The Jobs Report Covering May 2013: About As Good As It Is Going To Get And Still Too Insufficient By Far

By Hugh, who is a long-time commenter at Naked Capitalism. Originally published at Corrente. A complete archive of Hugh’s reports can be found here.

The short version: May is usually a strong month for job creation. So while seasonally adjusted job creation is reported at 175,000, it actually increased by 885,000. This puts the January-June job creation period in line with and slightly better than the last 3 years. The problem is that this is still a very slow growth rate insufficient to deal with the enormous ongoing shortfall in jobs. And the quality of jobs being created remains crap.

May is also traditionally a good month for employment. Again because of the different surveys, jobs do not equal employment. Actual employment grew by 708,000. However, unemployment also grew by 288,000. This combination reflects an influx of job seekers from those defined as outside the labor force. The official unemployment rate inched up to 7.6%, but it has little relation to reality. In terms of the trend, real unemployment is at 12.5% and real disemployment now is at 17.3%, only slightly improved from a year ago.

Household/Employment Survey

Potential Labor Force
In May, the potential labor force as defined by the Civilian Non-Institutional Population over 16 (NIP) increased 188,000 from 245.175 million to 245.363 million. Multiplying this by the seasonally adjusted employment ratio for May (58.6%) gives a rough estimate of the number of jobs needed to keep up with population growth: .586(180,000) = 110,000.

Labor Force
Seasonally adjusted (trend line), the labor force increased 420,000 from 155.238 million to 155.658 million. Unadjusted (actual), the labor force grew 995,000 from 154.739 million to 155.734 million.

Participation Rate
The labor force participation rate (the ratio of the current labor force to the potential labor force) increased one-tenth of a percent seasonally adjusted to 63.4% while unadjusted it increased 0.4% to 63.5%. Since 2008, the participation rate has been in overall decline.

Seasonally adjusted, employment rose 319,000 from 143.579 million to 143.898 million. Unadjusted (actual), employment grew 708,000 from 143.724 million to 144.432 million. Unadjusted, we expect to see seasonal employment increase January-June. So far this year, employment has increased 2.818 million as compared to 2.783 million last year, a difference of only 35,000 or essentially the same.

Employment-Population Ratio
Seasonally adjusted, the employment population ratio was unchanged at 58.6%. It has been roughly at this level for the last 19 months. Unadjusted, it rose 0.3% to 58.9%.

Seasonally adjusted, the ranks of the unemployed grew 101,000 to 11.760 million. Unadjusted, unemployment increased by 288,000 to 11.302 million.

Unemployment rate
Seasonally adjusted trendline unemployment increased a tenth of a percent to 7.6%. Unadjusted, it grew 0.2% to 7.3%.

This time of year with good weather and schools beginning to let out, we expect to see a large influx of people into the labor force (those either finding a job or looking for one). Both employment and unemployment go up. But we also need to keep in mind the longer term trends. The relative size of the labor force, as reflected in the participation rate, has been in decline for 12 years, a decline accelerated by the 2008 meltdown. Overall employment, as shown by the employment-population ratio, declined between 2001 and 2003, stablized and even grew slightly before plunging in 2008-2009. It has since stabilized but at a much lower level, essentially kept in place by a slow decline in unemployment.

Full Time vs Part Time Employment
Seasonally adjusted, full time employment (35 or more hours/week) increased 185,000 to 116.238 million, and part time employment (1-34 hours/week) increased 150,000 to 27.699 million.

Unadjusted, full time employment increased 969,000 to 116.643 million and part time employment declined 261,000 to 27.789 million

Involuntary vs. Voluntary Part Time Employment
Seasonally adjusted, involuntary part time workers (those who would work full time if they could) were essentially unchanged, decreasing 12,000 to 7.904 million. Unadjusted, this group decreased 91,000 to 7.618 million.

Seasonally adjusted, voluntary part timers increased 26,000 to 18.934 million. Unadjusted, they dropped 514,000 to 19.315. A May dropoff is not unexpected and is usually followed by a cliff dive in June. This may be correlated to the school year and vacation taking.

