Jobs

Bad Jobs Numbers Raise More Questions About Unemployment Insurance

Is the problem government cash or have we entered a new paradigm?

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The September jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that August's disappointing job growth was not a fluke. In an era of rushed reporting, motivated by 24-hour news cycles and politically weaponized talking points, we should always treat any single data point with a large grain of salt. Two in a row, however, suggests that a trend might be forming, warranting more careful attention.

For reasons we don't understand well, the labor market might be pivoting toward a period of slower growth, driven by a scarcity of available workers.

The most important problem facing the labor market is the return of workers to the workforce—or the lack thereof. The most recent BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed businesses seeking to fill a record 10.9 million jobs in July. That astonishing number is 44 percent higher than the pre-pandemic record. It also stands against 8.7 million workers who were counted as officially unemployed in July, which decreased to less than 7.7 million by September.

Therein lies the problem. Compared to the pre-pandemic labor market, there are 3.1 million fewer people currently participating in the workforce. But a simplistic pre-pandemic comparison isn't apt, since it doesn't include or address older workers' retirements and younger workers joining the workforce over the last 19 months. Pre-pandemic trends suggest a workforce around 5.75 million larger than it currently is.

We cannot, of course, ignore the labor market shock caused by COVID-19. The pandemic appears to have motivated many older workers to choose earlier-than-anticipated retirements (and who could blame them?). Early data showed a surge of retirements in April 2020, and later analysis estimates that 1.7 million more people identified as being retired in BLS surveys than the pre-pandemic trend would have predicted.

So let's say the workforce is about 4 million workers smaller than it otherwise should be. If these workers were all actively seeking jobs and thus counted as unemployed, rather than remaining outside the workforce, the current unemployment rate would be 7.1 percent.

Against this backdrop, the large decline in the unemployment rate from August to September (5.2 percent to 4.8 percent), combined with a relatively unchanged labor force participation rate, is a clear cause for concern. Workers are not rejoining the labor market, even after most of the reasons for reluctance have waned.

The biggest inhibition for many unemployed workers was likely fear of COVID-19. But with free and effective vaccines now widely available for adults and teenagers, the rationale sounds increasingly like an excuse. Booster shots are even now available for those at higher risk. The delta variant compounded fears over the summer, but its effects are understood to largely affect the unvaccinated, many of whom don't seem especially concerned about the disease anyway.

The second-most widely cited reason for workers remaining unemployed was the lack of child care due to remote schooling. But most school systems have resumed in-person teaching, including the nation's largest in New York City, which notably did not include a remote learning option when classes resumed in mid-September. In fact, a majority of school districts were already offering in-person classes last spring.

NYC's first week of in-person schooling coincided with September BLS jobs report data collection, meaning that late-starting schools might have affected some workers' return to work. But the validity of this rationale has also been diminishing over time, and the lack of child care as a systematic constraint on caregivers' return to the workforce should be effectively resolved at this point.

The generosity of federally expanded unemployment insurance (U.I.) is the third mechanism that might have been inhibiting a return to the workforce. The barest mention of this fact provokes assertive refutation by some pundits and policy wonks, who argue that the first two rationales have been much more important.

September's jobs report adds fuel to this fire, because the expanded U.I. benefits ended a week before the data were collected. The lack of a resurgence in job growth, the pro-U.I. pundits argue, is evidence that the benefits weren't deterring people from working.

If that's true, we face a true dilemma: Our best explanations for why the workforce isn't quickly returning to its pre-pandemic state would all be invalidated. We shouldn't be so quick to throw out the U.I.-based explanation, however.

The federally expanded U.I. programs famously exceeded prior income for many workers, and there are many anecdotes of workers squirreling away the extra cash for the future. It's a good strategy to hold out for a high-quality job offer rather than taking the first one that comes along.

In reality, all three rationales probably still matter, but the disincentive of federally expanded U.I. benefits seems to have the largest effect today, even after the end of the federal programs.

That leaves the question of how long it will take for the 4 million missing workers to be sufficiently motivated to rejoin the workforce. My fear is that labor scarcity combined with customer demands will motivate employers to shift even faster to adopt automation and labor-saving technologies. This could lead to the last unemployed workers discovering that the jobs they were holding out for have evaporated. A classic case of the early bird being right after all.

We should also consider that perhaps the economy has entered a completely new paradigm—one in which a subset of workers have discovered that they can get by on very little, and who view lots of leisure time as a sufficient tradeoff. After all, preferences change, and markets change with them.

In short, no one can authoritatively list the single reason why workforce growth is so slow, or where all the "missing" workers are. But we should watch closely as more data become available. After all, the future arrives one day at a time, and no faster.

NEXT: New York City Considers Requiring Landlords to Provide Free Internet to Tenants

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  1. Maybe some people don’t want to go back to work if it means getting vaccinated and wearing a mask for 8 hours a day.

    1. Masking is the reason I stopped looking for a second job. It just isn’t worth it.

      1. A lot of people don’t have that choice.

        1. His first job ended 30 years ago.

          1. Oh cute. Virtue signaling to JesseAz, Mother’s Lament, R Mac, Sevo, Chuck, Don’t look at me, and the rest of the insult trolls. I hope you impressed them. You’re on mute now. And forever.

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              2. He lives for this.

                1. Seems to be true. The pathetic piece of shit shows up to A) make an ass of himself, B) claim some sort of success, C) whine about being a victim, all the while knowing full well that only other lefty assholes tolerate his bullshit.
                  Masochism comes to mind, although abysmal stupidity might suffice.

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            1. Over under this list gets to 20 people by the end of the year?

              1. It was over 20 yesterday. He had a conniption on Chuck P, because he made him look like a fool.

                1. Haha glad I bet the over!

              2. There’s a LIST now? LOL. Anyone else reminded of the scene where Buscemi crosses Adam Sandler’s name off on the wall, with lipstick?

            2. I’d say something about living rent free in your head, but that would be more disgusting than living in on an SF street corner congregating with the other alcoholics.

            3. I told everyone that he’d start posting a daily mute list.

              He honestly believes it’s the Reason comment’s Scarlet Letter. Is there anyone more pathetic?

              He’s just one step away from being Hihn.

              1. Hihn was a national treasure. Sarc’s a drunk divorcee that lives in a storage container with multiple restraining orders.

            4. I unmuted you just to ask to be added to that list.

              You have nothing useful to contribute to society or a conversation, you stupid alcoholic, polisher of Biden’s corn pop.

        2. I know. And it sucks. I’m fortunate in that I do have a choice.

          1. People do make that choice. I could work more but I am fine where I am.

          2. You could always open a food stand and sell Cuban sandwiches to passers by.

            1. No wonder he was bragging about getting the extra covid stimulus checks.

                1. Dude. Half a million dollar air bnb for a weekend split 10 ways.

                  #JealousOfSarc

                  1. Don’t forget the penny ante poker.

                    1. Nickel limit?

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                  2. And those other 9 guys are totes cool! Sarc said so!

                    1. Weren’t some of them from glibs, who banned him?

          3. Fuck off and die, shitbag.

      2. What about your current position? (Not what it is, but what’s the policy)

    2. The problem isn’t exactly getting vaccinated as much as the potential for any given two weeks to be “the next two weeks” is also looming large.

      Somewhat analogously and/or systematically, if Biden can take a vacay while shit is literally exploding in Afghanistan and the money printer keeps on running, then it’s not really a problem if *I* don’t go back to work.

      1. Somewhat analogously and/or systematically, if Biden can take a vacay while shit is literally exploding in Afghanistan and the money printer keeps on running, then it’s not really a problem if *I* don’t go back to work.
        ———-
        LOL True!!

