Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: January 24, 2013

Economic Statistics for 24 Jan 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

Initial jobless claims supposedly fell 5,000 to 330,000 for the week. Supposedly, because three states, including California, are merely estimates. Apparently the states didn’t get their number in on time. So, we are, according to the official data, at a 5-year low for unemployment claims. The 4-week average dropped to 351,750, and continuing claims reportedly fell 71,000 to 3.157 million, another 4.5 year low.

The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index fell to -2 in January, down 1 point from December.

The Conference Board’s index of leading indicators rose a sharp 0.5% in December, supposedly showing a nice economic surge in another 6 months or so, but this index has been very volatile of late.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index inched to a 3-month low of -36.4.

The PMI Manufacturing Index Flash is contradicting all the regional Fed reports, showing at 56.1 for January, up two points from December.

Dale Franks
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Union membership continues to decline

Yup, it is on a downward spiral.  When actually given a choice (you know, the thing the left claims everyone should have?), many people opt out:

Government figures released Wednesday showed union membership declined from 11.8 percent to 11.3 percent of the workforce, another blow to a labor movement already stretched thin by battles in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and other states to curb bargaining rights and weaken union clout.

Overall membership fell by about 400,000 workers to 14.4 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than half the loss, about 234,000, came from government workers, including teachers, firefighters and public administrators.

Funny that.  We talk about monopolies, but monopolies don’t work when government doesn’t prop them up, and, as pointed out, when government withdraws its sanction and force, when real choice is allowed, people will opt out.

And, of course, it’s not just the government sector where unions are losing members:

But unions also saw losses in the private sector even as the economy created 1.8 million new jobs in 2012. That membership rate fell from 6.9 percent to 6.6 percent, a troubling sign for the future of organized labor, as job growth generally has taken place at nonunion companies.

Unions are an anachronism … they just won’t admit it yet.  And, for the next 4 years at least, they’re still going to have political power because of who is in the White House.

But as more and more states become right to work, and the jobless see employers migrating to those states, I think the “market” will take care of itself – if the government will let it.