The U-6
The BLS’ broader measure of un- and under employment, the U-6, decreased, seasonally adjusted 0.1% to 13.8%. Unadjusted, it was unchanged at 13.4%.

Seasonally adjusted, the U-6 is composed of 11.760 million unemployed, 7.904 million involuntary part time workers, and 2.164 million of the marginally attached (those who have no job but looked for work in the last year but not the last month), or 21.828 million total, a decrease of 94,000 from April.

[Standard note]
The BLS has a restrictive, though internationally recognized, definition of unemployment, that is without a job but have looked for one in the last 4 weeks. The marginally attached are not counted as part of the labor force and their use in the U-6 is an indication that this is what the BLS considers its functional undercount to be.

The BLS also has a more extended category: Not in Labor Force, Want a Job Now (seasonally unadjusted). In May, this increased sharply 864,000 to 7.193 million.

This category, however, does not usually reflect well actual movements in the economy. So I have developed a simple alternative to it. I calculate the size of where the labor force should be by multiplying the potential labor force of the NIP by a participation rate characteristic of a solid economic expansion (67%). The difference between this and the current labor force measures the size of the real BLS undercount, those who do not have jobs but would work if jobs were available to them. This then allows me to recalculate where real unemployment is and where real un- and under employment (disemployment) is.

.67(245.363 million) = 164.393 million (where the labor force should be)

Trend Undercount:
164.393 million — 155.658 million = 8.735 million, a decrease of 294,000 from April

Current Undercount:
164.393 million — 155.734 million = 8.659 million, a decrease of 869,000

Real Trend Unemployment (that is seasonally adjusted):

11.760 million (U-3 unemployment) + 8.735 million (undercount) = 20.495 million, down 193,000

20.495 million / 164.393 million = 12.5% down0.1%

Real Unemployment Now (i.e. seasonally unadjusted) :

11.302 million (U-3 unemployment) + 8.659 million (undercount) = 19.961 million, down 581,000

19.961 million / 164.393 million = 12.1% down0.4%

Real Trend Disemployment:

Real Trend Unemployment + involuntary part time workers seasonally adjusted = 20.495 million + 7.904 million = 28.399 million, down 205,000

28.399 million / 164.393 million = 17.3% down 0.1%

Real Disemployment Now:

Real Unemployment Now + involuntary part time workers seasonally unadjusted = 19.961 million + 7.618 million = 27.579 million, down 672,000

27.579 million / 164.393 million = 16.8% down 0.4%

May is about as good as the January-June hiring period gets. Unadjusted or actual employment should top out in June, but 85%-95% of it has already occurred. Because the Household Survey is taken in the week of the month containing the 12th, the great influx of workers from the end of the school year (staff, teachers, and students) will not show up until the report covering June. Unadjusted, both the size of the labor force and unemployment will increase sharply in June.

My measures of Real Unemployment Now and Real Disemployment Now are as low as they are likely to get for the next 5 to 6 months. In trend terms, real unemployment is only one-tenth of a percent better at 12.5% than it was a year ago, and real disemployment, three-tenths of a percent lower at 17.3%. This illustrates a lack of any substantial improvement in the employment situation in the last 12 months, with both real unemployment and disemployment (un- and under employment) remaining at crisis levels.

The number of long term unemployed (6 months or more) was essentially unchanged at 4.357 million, an increase of 4,000. The long term unemployed account for 37% (down 0.3%) of the U-3 unemployed.

White unemployment was unchanged (seasonally adjusted) at 6.7%. White teen unemployment was 21.6%. African American unemployment increased 0.3% to 13.5%. African American teen unemployment increased 2.1% to 42.6%.


Establishment/Business/Jobs Survey

Seasonally adjusted, jobs increased 175,000 in May to 135.637 million. This represents an increase of 178,000 in the private sector to 113.789 million, and a loss of 3,000 in government to 21.848 million. Monthly revisions increased the jobs total for March up 4,000 to 142,000 and April down 16,000 to 149,000, for an overall revision downward of 12,000.

