Thursday, August 28, 2014

On This Labor Day, Many Americans Are Still Not Feeling the Love

Report: The Economy Is Just One Speech Away From A Recovery...The Onion

On this Labor Day, there's actually some good news about the economy--but, there's also some bad news. And the bad news appears to be overshadowing the good.

  • While the stock market keeps breaking records and as the economy grew last quarter, the number of Americans who are out of the work force remains at approximately 92 million out of a nation of 316 million.
  • While the unemployment rate hovers around 6.2%, unemployment among black Americans rose from 10.7% last month to 11.4% in July. Hispanic unemployment remained at 7.8%, the same as the previous month and down from 9.5% one year ago. Dept of Labor
  • While the government touts a "rebounding" economy, most American families still feel economy stress and feel increasingly poor (CBS Money Watch).
  • While more Americans are working today, more Americans have also fallen into poverty---from 12% in 2009 to 15% of the population today.
  • While more Americans are working, more are only working part-time. Private non-farm payrolls remain at 34.5 hours per week.
  • While more Americans are working, wages still remain "stagnant" rising only 2% from this time last year (average approximately $24.45/per hour). In other words, as the economy improves to some degree, most Americans are still losing buying power. According to CBS Money Watch, real median hourly wages fell 3.4% since 2009.
  • While there were increases in employment in manufacturing, retail, construction and mining, there was little or no change in leisure, hospitality, transportation, warehousing, information and financial activities. In addition, there are now 2.3 million more low-paid workers than before the recession started.
  • While there appears to be improvement in employment (even if only in the part-time sector), 35 major companies announced they will be cutting jobs. According to Getty, some of these include Target, Hewlett-Packard, Texas Instruments, Nike, Coca-Cola, GE, Microsoft, GM, Ford, Wal-Mart and Intel. Note: anytime Wal-Mart plans jobs cuts or restructuring, it does not bode well for the economy.
  • As the government attempts to persuade us of a recovery, 60% of Americans polled feel the American Dream is now out of reach for them. CNN Money. Rutgers found that 42% of those surveyed reported they have less pay and savings than before the recession began.
  • And poverty appears to be increasing in the suburbs. According to CNBC, 38% of poor suburban residents lived in neighborhoods with poverty rates of 20% or more.

So as Pres. Obama makes his Labor Day Address this weekend, you should know what he won't be talking about.