Do you have that running-in-place feeling? Having trouble making that last pay check stretch to the next payday? You’re not alone. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:
According to the establishment survey of employment, released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, total employment increased, month over month, by 263,000 jobs. The “job market stays strong,” reads one CNBC headline, and the new jobs print was hailed as a great achievement of the Biden administration by MSNBC pundit Steve Benen.
Yet the employment data is possibly the only data that looks good right now, and that’s not much comfort, since employment is a lagging indicator of the economy’s direction. In fact, if we look beyond the employment survey, what we find is an economy where real earnings are falling, savings are falling, and more people are taking on second jobs to make ends meet.
The first indicator of this is the fact that while total jobs have shown some relatively strong growth, the total number of employed persons has been nearly flat for months, and only last month (September 2022) did it finally return to precovid levels. In fact, the jobs recovery in employed persons took thirty-two months to return to the previous peak. The fabled “V-shaped recovery” promised by advocates of covid lockdowns never materialized. Had there been a V-shaped recovery, employed persons would have recovered to previous peaks by mid-2021. It ended up taking about eighteen months longer than that.