Unadjusted, jobs increased 885,000 to 136.367 million. Private sector jobs increased 907,000 to 114.128 million and government jobs decreased 22,000 to 22.239 million.

Unadjusted, manfacturing added 40,000 jobs to 11.954 million; and construction added 193,000 to 5.848 million.

Unadjusted, private service-providing added 663,000 jobs to 95.459 million, of which retail trade added 127,000 to 15.0366 million; professional and technical services dropped 103,300 jobs to 8.0523 million; temporary help added 70,500 to 2.6593 million; educational services dropped 106,800 to 3.4185 million; and leisure and hospitality added 363,000 to 14.356 million.

Hours and Earnings
Average weekly hours for all employees (seasonally adjusted) was unchanged at 34.5 hours. Average hourly earnings increased one cent to $23.89 and weekly earnings increased 35 cents to $824.21.

Average weekly hours for production and nonsupervisory employees (blue collar and clerical, seasonally adjusted) increased one-tenth of an hour to 33.8 hours. Average hourly earnings increased one cent to an average of $20.08, and average weekly earnings increased 34 cents to $678.70.

The 885,000 unadjusted growth in jobs looks somewhat better than the 708,000 unadjusted increase in employment from the Household survey. The Establishment survey has a smaller margin of error and has a smaller worker base. It does not include groups like agricultural workers and the self-employed, for example. At this point in the last 3 years, 88%-97% of the jobs created in the January-June period have been created. This year through May, job creation is running 107,000 better than last year. It is in line with and slightly better than the last three years to this point.

In terms of the trend (seasonal adjustment), the number of jobs remains 2.419 million below the January 2008 peak of 138.056 million. On the current trajectory of job creation, it would take about a year and a half to get back to this level. But it is important to keep in mind that the real jobs shortfall right now as represented by the number of real unemployed (see above) is 19.961 million. However this 20 million is itself not fixed being subject to population growth increasing it and baby boomer retirements possibly decreasing it.

Unadjusted, that is in actual terms, May was a pretty good month for job growth. But aside from a seasonal increase in construction, the overall quality of jobs, as indicated by which industries are creating them, remains poor. And this is further reflected in the fact that although the number of jobs was good and full time workers (from the Household survey) increased by almost a million, pay increased by the barest amount possible, and hours increased only slightly.

Household data (Employment/unemployment)
Statistical significance: +/ – 400,000
The A tables:
A 1 for most information and categories
A 2 Unemployment by race
A 8 Part time workers
A 9 Full time workers
A 12 Duration of unemployment
A 15 U 6 un- and under employment
A 16 Persons not in labor force

Establishment date (jobs)
Statistical significance: +/ – 100,000
The B tables:
B 1 Total jobs and jobs by industry/type
B 2 Weekly hours, all employees
B 3 Hourly and weekly earnings, all employees
B 6 Weekly hours, blue collar
B 7 Hourly and weekly earnings, blue collar

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. rjs

    hugh, i have not been unable to reconcile this with the employment report:

    this is a separate report from BLS on Productivity and Labor Costs for the First Quarter that was released Wednesday, which showed that unit labor costs fell at an annual rate of 4.3%, reflecting a 3.8% decrease in hourly compensation and a 0.5% increase in productivity, which they note as the largest hourly compensation decline in the series, which began in 1947; furthermore, this report has unit labor costs in manufacturing down 10.0%, reflecting a 3.5% increase in productivity and a 6.9 percent decrease in hourly compensation…real, inflation adjusted hourly compensation in manufacturing was shown as down 8.3% at an annualized rate in the first quarter; it was even worse in durable manufacturing, for which real hourly compensation is shown down 9.4%…as of yet, neither myself nor any of those i’ve asked have been able to reconcile the figures from this report and those on average hourly earnings from the establishment survey over the past several months…

    1. rjs

      should be “i have been unable”

      incoherency is what i get for trying to compose first thing in the morning…

    2. Hugh

      The short answer is I am not sure. Compensation is defined somewhat differently here than in say the jobs report. Per the the Productivity and Costs report

      Labor Compensation: The measure includes accrued wages and salaries, supplements, employer contributions to employee benefit plans, and taxes.

