Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

November 24, 2013

MICHAEL HICKS: Labor market and QE3

Sign of positive jobs report is a decline in stock prices.

Each month I am perplexed by silly interpre-tations of the jobs report that pop up around otherwise respectable news outlets around the country. The last one was a perfect example: With the economy creating 204,000 jobs, several reporters claimed U.S. stocks were buoyed by a good jobs report. That is where the silliness begins. Firstly, the jobs report was downright rotten. Secondly, were the jobs numbers actually good, stocks would be likely to decline in anticipation of the Federal Reserve ending its $85 billion-a-month purchase of bonds and mortgages.

At first blush 200,000 new jobs would be welcomed news, as it is almost half the number of monthly jobs we need to be seeing each month to return our labor markets to normalcy by the end of the decade. Alas, the Department of Labor publishes much more detailed data each month, and in that lurks dark shadows of a still stagnant economy. Last month more than 700,000 folks quit looking for work — more than three times the number who found jobs. Of those 200,000 net new job-holders, more than 6 in 10 had to settle for part-time jobs because of a weak economy. In normal times that number is something like 1 in 20.

Overall, part-time employment is dropping, but that is because more people who voluntarily work part time are moving to full-time positions. A healthy economy should have lots of folks who choose to work part time in order to have time to take care of family, to attend school or to pursue other passions. For more than 220,000 workers to shift to full time in one month is likely evidence of heightened financial distress in many families.

Overall, part-time employment is holding steady, allowing Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to dismiss reporters who question whether the Affordable Care Act is weakening labor markets. Her economic analysis isn’t any better than her management of website development. So far this year, the majority of new jobs have been part-time positions to workers who want to work full time, while just last month more than 200,000 voluntary part-time workers shifted to full-time work. This is a sign labor markets are weak and weakening.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • DAN COATS: New Harmony marks its 200th anniversary Situated between St. Louis and Louisville, New Harmony is a small town in southwest Indiana smaller than 1 square mile in area. Fewer than 1,000 Hoosiers call this serene Posey County community home.Despite its size, the town has monumental significa

    July 31, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: Let's put lethal injection to sleep

    It was only a matter of time before this happened again; and I’m sad to say I’m not surprised at all.
    On July 22, the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for the killing of Arizona death row inmate James R. Wood III, who had filed suit requesting a delay until the state revealed the details of the drugs that would be used to end his life.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • ANDREA NEAL: Fleeting canal era had lasting impact on state Editor’s note: This is one in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. In 1825, the Erie Canal was completed to great fanfare. Cannon fire, parades, balls and speeches celebrated the speed and ski

    July 30, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Pence, Bayh crowd field with questions In the 2016 political landscape, a pair of the state's political big dogs -- Republican Gov. Mike Pence and former Democratic U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh -- have potential candidates holding their breath and waiting on them. Until Pence says otherwise, he's

    July 29, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: All things Hillary are not news, just distractions This column has nothing to do with who should or will win the presidential election in 2016. It has nothing to do with partisan politics of any flavor. This column does, however, assess how television is oversaturating the "news" agenda with countles

    July 29, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: World is rising up to meet Putin's thuggery Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my papers and note pads

    July 28, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with

    July 28, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Happy marriages do not just happen My wife, Marylu, and I met through a mutual friend. My wife had been involved with Campus Crusade at her university, where my friend, Norman, also attended. One Christmas break, Norman invited his friends from church (including me) to a party — along

    July 27, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Truth about inflation Almost nothing in economics seems to confuse people as much as monetary inflation. That confusion leaves an intellectual void into which some of the least credible ideas of the modern world crawl.Goods and services typically have a price dictated in

    July 27, 2014

  • RAY DAY: Some laws will do us in In my opinion, we have made laws that are contrary to what they were intended. And this writer is going to let you in on his thoughts about them. One of the things that has been processed incorrectly is the child abuse law. When you tell the parent h

    July 26, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller