Visiting the Imprisoned one of the corporal works of mercy

[I was] in prison and you visited me

Matthew 25:36c

There was an interesting story at ABC (via Instapundit) that jumped out at me this morning concerning President Trump’s relationship with the Black community vs President Obama‘s.

“This is probably the most pro-active administration regarding urban America and the faith-based community in my lifetime,” Scott told the group, adding, “This is probably going be … the most pro-black president that we’ve had in our lifetime.”

A black pastor saying Donald Trump the most pro black president we’ve had in our lifetime?  How is that possible?  The article continues

He compared Trump to his predecessor, Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president, and said: “This president actually wants to prove something to our community, our faith-based community and our ethnic community.”

In other words Trump as a leader is trying to serve the black community.  Sounds like he’s taking advice from Christ:

Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt.  But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.  Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Matthew 20:25-28

And what’s the best way to serve a person who has been in prison, help him find work to support himself once he’s out.

Trump told the group, which included pastors and bishops from across the country, that his administration has been making progress on efforts to make it easier for prisoners to re-enter society and find work.

“When we say hire American, we mean all Americans,” Trump said.

But what about Barack Obama?  Didn’t he care about the back community and feel compelled to serve them?   Pastor Scott again:

“The last president didn’t feel like he had to,” he added, saying of Obama: “He got a pass.”

That sound odd to say the least.  Who can we explain that kind of attitude toward a community that voted for him overwhelmingly?  The answer again is Christ:

Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’?  Would he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished’?  Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?  So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'”

Luke 17:7-10

Put simply during his presidency Barack Obama saw that black community as his servants who owed him fidelity as existed to serve him politically as was his due as the first black president.  In contrast Donald Trump seeks to gain the support of the black community as a leader and thus is willing to serve to earn that support and it worth noting that the prison community is the least likely to provide votes as in many states ex-cons with felony conviction are not eligible to vote.

Donald Trump is putting the last first, you can’t get more biblical than that, and people wonder what the community of faith support him.



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DaTechGuy conducting an interview Photo via M Rogers Granite Grok

I was planning to write a piece this morning on the Arab threats that if we recognized Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel they would not make peace with them (as opposed to the every other reason that they have not made peace with Israel over the last 70 years) when I got a phone call from work letting me know that I was laid off once again

In a business dependent on e-commerce such layoffs after the Christmas season are not uncommon but layoffs during said season are unusual but when you are dealing with high end products there is less of a Christmas bump as such folks don’t wait for a sale at Christmas to buy, so if volume doesn’t match projections the budget has to drop and as a 54 year old temp in a place full of people young enough to be my children or grandchildren I’m very expendable.

It’s a tough lesson in economics but the real lesson is the one that I’ve mentioned many times before. In the 2 1/2 years that I’ve been at the warehouse off and on, the minimum wage in Massachusetts has gone up twice first to $10 and hour and then to $11. This means that a potential client locates his product is a state at the federal minimum wage they can have three workers for the price of two in Massachusetts.

So as always the real minimum wage remains steady at Zero which is where I am right now.

And so I am once again asking for your help in this matter. The bite will start hitting next week when my last paycheck comes in so I ironically have 12 days before the money stops coming in the Christmas season.

Every $440 I can raise is a week the wolf remains away from the door, if I can raise $3600 by the 21st that will mean I’ll be OK through the end of January which will hopefully be time enough to convince someone in Massachusetts that a guy soon to be eligible for senior discounts who supports Trump and doesn’t check off a single affirmative action box is worth their investment. So I would ask you to consider Hitting DaTipJar Here.




You can also help out by buying my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer and recommending it to your friends. Using scripture as it’s basis it explains why the Hail Mary is a prayer our protestant brothers should embrace rather than reject.

If I can sell 10,000 paperback copies at $6.99, not only will my cut carry me all the way through February or March but as part of every sale supports WQPH 89.3 FM EWTN Catholic Radio you can support the station that carries my weekly show, Your Prayer Intentions Saturdays at Noon EST each week. And of course it would make an excellent Christmas Gift for the person of faith on your Christmas list.

Finally the math of my job is pretty simple. $440 a week comes to $1892 a month over the course of a year. (440 x 4.3) If you divide that by 20 that comes out to 94.6 meaning if I can get 95 new subscribers by the end of this month. I can permanently replace my warehouse job and do this full time while still paying my writers and other costs with the existing subscribers I currently have. This will give me time to work on several other book projects as well.


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UPDATE: Mega Instalanche: Thanks Ed and Glenn and thanks all of you. I’ll be going through DaTipJar hits and emailing you all and updating the totals as soon as time permits and the server decides it can let me in to do so.

Update 2:

Good think I’m planning on hitting confession tomorrow as these two images might constitute violation of the sin of pride

Give me the Insty book club anyday

Might I suggest this might be a great book for a confirmation class

Update 3: (12/12 Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe) OK my plan which I blast emailed out to everyone who kicked in was to work on my book this month and start job hunting in January unless something dropped into my lap.

About 20 minutes ago something dropped into my lap. I got a call from the temp agency that I had this job through that said employer asked for me back.

Given my age and speed or lack thereof I’m presuming that there has been a sudden bump in business that requires bodies in a hurry, even old slow ones old enough to be the father or grandfather of many of the folks there. Of course there is also something to be said for us older folks brought up in the tradition of showing up for work and doing your job.

Now in this business it’s not odd for a layoff after the Christmas season and I wouldn’t be surprised if by the week of January 6th I find myself laid off again. But for now I’m going to take things as they are and see if this is two weeks work, two months work or full time work. But I think I should definitely do CPAC which means I won’t have to ask for money to go there.

I’ll keep you all informed.

By John Ruberry

Last Monday I had a errand to run for work–which brought me to Milwaukee’s suburbs. And for the first time in five years I drove on Interstate 94 north of the Illinois-Wisconsin state line–on what is known as the Milwaukee to Kenosha I-94 Corridor.

A lot has changed since 2012. As I left a toll road south of the border and entered a true freeway–okay, to be fair, the toll road has been there for decades–I noticed a lot.

Businesses–with huge facilities–that weren’t there five years ago leap out at you. Most obvious is the massive Uline warehouse in Pleasant Prairie. The headquarters office of the industrial supplier moved a few miles north from Waukegan, Illinois into Pleasant Prairie in Kenosha County in 2010. Its “Chicago warehouse” followed four years later.

In the 1980s Wisconsin’s tourism slogan was “Escape to Wisconsin.” Illinois businesses are now heeding the call.

Yes, the Chicago area has a couple of Amazon fulfilment centers, but farther north on my drive I saw a massive one in Kenosha–it opened in 2015. The Milwaukee Business Journal calls it “the largest in the recent Kenosha County industrial boom.” There is a “Hiring Now” sign out front.

Sears Holdings, an Illinois loser

South of Kenosha County is Lake County in ILL-inois. There is no Lake County industrial boom. There is no Illinois industrial boom.

Why is that? Sure, tax incentives from Wisconsin’s Republican governor, Scott Walker have helped greatly. Illinois, when inept Democrat Pat Quinn was governor, offered tax breaks to Sears Holdings, which operates the Sears and Kmart brands, and Mitsubishi Motors, to encourage them to stay. This was a few months after a huge income tax hike was enacted. What about attracting new business? By all accounts Sears and Kmart are on life-support and Mitsubishi closed its Bloomington plant in 2015.

Corporate taxes might be slightly higher in Wisconsin–no place is perfect. But Illinois has the nation’s highest median property tax rate. And Illinois’ expensive workers compensation laws frighten business owners.

In 2015 Wisconsin became a right-to-work state. All the states that border Illinois except for Missouri are right-to-work states and Show Me State voters will be asked next year if they want to join the trend. Nearby Michigan has been right-to-work since 2012. Job creators don’t like unions and based on recent workplace votes, neither do workers.

