John Ransom

The number of people employed in the United States dropped by 496,000 in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, yet somehow, miraculously, the unemployment rate dropped a full basis point from 7.7 percent to 7.6 percent.

That’s because while the White House, the media and assorted economists kept saying “Hooray! Things are FINALLY getting better- and this time we MEAN it,” another 663,000 people dropped out of the workforce.

It’s amazing how discouraged people are during the Greatest Recovery Ever, led by the Greatest Chief Executive since Jon Corzine took over MF Global.

“Consumer confidence tumbled in March,” reports Reuters, “as Americans turned more pessimistic about economic prospects in the short term, according to a private sector report released on Tuesday. The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes fell to 59.7 from a downwardly revised 68 in February. The figure fell short of economists' expectations of 68.”

Economists want us to believe Americans are upset because Washington, DC cut spending.


"The recent sequester has created uncertainty regarding the economic outlook and, as a result, consumers are less confident," Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said in a statement.

Snort! Ha, ha!  

While the financial markets are getting $85 billion a month courtesy the Federal Reserve Bank - chasing up stock prices, oil prices, and gold prices - and Americans are paying for Obama & Company’s economic comedy show, employers added an anemic 88,000 jobs, more than 100,000 jobs worse than consensus forecasts.

95,000 private jobs were added while government shed 7,000.

“We’ve hit a wall when it comes to the job situation,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts according to Bloomberg. “The U.S. labor market had been doing very well, but it’s going back into a soft patch. One worry is that this is an early warning of the impact of the sequester, and businesses may be anticipating its full impact. It’s not going to last forever, but we could see a few months of weak job numbers.”

Ha! See what I mean? Comedy.

I hear “soft patch” and immediately whatever I’m drinking comes spewing out of my nose.

John Ransom

John Ransom’s writings on politics and finance have appeared in the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Colorado Statesman, Pajamas Media and Registered Rep Magazine amongst others. Until 9/11, Ransom worked primarily in finance as an investment executive for NYSE member firm Raymond James and Associates, JW Charles and as a new business development executive at Mutual Service Corporation. He lives in San Diego. You can follow him on twitter @bamransom.

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