The June BLS report would make Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters proud. Their classic song, “Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative,” summarizes the report. Even though the BLS didn’t actually get rid of the economic negatives, readers have to dig to find them.
Heralded as having demolished expectations, the Bureau of Labor Statistics June data reflected 288,000 new jobs and a dip in the unemployment rate from 6.3 to 6.1 percent. But the underlying data shows the same stagnant labor market conditions that have plagued American workers for months.
U-6 unemployment, the labor participation and population to employment rates, as well wage increases, remain virtually unchanged at, respectively, 12.1 percent, 62.8 percent and 59 percent, and a plus six cents on average for the month. Labor force participation is millions below 1990 levels. Long-term unemployment remains high at 3 million, while those working part time but seeking full-time work increased by 250,000 to 7.5 million.
Retail and service industries contributed about 100,000 of the new jobs. But that sector is under heavy pressure from diminishing consumer demand and is shrinking. Stores have closed and, if still operating, laying off workers. Toys “R” Us, Walmart, Sears and JC Penny are among the leaders in store shutdowns. A list of dozens more closings, including hospitals, nurseries, newspapers and online services, is here.
Even the most bullish Wall Street economist can’t persuasively argue that the labor market is healthy enough to accept millions more workers. Nevertheless, in his recent White House speech, President Obama expressed fierce determination to pass immigration reform even if he has to circumvent Congress to do it.
If Obama succeeds, the result would be 12 million previously unemployable aliens (because of their immigration status), and more than 20 million new overseas workers within the first decade after the bills became law.
Contact your elected officials here to tell them “No” on Obama’s proposed administrative amnesty and demand that they support American workers.