Wednesday, August 09, 2017
Job growth was decent in July — the fourth straight month of just-OK results on that front, which probably led to high fives at the White House.But there’s something unusual in the numbers.And when I tell you what it is, you’ll understand that voter dislike of Hillary Clinton and the Russian interference in the election had little to do with why Donald Trump became president.The election turned on the amount of money voters had in their pockets.The latest revised figures from the Commerce Department showed that take-home pay and disposable income in the US haven’t nearly kept up with the job growth figures — and the trend began well before Trump took office....In addition to poor increases in disposable income, savers also can’t count on income from bank deposits. So that, too, is slowing spending.Washington originally said that disposable income grew at 1.1 percent annually in the first three months of Trump’s presidency. Now it says growth was only 0.20 percent on an annual basis.And disposable income in the second quarter, which just ended, looks like it grew at just 0.51 percent annually.The bottom line? Go ahead and cheer the July job numbers if you want, but in no way do they square with disposable income figures.Either the job figures or the disposable income numbers are wrong. Or — and this is what many people believe — all of the jobs being created are very poor-quality and poor-paying.
All those "Help Wanted" signs in store windows are for entry-level, low wage jobs like restaurant workers or shop clerks. High paying manufacturing jobs are still in the future.