Illinois has its 800-pound odious gorilla in its basement, a woefully underfunded public-worker pension system. Wisconsin’s state pensions are by most accounts fully funded. Businesses don’t like uncertainty and Illinois’ pension bomb, despite a massive personal and corporate tax hike put in place this summer, has not been defused. Not even close. Ka-boom is coming.

Blogger in Pleasant Prairie

This summer Wisconsin and the Milwaukee to Kenosha I-94 Corridor snagged its biggest prize, the Foxconn factory. The Taiwanese manufacturer will hire anywhere from 3,000 to 13,000 employees for its facility in Mount Pleasant in Racine County. Yes, Illinois had also bid on the Foxconn plant.

Indiana is also enjoying great success poaching Illinois firms for the similar reasons.

And when the jobs leave the people leave. And Illinois is one of only three states with negative population growth.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from Illinois at Marathon Pundit.

In recent months I’ve held my tongue regarding President Trump’s upcoming proposal for a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. While it goes against my firm beliefs in reining in the federal government and reducing budgets rather than increasing them, it’s premature to oppose it wholeheartedly. After all, his promise to make private investments the bulk of the funding may not turn out to be another “Mexico is going to pay for it” moment.

The Democrats aren’t waiting before condemning the initiative. They decided to double it with no pretense of shifting burden away from taxpayers. Their plan calls for $200 billion per year for a decade fully funded by the public.

Few would argue the infrastructure doesn’t need improvement and interstate travel falls squarely in line with the federal mandate which is why I’ve held my opposition to Trump’s proposal until we see it. With that said, I don’t need to see a single detail of the Democrats’ proposal beyond the price tag. $2 trillion is so far west of crazyville it’s insane more conservative blogs aren’t up in arms. Between the Paris accords and the London attack, it’s probably just so far down the news food chain. Besides, they couldn’t pull it off, could they?

Actually, yes. If the economy turns south in the next year, it’s very likely this proposal could become one of the rallying cries the Democrats use to gain control of the House and Senate. Dubbed the “21st Century New Deal for Jobs,” they hope to invoke the huge government expansion of FDR to drive support. Like President Obama’s stimulus, they’ll use it to promote the concept of “shovel-ready jobs” to help put Americans back to work.

Here’s the problem. Americans are going back to work already. The economy is looking so much stronger now than it did just a couple of years ago that the Democrats would have to hope for a near-collapse in order to make their case an important one for the 2018 elections. Granted, the economy isn’t as strong as public numbers show, but more people are working today than they were last year and if the GOP’s agenda pans out as expected, we can expect the jobs numbers to stay strong.

There are still many pitfalls the GOP needs to overcome in order to maintain their majorities. Obamacare repeal and tax reform are right there at the top. Jobs are the perennial concern, so if the GOP delivers, the Democrats will have to try to spook voters instead of winning them over with their New Deal. The further we can push away from FDR’s legacy of expansive government, the better.

By John Ruberry

1977 was the year that music came out of the concert halls and into the streets; when independent labels sprang out of the woodwork to feed new tastes; when rock music once again became about energy and fun; when the majors’ boardrooms lost control. Suddenly we could do anything. —Liner notes to Streets, a collection of punk singles, 1977.

That snippet comes from Greil Marcus’ “Anarchy in the UK” chapter in The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll. Such as it was nearly forty years ago in Great Britain with punk rock as it is with Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Do you want proof? Just nine days ago the ultimate GOP insider, Karl Rove, hosted a meeting of Republican governors at the ultimate insider’s hotel, the Willard in Washington, where, the New York Times reported, George W. Bush’s Darth Vader, sitting at the end of a boardroom table, said it was not too late to stop Donald Trump.

Well if it isn’t too late now it will very likely be so by Tuesday night when the Super Tuesday results come in.

Republican politics has escaped the boardroom and it’s not just on the streets, it’s at the home computer keyboard, it’s in the employee cafeteria, and at the check-out line at the local Walmart.

