Economists were disappointed on Friday. The Labor Department’s monthly job report showed that only 162,000 new jobs were added in July, short of what analysts had expected. The fact that the unemployment rate dropped to 7.4 percent didn’t cause any celebrations either because the decline was due in large part to discouraged workers dropping out of the labor force and no longer looking for work.
Once again, as has been the trend for much of the year, it was low-income jobs that made up the majority of the jobs created. While only 4,000 goods-producing jobs were added to the economy in July, 38,400 waitress and bartender jobs were added. As Zero Hedge reports, there have been 10 times more waiter and bartender jobs added to the economy this year than manufacturing jobs.
“Really we have become a nation of hamburger flippers, Wal-Mart sales associates, barmaids, checkout people and other people working at very low wages,” says Dan Alpert, managing partner at Westwood Capital. He went on to explain in an interview with Yahoo! Finance that when people come off unemployment, which works out to about $12 an hour when you include food stamps, and they go and get a job that only pays $15 an hour, the economy isn’t going to grow: “A $15 wage to work has no impact … you’re not increasing consumption or the ability [of workers] to go out and buy stuff.”
One of the most concerning trends is the continued slowdown of the manufacturing sector. The Labor Department’s report noted, “Manufacturing employment was essentially unchanged in July and has changed little, on net, over the past 12 months.” Only 18,000 factory jobs have been created in the previous year.
Not only are the jobs being created low-paying ones, many of them are part-time as well. The New York Post reported that 70 percent of the jobs created so far in 2013 are part-time jobs. Other news outlets have reported that up to 77 percent of the jobs created this year have been part-time jobs.
Instead of finding out why so many jobs are low paying, politicians and community organizers are now pushing to simply legislate higher wages. Last week, a few thousand fast-food workers went on strike in seven cities across the U.S. in demand that some fast food chains raise their minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour.
If it were only that simple. The first thing to result from legislating a higher minimum wage is that unemployment will increase. Any companies that are barely profitable at current wages, will go out of business. Other businesses will choose to automate jobs, and lay off employees. Businesses that are able, will pass on cost increases to consumers—which will leave consumers with less money to spend elsewhere, and thus hurting other companies. In other words, raising minimum wages creates more unemployment, which hurts poor people—the exact opposite of what is intended.
While low-paying jobs are better than no jobs, the economy isn’t going to surge forward any time soon if low-wage, part-time jobs are the only kind being created. America needs to get back to creating products of value that other people want, especially products that can be sold to foreign nations. Politicians and community organizers need to get out of the way so that people can get back to producing.
Sadly, the current trend isn’t about to change. Bible prophecy says the economy is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better.
The simple truth is that America has lost the single most important thing that made it great. American ingenuity, resilience, and manufacturing prowess were all factors in America becoming the most prosperous nation in the world, but they were not the most important. It was God who provided America with its greatness and abundance of wealth. Now that same God is allowing those blessings to be replaced with curses because America has refused to keep the laws that He commands. You can learn more about that in our book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.
But there is good news in all of this. All of these financial woes precede the greatest event in the history of the universe: the return of Jesus Christ to this Earth to bring blessings and financial prosperity to all men. You can read about that incredibly hopeful and prosperous world in The Wonderful World Tomorrow. ▪