      The payroll tax holiday ended in the First Quarter I believe and this may explain in part why Unit Labor Costs decreased as they did.

      1. rjs

        i thought the year end shenanigans might be part of the story, but to me it seemed the expiration of the payroll tax holiday would add to unit labor costs, because employers have to match employee contributions…

        if it was bankers, i’d say ok, they got their bonuses in december so their pay went down in january, case closed…but the biggest hit was to factory workers, & that still doesnt make sense..

  2. Chris Engel

    My first impression is that black youth unemployment seems to be on par with some of the labor market failures observed in the European periphery.

    The number of long term unemployed (6 months or more) was essentially unchanged at 4.357 million, an increase of 4,000. The long term unemployed account for 37% (down 0.3%) of the U-3 unemployed.

    Chart related to this:

    There was a decent trend going, but now median unemployment is ticking back up.

  3. jake chase

    This excellent analysis supports my intuitive guess that real unemployment (the unemployment that matters to the health of our employment based society), approaches 30 million. This is without regard to the character of the employment which does exist (mostly, it sucks), and supports the also intuitive idea that the primary purpose of the employment which does exist and pay decently is to control and subjugate those stuck at the bottom, including both workers whose work doesn’t pay enough to provide much chance at a real life, and non workers who somehow manage to survive on whatever they manage to survive upon.

    At the same time, an enormous share of so called economic activity involves waste, environmental degredation, mindless entertainment, sexual exploitation, distribution of shoddy,worthless goods, debased services, outright propaganda, jackbooted security work, indigestible food, etc., so a good deal of creative work is required on the part of individuals hoping to avoid contact with as much of this crap as possible (and believe me, it ain’t easy).

    If the best we can do is hope to enable more people to buy houses and rear children by generating even more of this drek, perhaps our best hope is for another forty day and forty night flood?

    We’ve just had three days and the entire state appears to be under water.

    1. Susan the other

      I sat down to make a list of all the “things” I would be happy to do without and could have done without all my life. It got so long I gave up.

  4. middle seaman

    This article may be absolutely correct, but saying that 175 is actually 885 requires an explanation. Some of calculations shown use figures of unknown sources. I am puzzled.

    1. rjs

      he was pretty clear in saying “So while seasonally adjusted job creation is reported at 175,000, it actually increased by 885,000”

      the 175K headline is a number spit out from a seasonal adjustment program meant to smooth differences between months, but it has nothing to do with the actual number of jobs created..

  5. stevewarton

    Great analysis and then add what kind of new jobs that have been added (this month and on average over the last 10 years)… bars and restaurants, health care (esp home health care), temp employment, retail … basically stuff that is hard to outsource, and that is low wage/low skill.

    Contrast that with the jobs lost … manufacturing and construction.

    Note that the other sectors of the economy are barely adding to jobs … its waitresses, temp workers and retail workers … no flood of high tech, high skill jobs. If the economy is only creating minimum wage jobs … does everyone need a college education.

    1. anon y'mouse

      the answer is “yes”


      because information growth requires that we can’t “stop” learning upon hitting the magical age of 18. because scientific and technological developments require that we all become informed. because knowledgeable people (generally college grads, but not necessarily so) maintain their health better at lower expense, and give more time and money back to the community.

      because without knowing WHAT has occurred and WHY, which is generally not taught at the k-12 level, there isn’t a chance in hell that people will become politically aware enough to attempt to change it all.

      but, you appear to be trolling for the elite overlords, so i’m sure are entirely aware of the reason that college must be “rationally” eliminated as a possibility for most of the rest of us= “if it won’t lead to increased $ (some for you but mostly of the technical skill variety that employers can earn more from) then there isn’t any reason for it!”

      1. Waking Up

        anon y’mouse, I agree with much of what you say about a college education. But, perhaps it isn’t exclusively a need for a college education so much as a cultural/societal change which is necessary. If a society puts a PREMIUM on education, learning as an on-going part of life and being a citizen, using critical thinking skills to the best extent that each individual is able, and staying informed not just about your immediate environment, but also what is happening in the world, then we would all be better off.