      2. It is a good thing. He can’t mess things up as much.

        1. His handlers are doing a fine job messing shit up in his stead.

          1. Government is working as planned

        2. Sure, but if all the other fuckups can’t lose their jobs, rented dwellings, healthcare, and quality of life, then all the fruit and even the whole vine rots. Doubly so if a significant portion of the good fruit have to go around “handling” all the bad fruits to keep them from fucking shit up further.

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    4. I am not going to wear a mask. Bottom line. Nobody mentions that one for some reason.

      1. I get a kick out of wearing my bandana and cap into banks and other stores. Karens have no clue what to freak out over first.

  2. Operation Biden working as designed.

    1. One must destroy before one can Build Back Better.

  3. My fear is that labor scarcity combined with customer demands will motivate employers to shift even faster to adopt automation and labor-saving technologies. This could lead to the last unemployed workers discovering that the jobs they were holding out for have evaporated.

    That’s what’s commonly know as “progress.” And if what you fear is happening anyway thanks to absurd minimum living wage laws that force employers to pay employees more than they can produce for the company. If anything, this is just accelerating what was already happening.

    1. Exactly. Automation will make everything cheaper, and free up human workers to do more fulfilling creative tasks.

      1. free up human workers to do more fulfilling creative tasks.
        That don’t pay anything.

        1. There is a real problem in that, just because of the way intelligence and ability is distributed among the population, a good chunk of the population isn’t capable of much beyond dull manual labor. I’m not sure what you do about that. Accept reality, I guess. And hope that most people can find something better to do.

          1. Gov-Gods breeds stupidity. Humans are the smartest mammals on the planet so long as they aren’t turned into robots of dictators.

            1. Yeah…no. There really are some very stupid people out there. I’d guess that around 20% of the population in the US is at or very close to what most classify as “developmentally disabled.”

              1. Perhaps; but you cannot deny that Commie-Indoctrination, Gov-Breast feeding and ‘children of the state’ wasn’t the biggest factor in their developmental retardation.

                1. Yes, we are seeing the results of decades of a “dysgenics” program, with subsidization of the the reproduction of the least capable, exacerbated by atrocious public education.

              2. Based on my own experience, I’d say you’re close with that number, and that there’s a similar rate of illiteracy.

              3. 15% have IQ below 85 I think. IQ of 85 is nearly retarded.

                1. Long long time ago I worked at McDonalds in high school, with a guy who was in the Guinness Book of World Records for burger flipping. I want to say his name was Willy Williamson or something. Guy was a certified retard. But he’d been flipping burgers for thirty years, and nobody was going to tell him how to do his job.

                  Turns out the guy was a millionaire. He lived in a small apartment, rode a bicycle, and invested everything else.

                  So even retards can make it. As long as Uncle Sam isn’t trying to make it better.

                  1. Oh, yeah, retards can make it. But not performing terribly complex or creative work.
                    And as long as employers aren’t forced to pay too artificially high wages, there will probably be burger flipping or equivalent jobs for people who aren’t that bright. But those jobs could be automated and if they all were, I’m not sure what people like that would do. It’s so stupid that people want entry level jobs like that to pay a “living wage” for a family of 4. There need to be jobs for people who just can’t create that much value. And as your story shows, a person living within his means can do just fine on a burger flipper’s salary if he isn’t stupid with money.

                    1. But those jobs could be automated and if they all were, I’m not sure what people like that would do.

                      The next menial task we haven’t imagined yet (think someone circa 1900 imagined burger flipper as a task?) until it gets automated.

                    2. Fun fact: many unskilled entry level retail jobs in Colorado pay more than many skilled labor entry level jobs in Texas. Things like EMT, payroll types, AP types, HR roles, etc.

                      It’s kind of nuts, to be honest. Some teen isn’t worth 18 bucks an hour to shuffle things around on shelves and since retail is way easier with way lower stakes it’s going to create some perverse distortions in the market.

                      I’ve been looking at wage rates, and a retail job around here can pay around 18 an hour whereas a job in AP or payroll can start at around 20. It’s absurd, and makes it tough to find someone to fill the AP/Payroll positions.

                      Basically, under employment is going to be a big thing going forward I think. In fact, I think it’s already here depending on where you live.

                      It’s a great market to look for a job, but a terrible market to find someone to stay in any given role.

                    3. To be fair… HR is useless. And no skill.

                    4. HR people are just compliance officers.

          2. Service industry will always exist. So will maintenance and development osts.

            The main problem is the ushering in of grievances as a career path.

            1. “grievances as a career path” = Any excuse to steal.
              +10000000; Well said.

        2. How much “Pay” does one really need anyways?
          Grow a garden, live in a cave — Ya know like everyone did before all that nasty automation came to exist.

          1. I heart automation!

            1. Anyone who digs a trench with a shovel in 120-deg weather and then runs a back-hoe with A/C will be enlightened extremely quickly.

              1. The Soviets figured it out. They dug the White Sea Canal by hand in less than five years. Solzhenitsyn figured that they effectively worked 250,000 prisoners to death. Of course, it wasn’t the dullards that Stalin was most interested in getting rid of.

                1. Nothing personal, Comrade! But Social prophylaxis had to be applied!

                  One of the more horrifying parts of the Archipelago. Most of those bastards got to die peacefully in bed. Lazar Kaganovitch didn’t croak until 1991.

          2. Move into an apartment, don’t pay rent. Now with free high-speed internet!

      2. But, but, but life was so much better when 90% of families lived on farms!

        1. The move from farms created high paying factory jobs

          Right now, no new jobs for low skill workers are being created to replace those displaced by automation

          1. Factory jobs that are considered to be crap by today’s standards.

            Though in the developing world where people are leaving farms, they’re a pretty good option just as they were here when this country went through that transition.

            What comes next? Who knows? When factory jobs moved overseas did anyone anticipate Wedding Planners to be a viable and well compensated career? Probably not.

            See what happens.

            1. I hear “social media recommender” is taking off.

              Set up an Instagram account and tell us about your favorite bathroom and skin products. You can make millions.

              1. Ivory soap for the bod, Head and Shoulders for the scalp, and Noxzema for the face.

                Pay up, bitches.

              2. turd lies. It’s what turd does. If turd posts it and it isn’t a lie, it was a mistake.
                turd is a pathological liar, entirely too stupid to even know he’s lying and that others are well familiar with hit lying.
                turd lies; it’s what he does.

                  1. If you do not know that turd lies, you must be new here.
                    turd lies; it’s what he does.

                    1. I learned this later in the thread. That “normalizing at 2%” fantasy sounds like the some of the whoppers the DNC sells to the dimwits daily.

                      Even the BLS doesn’t spread THAT brand of bullshit:
                      “The annual inflation rate in the US edged up to a 13-year high of 5.4% in September of 2021 from 5.3% in August and above market expectations of 5.3%”

                      So now, yes, I can easily agree, turd lies.

              3. Does instagram help you comparison shop for your next prepubescent victim?

            2. Umm… industrial engineers, those running and developing factories, Are some of the highest paid jobs…

              1. Those aren’t exactly the jobs people mean when they say “I got a job at the factory” though

                1. They should learn to code.

                2. I know a lot of engineers. So that is exactly the jobs I discuss as factory. We refer to line workers as line workers. And even they make a good living in my industry.

                3. But they and the salesmen will be the last jobs left after the factory is fully automated.

      3. Isn’t it ironic how people can simultaneously complain about not enough work to do and not having enough work-made produce available…. Get off UR lazy *sses and go MAKE/CREATE.

