Jobs Numbers

The headline numbers are in, and they seem favorable enough: unemployment has dropped to 5.9%, and 248,000 new jobs were created in September.

However.

Counting the 142,000 new jobs created in August, new jobs were created at a monthly average of 195,000 jobs per month over the total interval. Using, instead, Labor’s revised August number of 180,000 new jobs (I’d be curious to learn how President Barack Obama’s Labor Department could make such a large estimation error—a 20% error), that still works out to a pretty anemic 214,000 new jobs per month over the period.

Some Thoughts on Immigration

Started 24 years ago, the EB-5 program allots 10,000 visas annually to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in US development projects, from dairy farms and ski resorts to hotels and bridges. In return, the investor and family members become eligible for green cards, or permanent residency, typically within two years.

There are similar quotas, if not monetary requirements, on the other visas we issue.

But why? Immigrants are good for the United States: they bring with them ideas, problem solving techniques, entrepreneurship, a demonstrated view of the importance of family, and so on.

Democrats and Inversions

Inversions in this context, to oversimplify, are when American companies buy foreign companies and then relocate their headquarters to that foreign country in order to take advantage of that country’s lower tax rates. That this is part of an American company’s management fiduciary duty to the owners to minimize costs and maximize profits is unimportant to the denizens of the present administration and to too many “Republicans” as well.

President Barack Obama’s Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, had some thoughts about the evils of inversions.

These transactions erode the US tax base, unfairly placing a larger burden on all other taxpayers, including small businesses and hardworking Americans[.]

They Need to Make up Their Minds

The Minnesota Vikings issued a statement early Wednesday saying that running back Adrian Peterson must remain away from all team activities until his felony child abuse case is settled.

The move was an about-face for the team, which reinstated Peterson to the active roster Monday after deactivating him following the All-Pro running back’s indictment Friday.

Peterson has an initial hearing scheduled for October 8 in Montgomery County, Texas on a charge of reckless or negligent injury to a child. He is accused of beating his four-year-old son with a wooden switch, leaving bruises and other wounds that were visible days later. Peterson told police that he was merely inflicting discipline and had not intended to hurt the boy.

An Instructive Graph

This one is from the Census Bureau’s Income and Poverty in the United States: 2013. The headline of the report is that American household median income stagnated for the second straight year and remains, in real terms, 8% lower than it was in the last year before the Panic of 2008. The graph below reflects that.2013MedianHouseholdIncome

What interests me about this graph, though, is not the end result snapshot, but the slopes of the graph’s separate lines, the changing levels of median incomes, as we come out of recessions and panics over the last 50 years.

In Which a Judge Gets It Right

…but is forced to rule wrongly.

The SEIU sued University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, alleging “unfair” labor practices in that, claimed the union, UPMC management interfered with employees’ right to organize. In connection with that suit, the NLRB issued three subpoenas demanding “highly confidential and proprietary information” be released from UPMC to the union.

Federal District Judge Arthur Schwab found the NLRB’s subpoenas, among other things, over broad and unfocused, and so illegitimate. He also found the subpoenas fundamentally irrelevant to the underlying case (which itself would have rendered the subpoenas inappropriate). He went further. In noting that the NLRB itself made no serious effort to argue the relevance of its subpoenas, he wrote [emphasis added]

Scottish Independence

The view of a poor, dumb colonial.

Suppose the Scottish referendum next week goes in favor of independence. What would be next for Scotland?

Among the complexities of separation is the matter of pensions provided by employers. Most such pensions are not fully funded; although, most such pension providers have apparently viable plans for curing the shortfall, over some number of years. However, the EU (and we’ll assume Scotland succeeds in joining the EU for this bit) requires all pension funds with members in two or more countries to be fully paid up. Moreover, funds that are not have only two years to get fully paid up. There are quite a number of large-ish UK companies, employing thousands each, whose pension funds have members in both countries, and whose pension funds are on one of those “some number of years to fund” plans.

Jobs

According to Friday’s jobs report, the headline number, the unemployment rate, dropped a skosh to 6.1%. But there’s more to it than that.

  • the long-term unemployed dropped to 3 million, but they’re still over 30% of all of US unemployed
  • the employment-population ratio was 59% for the third consecutive month

and

  • the civilian noninstitutional population was 248,229,000, up 206,000 from July, but
  • the civilian labor force was 155,959,000, down 64,000 from July

Then there’re these data:

  • nonfarm employment was up 142,000, against economists’ expectations of an increase of around 225,000 jobs

Economic Gains

President [Barack] Obama used Labor Day to tout the country’s economic gains under his leadership….

Let’s look at those gains.

  • he’s increased the national debt in his six years by 70%—it stood at $10 trillion at the end of 2008; it’s now over $17 trillion
  • median income has fallen—it stands now at $53,900 compared with $56,700 in December 2007 at the start of the current economic dislocation
  • job creation is only just back to pre-Panic levels, 6 years into his administration, compared with normal economic recovery needing only 2-3 years to get to this point

Obamacare and Jobs

The results are starting to come in, via three independently done polls by three separate Federal Reserve Banks.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia:

  • 78.8% of businesses in the district have made no change to the number of workers they employ as the specific result of ObamaCare
  • 3% are hiring more
  • 18.2% are cutting jobs and employees
  • 18% shifted the composition of their workforce to a higher proportion of part-time labor
  • 88.2% of the roughly half of businesses that modified their health plans as a result of ObamaCare passed along the costs through increasing the employee contribution to premiums, an effective cut in wages