While Wall Street focuses on the minutia of beating expectations in any one month in terms of the monthly labor data, those who look at the forest rather than the trees, see how poor the situation really is for many in America. Despite substantial population growth, the number of employed Americans in 2011 is no different than it was in 1999. Or 2001. Or 2003. This is why I keep highlighting each month how poor the labor force participation rate is. Simply to keep up with population growth the U.S. needs to be creating in excess of 125K jobs a month.
Of course, specific to manufacturing the story is much more dire - less jobs in America today than before World War 2. [Nov 29, 2010: America Has Less Manufacturing Jobs Today than Before the War]
The promises of the ivory tower folk of how excellent globalization would be for America have thus far fallen flat..... unless you are of course a multinational corporation. Middle class American? Not so much.
Try to keep this in mind as the financial infotainment folk cheer an extra 20,000 +/- each first Friday of the month. We have a tremendous hole to work ourselves way out of, and we're already in the mid cycle of this 'recovery'. If the next recession is another major blood letting, it's going to get even darker out there for average Joe.
hat tip Ritholtz
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