        1. It isn’t that easy. That’s why the makers and creators are significant. There aren’t many of them. If it was that easy we’d all be rich.

          1. The the biggest roadblocks are ———– The [WE] gang Gov-Gun-Forces harassing, stealing and granting special ‘gifts’ from the Gun-Gods to Make/Create.

            Oppressing creation to subsidize Gun-Gods is how this nation got to where it is today.

            1. You’re becoming less and less coherent. Not sure what you’re talking about at this point.

              1. “It isn’t that easy.” …. Before the Nazi-Regime came to power it was pretty easy.

                Case & Point #1; With Obama’s diesel mandates finding a wheel loader that isn’t in the shop 50% of it’s life costing horrid amounts of labor and doesn’t burn itself to the ground while burning up diesel on it’s own has made loading trucks 10x harder. MORE red-tape, MORE theft, MORE permission, MORE regulation = Harder.

                1. I was thinking more about the people who come up with life-changing ideas, like Ford, Gates, Jobs and such. In a system that doesn’t reward success, you’ve got to hope inventors are as altruistic as Kalashnikov.

                  1. Neither Gates nor Jobs really came up with life-changing ideas. They did, however, excel in taking other people’s ideas, claiming all the credit, and then marketing the product (the product largely being their image as geniuses who single-handedly made the world “better” for everyone else). The same goes for Zuckerberg.

                    You are on much stronger ground with Ford, given the transformational change that came with the assembly line, automobiles that were affordable to the average working class family, and the 5 day work week).

                    1. The shade of Gary Kildall nods, sadly.

          2. Thats not how markets work…

            It requires a lot of makers and the market choosing the best of each.

      4. You know who else thought “Automation will make everything cheaper, and free up human workers to do more fulfilling creative tasks”?

        1. Gene Roddenberry?

        2. Grand Funk Railroad?

          1. I’m getting closer to my home.

        3. Anyone who isn’t mentally retarded?

          I.e. Pushing that button is so much harder than chiseling rock with a pitch-fork.. Humorously; I know very old people who really sit true to this principle.

          But each to their own way. There’s a point to be made that if it wasn’t for automation; this country would never survive the true cost of political B.S. (theft-funded-jobs) it dishes out. Every positive has a negative.

      5. I’m reminded of Speaker Pelosi’s comments on the passage of “Obamacare”:

        “This is what our founders had in mind–ever expanding opportunity for people…You want to be a photographer or a writer or a musician, whatever — an artist, you want to be self-employed, if you want to start a business, you want to change jobs, you no longer are prohibited from doing that because you can’t have access to health care, especially because you do not want to put your family at risk,” she said.

        Every time I stumble into a discussion of universal basic income, free healthcare, etc., it’s always people wanting to be artists or poets or “creative” who are advocating for it the hardest. For example, California’s got a new stipend for artists…The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts explains that artists are “essential drivers of economic well-being.” in touting it.

        Why is that? It’s because making money as an artist or poet is damn hard…people will simply not pay for art that does not move them (or at least represent a decent investment because it will move someone else down the road). So lots and lots of failed or wanna-be artists can sit around and produce their craptastic pieces? No thank you.

        I always ask: “Will I finally be able to pursue my dream of playing basketball professionally without worrying about health care or basic income?”

        People look at me and realize I suck at basketball, I’m barely 5′ 10″ and clearly have no more than 2.5 inch vertical leap…”But Mike, you suck at basketball, no one is going to pay you to play basketball”…”You’ll never be able to make a living playing basketball, you ain’t got game (you simply have no talent).”

        Exactly!

      6. You’re full of shit. That’s not how the real world operates, look beyond some college utopian textbook.

    2. Its amusing how you can still sometimes issues a rational libertarian position until your overwhelming need to be a victim arises.

    3. Not all progress is good.

      I maintain that automated ordering at fast food joints is not better. Neither are self-checkout lanes.

      In many instances, they’re not replacing paid labor with lower cost robots. They’re replacing paid labor with your free labor.

      1. Burger bot more likely to get my order right…

  4. If the election of Biden (the most popular president in the history of the Republic) and all of 2020 just kind of passed you by, then yes, we’re in a new paradigm.

  5. Again, there’s nothing new about this paradigm, it’s stagflation. As long as employers will have trouble finding employees as long as they can’t pay wages that keep up with inflation. The helicopter money only makes this harder for them, but it isn’t fundamentally the cause.

    1. By the way, what’s with all this New Normal talk in the media recently? Are we being prepared for something?

      1. You’re being prepared for life to suck for the foreseeable future.

        1. “You’re being prepared for life to suck for the foreseeable future.”

          And you will be told, ceaselessly, that not only was it always like this, but in the past it was often worse. Only through the Party can things ever get better.

      2. They are literally always talking about a new normal, usually in relation to temporary conditions.

        They were freakin’ talking about the new normal back in May of last year! People who report the news daily have no idea how to look ahead a year.

        That being said…it does appear likely hybrid work is going to stick around for a while, and I don’t think we have quite figured out what it means when you have 25% fewer people commuting downtown all of a sudden. What does that do to the lunch places? What does that mean about traffic? How will we collaborate in the future? Will offices move to hoteling and what will that mean? Will people be willing to commute longer distances now? Will that result in greater development of the exurbs while causing flight from the close-up suburbs?

        So, ehh…I think it is fair to bring up some “new normal” questions, but nobody should be claiming to have any answers for another 6 months. Let’s see what happens when the hybrid work model has been in place for a year and the pandemic is over before we call it the new future.

        1. My bet is almost everyone ends up back in the office.

          1. They do if they know what’s best for them.

            Eventually, someone’s going to figure out that their administrative staff that’s been “telecommuting” for the last 18 months can easily be replaced with overseas contract labor. For better or worse, this Covid bullshit has provided employers with some solid data on who’s essential, and who isn’t missed when they don’t show up to work.

            Although I agree with you, I think it’s going to take a huge event for everyone to end up back to work as before. Something that puts the “deadly pandemic” out of the spotlight, such as a major war or financial disaster.

            Which is certainly a possibility with our current dumpster fire in DC.

            1. There is a big difference between saying 3 days at the office and fully remote. With 3 days at the office, offshore is still not possible. Even living in a different metro isn’t possible, though it might create tolerance for a longer commute.

          2. Anti carbon activists demand it.

    2. Bullshit.

      Stagflation is characterized by slow economic growth and relatively high unemployment—or economic stagnation—which is at the same time accompanied by rising prices (i.e. inflation). Stagflation can be alternatively defined as a period of inflation combined with a decline in the gross domestic product(GDP)

      Growth is robust at 6% and UE is low at 4.8%.

      Prices for a few high demand items that experienced production lockdowns are up but general prices are not.

      Oil is $80 and has been over $100 for five different years in the past. I paid $2.17 for a gallon of milk yesterday. Gold is still only $1750/oz.

      Car prices are way up due to demand. Same with home prices in many places.

      Inflation is normalizing right into the sweet spot of 2%.

      1. You’re a “downfall” parody made flesh.

        1. Those are facts, pal.

          GDP is 6% this year.

          You must read wingnut.com where they have “alternate facts” for conservative Trump-tards.

          1. turd lies. It’s what turd does. If turd posts it and it isn’t a lie, it was a mistake.
            turd is a pathological liar, entirely too stupid to even know he’s lying and that others are well familiar with hit lying.
            turd lies; it’s what he does.

      2. Inflation is normalizing right into the sweet spot of 2%.

        Tell that to my grocery bill that’s up 50% from a year ago.

        1. 50%?

          Must be that Russian caviar and French truffles.

          WTF do you eat?

          Beef prices went up about 10% due to western fires.

          Corn and wheat are right in the norm.

          1. Everything is up. Even iceberg lettuce just went from $.99 to $1.69. Chicken is way up. Tomatoes when from a buck and a half a pound to two and a half. It sucks.

            1. You’re buying in small quantities.

              It is like buying a hot dog for $5 at a NFL game and complaining how six of them used to cost the same five bucks.

              Check out a Costco sometime.

              1. I used to buy stuff in bulk. But when you live by yourself in an apartment it isn’t really practical. Besides, you’re moving the goalposts. Most people shop at the grocery store, and prices are indeed going up.

                1. The biggest reason those items are higher is because the fucking Dollar Stores don’t sell them and your grocer has to in order to survive.

                  You mention the low margin on regular grocery items.

                  But the margin on deli and produce turns all the profit for grocers.

                  1. Which means what in the context of us discussing whether or not consumer prices are going up?

                    Food is the only wiggle room most people have in their budget. Can’t negotiate internet, rent/mortgage, Netflix, car insurance, renter/homeowner insurance, electricity, student loans, blah blah blah.

                    But I can choose chicken thighs instead of breasts, or Mexican tomatoes instead of local ones still on the vine.

                    1. Right, because the market/consumers are prioritizing cheap shitty food on your behalf.

                      A Jacks large frozen pizza is only $2.50!

                      https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=jack%27s+frozen+pizza&id=95F1823AA95F3F87CD33E204FCE36135797761A3&form=IQFRBA&tsc=ImageHoverTitle&first=1&disoverlay=1

                      You want cheap? You want no inflation? JACKS IT IS!!!!!!!!

                      To your credit you want healthier.

                      But don’t tell me about food inflation when a large deluxe cheese pepperoni pizza is only $2.50!

                    2. Cheaper products are available, so food prices aren’t really going up. Is that really your argument?

                    3. Did you check the actual Walmart listing rather than just the Bing result? Jack’s Pizza is up to 2.98 since Bing last cached it. That works out to an inflation rate just shy of 20%, if we are using the JPPI (Jack’s Pizza Price Index) exclusively

                    4. Well this got embarrassing dildo.

                    5. “But I can choose chicken thighs instead of breasts, or Mexican tomatoes instead of local ones still on the vine”

                      turd lies. It’s what turd does. If turd posts it and it isn’t a lie, it was a mistake.
                      turd is a pathological liar, entirely too stupid to even know he’s lying and that others are well familiar with hit lying.
                      turd lies; it’s what he does.

                2. Filets I was buying last year for $20/lb went up to $40/lb this summer, but have settled down a bit to $32/lb or so. Similarly, strip steaks went from $12/lb to $18/lb, and ribeye went from $16/lb to $24/lb.

                  Weather treated lumber had a similar experience this year. An 8-ft ground-contact rated 2×4 I was picking up last year for around $4-$5 per ($0.60 per bd-ft). This April, that same product was $12 ($1.50 per bd-ft). Now it’s settled down a little bit and is only $8 ($1.00 per bd-ft).

                  1. “Filets I was buying last year for $20/lb went up to $40/lb this summer, but have settled down a bit to $32/lb or so.”

                    Oh yeah? Well, you can still buy a frozen burrito for $.99, so who cares.

                    — SPB

                    1. That’s hilarious. Well done.

                      I learned that I could ignore anything SPB posted when it said “inflation is normalizing into the sweet spot at 2%”.

                      Not sure what morons SPB is used to spreading bullshit amongst but anyone can read a feckin chart and see that 2% is a fantasy.

            2. Last year KBB booked a 98 Ranger at $800; Last week KBB booked it at $3300.. A year ago I bought RF radio’s at $35/ea last year I sold them for $45/ea (!!! CONSUMER ELECTRONICS !!!). In 200 a top-line desktop costs $300; The i-9 has been out since 2017; still running over $1000.

              Our USD is screaming hyper-inflation; but it’s hidden under the COVID covers.

              1. I bought a bad ass Marantz receiver back in the 70s for $400 and the thing is worth $2000 now.

                INFLATION!!!

                Not.

                1. My Peavy Classic 30 that I paid $400 for twenty years ago is worth.. never mind.

                2. lol… Do you think a 98 Ranger is a collectors item?
                  I guess it’s not inflation then; it’s just every produced ‘good’ is becoming a collectors item……

                  You must work for the government 🙂

                  1. Agreed a Ford ranger is different than a marantz, it shouldn’t be appreciating to those levels.

              2. Car prices aren’t primarily from inflation, but simple supply and demand. Ultimately caused by government interference causing supply chain problems for electronic components and making new cars hard to come by..

                1. Either way; One thing is certain – Democrats sure know how to F-Things up.

      3. His bros in the boiler room made like seven points on credit default swaps this week… what’s the issue?!

      4. turd lies. It’s what turd does. If turd posts it and it isn;t a lie, it was a mistake.
        turd is a pathological liar, entirely too stupid to even know he’s lying and that others are well familiar with hit lying.
        turd lies; it’s what he does.

      5. “Inflation is normalizing right into the sweet spot of 2%.”

        turd lies. It’s what turd does. If turd posts it and it isn’t a lie, it was a mistake.
        turd is a pathological liar, entirely too stupid to even know he’s lying and that others are well familiar with hit lying.
        turd lies; it’s what he does.

        1. You’d have to be a real ass to argue food prices aren’t shooting through the fucking roof.

          1. Gasoline. Diesel. Construction supplies.

            1. turd lies; it’s what turd does.

          2. Close. It is apparently a butt plug so not exactly an ass.

      6. A bunch of morons pretending to be economists arguing about inflation by talking about consumables like oil and grocery bills.

  6. It is not that. They just don’t want to go back to work. Many have found other ways to cope without it. Maybe they have a working spouse and don’t really care about the second income. Or they moved into moms basement. There could be lots of reasons.

    For a lot of people, maybe most, work sucks.

    So if we can’t get those workers back where are we going to find more?

    1. OBL has the answer!

      1. it *is* a day ending in y …

      1. That won’t work, because according to Mark Zuckerberg with a wig Jen Psaki, “They won’t be staying long”.

        1. Why would they stay when the economy implodes?

          1. That has been the (D) immigration plan all along and we are just now seeing it put into action. The idea was to make the United States shittier than Mexico or Haiti so they would return home.

    2. That is the big conundrum. If they have truly found a sustainable alternative, then the move to automation and less labor intensive service is a good thing. If they suddenly all surge break onto the market after the economy has reorganized to not need them, then we’ll have a problem.

      1. Expanded unemployment checks are not a long term career path.

        1. Correct, which is why the fact that the first reading after unemployment expired is so fascinating. Because, once Uncle Sam stopped paying, folks still didn’t look for work. How are people living without an income? If the answer is homemaker, then people might just stay out (I know relatively few families with a homemaker, but I know several where one partner makes an irrelevant fraction of the other; presumably the job was more hobby then real contribution and folks may be reevaluating that now). If the answer is savings, then we can expect folks to show up soon.

  7. Is the problem government cash or have we entered a new paradigm?

    The labor market is BROKEN.

  8. We’ve decided that we’d rather work less for money. It’s called “evolution.”

    1. Stimulus $ = evolution?

      1. It is always best when government forces others to do the labor for those that voted them in

    2. Who is “we”? You got a mouse in your pocket?

  9. Many workers also realized that they don’t want to work shit jobs for low pay and no benefits. If businesses want more workers they need to up the compensation.

