By Roger D Barris at The Huffington Post
One of the really good things that David Stockman does in his Contra Corner blog is dissecting incoming economic statistics. One of his favourite targets is the monthly non-farm employment figures produced by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here is his take on the May figures.
I won’t summarize the entire article, which is worth a read. His general thrust is that many of the new jobs trumpeted by the Obama administration, Keynesian economists and the Federal Reserve are in fact “job-lettes.” For example, of the 3.3 million new jobs created since the pre-recession peak, 1.6 million are in the leisure and hospitality sectors (ie., waiters, bell-boys, and ticket takers, as well as the employees of the exploding nail salon industry, where employment has nearly quadrupled since 2000). A combination of low pay and limited hours produce annual average earnings in these sectors of less than $20,000.
Another big slug of employment growth is in sectors that Stockman deems “fiscally dependent” and therefore unsustainable, in his view, given the US debt position. This category obviously includes government employees, but less obviously the education and medical sectors, which are massively dependent on government transfers. These