The Economy in Context: December 2018

There is so much to unpack this month of economic news, the last of 2018, which, itself, promises to be a significant month economically and otherwise. The first bit of news has to be the stock market nasty tumble on Friday, ending a turbulent week of trading which saw a loss of 1,500 points from the Dow high on Tuesday.

Now, I’m not going to get into the ridiculousness of the stock market bouncing up and down in reaction to the words of the president rather than the performance of the companies, but that is, indeed, what happened this week. In their defense, however, the president’s misbegotten policies are presently the biggest factors in the market today.

And the impact of those policies is being felt throughout the economy, as the latest jobs report demonstrates. Let’s start with labor force participation, stuck in November at 62.9% where it’s been since October, and where it was the day Obama left office almost two years ago, and below even Jimmy Carter’s last year average of 63.88%.

United States Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor Force Participation Rate (tradingeconomics.com)

As far as net jobs created, the economy created 155,000 net jobs created in November significantly underperformed both the average of the last five years of November job numbers of 236,000 and Obama’s second term average of 241,000. While not “bad”, it isn’t what Trump described as “great” either, so let’s call it “mediocre”.

And the bloom has once again come off of the jobs report rose. The strong August number of 250,000 net jobs created was bumped down to 237,000, and the weak September number of 118,000 net jobs number was nudged up to a weak 119,000. Altogether, this was a net reduction of 12,000 jobs for the two months.

United States Non Farm Payrolls
Non Farm Payrolls (tradingeconomics.com)

One final point, the debt load of the United States continues to go up. While both parties having their turn at controlling both the legislative and executive, both seemed to have forgotten to do anything about it when they had the chance. The day the United States Dollar is usurped as the reserve currency, our economy is going to collapse.

United States Government Debt
Government Debt (tradingeconomics.com)

That is unless someone has the guts to finally do something about it.


Liberty is For The Win!

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