[Marxism] The "improving" economy

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat May 3 08:10:42 MDT 2014


NY Times, May 3 2014
Jump in Payrolls Is Seen as a Sign of New Optimism
By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ

After a frustrating series of false starts since the economic recovery 
began five years ago, American businesses appear to be increasingly 
confident about hiring new workers.

In the best monthly showing in more than two years, employers added 
288,000 jobs in April, the Labor Department said on Friday, representing 
three consecutive months in which payrolls grew by more than 200,000. 
The report, combined with other recent data, suggests the economy is 
poised to expand at a faster pace in the coming months, after a slow 
start in the depths of winter.

Despite the big jump in payrolls, wages did not grow at all in April, 
illustrating why so many Americans remain doubtful that they will 
benefit from what both the Federal Reserve and the White House see as 
evidence of a resurgent economy.

Even a sharp drop in the nation’s unemployment rate, to 6.3 percent from 
March’s 6.7 percent, provided little cause for celebration, since it was 
primarily because of a large decline in the number of people 
participating in the labor force rather than an increase in the number 
of Americans telling government survey workers that they had found a new 
job.

As a result, even as President Obama sought to seize on the upswing in 
the job market as evidence that his policies are working, he continues 
to struggle to capitalize politically on the improving economy.

Although the unemployment rate is at the lowest level of Mr. Obama’s 
presidency, his job approval rating is also near a record low.

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The feeble participation rate, which reflects the share of all 
working-age adults with a job or actively looking for one, suggests a 
sizable amount of slack remains in the labor force, helping keep wage 
gains modest because employers know they can appeal to a wide range of 
applicants when they have new jobs to offer.

But many companies draw from a relatively specialized pool, which is 
good for those with appropriate skills but limits the possibilities for 
those who are out of work.

Take the case of Synchronoss Technologies, a maker of software for cloud 
computing and mobile communication. The company, based in Bridgewater, 
N.J., is looking to hire roughly 150 workers in the next few months, 
many of them in positions like software development and engineering that 
start at $75,000 to $100,000. More senior positions pay $150,000 to 
$200,000.

Most of those jobs require specialized skills and usually go to people 
with extensive experience who are nearly all currently employed or to 
college students and former interns.

“We could get 50 résumés for a position and two to four of those people 
will be brought in for interviews,” said Stephen Waldis, Synchronoss’s 
founder and chief executive. “If we’re lucky, that might yield one hire.”





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