed wages barely rising last month, which could ease concerns that inflation pressures were rapidly building up, likely keeping the Federal Reserve on a gradual path of monetary policy tightening. Continue reading

Trade Gap Narrows as Claims Remain Low, Productivity Stays Tepid

By Bloomberg – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in March by the most in two years, while last week’s unemployment filings were below estimates and productivity gains remained lukewarm in the first quarter.

Here’s what you need to know from the economic reports out Thursday morning:

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Wage Inflation Coming. Does This Mean Spiking Interest Rates?

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Dave, the plumber who saves us every six or so months when a leaking pipe, water heater, or toilet threatens to destroy our walls and ceilings, was here the other day. As usual he fixed the problem right away and charged us less than expected. We love this guy.

While he was working I asked him how business was going. He claimed to be swamped to the point of turning away jobs. I asked why he doesn’t hire more plumbers to leverage his client list. Because, he replied, there are no available plumbers: “If a plumber is unemployed today there’s a really good reason for it.” In other words the home maintenance part of the labor market is hot and getting hotter.

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Jobless Claims Fall as Job Market Strengthens

By Thomson/Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, pointing to a tightening labor market and strengthening economy at the start of the year.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 230,000 for the week ended Jan. 27, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Continue reading

When the Protests Die Down, Iran’s Economic Problems Will Live On

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • Some of the grievances behind the recent wave of protests in Iran, such as disappointment with the nuclear deal and low oil prices, will remain beyond the government’s power to change.
  • Unstable food prices, decreasing purchasing power and high rates of unemployment and underemployment will continue to pose problems for everyday citizens across the country.
  • The sensitive reform measures necessary to overhaul subsidy systems, labor laws and business contracts, which are as much political as they are economic, will probably set off more unrest in the future. 

Students at the University of Tehran run for cover as tear gas is lobbed at demonstrators on Dec. 30, 2017.(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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Minimum Wage Hikes Already Backfiring

Restaurant chain Red Robin is eliminating the “busboy” position at its 570 locations as a cost-saving measure to offset minimum wage hikes.

“We need to do that to address the labor increases we’ve seen,” Red Robin’s Chief Financial Officer, Guy Constant, told attendees at the ICR retail conference in Orlando, Florida, the New York Post reports.

1.4 Million Affected By Massive Power Outage In California, Arizona And Mexico

Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

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California’s $15 Minimum Wage Could Backfire and Cost the State 400,000 Jobs

A newly released longitudinal study on the effects of the rising minimum wage in California reveals it negatively affects low-income workers.

“[A]pproximately 400,000 jobs would be lost” by 2022 “as a consequence” of California gradually imposing the first statewide $15 minimum wage, according to a study from the Employment Policies Institute, a conservative nonprofit research organization. “This estimate is conservative, as it measures the impact of California’s state minimum wage but does not account for job loss in counties that had insufficient data.”

NYC Fast Food Workers Join Nationwide Protests Against Puzder Nomination

Spencer Platt/Getty Images