        Instead, our current cultural norm with a focus on celebrity and the absurd debases many people whether they have or are in the process of receiving a high school or college education. Add in a society which believes it is “exceptional” due to military strength, a President who feels he has the right to have a “kill list” along with spying on all Americans, and a very small group of wealthy people from within and outside our country in need of power and world domination… and you have a country which is morally bankrupt. At this point, I’m trying to decide whether the propaganda and cultural machine has destroyed the moral centers of most people. If we have lost the ability to care about those around us, then a college education is probably the least of our worries.

  6. Paul Tioxon

    The bomb was dropped on the Philadelphia Public School District yesterday.

    “Philadelphia Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. announced Friday that the School District had begun mailing layoff notices to 3,783 employees, informing them they will lose their jobs July 1 because of the district’s financial crisis.

    The list includes 676 teachers, 283 counselors, 127 assistant principals, and 1,202 noontime aides.”

    The local TV news program did a noticeable bit of journalistic analysis, by not just reporting the raw numbers, but also by emphasizing that it meant that 1 our of every 409 people in the city are now out of work. There seems to be a growing sense of seriousness of the overall economic conditions that are reported on in compartmentalizes stories, by an attempt to link these separate financial catastrophes to the larger community. Doomsday Budget is spoken and flashed in the TV screen along with clear visuals, charts showing total employment and the percent about to lose their jobs, nearly 20% of the district and then, linking it to the entire population of the city, 1 in 409 Philadelphians are losing their jobs, as the anchorman then repeats, IT’S TRUE, YOU CAN DO THE MATH.

    Normally, these stories are somber enough, but there does not seem to be the same resigned world weariness in recitation of yet another turn around in the bend of the usual downward spiral of bad news for the public schools or the city in general. I see it as well in the written attempts of columnists covering business and employment in the their emphasis and response to cynical and snarky as well as just mean spirited dismissal of the unfortunate down sized victims. As much as I struggle to intellectually grasp the fullness of the economic downfall as it unfolds,sometimes as an explosion and now as a steady but real eroding, spiraling downward, accelerating to the next explosion, I am sensing that there is growing fear about the unending instability that is euphemistically re-branded the new normal by too many pundits.

    While this episode of austerity in response to a budget that can not meet its responsibilities of full funding for an adequate education is more often what is coming to pass in the further hollowing out of the middle class during this depression, there seems to be some glimmer of hope. Not only do I detect a serious attempt by the local media, as well as many other such as NC to fully alert the public as much as possible to the consequences of the ongoing financial collapse, but also a changing attitude in uncritically buying the party line behind the austerity moves.

    How can we lower unemployment by destroying public jobs by the thousands in a day? The entire exercise in controlling deficits by cutting government spending is being rejected by more and more middle of the road types.

    From The Center For American Progress, a call to reset the fiscal debate in its entirety:

    “Part of the trouble is that the debate over these issues is stuck in a time and context that no longer exists. First and foremost, the fiscal outlook for both the medium-term and the long-term has improved substantially compared to what it was just a few years ago. This incredible improvement has been driven by three main factors:

    We have enacted about $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction with about three-quarters coming from spending cuts.

    Health care costs have slowed dramatically in the past several years.

    We have a better understanding of what is driving the debt in the long-term projections.

    There have also been important changes in the economic context that surrounds the entire budget debate. These include:

    The key argument that high debt causes slower growth has crumbled.

    Countries around the world have experimented with austerity, and those experiments have failed spectacularly.
    The U.S. economy has not healed nearly as swiftly as was projected when the budget cutting began.

    The push for immediate debt reduction has resulted in some perverse policy outcomes.”

    The private sector job growth numbers are good in only that they are not losing jobs, but are so weak that they can not possibly be considered good partial, much less a full recovery, forget about robust surging back from a recession type of recovery. The public sector is under attack by cut backs, sequester furloughs, general anti government bashing joining the republicans and democrats together for the first time in a United Front Against the IRS. Gee, they only collect the money that allows the government to function at all, let’s get rid of them! If this neo-liberal group is disavowing grand bargains, austerity and deficit spending as the greatest of all possible evils, is there a chance that more pushing can move the Overton window back to sane territory?