Like the music industry “experts” in the late 1970s, the Republican Party has ignored what its bases really wants. And the base opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants, ObamaCare, and crony capitalism. Despite promises of eliminating the first two, the Republican Party has at best only offered shadow boxing attacks on them. The last one, crony capitalism, is seemingly esoteric, but it’s a cousin of illegal immigration. I mean, why are we bringing in computer and software developers from Asia on H1-B visas? Are there no computer science programs in the United States? Of course there are. But the US Chamber of Commerce and its members, or as Mark Levin calls the group, the US Chamber of Crony Capitalism, is behind this importation of high-paid workers because it knows big corporations will pay these indentured foreigners a lot less than qualified Americans, who often have to train their cheaper replacements.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

And it’s not just American tech workers suffering. It’s happening at Disney World too.

And the US Chamber of Crony Capitalism is in bed with Republican Party. How many votes on Election Day come out of it? Maybe a few dozen.

While there are millions of Trump supporters.

And suddenly they can do anything because there is Anarchy in the USA.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

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For the first times since I lost my job an Stacy McCain lost his Twitter right we’ve had a setback in our quest for $61 to make a living back here at the blog. Yesterday DaTipJar was completely and utterly silent.

Today we’re doing a tad better we’re $12 toward our $61 daily goal with $49 dollars to go in the next 9 hours to get us back on track for the day without denting our current deficit for the year at 21 days and $1335 dollars.

If less than 1% of yesterday’s readers kicked in $10 our goal for the day would be made with ease and to those who already have thank you so much. For those who can’t afford it, don’t worry about it but I do ask you to promote the site.

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By Steve Eggleston

It’s been a few months since I’ve been writing, and the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Recession seemed an appropriate time to return to the ranks of the punditry. I jumped into the middle of a Twitter mini-discussion over the part-time portion of the workforce, specifically the apparent paradox of 319,000 more people working part-time for economic reasons on a seasonally adjusted basis last month than in October while 765,000 fewer people were working part-time for economic reasons on a seasonally-adjusted basis (746,000 fewer on a not-seasonally-adjusted basis) last month than in November 2014. Something Charles Franklin said sent me into this particular tangent of comparing the current level of part-time work to the recent past.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, as part of the Current Population Survey that measures unemployment, estimates the number of people working part-time, both the total number and those working part-time for economic reasons. Indeed, the latter is the last part of the broadest measure of unemployment and underemployment, the U-6 measure. Unlike most portrayals in the press, it is not a measure of part-time, or full-time jobs. Rather, it is the number of people who, at however many jobs they have, are working less than 35 hours per week for part-time status, or at least 35 hours per week for full-time status.

I do have a word of caution on the seasonal adjustment of the part-time measure of employment, especially the economic reason portion. More often than not, a wild swing in one direction is followed by an essentially-equal swing back. The November rise in the number of people working came after drops of 447,000 in September and 269,000 in October.

With that noted, I decided to calculate the percentage of the employed who were working part-time and the percentage who were working part-time due to economic conditions since the current version of the CPS began in 1994:

Part-time

Part-time economic reasons
Click the images for the full-size versions

In short, while things have been improving, there is still quite a ways to go to get back to where we were before the Great Recession on the employment front.

By Steve Eggleston

Before I get to the bad news, I do have some good news, indeed the best news though it is almost 2,000 years old. Jesus Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Have a blessed Easter.

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the March jobs report, and it was a stinker. The non-farm payroll increased by only 126,000 on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the fewest since December 2013. More telling, the number of employed increased by only 34,000 on a seasonally-adjusted basis, with 96,000 people leaving the workforce.

The seasonally-adjusted labor force participation rate slipped by a rounded tenth of a percent to 62.7%, tied with Decmeber 2014, October 2014, February 1978 and December 1977 for the lowest since October’s 1977’s 62.4%, though each of those 4 months had a lower LFPR when rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. While the employment-population ratio remained at 59.3% for the third consecutive month, it was a weaker 59.3% as it slipped from 59.35% in January to 59.34% in February and to 59.31% in March.

Lest one believes that the Great Baby Boomer Retirement spree has started, ZeroHedge has the contraindicators, even if the more-shocking contraindicator is vastly understated. Those over 55 accounted for far more than the 34,000 increase in employment over the last month, with a gain of 329,000 jobs between February and March.

