Jobless Disappoints

The weekly jobless claims and inflation report this morning sparked a testy exchange on CNBC’s Squawkbox. Claims were up 15,000 to 382,000 from an upward revision (how many times have I typed that?) of 367,000. The PPI, producer price index, which is a measure of inflation, was up a whopping 1.7. It was “expected” to be 1.2 and is a contrast to July’s .3. This prompted reporter Rick Santelli to call it “disturbing.”

Then when Joe Kernan asked liberal shill Steve Liesman a simple question, things got hot.

Noting that we have two more jobs reports before the election, Kernan said, “You see something like this (the rising claims) and you saw the labor participation rate fall – we talked about it earlier – has not necessarily been a lot of job growth, but a lot of people leaving the work force and I’m not saying they do it on purpose or there’s a conspiracy, I’m not saying that today, but how many times can you go back to that well to count on getting under 8% by November – how many times can you go back to that well without having the actual growth? Aren’t we getting close to the point where you can’t keep doing it that way?”

Liesman then said, “I guess there’s a limit to how low it can fall.” He then went on to say, as an explanation, that half the people leaving are retiring and others are coming back to look for jobs. It was hardly addressing the issue and Kernan wasn’t finished with the labor picture.

He turned to Santelli monitoring numbers are the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. “Rick, what I was talking to Steve about, if you add back all those people, we’re at 11%, if you go back to the former participation rate, if you use U-6 we’re at 14.7%, how long can we keep saying the private sector’s doing fine?”

Santelli: “When you have the head of the Federal Reserve in testimony on Capitol Hill, talking at Jackson Hole, somewhat optimistic about the employment improvement without talking about the drop in the labor force participation rate, I rest my case. Here’s a man that is as well educated as they come, he goes in front and tries to talk us into these notions that are impossible to prove – how his programs are having an effect – which no independent research can back up, but then everybody in the real world is looking at the labor force participation rate – the lowest since 1981 – he talks about how his programs are improving employment, he should be talking about quantitative 2 + 2 = 4. He doesn’t. He’s not wrong, he picks his priorities in a way that he wants to put forth furthering the football and they don’t.”

Liesman then went on to admit “Rick is overstating the case although there is some truth in it.”

I’ll say. No wonder we’re in the economic mess we’re in. It’s all about politics for the liberals and not true economic growth.

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