American Job Bears Have Embarrassed Themselves In This Cycle


One of my motivations for writing a blog and posting economic charts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn every day, is to provide a source of factual  information, opposed to the self-serving, propaganda that is regularly spewed from numerous internet “news” sources in the last 8 years.

To be blunt, the information coming from economic bears on either the extreme left or right, has been horribly wrong during this cycle. Take, for example, the Russian Troll bots that promote fake economic stories such as 42% unemployment rates, 96 million people looking for jobs and all jobs being part-time. I see these stories on T.V. and on twitter as well. Beware, too, the character actors promoting controversial economic theories and even Twitter Finance, which features some reliable economic analysts but a few are too brainwashed by their own political and economic ideologies to see and report the real story.

The reality is a lot people failed in this cycle because they were peddling junk websites, wanted people to click their own work, pandering to T.V. who needs character actors to promote controversial economic theories or twitter finance which itself has capable economic people but some are simply tied to their own ideological beliefs to tell you the real story.

Here are some of the wholly unsubstantiated stories that I have seen reported in the past several years:

1. Some are saying that ninety-six million Americans are looking for work.  These millions of Americans apparently sat home playing video games, collecting disability or  living off welfare and for the last 8 years, while also looking for work. In truth, we have had 92 straight months of job gains.  The previous record of 48 months is about to be doubled with over 155,000,000 working Americans.

From Doug Short:


2. Some were saying that the low unemployment claims are fake – and that millions and millions Americans are not working or collecting unemployment benefits because they simply have given up. Unemployment claims vs civilian labor is at all time lows.

From Doug Short:

3. Prime age labor force is not back to 2000 levels. This is a shame on twitter finance, frankly. While I understand the macro implications of this data line and use it often myself , the obsession over this data line has created a lot bad macro theories.  Come one people we have over 155,000,000 people working and we are talking about only 1.4 million people from this data line since 2007 and 3.4 million since 2000 with a unique demographic patch in this cycle. Bless the hearts of those who do use the adjustment to demographics while talking about this data line.

From Doug Short:


4.  Some are saying that education doesn’t matter for economic success.  Apparently any and everyone can be a plumber and all college grads are working at Starbucks. In truth, Starbucks has less than 200K employees in the U.S. Further, we do have a lot plumbers and other trade workers for decades now.

Unemployment rate and educational attainment

5.4% Less than High School Diploma

3.9% High School Graduate, No College
2.0% Bachelor’s degree and higher

June education and jobs

In truth, we already have had the longest job expansion on record and by next year will have had the longest economic expansion ever on record.  This means, for the first time ever in U.S. history, we will set these two records in the same economic cycle. We have the choice to listen to the extreme left and right on social media calling for an epic world crash and thus live in fear and despair or join the rest of us in the real world who simply move on with our lives, work, raise our families, smile occasionally and survive.

Enough of the preamble – Let’s get on to  the Jobs Report!

Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported jobs data for May 2018. Payroll jobs grew to 223,000 which means that the longest job expansion streak continues, now for 92 months.  The job number beat expectations and we had positive revisions of the data from the previous reports.

The employment outlook for 2018 has started off a lot better than even I expected. It will be amazing if we finish the year anywhere near 200K job gains per month, at this stage of the economic expansion. Currently we are trending at 207K per month. This is an exceptional number, unless you are Rick Santelli who believes that we have 96,000,000 people looking for the work and this number will increase for many years to come.

Previously I wrote

“For 2018 I am predicting monthly job creation numbers in the 157,000 – 129,000 range, which is still well above population growth, but lower than last year. With over 6,000,000 job openings in play that number should be attainable.”

From BLS:

“Total non farm payroll employment increased by 223,000 in May, and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up in several industries, including retail trade, health care, and construction.”

This a breakdown of the jobs created for this last month.

From BLS:


This is a look at the wage breakdown for previous month.

From BLS:

Jobs Wage Breakdown

Wages, in general, are growing  and have been higher than headline and core inflation for some time now.

From the Atlanta Fed:

JUne AT wage tracker

Atlanta Fed:

4% wage growth for Job switcher, 2.9%  wage growth for Job stayer


Job growth continues to outperform my expectations.   The fact that we are producing more than double the amount of jobs needed for population growth is a solid reflection of our American work ethic, especially considering the duration of this economic cycle.

We have over 155,000,000 Americans working, the longest job expansion ever on record, low unemployment claims and still have a massive number of job openings. Today, the U6 Unemployment Rate broke below prerecessions lows.

From Doug Short:


few questions for my Americanbashing friends out thereDid you really (I mean really)  think that we had 96,000,000 people looking for work? Did you really think that rising federal debt was going to bring the end of the American empire?  Did you really believe that all Americans are poor or just a few dollars away from poverty?  Or were you just saying that so you could sell your solid gold bit coins and industrial sized containers of Dinty Moore beef stew to stock your bomb shelters?  Tell the truth now, for once…

Tsk Tsk….. when the next recession comes and it will, I am sure you and all your trolls, orcs and goblins will 
crawl out of your caves to say  “We told you!”  But you still won’t be right.  The next  recession will not be the end of the world and not even the end of America – it will just be the next recession, followed  by the next recovery.  So stop embarrassing yourselves I don’t care how much money you’re making from your lies —  it’s not worth  the cost of your soul.  

(below) explaining why federal debt hasn’t ended America at a recent conference.


Logan Mohtashami is a financial writer and blogger covering the U.S. economy with a specialization in the housing marketLogan Mohtashami is a senior loan officer at AMC Lending Group,  which has been providing mortgage services for California residents since 1987. Logan also tracks all economic data  daily on his own facebook page

10 thoughts

  1. Hi Logan,

    According to the latest BLS data (May 2018), the population of working age Americans (i.e. people 15-64 years old) is currently 257 million.

    BLS data, however, shows that 95 million working age Americans are not working – which represents 37% of the total working age population.


    What are these 95 million working age Americans doing?

    Why has that % remained at 37% since early 2015 if we are in an economic recovery?

    Robert Campbell
    San Diego, CA

  2. Correct and I am telling you that working population data is useless as we have no evidence post 1939 that we have had a massive amount of American men not working and sitting at home since age 15 to death doing nothing

    1. By law they have too because the U.S. has over 327,000,000 people living in it. They didn’t attend or ever have said 95 million people lost their jobs and have been looking for decades.

      The last 3 recession combined lost roughly 13 million people and we have created over 18,000,000 since 2010.

      Follow the civilian labor force not the population data.

  3. If the government doesn’t really know the total number of working class people in this country – which they report as 257 million – then how do they know there are 161 million in the civilian working class?

    And what does the labor participation rate measure then?

    1. Here is my advice for you
      A. Follow Civilian Labor Force Only
      B. Follow Prime Age Labor Force Data Only
      C. Use the Census Demographic numbers and adjust your outlook on that.

      All that shows most Americans are working and have been for a long time

  4. It seems to me that if the the total number of working class people in the country is unknown (or just a wild guess from the BLS) – then so the the number of people in the civilian labor force.

    I trust data that can be verified – and based on what you are telling me, the BLS employment data does not fall into that category and is therefore not accurrate.

    Thanks for your help Logan.

    Robert Campbell

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