    1. Dave

      Many, if not most of these cuts are due to union inflexibility. Possibly even all are the result of unions refusal to give an inch. So if there is blame to be placed, the unions may be responsible for the layoffs. Probably you will reply that these folks are underpaid anyway, and to take pay and benefit cuts would be demeaning, even “illegal” according to some now obsolete contract. After all, they are special since they are public servants!

      Consider the people that they work for though. Many of these people are lucky to have a poorly paid job in the first place, and often don’t even have health insurance. Times are tough, and the public greatly resents a taxpayer funded “elite”.

      1. AbyNormal

        let me get this straight Dave…your union protected elites should take a dive because the privateers can do it cheaper when slaves aren’t represented?


      2. Paul Tioxon

        Then how do you explain the Catholic Schools collapsing in Philadelphia and throughout the nation, rich pension funds for nuns?

      3. Hugh

        One of the hallmarks of a successful class war is to get the rubes to fight among themselves. It is also to keep them divided and weak. The reason why the rich and powerful have always targeted unions is precisely because they represent people power. Most American workers were never union members, but most benefited from their activities. Unions helped establish minimums for wages, working hours, working conditions, and age of workers in many industries which benefited all workers, not just them. The decimation of unions, the co-opting of what’s left of them, tracks closely with the decline in the lives of American workers.

        Do you seriously hold that there is no connection between the two? Have you ever considered why it is business interests which are the biggest supporters for anti-union “Right to Work” laws? Do you really think it is because they have workers’ best interests at heart?

        If I remember correctly only about 6%-7% of workers in the private sector are unionized. In the public sector about a third. Many of these are police, fire, and teachers. Most of the teachers’ unions are pretty weak. But rather than ask why you do not have a union, why you do not have some of the fast fading benefits of these unions, your response is destroy what little is left of them.

        The great wealth inequality in this country results in the concentration and sequestering of most of our society’s resources in the hands of a few. They not only do not use these resources for our benefit, for the benefit of the many, they use them to harm us further. If you want to go after someone, go after them.

        1. Dave

          I had no idea that Catholic schools were collapsing, so of course I have no idea as to why. If indeed they are, it may be problems with revenue or less interest in religion. Possibly folks feel that they need their money for something else more necessary and are exercising their freedom of choice? A big change from the inquisition!

          Unions certainly have done a lot in the past to improve wages and working conditions. As far as I’m concerned though, this is not a reason to continue to encourage them. Government has basically taken over that role for better or for worse. And of course the government can count on them in a take and take situation. One area where unions have really shone is the ability to increase the price of products and services. This markedly improves society and leads to much greater equality in standard of living, at least for union members. :-) After all, if you want equality you must be willing to pay for it.
          So be sure to give a nice tip to your plumber!

          Government unions are a little different though. The companies they work for have laws and guns, and will use them if one is not interested in buying their services.

          1. Hugh

            I doubt that teachers are going to come after you with guns. Those who might or have the power to order others to do so, the Obamas, Boehners, McConnells, Reids, Pelosis, the Holders and Brennans, well, they don’t belong to any unions.

            Again you are looking at this the way our masters want you to. We should be willing to pay the real costs of labor. Workers (and society) should be the primary beneficiaries of their labor, not management and financial speculators who shift all the profits to themselves and loot the workers into the ground.

          2. Paul Tioxon

            Since 2002, total Catholic schools have declined from 8,000 to 6,685. The number of students enrolled declined by over a half million or 20%.


            But not only Catholic schools, which are private, but other non-Catholic private schools as well. This does not include charter schools as private, due to tax payer funding. Public education has bifurcated into 2 tax payer funded types, tradition public school district schools and now, charter schools, that peel off the money and students from the public funded district schools. According to the following Atlantic article, elite, meaning really expensive private schools that cost Tens of thousands are doing fine, but the k-12 that are private, more modestly priced are shrinking in direct relation to charter schools growth.


