Sunday, August 7, 2016

Friday's Strong #LaborReport An Illusion That Feeds Majority's Beliefs

News
The majority is likely 'watching the Fed' again after Friday's strong labor report. While smart money knows Friday's labor report changed nothing in terms of long-term trends, they know that the majority, notoriously a day late and dollar short in terms of timing, is certain to do the wrong thing if and when the Fed, a non player compared to the forces of the invisible hand, beats its chest as the controller of everything and raises short-term rates.

Although the labor report may have looked good on paper to the chronic cheerleaders, a quick examination of the long-term trends clearly shows it changed nothing! The steady deterioration in the standard of livings for the majority of Americans, the slow and steady transition from higher-paying, skilled manufacturing jobs (yellow and magenta lines) to lower-paying, unskilled service producing jobs (blue line) and unyielding driver of social discontent expressed in the 2016 Presidential campaign, remains firmly in place (chart). Granted, advances in automation, computers, and economies of scale, the drivers of US productivity, have increased substantially since WWII, but these factors do not fully explain the transition from makers of things to flippers of food (soon to be replaced by automation). The rise of socialism, the rising costs of government through ever-expanding taxation, regulation, and legislation, has been sending production and jobs overseas for decades. Socialism, a policy platform embraced by both sides aisle, is the main reason why Made in the USA has been replaced with Made in China labels.

Have no illusions about these trends. The public won't recognize the real driver behind the labor transition until the economy enters a crisis that Hillary, Sanders, Trump, or Congress can fix through more socialism. Sorry, crash and burn rather than the voting booth is the real driver of change.

Chart


Headline: Robust Jobs Report Spurs Fed Watch

The U.S. labor market in July capped off the best two-month stretch of hiring so far this year despite global turbulence and slower business spending, posing a challenge for the Federal Reserve as it aims to raise interest rates again in coming months without spooking investors.

Employers added 255,000 jobs last month while wages for private-sector workers matched their strongest annual pace of growth in seven years. More Americans joined the labor force, keeping the jobless rate steady at 4.9%.

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