Got a job? If you are like many millennials, you don't, despite of the government's assurance that the economy is improving.
Last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the nation added 162,000 jobs. This follows Obama's claim that he has created 4.5 million private sector jobs, "more during the entire seven years before this crisis."
What could be wrong with 4.5 million jobs? FactCheck.Org challenged Obama's claim that he has created 4.5 million jobs on the basis that his figures are not based on his full term. The figures cherry-pick the bottom of the recession as a baseline, thus ignoring the nearly 4.5 million jobs that were lost during his first year in office. If you include government jobs, the nation has lost more than 400,000 jobs since Obama took office.
PolicyMic has many articles covering how the raw jobs numbers do not match up well with the jobs picture for millennials. Rory Anderson's article looks at the number of millennials who have stopped looking for work. Catherine Ruetschlin's article discusses the under-employment in millennials.
One thing that I would like to add is that not all jobs are created equal.
The number of jobs is a poor raw indicator of the economy. If someone loses a job in manufacturing that pays $39,000 and takes two part-time jobs to survive, the jobs numbers suggest that the economy has created a job even though two halves do not make a whole. AP reports that part-time work accounted for more than 77% of the positions employers added this year. Only 22% of the jobs are in mid-paying industries. In the net, employers are not investing capital in new employees.
The economy is not producing jobs for anyone. The jobs that it is producing are not stable, and demonstrate a lack of commitment by business. Millennials are immediately downstream of this mix because they are just entering the job market. They lack the seniority that can enable a worker to maintain a job through a downturn. As millennials enter the job market, they largely get to pick from what jobs are being created, part-time low wage work.
These job dynamics have long-term consequences on the economy, dealing with birth rates and home buying. They have serious consequences on the health of government programs like Social Security. Mostly, millennials are not acquiring job skills that will help them advance in the job market.
Meanwhile, the Department Of Labor is hiring people for their rose-colored glass division.