            The middle class is being squeezed out of public goods in the form of traditional public education on he lower levels of income stratification and also, in middle of the middle class, especially in the form of Catholic Archdiocese school systems, which are the province of the blue collar and lower middle class neighborhoods in cities across much of America. It is not simply the choice of charter schools empowering tea party parents who want home school dominance over their kids schoolroom, but also, Catholics, Lutherans and other more modest schooling alternatives to public schools that once provided affordable options to public schools. Their decline has more to do with wage suppression and the high cost of what used to taken for granted benefits of middle class living standards: employer paid for health care and pensions. Those huge costs are now shifted squarely onto the wages of the middle class which has to now make hard choices about how to allocate what is left of their shrinking purchasing power and increasing freedom to be a rugged individual.

    2. Susan the other

      It is puzzling to see American Progress have a progressive change of heart. Here’s the problem I have with this “progress”. It’s too material. So much is sacrificed for our current idea of progress (people, environment, sanity, sovereignty) that a budget doesn’t begin to describe it. And then there is this paradox: Assuming debt is good because it creates enterprise is the wrong way to look at why debt is good. Today’s debt requires super efficiency and productivity so profit can be made and debt can be serviced. The most obvious artifact of productivity is unemployment. And this spiral just gets worse as corporations “compete.” But if the debt was to ourselves then the gain (also something a budget can’t describe) goes right back to us. So debt to ourselves is good. Debt to international capitalists is bad.

      1. mansoor h khan

        Susan the other:

        you are on the right track ala MMT and Social Credit ideas of economist Clifford H. Douglas.

        Setup a people’s central bank (nationalize the FED) and:

        debit Social_Capital_Account
        Credit citizen’s_bank_Account

        1) ban private credit creation (per F.Beard’s plan/scheme) by private banks including shadow banks (non-member banks), start by removing federal deposit insurance protection and a a law with lots of teeth to ban usury (especially mis-matched maturity lending)

        2) keep doing this until inflation ensues

        3) if inflation ensues (most likely it will due to Peak Oil/Peak fossil fuels) then curb high spender’s consumption by a high consumption tax (not an income tax)

        Mansoor H. Khan

  7. AbyNormal

    Thank You Hugh for working these details.
    (in my book…your special for sharing your skill)

    The reward of a work is to have produced it; the reward of effort is to have grown by it.
    Sertillanges, The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods

  8. rich

    Labor’s Share Plummets, Capital’s Share Soars: New Fed Data

    These two charts show that 1980, when Ronald Reagan won election, and 2001, when George W. Bush became president, marked major downward shifts in labor’s share and large increases in corporate after-tax profits. America has six million corporations, but just 2,600 of them own more than 80 percent of all business assets.

    Major news organizations have done virtually no reporting on how corporate lobbyists are quietly persuading Congress and state legislators, as well as regulators in Washington and the 50 states, to rewrite the rules of business. These new rules decimate private sector unions, insulate big companies from the rigors of competitive markets, take away consumer rights, force workers and customers to pay taxes that corporations legally get to keep and in myriad other ways take from the many to benefit the few. These changes are detailed in my book The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use Plain English to Rob You Blind.

    Wage growth since 1999 has been almost entirely among those earning $100,000 and up.

    Consider 2011. That year 102,694 people were paid $1 million or more for their labor. At the top were the 93 people who averaged $79.8 million, Social Security Administration data show.

    Not counted in this high-end labor data are earnings deferred into the future. Most workers could save only $16,500 that year, but a little-known law allows executives, movie stars, professional athletes and top sales agents to save unlimited sums. Some have saved billions of dollars, as I first explained in 1996.

    We have known for 16 years that executive pay has been growing faster than even corporate profits, indicating that investors are not doing as well as the managers they hire to run companies.

    In 1934 the super-rich top 1 percent of the top 1 percent saw their incomes fall 3.4 percent, while in 2010 their incomes soared by 21.5 percent.

