The U.S. Labor Department just released the latest "labor productivity" numbers...and economists were once again shocked. Labor productivity declined half a percent, the third straight quarter of economic decline.
Why is that important? Labor productivity is our best signal of economic health....it is tied directly to a nation's Gross National Product (GDP). And without growth in GDP our wages remain stagnant, as does the economy that relies on a worker's wages for robust economic activity.
Now you would not know this, judging from Barack Obama's monthly trot out to the Rose Garden, a big smile on his face as he touts that 4.9 unemployment rate. Of course Barry doesn't tell you that the labor participation rate sits at all time lows, our economy now producing 30 hour work weeks from the millions of part time jobs, made part time by Barry's now failing Obamacare program. Employers simply refuse to hire full time because doing so imposes such high employer costs for health care.
The productivity numbers are even more telling. Even as labor costs soared we didn't get any better production for that higher labor rate. Even as Chicago and New York and Seattle and San Francisco and Los Angeles, and the dozens of other liberal bastions have imposed higher minimum wage rates, productivity has not gotten any better. Those $15 dollar per hour burger flippers didn't get any more ambitious, or work any harder to earn their higher salaries.
Those economists, not relying on a government grant, or federal paycheck, will tell you that we will never improve the economy as long as those 93 million people who left the work force, remain at home, sitting on the couch and collecting unemployment checks.
We kind of knew the numbers wouldn't be good, right? Last month we learned that our trade deficit with our trading partners has declined by another $37 billion last month. Our manufacturing jobs continue to go overseas, and our prime economic activity seems to be in the service sector....as we shine each others shoes, sell cheap plastic stuff made in China over at the local Walmart, and service the Japanese made cars down at the Honda dealership.
And through it all, the American worker has seen his pay frozen in time, with no real pay increases in the last seven years.
Don't expect Barack Obama to trot out to the Rose Garden on this number folks...it's ugly and getting uglier.