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Image Credits: 44313045@N08, Flickr

The Bureau of Labor Statistics headline this morning reads: “Payroll employment increases by 248,000 in September; unemployment rate declines to 5.9%.”

How can this be? As I reported yesterday, US corporations are investing in buying back their own stocks, not in new business ventures that produce new jobs.http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/10/02/poverty-report-contradicts-gdp-claims-paul-craig-roberts/

According to the Census Bureau’s Poverty Report, US real median family income has declined to the level of twenty years ago.http://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2014/demo/p60-249.pdf

Consumer credit and real retail sales are not growing. Construction is limited to rental units. Construction shows 16,000 new jobs, half of which are “specialty trade contractors” or home remodelers.

The payroll jobs report lists 35,300 new jobs in retail trade. How is this possible when J.C. Penny’s, Macy’s, Sears, and the dollar store chains are in trouble and closing stores, and shopping centers are renting space by the day or hour?

At a time when there is a surfeit of office buildings and only 500 new jobs in “heavy and civil engineering construction,” the jobs report says 6,000 new jobs have been created in “architectural and engineering services.” What work are these architects and engineers doing?

The 4,900 computer systems jobs, if they exist, are likely short-term contracts from 6 to 18 months. Those who have the jobs are not employees but “independent contractors.”

The payroll jobs report gives an unusually high number–81,000–of “professional and business services” jobs of which 60,000 are “administrative and waste services,” primarily “temporary help services.”

Written by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
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