by Paul Craig Roberts
May 5, 2013
Paul Craig Roberts was
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and
associate editor of the Wall Street Journal.
He was columnist for Business
Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate.
He has had many university
appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide
His latest book, The Failure of
Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now
If you have not read “You
Are The Hope” please do so now.
Due to readers’ inquiries
about last Friday’s job numbers, I have had to shorten
the time between the quarterly appeal and a new posting.
Also, those who have asked
if there would be a second printing of 'How The Economy
Was Lost,' that book is now available on the
website in electronic form.
For those readers who have
asked for a print version of 'The Failure of Laissez
Faire Capitalism,' one might soon be appearing.
As the government’s lies
come faster and more furious, more demands my attention.
Dave Kranzler of Golden Returns Capital declares
the April payroll jobs report that was
released on May 3 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to be “fictitious.”
Statistician John Williams (shadowstats.com) says both the jobs
report and unemployment rate are “nonsense.”
I agree with both. But don’t expect the financial press to report the facts.
Let’s take a
walk through the BLS report and you can
arrive at your own conclusion.
The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) report says that the private sector
created 185,000 service jobs in April. Even if this report were true, it
would have negligible effect on the unemployment rate as about 127,000 new
jobs are needed each month just to stay even with
population growth and current unemployment rate.
But is the BLS report true?
We can answer that question by examining the areas where the jobs reportedly
29,300 in retail trade with general
merchandise stores accounting for about half of that number
73,000 in professional and business
services with temporary help services accounting for 42 percent of
26,100 in health care and social
assistance with ambulatory health care services accounting for 52
percent of that number
45,100 in accommodation and food
services with waitresses and bartenders accounting for 84 percent of
8,600 jobs created for bill collectors
The federal government lost 8,000 jobs, the
postal service lost 4,900 jobs, state government lost 1,000 jobs and local
government lost 2,000 jobs.
There were zero jobs created in manufacturing.
Considering the credit-restrained and hard pressed consumer, the jobs figure
for bill collectors is likely correct.
But why would there be 29,000 new jobs
in retail trade when real retail sales are falling?
Why would there be new professional
service jobs when large consulting companies such as IBM are
reducing the hours of their contract employees?
How can 38,000 waitress and bartenders
be hired in one month when consumers have so little discretionary
Notice, too, that the BLS reports that 6,000
construction jobs were lost in April.
Yet, the financial press is full of reports of
You know those thousands and thousands of fracking jobs that the
fracking industry has been hyping so that
communities, desperate for jobs, ignore the destruction of their surface and
ground waters? Well the BLS report shows that oil and gas extraction jobs,
which includes normal oil and gas recovery, peaked in February.
Only 900 jobs were created in April, a small
reward for destroyed aquifers and surface streams.
People who live in fracking areas have been
warned to open their windows when showering to avoid being asphyxiated
because of the methane in the water and to not be surprised if their water
actually burns. There is no doubt that fracking because of its enormous
external costs produces a net economic loss.
In America everything is hype for a buck. They will sell you any lie. And
the bulk of the population, of course, can be counted on for falling for
In my opinion, the March BLS jobs report of only 88,000 new jobs, only 69
percent of those needed to stay even with population growth, undermined the
Obama regime’s recovery hype and the stock market’s confidence in
Even brainwashed Americans have learned that
“jobless recovery” is an oxymoron. So the word was passed to the political
appointee overseeing the BLS to avoid further embarrassments.
However, like the old Soviet press, the
professional staff delivered the required report in a way that undermined
Goods-producing jobs are reported to have
dropped by 9,000 and retail stores are being closed, so why are 100,000 new
jobs needed in retail trade and professional and business services?
John Williams explains the deception in the unemployment rate
The 7.5 percent reported rate is not the product
of new jobs generated by a recovering economy. It is the result of
discouraged workers who, unable to find jobs, give up looking and, thus,
cease being counted in the work force. The real rate of unemployment when
discouraged workers are counted as unemployed is 23 percent.
You can see the truth of this in the collapsing
labor force participation rate.
The collapse in the participation rate is not
the result of a return to the prosperity of my youth when one-earner
families were the norm. It is the result of millions of Americans unable to
find employment and no longer being counted in the labor force.
Just as the government lied about weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq and is now repeating the lie about weapons of mass
destruction in Syria, the government lies about jobs and
the unemployment rate.
What doesn’t the government lie about?
Anyone who thinks an economic recovery has been ongoing since June 2009 can
cure themselves of the delusion by looking at this chart: