I heard an interesting report on the radio today via CNBC. The good news is that ADP estimates that the U.S. economy added nearly 240,000 in December. Here’s the bad news: Retail sales are down. What I found most interesting was CNBC’s interpretation of this situation: “People have jobs, but not enough money.”
Not enough money. Progressives and liberals have been beating the drum about the economic consequences of inequality for several years. Conservatives still cling to their sacred truths about deficit reduction and tax cuts, neither of which have done much to spur the economy. What about alternatives, such as raising the minimum wage or passing a jobs program or doing more to promote manufacturing in the U.S. The solutions are out there. The rich and their allies have done a great job of concealing them or repackaging them in a way that makes working people vote against their interest. CNBC captured the problem: “Not enough money.”
Forbes examines conflicting studies about the job market. Monster says that its job posting are up 16% from a year ago. Posting have been up for eight straight months. Conversely, ADP reports that its survey shows that 39,000 jobs were lost last month, the first decline in seven months. Who should we believe?
Both could be right. Monster could be posting more jobs while there is a flood of jobs lost. The real question is: Where are we going? Things certainly aren’t as bad as they were 18 months ago. But both people and business feel uncertain. Big business have achieved record profits, but they are not expanding their companies or hiring.
My advice is to follow the 100% rule: Do you have the job you want? Do you have a job? Focus on your situation and career first. It’s easy to get confused and depressed if you read what the experts say and the conflicting studies they cite. You are not a statistic.