The understated portion is the comparison between the official start of the Great Recession in December 2007 and last month. I can’t duplicate his math, and the differing seasonal adjustments among the age groups make comparing different months of the year problematic, so I’ll use not-seasonally-adjusted numbers and compare March 2007 (the pre-recession March high) and March 2015.

In March 2007, there were 145,323,000 people employed, 119,838,000 of them between the ages of 16 and 54 and 25,485,000 of them aged 55 and older. In March 2015, there were 147,635,000 people employed, 114,375,000 between the ages of 16 and 54 and 33,260,000 of them aged 55 and older. While there were 7,775,000 more people aged 55 and older employed last month than 8 years ago, there were 5,463,000 fewer people between the ages of 16 and 54 employed last month than in March 2007.

If one thinks that is because there are fewer young people around, guess again. There were 816,000 more people between the ages of 16 and 54 in the civilian noninstitutional population last month than in March 2007. Yes it is true that the elderly comprise the vast majority of the population increase, with 18,231,000 more people aged 55 and older in the civilian noninstitutional population.

The employment-population ratio bears that out. In March 2007, that was 73.6% for those between 16 and 54 and 37.4% for those aged 55 and older. Last month, while it slipped to 69.9% for those between 16 and 54, it rose to 38.5% for those aged 55 and older.

By Steve Eggleston

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the November jobs report, and everybody focused on the seasonally-adjusted gain of 321,000 jobs, 314,000 in the private sector. I’ll join the club and start there. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, that is the best overall and private-sector 1-month gain since January 2012, when the economy added 360,000 jobs overall and 364,000 in the private sector. Further, it’s the best overall November since 2005 (a 337,000-job add) and the best private-sector November since 1994 (a 396,000-job add).

However, as I’ve learned with any government report, things are rarely as good as they seem. John Crudele of the New York Post took a look at the seasonal adjustments, and he came away rather disillusioned. On a not-seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy added 497,000 jobs overall and 380,000 in the private sector. Though both numbers are the third-best November of the 21st Century, they actually were behind last November’s add of 523,000 jobs overall and 398,000 in the private sector, which was seasonally-adjusted to adds of, respectively, 274,000 and 272,000.

Crudele asked the Labor Department for an explanation, and their economists were perplexed. A partial explanation comes from Tom Blumer, who remembered that the October seasonal adjustments were as unkind as November’s are kind.

The growth in jobs didn’t exactly translate to either a change in the unemployment rate or in the number of employed. The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate (5.8%), labor force participation rate (62.8%, still a multi-generational low) and employment-population ratio (59.2%) all remained unchanged when rounded to the nearest tenth of a percent, with the number of employed increasing by 4,000, after last month’s equally-anomalous 683,000 add, and the number of unemployed increasing by 115,000.

Blumer also noted that, on the full-time front, we are still very short of where we were in November 2007. Even though, on a not-seasonally-adjusted basis, there are 548,000 more people employed now than there were in November 2007, there are 2,405,000 fewer people working at least 35 hours per week now, with 396,000 more people working multiple part-time jobs presumably to reach full-time status. On the positive side, 2,566,000 more people were working full-time last month than in November 2013.

Autumn pipes
Next stop Atlantic Ocean?

By John Ruberry

President Obama may soon find out what how it feels to be un-upped by Canada in a hockey-style shootout.

Since his inauguration nearly six years ago, Obama has been dragging his feet in regards to approving the Keystone XL pipeline. The proposed pipeline will bring much-needed petroleum from our friends in Alberta in Canada to the United States, which will lessen our need to import oil from hostile regimes such as Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. I can’t imagine America buying oil from the Islamic State, but more oil on the market means cheaper prices, which will of course harm ISIS and bolster our national security.

The northern segment of Keystone will pass through the Dakotas and Nebraska. There is a smattering of local opposition in the Cornhusker State and some legal obstacles, but let’s be clear: Obama, the man who bragged earlier this year that he doesn’t need Congress to make things happen because, “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” would have found a way to break ground for Keystone XL by now if that’s what he wanted.

