But but but -- everyone is going back to work!
No they're not. I've posted this out for quite some time and it's not new either. Now Tim Knight has brought it up too with a couple of interesting charts to go with it.
David Stockman, one of the heroes here on Slope, offered up this illustration of the aggregate hours being worked in the leisure/hospitality industry. As you can see, the jobs “growth” is nothing more than a PARTIAL undoing of the shutdown last year. The job market isn’t growing at all. It’s simply partially un-shrinking.
And worse, the make things group has been in a severe decline for 20 years. You're not really going to tell me that making things isn't the backbone of any economy, are you? Because it is.
And yet the aggregate weekly hours of those who make things has been in the crapper since 2000. Oh, it bounced some in the 05/06 timeframe, but then dove doing the alleged "Great Recession." Note that rather than recover those jobs we offshored more of them and never brought them back. In addition despite the claims otherwise we have a growing population which makes it worse in that the hours worked to produce things per-capita has fallen even more than that chart suggests.
This is both sides of the aisle folks. Do recall that we've had both Republican and Democrat Presidents during those times, yet has not the "recovery" from the 2008 crash continued more or less at the same pace from when Obama was President to when Trump was? Wasn't Trump the "bring it back" President? Did he? Nope -- not at all.
Nor did Bush.
If you think this is a partisan political issue and gets resolved with more partisan political BS you're out of your mind. It does not. And more credit emission by Congress just makes it worse by raising the cost of living which forces those on the lower rungs of the economy out entirely. If you can't earn a living doing "X" then X will not get done no matter how many Help Wanted signs you put in the window. If you increase wages then prices must go up which again means that the wage "X" is once again no longer enough to live on!
This is called a wage-price spiral and you'd think that having tried this BS back in the 1970s, complete with wage and price controls you'd figure out that it doesn't work. It certainly didn't work last time for the same reason it won't work this time -- when you keep emitting credit prices rise faster than wages and because taxes are on top of that and parasitic even if they were to rise at the same rate you still wind up underwater.
The only way to stop it is to force back downward the credit aggregates by forcing the government's spending to fit within revenues minus a bit. In other words spend a bit less than you take in. In today's world where the Federal Government blows huge sums on Medicare and Medicaid the only way to do it and make it work is to destroy all the medical monopolies.
It's simply math: There is no other way to get the books to balance.
I pointed this out back in the 2008 timeframe and it's only gotten worse since. There's not a prayer in Hell that more deficit spending will make it better. It will in fact make it worse, much worse, because all of that simply encourages more offshoring of production to third-world nations where the price of labor is often close or actually zero. Never mind the environmental destruction which we do not allow here but they do not care about there.
Here locally I can report the same thing: There's a nice local BBQ joint down the road from me now sporting a "Closed Tuesdays" sign as they can't staff the place. While the termination of the "bonus plus" unemployment payments will force some people back into the workforce it does not matter if the cost of living exceeds the wage you can earn with your skillset, and forcing wages up just forces up the cost of living too.
You have to collapse the cost of living which is focused in the primary areas of housing (speculative, credit-driven bubble) and health care (corrupt, felonious under laws more than 100 years old in the form of 15 USC Chapter 1 bubble and parasitic on every other employer) along with the insane practice of paying people to either not work (e.g. teachers) or refusing to work in-classroom thereby forcing working parents out of the workforce because their kids have nowhere to go and no schooling.
Simply put a job that does not put a roof over my head, food on the table and pay the power bill doesn't get done and the problem cannot be solved by raising wages because that immediately reflects back into price and solves nothing.
You have to collapse price.
Yeah, I know, Powell and the rest "hate" deflation. So do banks.
Sorry, either do it or watch the economy continue to fail to recover and eventually circle and go down the drain as it has been on a productive basis since 2000, all as a direct result of the policies of our Federal Government and Congress.
Remember folks The Fed cannot buy a single bond or play a single QE game that Congress does not issue the predicate paper to do it with. Further, Congress can enforce the mandates of The Federal Reserve Act, which requires The Fed to constrict and withdraw credit aggregates until prices are actually stable, which in this case would mean contracting back to where they were at some point in the past, any time it would like.
The responsibility for it not happening in fact rests with us since we elect Congress and allow the current critters there to continue to infest The Capitol. Each and every single one of them is responsible for this and has been for more than 20 years and thus, so are you.