The United States government is propping up the dismal labor market by simply absorbing workers into its ranks. As CNS News reports, 73.3% of new civilian jobs in the last five months are due to government hiring:
In the same five-month period since June, the number of people employed by government increased by 621,000 to 20,559,000. These 621,000 new government jobs created in the last five months equal 73.3 percent of the 847,000 new jobs created overall.
Elsewhere on the employment front, the mainstream media are doing cartwheels over news that the unemployment rate ticked down from 7.9% in October to 7.7% in November. The celebration comes as 540,000 dropped out of the workforce, and the labor force participation rate dropped to 63.6%. This is slightly up from the thirty-year low of 63.5% in September.
The 7.7% figure that is being heralded by the media is not seasonally adjusted; excluding the temporary hires for the holiday retail season, the unemployment figure rises to 8.3%. The underemployment rate, which reflects those who have been hired part-time, but would actually like to work full-time, climbed to 9.4% in November from 8.9% in October.
This underemployment figure is destined to grow, as worker hours are being slashed to under 30-hours, which is the threshold where Obamacare healthcare coverage mandate for employers with more than 50 full-time workers kicks in.
In related news, the unemployment rate for civilian government workers dropped from 4.2 percent in October to 3.8 percent in November. The unemployment rate for government workers in July was 5.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As Labor Secretary, Hilda Solis has made it clear that she believes it is a role of the government to take money from the rich and to use that “revenue” to subsidize social services. According to DiscovertheNetworks:
On April 5, 2012, Solis delivered a speech at Al Sharpton‘s National Action Network, where she stated that imposing higher taxes on the wealthy was justified: “It’s about fairness,” she said. “It’s about fairness in the workplace; it’s about fairness in education; and it’s about fairness in terms of what services are provided by government…. [T]hose that can afford it, the billionaires and millionaires … want to pay more because they know it’s their obligation!”
As socialism from above continues to be popular on the American left, people are going to learn the hard way that there are consequences for letting the state run their lives. One of those consequences is that an economy that is founded on private property, voluntary exchange, and entrepreneurial risk will crumble if re-placed on a foundation of government coercion, taxation, and unlimited debt.
Fundamental transformation is not as glamorous as it sounds; especially in one of the most prosperous, upwardly mobile, and complex societies in the world.