Not too surprising, the new report on the unemployment rate is just out and it's bound to become a political football sometime today...since it is not as good as what had been expected:
"Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 163,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 8.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, and manufacturing.
(G notes: Essentially? Look: it was 8.2% unemployment last month, so it got worse. Labor participation rate dopped another tenth, too...)
Household Survey Data
Both the number of unemployed persons (12.8 million) and the unemployment rate (8.3 percent) were essentially unchanged in July. Both measures have shown little movement thus far in 2012. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Hispanics (10.3 percent) edged down in July, while the rates for adult men (7.7 percent), adult women (7.5 percent), teenagers (23.8 percent), whites (7.4 percent), and blacks (14.1 percent) showed little or no change.
The jobless rate for Asians was 6.2 percent in July (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.) In July, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 5.2 million. These individuals accounted for 40.7 percent of the unemployed. "
All the happy talk aside, the PhD's flipping burgers index (U6, alternative measures of labor underutilization) was up a tenth to 15.2% not adjusted. And the CES Birth/Death model, which estimates jobs into existence added 52,000 of the 163,000 new jobs this month.
Did I mention that another 150,000 people just "disappeared" from the labor force? Or that the acutal number of people holding jobs was down 195,000 for the month-on month comparison?
March to War Notes
Thursday's resignation of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan should be a great big sign on the road to war in the Middle East, which as we pointed out to Peoplenomics readers recently, should come during the Olympics if an Argentinian seer/prophet type was right in his artwork.
That said, today's headlines are full of aftermath including the Iranian press operation saying "Russia blames US for Annan resignation as envoy for Syria crisis."
More worrisome is that the UK is planning to step up support of anti Assad forces, since Syria (with Russian coaching) has apparently kicked butt in Aleppo.
Oh, speaking of which, one of our sources in the oil patch sent us some pretty damn interesting background on how things are on the ground (away from the press) in Syria:
"I have a guy working for me from Damascus. His mother and sisters are there now, and they talk every day by phone. I let this go because you have been on vacation, and didn’t want to bother you and E. This stuff is going to unroll as it will regardless, because Americans are disconnected from their government until they decide to unite and TTBO (throw the bastards out).
My guy told me that his family is now on a hill on the outskirts of the city, along with thousands of others. They are surrounded by “rebels”, and it is Syrian army that is protecting them at this point, and trying to get them out and away from the city. The “rebels” are composed of unknown people, mostly not Syrians and many of them that are Syrians are known jihadistas – end of the world types known as local nutjobs anyway. Looting is rampant, and everyone that has left their homes has had all their possessions stolen or burned – they have nothing.
Yes, there are Syrian troops firing into the city, but the resident Syrians are (mostly) not there anyway. The army has been moving them out so they can get at the “rebels”. Tariq told me that his sisters have seen the rebels murdering women and children for weeks, simply shooting anyone that doesn’t profess to wanting a jihad and to destroy the Assad regime. Men are not questioned but shot if they do not take up arms with the “rebels”.
Many men have taken up arms to avoid being shot when cornered by rebels. Many sneak away and try to flee at first opportunity. His family has been in a state of running and hiding for 4 weeks, calling him many times during the day. They are trying to get to the Lebanese or Turkish border. The hill they are on is Qudissah or something like that, but they were trying to get to Lebanon and got cut off by ”rebels”.
There are “rebel” strongholds in Lebanon from what they were telling him. The rebels all have radios – they are always talking to each other or someone via radio – so there is likely someone in charge of coordinating them somewhere, but this is no spontaneous uprising of rebels. Tariq literally spits when anyone tries to tell him these are “freedom fighters” and gets all unglued, so I had to tell the others to keep their politics to themselves in the shop.
Anyway, thought I would get this to you since you should be back by now. Tariq’s position is that this is actually a huge Middle East thing where the progressives (moderate folks who want business and civilization and a degree of freedom) are being coerced and made to embrace jihad by the not-so-fringe Muslim jihadistas.
As a method to get a regime toppled, this has ‘low hanging fruit’ all over it, because arming these types, bringing more in and then pouring a little religious zealotry gas on it meant instant ignition. Same thing could happen here with rabid Christian right types if things are framed correctly by those wishing it…
So here we are, watching craziness unfold that has been urged by our freedom loving government here in the USA, all in the name of – what?? I am so ready for things to melt down… Oilman2"