The jobs report looks good. The jobs report wasn’t as bad as anticipated. There are fewer people working, but that’s okay - the unemployment rate still dropped last month.
Are you fed up with the U.S. federal government’s “spin” and constant efforts to convince you that the labor market isn’t as bad as it seems?
At the beginning of each month, the U.S. Department of Labor tabulates the number of employment positions that were created the month before. Journalists and pundits are always eager to publicize what has come to be loosely known as the “jobs report,” with headlines that pounce on the latest unemployment rate, and a raw number of “new jobs.”
But after the initial monthly buzz about the headlines, media professionals’ interest in the labor market mostly disappears. And that’s a shame; because neither the initial jobs data or the “revised data” that gets released later in the month actually tells the full story of what is really happening.
The labor force participation rate -the percentage of the population that is either employed or actually trying to secure employment (and a figure that is at about a thirty year low right now) - largely gets ignored. So also are the under-employment rate, the rate at which full time jobs are being “converted” to part time jobs, the decline in wages, and the increase in the number of multi-job working individuals mostly all ignored as well.
And here’s another reality that gets overlooked by both our government, and the media: we are in the midst of a veritable explosion of opportunity in another sector of the labor market, but it has nothing to do with “employment” or “jobs.” It is technically referred to as “independent contract labor,” but is more frequently called, simply, “freelancing.”
Working as a “freelancer” is very different from being an employee, and nobody should attempt to enter into the freelance marketplace without first discussing it with their tax consultant and legal counsel. City, county, state and federal government agencies are hunting-down people young and old, who work as freelancers without the having proper business permits and tax collection mechanisms in place ( search “tax collector goes after 12 year old boy” online and see the pathetic news from the “conservative” state of Idaho). Don’t take this warning lightly.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.