    1. If businesses want more workers they need to up the compensation.

      Because it’s just that easy. Yeah, let’s give everyone a 20% raise across the board! Oh crap, there’s not enough money coming in to cover payroll. Guess we need to raise prices. Oh crap, people don’t want to pay these inflated prices and they’re shopping elsewhere! Sorry guys, it was nice while it lasted, but I’ve got to close the doors. You got your raise, but now you’re all unemployed.

      1. Free market. If your business model does not work then you can not stay in business.

        1. Who are you to tell a business what their model should be?

        2. Nobody’s model will work when government is ruining the money. That’s the whole point to ONLY GOLD AND SILVER.

        3. you don’t know how markets word do you.

        4. Correct, paying employees more than they are worth does not work as a business model and companies that do it cannot stay in business. Of course that is a complete 180 from your previous comment of “If businesses want more workers they need to up the compensation.”

        5. Shorter Molly:

          “I don’t know how anything works.”

          1. Even shorter:
            “I am an imbecile and full of shit”.

        6. You really struggle with “free” in anything except your welfare don’t you, slaver?

          “It’s a free market, so if you don’t do things how we like you can just go out of business.”

          Idiot.

      2. Except there would be enough money coming in to meet payroll. Just not enough to keep shareholders happy with a profit for essentially doing nothing but owning stock

        Companies are going to have to start sharing more of the profits with workers and less with shareholders

        1. Did you come up with that on your own or did you lift it from a communist playbook?

          Look up margins. That’s where profits come from. If a company shared all its profits with the workers it wouldn’t make much of a difference. Take grocery stores for example. They’re lucky to be making 3%. If that 3% was shared with the workers it might amount to a few cents an hour.

          Educate yourself so you don’t look like an economicus ignoramicus.

        2. Or there might not be. There are a lot of companies who have to deal with this that don’t have stockholders and boards. Most fast food places, for example, are owned by small to medium sized LLCs.
          If you make economic policy as if every employer is a huge corporation, pretty soon that will be the case.

          1. It’s the goal.

          2. Don’t you think that’s the plan?

            1. I think there is more than one plan. But it does seem to be part of some people’s plans.

              1. And those people are in control. Thanks in small part to Reason.

          3. This has been part of the plan since pandemic day 1, when the only people who could manage to stay open were Amazon and WalMart.

            1. Neofeudalists need serfs.

    2. Maybe Democrats will stop bitching about the low federal minimum wage.

      1. Or they’ll keep pretending they want to raise it, but somehow fail to do so even when they control the Presidency and both houses of Congress.

        (They’ll succeed at something else, though — making Elon Musk richer.)

        #OBLsFirstLaw

        1. Hey, you’re onto something!

          They’re like the Republicans who promise low spending but jack it up to record levels!

          GOP whispering…. “get a load of OBL. He actually believes we want fiscal responsibility! What a dumbass!! hA hA hA HA BENGHAZI MOTHERFUCKERS!………….

          1. turd lies. It’s what turd does. If turd posts it and it isn;t a lie, it was a mistake.
            turd is a pathological liar, entirely too stupid to even know he’s lying and that others are well familiar with hit lying.
            turd lies; it’s what he does.

          2. Dumbass, you’re mocking a parody account. Do you also yell at the tide coming in?

            1. I always yell at the tide coming in. After a lengthy dressing down from yours truly, that pesky tide gets the message and starts to run away. You do have to do a lot of fist shaking as well.

    3. And when your million dollar paycheck won’t cover a loaf of bread, I’m sure that will be someone else’s fault, too.

    4. “If businesses want more workers they need to up the compensation.”

      LOLOLOLOLOLOL

      If businesses need more labor, just let them import cost-effective foreign-born workers. Especially from Mexico.

      #OpenBordersWillFixEverything
      #ImmigrationAboveAll

      1. Bring back slavery!

        1. Why do you think the fascists are expanding the draft at the same time they are politicizing the military?
          Just as the green new deal is infrastructure, the war on climate change will be fought with soldiers. Draft them, indoctrinate them, assign them to the “necessary” jobs, and only the white guys will starve.

    5. What a lot are doing is adding perks like 401k or other retirement benefits, stock, education money, more flexible hours, stuff like that.

      1. What they should be doing is offering more time off. Most companies still have totally ludicrous vacation policies based on years of service that no one gets to anymore. I’ve seen many companies that can’t keep lower-level people for even 2 years while they have a vacation policy that adjusts at 5, 10, 20 years of service. It’s a cruel joke by companies that no longer offer a real career.

        1. My employer had an adjusting vacation policy, but no more. People used to take a month off each year. Now it’s 3.5 weeks plus holidays. That’s what everyone gets.

        2. That also results in talent and experience going to waste, as people who could find positions for which they would be better suited stay where they are rather than lose the longevity benefits they’ve earned by starting at the bottom somewhere else.

    6. They are upping compensation. I see entry level jobs at all kinds of places advertised at $15/hr. Often with sign-on bonuses.

      1. How much of that is just anticipating a minimum wage hike?

        1. Oh no, no no. Companies only do things on their own free will, not because of threats of government action.
          Jeffy and crew.

        2. Around here, at least, it seems to be mostly because they can’t get enough people to work. Every restaurant seems to be understaffed. NH official unemployment is really low.

          1. Had trouble getting hotel reservations this past weekend for the same reason. They are leaving rooms empty for the same reason.

    7. “Many workers also realized that they don’t want to work shit jobs for low pay and no benefits.”

      Then maybe they should improve their skills.

      1. That just isn’t realistic for many people.

      2. Next time you pull a R talking point out make sure that it makes sense. If the low wager workers go out and improve their skills to make more money, then there will be even less people to work the low wage jobs and the businesses will have to do even more to attract them.

        1. Remember when low-wage, low skilled jobs were filled by low-skilled people, like high school students? That was awesome.

        2. It just means the 45 year old career burger flipper moves on better things while the 15 year old with no experience gets to flip burgers for while. Once he has some experience he can move on and the next the person to turn 15 starts flipping burgers. As it stands teens can even get a first job because all the entry level positions are filled by people who think they should be careers

        3. Which is a good thing. Skilled people creating greater value grows the pie and the remaining unskilled can have their slice grow without shrinking anyone else’s. Whereas minimum wage hikes are purely redistributive.

          A non-binding minimum wage (i.e. one below market wages) also allows employers to get more creative with the offers they make to workers. For example, Amazon pays higher than the average warehouse wage, but micromanages you. Whereas other warehouses might be more chill and pay less. Minimum wage outlaws the latter option, even though many workers might prefer it.

        4. “Next time you pull a R talking point out make sure that it makes sense.”

          Next time you post something, try to make sense.
          Or fuck off and die.

        5. Everyone is just born into their caste, and should stay there.

          — Molly The Imbecile

        6. Improving oneself is a right wing talking point?

          1. Actually… this makes sense and explains why sarc hates conservatives.

          2. And now you know why so many “liberals” think enacting policies guaranteed to trap people into generational poverty think they are helping so much.

    8. If businesses want more workers they need to just UP THE PRICETAG to pay for compensation.

      So the compensated can keep complaining that their labor isn’t getting them anywhere. Round and round it goes. The magical money tree doesn’t exist.

    9. Or be forced into an unwanted medical procedure. And then there’s the vaccine mandates.

      1. “medical procedure”

        Rolling my eyes. Sure getting a shot is a “medical procedure”.

        1. B+. Don’t just say “rolling my eyes”. What stupid thing might Dee say that would make people visualize her rolling her eyes?

