July 02, 2004

Jobs, Layoffs, In A Surge

The job numbers for the year are just spiffy, even if you haven't noticed yet:

...An Associated Press survey of 788 registered voters conducted last week shows that while they may be gaining confidence in the economy and Bush's performance, 57 percent said the nation has lost jobs in the last six months. The Labor Department has reported just the opposite nearly 1.2 million jobs gained in half a year.

''The message hasn't gotten out,'' said Andy Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center. ''It takes a while for national changes to get down to the people level.''

...But the BLS also reports that a bulk of the new jobs 978,000 come from the private services sector, where the average hourly salary is $15.24. Of the sector's professional and businesses services jobs created in May, nearly half are temporary help, the bureau said. ...

Because temp jobs make people feel so goshdarned positive about the job security picture. Let's run that by the new jobless, as congratulated by Atrios:

In the week ending June 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 351,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 350,000. The 4-week moving average was 347,000, an increase of 2,500 from the previous week's revised average of 344,500. ...

Either way, there's little doubt that jobseekers aren't feeling the love:

...A new Metro Economies and Jobs report released this week found that new jobs created between 2004 and 2006 will have an average wage of 12 percent less than jobs lost between 2000 and 2003.

...The study, released Monday by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, states that the average annual wage in all sectors that lost jobs since 2000 was $43,950. In comparison, the average wage in the growing sectors between 2004 and 2006 will be $38,100.

In addition, new jobs will offer fewer benefits to workers such as retirement plans and health benefits.

The study estimates that about 14.5 percent fewer people with new jobs will have health coverage compared to those who lost their jobs between 2000 and 2003.

The loss of health care benefits are occurring because during the recessions more than three million good-paying manufacturing jobs with strong health benefits were lost and will be replaced with three million jobs predominantly in the service sector, which often are lower paying with no benefits. ...

Though the Heritage Foundation would disagree:

...A common joke about the future is that all our kids will be burger-flippers--a joke that plays on misinformed fears that most jobs in the service industry are low-skilled. Services include teachers, artists, athletes, and even cooks. Every economy in history is based on trade and consumption, with merchant retailers who operate the "invisible hand" of commerce. In modern America, they are sales staff in shopping malls, gourmet chefs, and Home Depot shelf stockers. ...

I see. So it isn't 'do you want fries with that?' It's 'have you seen our special on widgets?' After all, who you gonna believe... the conservative experts, or your lying bank account?

Posted by natasha at July 2, 2004 08:50 AM | Economy | Technorati links |

There was an interesting article last week that the HMO's were concerned that the new jobs didn't come with benifits, bad for the HMO's.

"CHICAGO (Reuters) - Wall Street cheered unexpectedly robust job growth in May, but health plan executives say many new jobs are not offering medical benefits, a development that has HMO investors rattled.
Wall Street analysts and executives at top health maintenance organizations are projecting tepid enrollment growth, and cautioning that new jobs do not necessarily equate with market growth.

"It's fair to say that a lot of jobs that are being created may not be the jobs that come with benefits," Ron Williams, president of Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET - news), one of the biggest U.S. health insurers with 13 million members, told investors in early June.

Posted by: Ron In Portland at July 2, 2004 05:10 PM

And that's doubtless due in no small part to the insane premium inflation brought on by the bad investment decisions made by these insurance companies. They took a bath in the crash, and they're passing it on. Vicious circle, imo.

Posted by: natasha at July 2, 2004 09:37 PM

They are big Bush supporters but they want to have their cake and eat it too. Inspite of the pickup in jobs there is no pickup in HMO enrollements so no growth.

Posted by: Ron In Portland at July 2, 2004 10:20 PM