6/2/15 Jobs for Grads

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I read an article that suggested 2015 college grads have bright days ahead.  The article cited the shrinking unemployment rate.  Last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics pegged this at 5.4%.

While I welcome the good news, I have concerns.  Too many are placing faith in just two indicators.  The unemployment rate.  And stock market levels.

It’s easy to paint a rosy employment picture when BLS stops counting the long-term unemployed by designating them as “not in the labor force.” It’s at a record level of more than 93 million workers.  Nearly 4 out of 10 workers are in this category.  There are 8.6 million unemployed.  A total of 102 million workers are without full-time jobs.

[The labor force participation rate, that is, the percentage of workers that actually have jobs is at a record-low 63%.  Adding to this problem is that nearly half of all workers have a work-arrangement that is not a standard full-time job.]

There are worrisome indicators.
 
In the first quarter, the U.S. economy shrank at annualized rate of 0.7%. Far worse than Commerce Department projections.

According to the Census Bureau, the home ownership rate is at a 20-year low.  Home ownership is an indicator of economic growth. 

Personal bankruptcy filings are at uncomfortably high levels. 

And riskier subprime consumer loans — like those that helped crash the economy in 2008 — are at the highest level since just before the Great Recession.

[A subprime borrower is usually defined as someone with a credit score of 620 or lower.  These are generally higher-risk borrowers.  And they often experience higher default rates.]

Complicating matters is federal agencies have been churning out thousands of pages of regulations that make businesses reluctant to hire more workers. 

Washington needs stop creating obstacles that prevent businesses from growing the economy.

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