        2. My GOD Karen. Aren’t they all so… Unclean? Ugh.

        3. A compound produced by a pharmaceutical company being injected directly into your bloodstream most certainly is a medical procedure. I’ll grant you that it is not as complex as open heart surgery, but it is more medically invasive than removing a wart.

        4. Technically it is a procedure but that is not why people are saying that or claiming that it is not a vaccine.

        5. By medical definition, anything that penetrates the body with an instrument is a “procedure”. So, yes, an injection is a procedure.

    10. I am curious about this point because I keep seeing it repeated, but I don’t understand it. Shit jobs are shit jobs, but people take them because they gotta eat. How is it that suddenly people don’t need to eat anymore and can sit in the sidelines until they are happy with the wage?

      During the unemployment bonus era, it made total sense. Now? I’m just confused. People don’t work shit jobs because they want to, but because they have to. So why don’t they have to anymore, now that bonus unemployment is done?

      1. Because no rent in many places still, savings, theft and faith Dems will deliver more free shit.

        Not all together, but the patchwork seems solid thus far.

      2. Some people find they don’t need to work. Like two income households turning into one income, living in moms basement or other reasons.

      3. Part of it is that the COVID largess has many people out of debt and flush with cash, enabling them to take in deadbeat relatives and friends.

    11. Then maybe your friends should stop letting illegals swarm in by the millions. Wages were on an upwards trajectory before Biden assumed office.

      You are literally supporting someone who is working in direct opposition to your goals.

    12. Many workers aren’t worth higher pay and produce no commensurate increase in productivity. If you raise the base wage, you either A) exclude low or unskilled workers, B) raise prices or C) go out of business.

      There is no magical MMT tree. It all goes and comes from somewhere.

  10. >>have we entered a new paradigm?

    Simpsons destroyed people who use “paradigm” in The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show episode in 1997

    1. Aren’t you being a little proactive?

  11. The federal government ROBBED everyone and ran a credit card debt the future will probably never pay for………………..

    So no-one needed to go to work….

    How STUPID can political discussion get?
    And in other news; We don’t understand why the lottery winner isn’t still coming to work.

  12. “For reasons we don’t understand well,”

    Who is this “we” you speak of?

    1. The [WE] foundation (i.e. Nazi-Regime, lefties, DNC) who has indoctrinated willful ignorance into the people so bad they can no longer even equate.

      VALUE = WEALTH
      but instead are led to believe.
      Gov-Guns = Wealth (Ya know… Like Criminals of a Nazi-Regime).

  13. Maybe that 194,000 were the last employable people left in the USA.

    The rest either don’t want jobs or are retarded.

    1. Or are employed in the underground economy.

    2. turd lies. It’s what turd does. If turd posts it and it isn;t a lie, it was a mistake.
      turd is a pathological liar, entirely too stupid to even know he’s lying and that others are well familiar with hit lying.
      turd lies; it’s what he does.

  14. Here’s an idea, cut spending and stop printing money.

    1. Stop conquering and consuming??

      1. Or, do more and better conquering. We keep conquering and then leaving with no booty.

        1. Problem with that strategy, you eventually run out of other people’s booty.

          1. In the long run, the sun will explode and Earth will be incinerated.

        2. Exactly; we should have kept Cam Ranh Bay like we kept Guantanamo. Imagine the happy citizens if we demanded a piece of the poppy fields to leave Afghanistan.

        3. Other countries should pay tribute, or else……..

  15. The Illegitimate Xiden Regime is doing everything possible to Destroy The United States.
    The willfully ignorant folks who support the Xiden regime are aiding and abetting The Treason against The Citizens of The United States that is being committed daily via this dictator’s policies.
    The job situation would be solved if the Unconstitutional jab and mask mandates were removed. Giving lazy people extra unemployment contributed to keeping folks out of the work force. Firing people that were ” Heroes ” who worked last year when there was no vaccine now because they can’t/won’t get a forced jab is the nail in the coffin for Freedom in The United States. TheXiden regime is the winner of stupid, dangerous polices that turn everything they touch into a dumpster fire of crap.

    1. If they are so stupid, how come they “won”, and rule us now?

      1. Replace “stupid” with “evil”.

      2. They promised no more mean tweets.

        1. I don’t know anyone who didn’t vote for Trump because of his tweets.

          It’s because he was incompetent(Biden is too) and was willing to do anything to hang on to power.

          Keep using that straw mean though. Just like your fascist pals.

          1. S…t…r…e…t…c…h…i…n…g…

            Nope, you didn’t get there.

            1. Good luck with that asshole.

            2. Was KAR trying to fit something enormous into his ass again? Stretching all the way up to that 3 liter bottle?

                1. No WAY I’m clicking on that.

                  1. It is just a little prick

                    1. Just the tip?

                    2. I like it when you inbred hicks talk shit about me.

                      Reminds me how superior I am to you Trump worshipping dildos

                2. “I was minding my own business when…”

                  LOL, you found Buttplug.

          2. So people didn’t vote for him because of how he behaved after the election? That’s dumb even for you Karen.

            1. No he has been bitching about “fraud” since before 2016. He said he should get a third term.

                1. Ok stupid fucking redneck

                  1. Asshole flags, a bunch!
                    Fuck off and die, asshole.

                2. If you lived where he does, you’d prefer fantasyland too.

                  1. Better than whatever rural shithole you call home you racist piece of shit hillbilly

      3. Fortified elections. They won’t stop until they get the 98% saddam enjoyed.

  16. Why go out and work hard for years only to have everything you worked for taken away? Think about it you work two jobs save your money and then at someone’s whim your out of work and lose your savings. Who would be stupid enough to try it again?

    1. The guy who works at Walmart knows where the cameras are, making it easy for him to steal. That doesn’t make him brilliant, it just means he knows the system.

      1. This was supposed to be a response to Longtobefree :/

  17. Look how nicely this thread has gone without Sevo here to shit-post!

    1. Not just Sevo, but the entire tu quoque brigade. I’ve got the dickholes on mute, and I’m not seeing great swathes of grey.

      People talked about ideas instead of people. Pretty rad.

      1. Except for Spb, but you are cool with it.

        1. Except for sarc and turd; lying about the economy isn’t ‘talking about ideas’; it’s bullshitting each other.

      2. Victim mode activated!

      3. You’re oaks with a self proclaimed child molester. You must be very proud.

    2. Go easy on Sevo. He’s like a million years old.

        1. Sevo wears his MAGA cap like a crown
          He calls his boy Jesus
          Cause he likes The Grand Old Party
          And he lends him to the biggest creep around

          Sevo, Sevo needs his money
          Doesn’t have a lot they say
          He spends his days begging
          Under a bridge down by the San Fran Bay.

          He was born a troll for The Donald on Christmas Day
          When the New York Times said your god is dead
          The culture war’s begun
          Stephen Bannon has a son today

          And he shall be Sevo
          And he shall be a small man
          In tradition with the Party plan
          And he shall be Sevo

          Sevo sells cartoon balloons in town
          The Party business thrives
          Sevo blows up balloons all day
          sitting under the bridge watching them fly.

          1. You try too hard.

            “Splish splash I was taking a bath…”

            1. Fuck off and die, shit pile.

            2. He has asked you for pics of your kids yet?

          2. turd lies. It’s what turd does. If turd posts it and it isn;t a lie, it was a mistake.
            turd is a pathological liar, entirely too stupid to even know he’s lying and that others are well familiar with hit lying.
            turd lies; it’s what he does.

