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Notes to myself, possibly of interest to others.
-- Bill Northlich

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Stealth Japanisation of the US

Average weekly earnings deflated 0.4% in August for the worst outcome in four years, which clouds the outlook for consumer spending — at a time when there are 7.3 million Americans on some sort of jobless insurance benefit program (versus 2.8 million in December 2007). Employment, at 131 million, is no higher today than it was in March 2000.

That is more than just a Japanese-style lost decade; it is starting on two decades. We have over six million, or north of 40%, of the unemployed who have been looking fruitlessly for work for at least six months. The unemployment rate for adult males is 8.5%, which is unheard of more than two years into a recovery and the youth jobless rate is 20%. These are two statistics that have “social tension” thumbprints all over them...

After the jobs report came out, Jeffrey Frankel, who is on the NBER recession- dating committee, had this to say:
The trend is worrisome. This is a long slump we’re in. In that sense it’s like the 1870s or 1930s. You have a recovery but not enough to create jobs or get the economy going.
Geez. We’ve [Rosenberg] only been saying that from the get-go.

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