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Where Are the Jobs?
In the absence of real jobs growth, monetary largesse is set to continue...
Last week's unemployment figure for the US showed an uptick to 7.9% - not a significant change.
This was offset by revisions of job growth in November and December of 2012 that equaled nearly 250,000 jobs.
It is a very positive sign of course, but wait one moment. The participation rate was adjusted again for that same time period. And by taking a quick glance at the participation rate, it would indicate a number greater than those who just started working, stopped looking for work.
So is this really growth? Not so clearly. I think we are seeing stability with a trend to grow, perhaps. But the rosy picture painted by most talking heads last week shows conviction in quite a different story.
Of course we also have to look at the global economy and the first thing that jumps at us is the devastating continued loss of jobs in Spain. Up 2.7% from the month before cannot be a good signal. A combination of poor growth and austerity measures is sure to continue to drive this first world economy into chaos. Still there is hope, as Angela Merkel of Germany throws her support behind Spain and promises apprenticeships and education for the youth of that country.
I wonder how the German youth feel about her giving away their livelihood.
All this continued weakness means both the Federal Reserve and the ECB will continue on the path of continued monetary easing. Basically this means more money creation. The Feds' target of 6.5% joblessness, though attainable, does not look like it is going to come to fruition in the near future. Many analysts see that level in 2015. I wouldn't hold my breath.
Eventually our wallets will pay for this largesse. Sure it feels good right now. But when the spigot is turned off we will feel like a worm on hot pavement. That is if we have no gold umbrella to keep off the heat.