But Obama is of course more concerned about the needs of his wealthy environmentalist donors, who either believe that the era of fossil fuels is over or that the use of this Canadian oil will contribute to global warming. Obama, who once promised to heal the planet, is on the verge of being outmaneuvered.

TransCanada Corp., the mover behind Keystone, is strongly considering an-all Canada pipeline for the Alberta petroleum, Energy East, the terminus of which will be at St. John, New Brunswick on the Atlantic Ocean. The oil can be shipped from there to America or to western Europe, which will be welcomed with open spigots by countries fed up with buying petroleum from Vladimir Putin’s Russia.Canada

Bloomberg News is reporting that the supporters of Energy East are very confident that it will be built. A proposed western Canadian pipeline could still be constructed, although that route faces opposition from some Canadian First Nations people.

But if Keystone is built, it will mean up to 40,000, good paying–and are you reading this Obama?–union jobs. If the new pipeline from Alberta never crosses American soil, those jobs will taken by Canadians. Meanwhile, we have to go back to the sad Jimmy Carter years to find a time where the American labor participation rate has been lower than it is now.

I can imagine Obama looking north soon, as Jay Gatsby did from West Egg at the green light at the end of Tom and Daisy Buchanan’s pier, at those thousands of new jobs north of the border.

The last words are for the environmentalists: Despite your numerous protests and your arm-twisting of Obama, that oil is going to be pumped from the sands of Alberta whether you like it or not. Your Canadian War is over.

You lost.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By Steve Eggleston

Yesterday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the August jobs report, and the news was not good. The seasonally-adjusted 144,000 non-farm jobs added, with 134,000 in the private sector, broke the 8-month streak of at least 200,000 jobs added per month, and was unexpectedly worse than the expert consensus of 220,000-230,000 jobs added. The prior two months’ worth of jobs gains were revised down by a net 28,000.

Meanwhile, even though the unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percentage points to 6.1%, that was due almost exclusively to more people departing the workforce. Only 16,000 more people were employed on a seasonally-adjusted basis in August, while the labor force declined by 64,000. That drove the seasonally-adjusted labor force participation rate back down to its multi-generational low of 62.8%, a level that, prior to October 2013 (and again in December 2013, April 2014, May 2014 and June 2014), was last seen in March 1978. The seasonally-adjusted employment-population ratio remained stuck at 59.0% for the third consecutive month, a level not seen between February 1984 and August 2009.

As usual, the deeper one digs into the numbers, the worse the news gets. Once again, there is a disconnect between the estabilshment survey, from which the jobs numbers come and the household survey, from which the unemployment numbers come. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, while there were 354,000 non-farm jobs added since June per the establishment survey, there were 168,000 fewer people working in non-farm jobs in August than in June per the household survey. That continues a multi-year trend – while there were 2,512,000 non-farm jobs added on a not-seasonally-adjusted basis since August 2013, there were only 2,064,000 more people employed in non-farm jobs on a not-seasonally-adjusted.

Staying with the non-seasonally-adjusted numbers, the 63.0% labor-force participation rate is the weakest August since August 1977’s 62.7%. The 59.1% employment-population ratio is, other than August 1982’s 58.7%, the weakest August between August 1977’s 59.0% and August 2010’s 58.8%. In fact, a larger percentage of the population was employed in August 1969 (59.2%) than was employed last month.

One more item – had each 5-year age group participated in the labor force at the same percentage as that group did in August 2008 (with the youth participating even more to cover the fact that the employed portion of the 60-64, 65-69 and 75+ year old population is larger than the entire population of those age groups back in 2008), the unemployment rate would have been 8.8%, not 6.1%.

Revisions/extensions – Related to this, the Los Angeles Times has a story on the booming street vendor phenomenon that has grown well beyond its traditional recent immigrant base to include, among others, laid-off professionals. While the Times has a short memory and didn’t make the connection, those with a sense of history might note the similarities to the last “Great” economic downturn, the Great Depression.