The stock market is set to rise 12% for the month of October for those lucky ones that managed to stay in the market and ride the tidal wave to a profit. I was not one of those people that made money this year on the stock market, in fact, I lost 6% after taking it out of T-bills this year. The stock market these days is like playing slots at aLas Vegas casino, of which, I have never been very good at.
I have never understood the correlation between the stock market and the creation of jobs. It has been, since I can remember, a “jobless” recovery for the U.S. It seems that companies just keep cutting back on human capital and postponing new technology in order to make more money for their investors and executive staff. This reality has most of us ready to boycott the Whitehouse !
I try not to get involved in politics, but our U.S. policy needs to be changed. We need banks to lend money to those that have money to buy a house at fair market value. We need a reassessment on where our federal government is spending money. We need less government employee entitlements and more free market solutions. We need less talk about “creating new jobs” and more jobs created.
So, what is the state of employment in Illinois these days? I checked out some numbers to see how we have fared from April this year to September. The U.S. Bureau of labor shows some disturbing data. The unemployed rate in April was 8.7%. It is estimated to be 10% for September. In Illinois, we are losing more jobs than we are filling. Are there any growth areas in these numbers?
Yes, there are, yet most of the growth is only 2-3%, hardly enough to put people back to work. The areas that showed growth from the period April-September 2011 were in mining & lodging (+2.2%), construction (+3.8%), manufacturing (+2%), Trade/transportation/utilities (+.07%), professional/business services (+1.7%), education/health services (2.4%) and leisure/hospitality (+1%).
The government sector continued to decline by 1.5%, along with the financial sector which was down 1.7% and information technology down by 4.3%. The growth in all sectors was so sluggish that it is no wonder that the competition for jobs remains fierce. It’s as if our economy is in quicksand. We are not going to come out of this Great Recession, quickly. I am reading we are also in for a “triple-dip” in housing prices as more foreclosures hit the market.
We are in a vicious cycle, where everything we own is losing value, costs are rising for most good/services and the ability is make money is getting more difficult for most. The rich appear to be getting richer since they have cash to take risks, as the middle class struggles to keep the assets they have in tact. Our government does not appear to be taking care of the middle class by spending money on programs that actually help them, like building roads and bridges or more government sponsored training programs, instead of long-term unemployment checks that lead to welfare.
What do you think? What can we do to help our U.S. economy improve?