A quick look at the recent numbers released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics offers a promising picture of job growth in the United States. The nation has created an increasing number of jobs each month for the past twelve months, and the unemployment rate decreased from 5.7% to 5.5% from January 2015 to February 2015, which many see as an indication of good times to come. The numbers are certainly promising, but that’s just the thing of it—they’re numbers. And as anyone who’s taken a basic high school mathematics course knows, numbers can be manipulated.
Such is the case with the Bureau’s most recent data on job growth and unemployment. As Dawn Bennett, financial expert and CEO of Bennett Group Financial Services points out, the unemployment figure purported to have decreased .2% from January to February only included those who’d been actively seeking work within four weeks of the time of data collection. Those seeking work longer than this timeframe, which, let’s remember, is just one month, were categorized as discouraged workers, and individuals in this category were discounted from the total unemployment figure. However, we know there are plenty of reasons people look for work longer than four weeks, including holding out for full-time employment or simply believing there aren’t any suitable jobs available. Yet, these individuals, as well as those that are not considered eligible members of the labor force (approximately 23 percent of the population), were conveniently left out of this unemployment figure.
Seems a little misleading, doesn’t it?
The types of jobs that were added to the economy are also worth closer examination. While the Bureau of Labor & Statistics reports that 300,000 jobs were created in February, just what types of jobs were they? Analysis tells us that nearly 20% of the jobs created were for waiters and bartenders. While this is good news for those in the hospitality industry, we know that these jobs aren’t career positions, that they maintain high turnover rates, and that they’re often part-time. Yet again, by not distinguishing between the types of jobs created, the government is able to tout a rosier picture of job growth and the health of the economy.
What’s more, we’re still witnessing a significant outpouring of full-time jobs to workers overseas. This has largely been the result of a decade-long trade deficit between the United States and China, and has resulted in a net loss of more than 2.7 million American jobs. And even though the U.S. may be creating more jobs at present, when adjusted for inflation, the average American middle-class family is earning approximately 20% less in annual income than they were in 1984.
So does the reality of job growth and unemployment in America really give us reason to celebrate? Those like Bennett think not.
Bennett Group Financial Services LLC, based in Washington, D.C., is a comprehensive financial services firm committed to providing opportunities to clients’ as they seek long-term financial success. Its customized programs are designed with the potential to help grow, lower overall risk and conserve client assets by delivering a high level of personalized service and skill.
For more information, call 866-286-2268 or visit http://www.bennettgroupfinancial.com
Securities offered through Western International Securities Inc. (WIS), member FINRA/SIPC. BGFS and WIS are separate and unaffiliated entities.
About Dawn Bennett
Dawn Bennett is CEO and Founder of Bennett Group Financial Services. She hosts a national radio program called Financial Myth Busting http://www.financialmythbusting.com
She discusses educational topics and events in the financial news, along with her thoughts on the economy, financial markets, investments, and more with her live guests, who have included rock legend Ted Nugent, as well as Steve Forbes and Grover Norquist. Listeners can call 855-884-DAWN a as well as take podcasts on the road and forums for interaction.
She can be reached on Twitter @DawnBennettFMB or on Facebook Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett firstname.lastname@example.org