Jobs News Even Worse Than We Thought

Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics re-benchmarked
the payroll jobs data back to 2000. Thanks to Charles
McMillion of

MBG Information Services
, I have the adjusted
data from January 2001 through January 2006. If you are
worried about terrorists, you don`t know what worry is.

Job growth over the last five years is the weakest on
record. The US economy came up more than 7 million jobs
short of keeping up with population growth. That`s one
good reason for controlling immigration. An economy that
cannot keep up with population growth should not be
boosting population with heavy rates of


illegal immigration.

Over the past five years the US economy experienced a
net job loss in goods producing activities. The entire
job growth was in service-providing activities—primarily
credit intermediation, health care and social
assistance, waiters, waitresses and bartenders, and
state and local government.

US manufacturing
lost 2.9 million jobs, almost 17%
of the manufacturing work force. The wipeout is across
the board. Not a single manufacturing payroll
classification created a single new job.

The declines in some manufacturing sectors have more in
common with a country undergoing saturation bombing
during war than with a super-economy that is "the
envy of the world."
Communications equipment lost
43% of its workforce. Semiconductors and electronic
components lost 37% of its workforce. The workforce in
computers and electronic products declined 30%.
Electrical equipment and appliances lost 25% of its
employees. The workforce in motor vehicles and parts
declined 12%. Furniture and related products lost 17% of
its jobs. Apparel manufacturers lost almost half of the
work force. Employment in textile mills declined 43%.
Paper and paper products lost one-fifth of its jobs. The
work force in plastics and rubber products declined by
15%. Even manufacturers of beverages and tobacco
products experienced a 7% shrinkage in jobs.

The knowledge jobs that were supposed to take the place
of lost manufacturing jobs in the globalized "new
never appeared. The information sector lost
17% of its jobs, with the telecommunications work force
declining by 25%. Even wholesale and retail trade lost
jobs. Despite massive new accounting burdens imposed by

accounting and bookkeeping
employment shrank by 4%. Computer systems design and
related lost 9% of its jobs. Today there are 209,000
fewer managerial and supervisory jobs than 5 years ago.

In five years the US economy only created 70,000 jobs in
architecture and engineering, many of which are
clerical. Little wonder engineering enrollments are
shrinking. There are no jobs for graduates. The talk
about engineering shortages is absolute ignorance. There
are several hundred thousand American engineers who are
unemployed and have been for years. No student wants a
degree that is nothing but a ticket to a soup line. Many
engineers have written to me that they cannot even get

Wal-Mart jobs
because their education makes them

Offshore outsourcing and offshore production have left
the US awash with unemployment among the highly
educated. The low measured rate of unemployment does not
include discouraged workers. Labor arbitrage has made
the unemployment rate less and less a meaningful
indicator. In the past unemployment resulted mainly from
turnover in the labor force and recession. Recoveries
pulled people back into jobs. Unemployment benefits were
intended to help people over the down time in the cycle
when workers were laid off. Today the unemployment is
permanent as entire occupations and industries are wiped
out by labor arbitrage as corporations replace their
American employees with foreign ones. Economists who
look beyond political press releases estimate the US
unemployment rate to be between 7% and 8.5%. There are
now hundreds of thousands of Americans who will never
recover their investment in their university education.

Unless the BLS is falsifying the data or businesses are
reporting the opposite of the facts, the US is
experiencing a job depression. Most economists refuse to
acknowledge the facts, because they endorsed
globalization. It was a win-win situation, they said.

They were wrong.

At a time when America desperately needs the voices of
educated people as a counterweight to the disinformation
that emanates from the Bush administration and its
supporters, economists have discredited themselves. This
is especially true for

"free market economists"
who foolishly assumed
that international labor arbitrage was an example of
free trade that was benefiting Americans.

Where is the benefit when employment in US export
industries and import-competitive industries is
shrinking? After decades of struggle to regain
credibility, free market economics is on the verge of
another wipeout.

No sane economist can possibly maintain that a
deplorable record of merely 1,054,000 net new private
sector jobs over five years is an indication of a
healthy economy. The total number of private sector jobs
created over the five year period is 500,000 jobs
than one year`s legal and illegal
immigration! (In a December 2005 Center for Immigration

based on the Census Bureau`s March 2005
Current Population Survey, Steven Camelot writes that
there were 7.9 million new immigrants between January
2000 and March 2005.)

The economics profession has failed America. It touts a
meaningless number while joblessness soars. Lazy
journalists at the New York Times simply

rewrite the Bush administration`s press releases.

On February 10 the Commerce Department released a record
US trade deficit in goods and services for 2005—$726
billion. The US deficit in Advanced Technology Products
reached a new high. Offshore production for home markets
and jobs outsourcing has made the US highly dependent on
foreign provided goods and services, while
simultaneously reducing the export capability of the US
economy. It is possible that there might be no exchange
rate at which the US can balance its trade.

Polls indicate that the Bush administration is
succeeding in whipping up fear and hysteria about Iran.
The secretary of defense is promising Americans
decades-long war.

Is death in battle Bush`s solution to the job

Will Asians finance a decades-long war for a bankrupt



Paul Craig Roberts [email
] is the author with Lawrence M.
Stratton of

The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and
Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name
of Justice



for Peter Brimelow`s

Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the
recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.