Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Needed Contrast To All Of Those Shiny New Jobs Numbers We Get

Generally speaking you would think that, all else being equal, more jobs would be a good thing, no matter what. And wages, on average, are up a bit (but still not caught up with where things were before the Great Recession), as well. No worries, right?

But that isn't necessarily the case, at all, in we we have now for what passes now for the "real world." Do we know for a fact that these are actua net gains in jobs, or just the number of new jobs added (the president of the AFL-CIO says the economy outsourced nearly a hundred thousand jobs during Trump's first year in office)? Were other layoffs, bankruptcies, and whatever else might occur, taken into consideration? And then there's the consideration of just what the work is, in reality.

The linked article below is a case in point. As it points out, the town in question (San Bernardino), in absolute numbers, is actually worse off than before:

"...San Bernardino is just one of the many communities across the country grappling with the same question: Is any new job a good job? These places, often located in the outskirts of major cities, have lost retail and manufacturing jobs and, in many cases, are still recovering from the recession and desperate to attract economic activity. This often means battling each other to lure companies like Amazon, which is rapidly expanding its distribution centers across the country. But as the experience of San Bernardino shows, Amazon can exacerbate the economic problems that city leaders had hoped it would solve. The share of people living in poverty in San Bernardino was at 28.1 percent in 2016, the most recent year for which census data is available, compared to 23.4 in 2011, the year before Amazon arrived.  The median household income in 2016, at $38,456, is 4 percent lower than it was in 2011. This poverty near Amazon facilities is not just an inland California phenomenon—according to a report by the left-leaning group Policy Matters Ohio, one in 10 Amazon employees in Ohio are on food stamps..."
 A person might also feel compelled to ask: If we're doing so good as an economy in general now, why is the last quarterly report for consumer debt so high? Sure, people are buying things like crazy now, but are they doing it because they feel good about the economy, or because they just need to feel good about something; anything in fact to take their minds off all of the big problems that aren't being addressed at all; and naturally they have to add even more mountains of debt to do it? And how can we believe polling about how people feel about the economy in general when they seldom get a complete picture, in any one instant, of what it is. Precisely because even the prognosticators can't be sure of anything any more.

What Amazon Does To Poor Cities

See Also:

Bon-Ton Stores files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection


In the past, cancer was seen as a death sentence. These days, it's increasingly a survivable or chronic disease. But that's especially true if you're rich.

AFL-CIO Chief: 93,000 Jobs Were Outsourced Under Donald Trump, Most In Years | Hardball