"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Key Point on the Jobs Number

From Ace of Spades:

Now, according to the household survey, 873,000 jobs were created last month. Very close to one million jobs. That's not unprecedented; it happened last in 1983.

Only thing is, when that happened in 1983, that was in the first blast of the Reagan boom, and the country's Gross Domestic Product was growing at a blistering 9.3% rate.

Current rate of GDP growth? Something like 1.3%.

Jumps almost as big as this one (but not quite) have happened when the GDP growth rate was 5% or so.

But at the 1.3% level? At this level of economic growth -- not even enough to keep up with population growth-- what exactly would be driving the employment train?

If anyone's too young too know, let me explain to you what a 1983 economy feels like: It feels like the movie Wall Street. As Adam Carolla says, "pre-AIDS, mid-coke." Poppy music on the Blaupunkt. People buy plastic watches to wear on their ankles and in their hair. The world is your Cinnabon's.

It's the kind of economy where you sort of have some leverage with your boss because the economy's so hot that labor is a seller's, not buyer's market.

Not just for good jobs. For crap jobs too. A sizzling economy makes a lot of crap jobs. So you can quit your job and have a pretty good idea you'll have a new one in a couple of weeks.

Is that the way the third quarter of 2012 feels to people?

Keep the faith.   The next jobs number comes out the Friday before the election.   If there's not a big correction, then you'll know the fix was in.

No comments:

Post a Comment