America Is In Manufacturing Recession-CNBC, As Bad As 2009 Already

America Is In Manufacturing Recession-CNBC, As Bad As 2009 Already

Manufacturing is clearly in recession

Manufacturing and corporate profits are both in recession mode, even though the rest of the U.S. economy continues to limp along.

The latest confirmation of troubles came Monday with the Empire State manufacturing index, a gauge of New York activity that clearly shows contraction in the sector.

The November reading of -10.74 was actually a modest improvement improvement over October’s -11.36, but reflects a decline that began in September 2014, when the measure peaked at a 27.54, at that point the highest since October 2009. The numbers represent the percentage change in conditions from the previous month.

Collectively, the readings over the past month indicate the worst manufacturing climate since March 2009

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The truth of the matter is that America’s employment machine has been failing for this entire century.

As shown below, the number of non-farm labor hours utilized during the most recent quarter was only 1% higher than in the spring of 2000—-way back when Bill Clinton still had his hands on things in the Oval Office.

In short, we have gone through two business cycles and have essentially added zero new employment inputs to the US economy.  And that marks a sharp and devastating reversal of previous trends. In fact, the BLS’ own data convey an out-and-out crisis that the President should have been lamenting, not a cherry-picked simulacrum of growth based on born-again, apples-and-oranges jobs slots.

Thus, during the comparable 29 quarters after the 1990 business cycle peak (Q2 1990 to Q3 1997) non-farm labor hours had increased by 12% and during the same period of time after the 1981 peak (Q3 1981 to Q4 1988) labor hours expanded by 17 percent.  That’s what employment growth used to look like, and absolutely nothing like that has happened on Obama’s watch.

When you get right down to it, however, even labor hours do not fully capture the actual jobs disaster happening in America. That’s because we keep shedding high productivity hours in the full-time  jobs sector in favor of low-skill, low-pay gigs in bars, restaurants, Wal-Marts and temp agencies.

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