          3. Your obsession is disturbing. And you’re still an idiot.

    3. turd lies. It’s what turd does. If turd posts it and it isn;t a lie, it was a mistake.
      turd is a pathological liar, entirely too stupid to even know he’s lying and that others are well familiar with hit lying.
      turd lies; it’s what he does.

  18. Biden is trying to get us back to the “good ‘ol days” of the 1970s when income tax rates, inflation, interest rates and unemployment were all sky high. Democrats are dyslexic when it comes to sound leadership and effective, efficient economic, domestic and foreign policy.

  19. Two things your analysis either discounts or doesn’t mention:
    1) U.I. ending only the week before the numbers were collected will not instill a sense of urgency in people who have been unemployed for a year or more – if they were making more on the dole than they were from their jobs, they were likely saving money (as you noted), and are in no hurry to search for a job, so the implication that the unemployed would immediately rush back to job searching doesn’t pass the smell test, and
    2) it’s surprising that you didn’t mention the fact that these unemployed folks on U.I. also didn’t have to pay rent for more than a year, making their savings potentially substantial. Seems like that could be a strong influencing factor in their decision-making as well.

    1. 1) Enhanced UI ended in Red States up to 4 months ago.
      2) The back rent is still due. No savings accrued for the long run.

      1. So the extended UI didn’t allow savings?
        Bullshit.

  20. On what basis do you claim that child care issues are resolved? Thousands of child care centers closed in 2020 and those that remain are experiencing the same workforce problems as other low-wage employers. (Childcare workers are notoriously poorly paid.) I suspect many have decided to stay home and raise their own children instead of making lousy wages raising someone else’s.

    1. “I suspect many have decided to stay home and raise their own children instead of making lousy wages raising someone else’s.”

      And how were those children being raised when the moms went to work?

      1. They pulled them out of childcare, of course!

  21. Childcare workers are notoriously poorly paid.

    Perhaps because they have a job that can be reasonably well preformed by a 12 year-old?

    1. Janitors at fast food restaurants are notoriously underpaid…

    2. You should know. Your job can be well performed by a 12 year old working part-time.

      1. Did Chuck call you on your bullshit, Ed?

    3. Mormons lowball everyone so they can hoard their money.

  22. The expanded unemployment insurance has ended. If you were a server / bartender relying on tips, people are not dining out in high numbers and getting sub-minimum wage plus tips is a bad bargain is customers (and pay) is down, but risk and rudeness is up. Hostesses, cashiers and waitresses have been assaulted for enforcing masking rules. You can be against the rule, but don’t assault the minimum wage employee. They are doing their job.

    A high end pastry chef decided to leave the industry. She isn’t lazy. She had a bit of time to think about her future. She loved creating cakes and desserts, but the horrible hours, bad benefits and uncertainty that comes with the industry, made her decide to go back to school and get trained in something else.

    So for years, people in low paying jobs were told to get training if they want a higher paying job. So many are now doing just that.

    In the end there will be casual counter service restaurants. A lot of fast food will be automated. Nice sit down restaurants will be more expensive if they have to pay the workers a living wage.

    1. Have you ever waited tables in a nice restaurant? Tips are not an issue in any state I’ve worked in, if you’re good.

      I’d average between 20-35% tipping on total sales (more on Mimosa Sundays) and report all CCs and cash up to 18%, then it went straight to pocket. My co-workers also did rather well, if they gave a shit and worked.

      1. “My co-workers also did rather well, if they gave a shit and worked.”

        That has been my experience everywhere I have ever worked, including the “crap” jobs when I was younger. Including in retail (where I started at $0.10 over minimum wage and due to always getting extraordinary evals I double my hourly wage in just 4 years, along with 2 others who worked there).

        But apparently expecting someone to work while they are at work these days is somehow (insert your preferred “ism” here).

        1. I tip higher now because those left are working much harder.

  23. What a piece of trash opinion piece. He starts out telling us data shows extended UI didn’t affect employment but then in the last few paragraphs, changes his mind and claims it’s the biggest factor affecting employment. However, Red States stared ending extended UI in JUNE — 4 months ago. That should have had a tremendous effect by now. But it hasn’t, because such claims are nonsensical. Extended UI had little effect on employment when it was available and has zero effect since it was ended 4 months ago.

    1. “…Extended UI had little effect on employment when it was available and has zero effect since it was ended 4 months ago.”

      Strange that only some incentives cause a change in behavior to those with certain beliefs.
      Whatever you’re smoking, I don’t want it.

    2. If it made no difference, people wouldn’t have been cashing the checks.
      4 months is too soon to go back to work after a year of making almost double.

  24. Folks, quit arguing. You are wasting valuable time. I seriously advise that you go to the nearest grocery store and stock up on canned tuna, chicken, & beef, in addition to whatever other food stuffs you can find to stock your pantry.

    We aren’t coming back from this disaster anytime soon.

    FJB! and Let’s Go Brandon!

    1. Fuck Joe Biden

    2. Tend to agree.
      We are suffering from that common malaise known as a Planned Economy, resulting from allowing self-appointed tin-pot-dictators to become the planners of our economy. Plenty of folks here, correctly, pointed out that whatever the hoped-for safety gains would be far outweighed by the collateral damage from allowing those assholes control of the economy: PLANNED ECONOMIES DO NOT WORK EVERYWHERE AND ALWAYS!
      The lefty shitbags who knee-capped the economy, by and large, have zero experience in business (which does NOT include tending bar). Newsom et al, assumed that restarting businesses would be as easy as shutting them down; they are truly *that* imbecilic.
      To anyone with experience running or owning businesses, that’s laughable. In order to reopen, I have to get goods from my suppliers, who have to do the same, so ‘for the want of a nail’, businesses are currently ham-strung and likely to remain that way for quite a while.
      The actual costs of this idiocy are a long ways from being paid or even well estimated.
      Of course, this is being labeled as ‘right wing griping’ by those who have zero knowledge of the issues or treated with amazement by the same when all those ships are in the road-stead instead of at the piers; quelle surprise! What can that be the cause of that?
      YOU, you steaming pile of lefty shit! YOU are the cause or that.
      “Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.
      In the name of God, go!”

    3. Actually it is always a good idea to have a decent stock of stuff like that. Also keep your gas tank full. You never know what might happen.
      https://www.cdc.gov/cpr/zombie/index.htm

      1. Actually, it’s a very bad business practice to keep any more inventory than is absolutely required.
        But you’ve never shied from claims far removed from you area of expertise.
        I’d suggest you STFU.

  25. In short, no one can authoritatively list the single reason why workforce growth is so slow, or where all the “missing” workers are.

    No no. There is one and only one reason, depending on tribal loyalty. Nuance? Pfft that’s for sissies!

    1. jeff’s here so make a public ass of himself yet again.
      Fuck off and die, pile of lefty shit.

  26. “In reality, all three rationales probably still matter, but the disincentive of federally expanded U.I. benefits seems to have the largest effect today, even after the end of the federal programs.” This is said without any evidence and after pointing out that the U.I. benefits ended before the jobs report…..,(with the lame claim that people were saving up so they could delay returning to work a few months). This was an unbiased article until the unsupported claim that people were not working because they had saved up their benefits……
    AARP reports: “More than a quarter of all workers say COVID has prompted them to move up their retirement date, found a survey released in February by the National Institute for Retirement Security.

    Nearly 2 million older workers have left the labor force for good since the start of the pandemic, the Schwartz Center says. That means the number of older workers still employed is down by about 5 percent, compared to less than 2 percent for workers ages 35 to 54.

