This Can’t Be Right

Today, I stumbled across an interesting article that deals with my favorite topic…unemployment! I wanted to share with you the part I found particularly fascinating.

Employers are expecting more from fewer employees.  Americans work an average of 122 hours per year more than people in Britain and almost 400 hours a year more than Germans.

In 2004 there were about 139 million people working in the US.  In 2010 the number was (wait for it)… about 139 million.

That’s according to an article by John Nichols in The Nation. American productivity in 2009 was twice that of 2008, and 2010 saw American productivity rise to twice that of 2009. Corporate profits rose 22 percent in the same time frame.

While that rosy picture developed, unemployment hovered around 10 percent.  Add in the number who dropped off the unemployment rolls and those who are underemployed and the number rises to 16.2 percent.And for 90 percent of American workers, income has remained stagnant or declined in the last 30 years.

Well, that information certainly made me look twice! It seems hard to believe that these numbers could actually be accurate.  I no expert on the economy but it seems to me if profits are rising than unemployment should be dropping.

If anyone can help explain this to me please feel free to below in the comment section.


4 responses to “This Can’t Be Right

  • missdisplaced

    It probably IS right!
    People are living in fear that they will lose their jobs like so many others. Therefore, they will work longer and often do the jobs of 2 or 3 people. It’s a Big Capitalist Wet Dream right now. They ARE making money, but it is going in their pockets and they are refusing to hire or add workers back, because, heck the workers keep on doing it.

    When will the workers stand up for themselves?

  • GhostRider

    Not only is it right but it’s giving it mildly. It nothing new as management’s job has always been to produce the most using the least amount of assets. Let do the math.

    Some years back while I was Project Manager at an Architectural Firm, I had to obtain 140 building permits on a development with 140 homes in 90 days. To get the man-hours I calculated needing, I needed a staff of 12 but only had 6 and couldn’t hire any additional. I offered – and they committed – my staff, time and a half on an additional 4 hours/day. They were all on salary so normally wouldn’t have been paid O/T. Let’s keep it simple, they make $1/hr.

    Staff of 6 is $40/wk plus the $30 for the 20hrs of O/T is $70 X 6 = $430
    Staff of 12 is $40 a week straight time, so it’s $40 X 12 = $480, small saving BUT, the company saves on paying for each the 6 not hired, the costs of health insurance, workman’s comp, sick days, holidays, vacation days, plus FICA taxes and unemployment taxes not to mention not have to pay all the time 6 employees spend on the internet, lunch, breaks, talking on the phone with spouses about what’s for dinner tonight, and calling the AC , Cable guys, Plumbers, their kids teachers or the occasional mistress or lover This time I’ll throw in the kicker. My staff wasn’t making a buck an hour, their wages were between 25 to 35 an hour, they were all design professionals. (Math is a beautiful thing to illustrate reality)

    The harsh reality is that we have become a culture of “waste”, just look at all the food we throw away without even a second thought.

    The bitter truth is 1 can, and will, do the work of 2.
    The prognosis: Plan on another half, to a decade in this state of being.
    We even waste our limited funds while unemployed by taking a vacation.

    PS…The irony is the most successful of Actors, Artists, Athletes, and others, waited tables, tended bar, worked at Wal-Mart and thru it all they never lost sight and slowly but surely worked on achieving their goals and dreams. And that is the moment you think of Prada, not a second before. Its sad how we professional grads look at having to to all that as something that ain’t gonna happen

  • Daniel

    The economic data is perfectly consistent with economic theory. Profits are rising precisely because companies have tightened their proverbial belts and let go anyone they could spare. Normally increased profits would incent hiring in an attempt to realize more potential profit. Unfortunately, for a number of reason businesses are not confident of their ability to make economic calculations (i.e. they are not confident that further investment will produce returns). This is due in part to regime uncertainty, but also to positively bad economic policy. There are so many barriers to entry into the market for new businesses and general disincentives to invest in human capital, both produced by government, that we should not be surprised to see such a sluggish or even non-existent recovery.

  • Obsta

    As a friend who grew up there observed, the Washington Post is the company paper for the company town of Washington, D.C. They rarely repeat anything that isn’t in the interest of the government party. The Nation is even worse a place to go for accuracy. It’s a communist opinion magazine, openly calling itself socialist. Contrary to the claimed 139 million figure, in 2004 we had been adding jobs each year since Clinton’s second recession ended November 2001. By 2004’s summer, the U.S. was adding jobs so quickly that on average 700,000 new jobs were added each month. There were well over 140 million employed by the year’s end.

    But wait, what about all the official data from the Obama Administration? Well, it’s filled with people from the previously most dishonest administration perhaps in history, the Clinton Administration. And Clinton learned that Democrats had made laws allowing the current administration to change economic statistics dating back 80 years. Yes, 80 years. Which means that once a Democrat administration is in office, government figures of the past are no longer reliable. Clinton lowered the actual 28 million new jobs of the Reagan Administration to something like 24 million at first, and then lowered them again. Some dupes read official figures and assume they’re accurate. You have to go back to non-editable sources to get the truth about the past, now. Especially now that we have a pathological liar like Obama in office. We had over 159 million employed in the U.S. during the last decade, and then the new Dem Cong of 2007-2010’s changes started taking effect, which included trillions of dollars per decade in new taxes and even more expensive new regulations. Eventually they produced a recession, and along with their captured media campaigned blaming a president who decided to quit politicking in 2005. With all of that, now we even have putative supporters of liberty repeating their opponents’ falsehoods of 2008.

    Productivity has never doubled in a single year. If it did, output would have to nearly double, and wealth would do the same. As for “corporate profits”, the figures sound similar to figures from companies whose output and sales are hugely influenced by overseas operations and sales. The U.S. has been in recession since 2009, and as with every Democrat administration, the inflation rate has skyrocketed and that inflation is reported as output growth. Eventually people figure out what’s going on, though they didn’t while Clinton was in office until it was too late.

    If profits were rising, and with them sales, then you bet employment would rise as well. And do not let the depressed get you down. Every time a Democrat Congress gets significant influence, and there’s no conservative to thwart their lunacy, the media start telling everyone that it’s just the way things are, etc. In 1980 the media said that the presidency was too big of a job for any one man. That was the best they could do to protect Jimmy Carter, whose inflation rate is now also dishonestly reported by official documents. But I was there, and it was over 16% annually, and you don’t know how bad things are until you’ve seen that. People quit planning for the future, secretaries spend their entire paychecks buying gold jewelry, and moral collapse. The same thing had been happening since 1964, but it took until Carter for things to accelerate to being that bad. And it took Ronald Reagan’s understanding of economics to solve the problem the press and all leftist buncombe peddlers were telling the world was the problem of democracies. The inflation ended in 1981. Indeed, a deflation began that year, and the boom which had already begun late that year (just 3 months after the worst depression in history was finally stopped with President Reagan signing into law his tax cuts and continuing his firing of hundreds of thousands of federal employees and continuing to deregulate the economy (he ended the lines at gas stations on his first day by ending Carter’s idiotic and lawless regulations which kept gasoline prices high and required vehicle owners to only fill their tanks on days their license plates’ last digit matched the regulatory requirement of even and odd numbers days for fill-ups) didn’t get reported by government statistics until too late for Republican campaigns to significantly affect the election results in 1982, with the media in full blame-Reagan mode the entire year before the election. But the economy was booming, and the liars couldn’t trick people much longer.

    Don’t let them get you down. Repealing the last 4 years of irresponsible and unconstitutional legislation would end the problems we’re having very quickly. Especially if the other crimes against property owners and creditors by Obama was properly prosecuted.

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