Monday, September 07, 2009

Ten years and no jobs....

I know everyone got pretty worked up on Friday because the jobs reports showed fewer jobs shed than expected. Two things:

1 - The Bureau of Labor Statistics continues to act like the Bureau of BS - adding 118 thousand jobs that are out there just not measured yet because of all the hiring going on at new start-ups. Give me a break. That's silly.

2 - There are three states for the job market. We can be adding jobs, losing jobs or holding steady. Even with the wacky birth/death addition of 118k jobs last month our economy still shed over two hundred thousand jobs. So while, we're not losing jobs like we were in January it's far from certain that we won't return to those levels again in a year.

Finally, this chart is eye-opening and it should remove any partisan arguments about one party versus another...

This shows the total number of jobs created in the US over a ten year period. Note that we're now in the red for the past decade. Considering the growth in US population during this period, this number is really startling. This chart doesn't show 2.1 million new government jobs created in the past decade - mostly in education and security - but it's amazing to think that we could be looking at a decade with no new jobs. I also argue that since not all jobs are created equal - replacing a quality assurance job GM with a cashier at Target - the gross income of all employed individuals is likely to continue to fall.

As we approach the 8th anniversary of the attacks of Sept 11th, I found this story on CNN depressing, scary and even a little intimidating...

Four hundred thousand workers, 22o mph trains, three hundred billion dollars...... Anyone want to give me the odds that their train network is done before the World Trade Center is rebuilt?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The thing that should really scare us is if try to calucluate what the "cost" of a like rail system would be in the US. A general rule of thumb in construction is: 1/3 materials 2/3rd's labor. So for sake of argument, because wages are lower in China, lets assume it is 1/2 materials and 1/2 labor for their $300bil project.

The rail system is then $150bil in materials, and $150bil in labor. This of course with the labor at $250- per month.

If the project was attempted in the US, it would require at the very least "prevailing govt. wage" so lets settle of $30- per hour, plus 33% H&W = $40- per hour. The quick math is: $40 x 160 hours per month = $6400 @ month per employee. $240 / 150bil x 6400 / X = $3.842trillion for US labor, plus the $150 billion for materials puts the rail job in the US at just under $4Trillion Dollars, plus the cost of land easments.

The reality is, we are essentialy doomed, because there is no way that anything of substance will ever again be built or undertaken in our country, because we have outpriced ourselves. Our dollar and our economy is just circling the bowl waiting for the handle to be pulled.