Some of the charges companies have been excluding from pro forma results are worth ignoring, but the data suggest a great many of them aren’t
. In the fourth quarter, pro forma earnings for companies in the S&P 500 were 59% above GAAP, according to figures from FactSet and S&P Dow Jones Indices.
The household survey is a phone survey conducted by the BLS. It measures unemployment and many other factors.
If you work one hour, you are employed. If you don’t have a job and fail to look for one, you are not considered unemployed, rather, you drop out of the labor force.
In the household survey, if you work as little as 1 hour a week, even selling trinkets on EBay, you are considered employed.
The official unemployment rate is 5.0%. However, if you start counting all the people who want a job but gave up, all the people with part-time jobs that want a full-time job, all the people who dropped off the unemployment rolls because their unemployment benefits ran out, etc., you get a closer picture of what the unemployment rate is. That number is in the last row labeled U-6.
U-6 is much higher at 9.8%. Both numbers would be way higher still, were it not for millions dropping out of the labor force over the past few years.
Only 11.7 percent of the new jobs created in February were full-time. This on top of the fact that the vast majority of the new jobs were low-wage service-sector positions, many of them temporary. Employment in manufacturing and mining continued to fall....
Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez boasted, “The remarkable US recovery continues… The wind is once again at our back.” Jason Furman, chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, declared, “The private sector has now added 14.4 million jobs over 73 straight months of job growth, the longest streak on record.”
But what kind of jobs? A new report released this week demonstrates that under first the Bush and then the Obama administrations, the whole structure of employment in America has been radically altered to reduce the status of workers to that of a super-exploited casual and contingent labor force, lacking any job security or health and retirement benefits.
The report, by Princeton University and the RAND Corporation, documents the fact that all net full-time job growth in the US between 2005 and 2015 was accounted for by “alternative work arrangements,” i.e., people working as independent contractors, temps, through contract firms or on-call. There were actually fewer conventional full-time positions—by 400,000—in 2015 than a decade earlier.
One particularly revealing indication of the brutal conditions facing growing sections of workers is the fact that the proportion of contingent workers holding multiple jobs has more than quadrupled over the past 10 years, from 7.3 percent in 2005 to 32 percent in 2015. Nearly one-third of people working with no benefits or job security are holding down an additional part-time or full-time job just to make ends meet.
Another report released this week, this one by the Pew Charitable Trusts, provides further insight into the conditions facing low-income workers that are fueling anti-establishment and anti-capitalist sentiment. Entitled “Household Expenditures and Income,” the study reports that housing costs for the lower third of income groups in the US rose 33 percent between 2013 and 2014, the biggest annual jump in housing spending for the 19 years that Pew has studied the question....
With spending on transportation and food also rising, 2014 became the first year studied by Pew in which median spending on these basic necessities surpassed median income. By 2014, median income had fallen by 13 percent from 2004 levels, while expenditures had increased by 14 percent....
Obama, whose policies have accelerated the process by which the share of national income going to the top 1 percent has nearly tripled, increasing from about 8 percent in the 1960s and 1970s to more than 20 percent today....
The many more workers moving to support Sanders are looking for a genuinely radical and socialist alternative to capitalism. They will not find it in the Vermont senator, whose campaign is not an expression of working class militancy and radicalization, but rather the response of sections of the ruling class to the danger posed by this development. His conscious aim is to preempt the emergence of an independent political movement of workers and youth and suffocate social opposition by channeling it back behind the Democratic Party.