    These dramatic changes in fortune for the vast majority and the tiny elite are not natural. They are bought and paid for.

    The buyers are among (but by no means all of) the already super-rich, who have politicians on speed-dial, lobbyists on their payrolls and jobs for family and friends of officials who demonstrate fealty to those at the top.

    This should not be news, but to millions of Americans it is. Or, rather, it would be if it were reported in the major newspapers and on the evening network news instead of manufactured scandals.

  9. kevinearick

    American Capitalism: License to Steal

    Socialism is fighting over free sh- and assigning the bill for the stupidity to future generations. Communism is forming groups to fight over the free sh-, internally and externally. Capitalism is assigning licenses to groups to determine in what order they are going to fight over free sh-. In all cases, the bill is delivered to future generations, in the form of economic slavery to the past, more fighting over free sh-, and then blaming Act of God for the ultimate outcome, environmental catastrophe. “But I pay taxes [to belong]…”

    Given a false choice, between A and B, the answer is always C, any alternative not presented for repetition. At least you will learn something, while the majority dies off and gets out of your way. Fighting the majority, under any flag, only ensures the reoccurrence of the false choice, because it gives the majority a focal point for its ‘economic activity.’ All participants, not choosing a new C, end up in the dead zone. No one in the Fed’s dead zone is getting out.

    You need a new education system, not a better banking law. And your children cannot possibly do any worse than the current sh-show propagated by the majority. Economic profit, physics, is not rocket science. You don’t need a rocket. The rocket, like money, is a derivative. Money goes to money due to its gravitational nature. Don’t follow the misdirection of false complexity and expect to learn anything useful.

    Each generation is an opportunity to abandon the false assumptions of the last, which always recognizes the different as a threat, exclaiming some legal mantra in the form of “if you don’t understand it, kill it.” If there is no privacy, and it is the empire’s goal to eliminate privacy, then there is no escaping the stupidity of the past, and everyone gets an equal opportunity to lose, separated only by time, which is the only difference between European socialism and American capitalism. Capitalism is just another layer on the same foundation of sand.

    From the empire’s perspective, the majority wins. You comply, you destroy yourself, or you learn and the entire majority gets to exploit your work. Congratulations; the majority exploited derivative technology to lock themselves into a psychotic bi-polar prison of repression, complete with an automated delivery system for self-medication, while they compete to make themselves increasingly disposable in an increasingly disposable world.

    The Family Office sets up the Law to grant licenses in a pyramid of event horizons, each licensed to steal from the one below and pass a percentage upward, exempting itself from the law first, of course. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see what Frank/Dodd is all about. Whether Volcker is well-meaning or not, the problem is not identifying the problem.

    The Family Office defined labor to its own end, liquidating the nation/state system with the resulting labor arbitrage, into its own currency bankruptcy, assuming a New World Order under its control. Having failed miserably, it now seeks to tax new currencies under the 10th Amendment, surprise, surprise. The United States is, not are, as Lincoln so aptly demonstrated, just another iteration of stupidity.

    So, I called through all the false flags in my record again the other day, and got to the idiot feminists in Riverside, who told me again that I had to pay the arbitrary tax assigned to me in order to get my licenses back, which I need to go to work and pay their arbitrary tax, and they maintained the right to assign arbitrary levies against me in the future. So, we continue, to allow them to cut their own throat, thinking that they are competing to see who can force me to wash their dishes. Good luck with that.

    Having nothing better to do, while the empire targets me and the kids get on with their lives, I set up a guy with the most expensive RE sale in Vermont, requiring no mortgage payments, enough 0% credit cards to buy and rent as many tax sale properties as he wanted, and an unregulated elevator company for additional revenue. Naturally, he throws it all away because he doesn’t get the same peer accolades that he would have gotten by driving a mortgaged Vette up to the bar in South Beach. Go figure.

    It’s not about empire regulated jobs. It’s about making a living, by building your community.

    1. Massinissa

      You mean European capitalism and American capitalism yes?

      The last ‘socialist’ country in Europe was Yugoslavia. So I think you mean European Capitalism.

  10. Van

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