Global markets were flat to lower on the week. Going into Friday, the markets were sitting on minor gains. However, Friday erased any gains for the week, and then some. The reversal of good fortune in the markets mostly had to do with the ongoing drama in Greece, as well as weaker than expected consumer confidence numbers here in the US. On a technical basis, it is likely that many professional investors are starting to recognize the market’s rise from October 2011 until now is long in the tooth.
Labor Report Revisited
Last week I wrote about the recently released employment numbers from January. In light of the media’s positive reporting on the numbers, I thought I would add more to the idea that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is less than honest with their numbers. Consider the definition of someone who is employed by the BLS:
So, someone 16 or older that works 1 hour a week or more is considered as employed. That is a pretty loose definition if you ask me. I do my best to cut the noise out of research. With that in mind, I thought it might be more meaningful to take a different look at employment in the US versus the weekly reports from the BLS. Consider the below chart which is the employment to population ratio. Very simply, it tells you what percent of the American population is employed (yes, it does consider those 16 years olds working 1 hour a week). The scary part of this chart is that as employment has dropped, the need for higher tax revenue is exploding. In addition, this image confirms that the job gains that have resulted from the explosion of debt we have taken on in the US since the 1990s, as well as the other stimulative efforts recently, have both created unsustainable jobs. This is why government efforts to create job growth are not working now.
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John P. Chladek, MBA, CFP® is the President of Chladek Wealth Management, LLC, a fee-only financial planning and investment management firm specializing in helping families and couples who are not yet retired realize their financial goals. For more information, visit http://www.chladekwealth.com.