    The rate at which older workers continue to participate in the workforce, either by staying in their jobs or by seeking new ones, fell in January to its lowest point since the start of the pandemic, the Schwartz Center says. The Center estimates that 3 million more older workers would be working now if the pandemic did not happen.”
    So that explains 3/4 of the 4 million “missing” workers the article assumes. That leaves 1 million missing or .006 of the workforce. That is likely those who found other ways to support themselves without having to be a wage slave.

    1. “…without having to be a wage slave.”

      Certain phrases are tells regarding steaming piles of lefty shit, and that’s one, steaming pile of lefty shit.
      Losers *always* claim they are forced to be losers rather than admit they’re too damn lazy to be otherwise.
      Fuck off and die, loser.

    2. No no no. That is not the Libertarian Way (TM). This is how one must proceed in the analysis:

      1. There is no nuance allowed. Only black/white thinking is permitted. There is one and only one answer to this question, and all other answers are by definition wrong.
      2. The only correct answer that is permitted is that government screwed it all up. The government gave somewhat generous unemployment benefits for an extended period of time. That explains the entirety of the labor problems now. No other discussion permitted.
      3. All facts that contradict the above correct answer are the result of the media and/or the government lying to you and trying to manipulate you.

      1. Oh, I forgot the most important one.

        4. It is not enough that the government is at fault. One must also conclude that the government purposefully intended for this result to occur. They deliberately WANTED a broken labor market so as to impose the next authoritarian scheme waiting in the wings as a part of the long march to total socialism. It is all a part of the grand plan.

        1. Fuck off and die, steaming pile of lefty shit.

        2. You’re exactly right. Thank you for saying this!

          1. Tin-foil hats are on aisle #6.

      2. Here’s Lefty Jeffy pimping a comment that claims workers are “wage slaves”.

        Maybe that’s why he thinks people need to be ruled by experts.

    3. Yup that is what my wife did. She was working mostly because she really liked her job anyway.

  27. Call it a soft revolt of the workers….strikes are what happens when workers decide to leave work. When they decide not to go back to work, that is a soft strike by hundreds of thousands, if not a few million. Most workplaces run on totalitarian principles, so unless you are a boss, it sucks.

  28. “…Most workplaces run on totalitarian principles, so unless you are a boss, it sucks.”

    There are obvious tells regarding steaming piles of lefty shit and it is obvious you ARE a steaming pile of lefty shit.
    Hint: If you would rather not be a LOSER, steaming pile of lefty shit, get off your ass and do something.
    Or, fuck off and die; make the world a better place.

  29. The mute function is nice, but it would be better to mute the replies to muted commenters as well; seeing people feed the trolls (or feed off the trolls) doesn’t have much value.

    1. Just mute everyone, then you won’t have to worry.

  30. My wife left her job at the beginning of the pandemic and I received a promotion shortly thereafter. Like millions of other Americans, we have learned to live on less. We are healthier, happier, and our children are better cared for.

    We realized something that our parents took for granted: a two income household is neither necessary or optimal. My wife also feels inclined to give me blowjobs more often.

    1. The more you have the more you overspend. With income beyond a certain point there are diminishing returns.

  31. Everyone I know who has had Covid recently has been fully vaccinated. One was very sick for three weeks. Plenty of them had side effects from the shots, including abnormal periods. It’s way past time to stop shilling for the CDC. We know you are lying.

    1. Some of that is likely selection bias. Almost everyone I know has been vaccinated. Also there is no way to know just how sick they would have been without the vaccine. So you need to look at it in a larger population.

      You don’t need to rely on the CDC. There is a lot of other data out there.

  32. l think the biggest policy mistake was ALLOWING people who refused to take lower paying jobs to keep receiving unemployment benefits. If you were offered a job and you turned it down because it didn’t pay as much as your previous job, you should have lost your benefits. Do people think they’re too entitled to ever have to downsize and maybe have to endure a lower standard of living for a while?

  33. Also, no one should have ever been able to receive more pay via unemployment than they earned when they were on the clock. That just made it all too easy for people to become lazy and all too comfortable sucking off the government teats, but that’s what Democrats want; everyone totally dependent on the federal government to take care of all their needs. That way, no one will ever buck them or want to vote their sorry butts out.

  34. I am NOT a loser lefty by a long shot, but I do believe a valid talking point is that employers on the whole can do a much, much better job of treating their workers fairly; the way they would wish to be treated themselves.
    Not every job out there warrants a top-tier white collar salary. However, companies could be willing to operate on more than a shoestring budget and hire enough workers so they don’t have to run the few they have like rented mules. If a company has a shift that is expected to work 10-12 hours per day 6 days per week, that tells me the powers who hold the purse strings need to quit being so danged cheap and hire another shift of workers to help handle the work load. No one wants to work a job where they literally have zero “me time” to enjoy the fruits of their labors.

    Republicans have been the world’s worst at supporting laws and practices that favor top execs and crap all over the little guys who do all the work. Prime example: RIGHT TO WORK LAWS are a joke that only benefit employers. All that law does is allow them to get rid of you for no reason.

    1. I have no problems keeping a job in a right to work state. I prefer it. I am glad they are able to get rid of non productive people. And the top execs have put up with me as I am worth more than they pay me.

    2. I agree with rbike below I wish our state was more was right to work. About half of the staff in my area (everyone is union) doesn’t do anything but can’t be fired. We could burn money and be more efficient. I think it goes both ways when looking at this issue.

    3. “I am NOT a loser lefty by a long shot, but I do believe a valid talking point is that employers on the whole can do a much, much better job of treating their workers fairly; the way they would wish to be treated themselves….”

      Yes, you are.
      Don’t like the way you’re treated? Go find a new job.

    4. “I am NOT a loser lefty”

      That’s a weird thing to say. Unless you’re a lying loser lefty.

  35. I don’t know WTFs going on. The only thing I am pretty sure of is that within a few decades the Great Collapse of the ‘20s will be blamed on “the free market”.

  36. It’s Trump’s fault.

    Duh.

  37. Blaming it on unemployment insurance is just to easy. It is all Federal and State benefits from unemployment insurance to rent moratoriums to food stamps to welfare, to home heating subsidies. You can make more being poor than working. To many people figured out, it is to easy.

    Some also went underground, black market, work for cash. Why pay the government taxes if you don’t have too?

    Others like two working parents figured out after child care, a second car, and a lot of fast food to save time both parents working was a money loser, so one is now staying home.

  38. There are people who don’t want to work because they can survive without having to pay for rent and extra unemployment.

    There are people who are nervous about returning to work due to the constant pandemic porn of the corporate media.

    There are people who are leery of the vaccine and are being forced out of work.

    There are people who chose early retirement.

    There are businesses that are concerned about balancing the level of employees and the demand.

    Outside of the major box who were deemed “Essential”, many smaller businesses are navigating a very tight cash-flow versus going under.

    There are a lot of reasons why we are at the current situation, however the government is at the root of the majority of them.

    Why the government is working on bills to massively increase the amount of spending to further devalue the dollar is puzzling.

    All we need now is more inflation due to fiscal incompetency.

  39. I just saw that William Shatner died.

    1. Oops my mistake. Read the headline wrong.

  40. Why would a libertarian care? If people outside the workforce decide reading books or learning French or getting drunk and eating Cheetos are worth more to them than working at a sheet metal plant… that’s OK. Right? Their utility is increased. And people who buy sheet metal or things made from sheet metal should pay more for those things, or wait in line for them. Or whatever.

    What does it mean to be “concerned”?

    1. Perhaps because we’re paying them to do so?

  41. Unemployment insurance is a quite major challenge of today’s society. The labor market may be shifting toward a time of low growth, driven by a lack of accessible employees, for reasons we don’t fully comprehend.

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