Missouri Labor Market Grinds to Halt

It is going to take more than a little grease to get things going, which means it is probably time for an overhaul.

It will be tough, if not impossible, to put a positive spin on the newest jobless numers for Missouri.

The number of employees in the labor force fell by 22,541 in May compared to the same month last year, according to new data released after Missouri Journal filed a Sunshine Law request.

While the unemployment rate remained the same at 7.3 percent throughout May, nonfarm payrolls across the state fell by 7,300 during last month.

As Missouri Journal first reported last month, more people in the state started jobs than left the labor force for the first time this year during April.

In May, however, more people throughout the state lost their jobs than exited the labor force.

People often ask me what I think needs to be done to turn around the labor market in the state.

They are also curious as to why it is necessary to file a Sunshine Law request to get the labor data.

I usually respond that it would be a helpful start if the Missouri Department of Economic Development would provide the labor data along with the press release touting "job creation" by the government.

But it goes beyond that. While openness would help, the gears have ground to a halt and it is going to take more than a little grease to get things going, which means it is probably time for an overhaul.

I am not, however, calling for any more government solutions. We've had enough of those for as long as I can remember. Instead, for once, I would like businesses to be allowed to take care of business.

(Side note: This also means businesses need to stop asking for government handouts.)

Besides, as I wrote on last month, . It is the issue to campaign on this election season. But when they call themselves job creators, ask them how they're creating jobs.

Wouldn't it be refreshing to hear a politician, at least once, admit that he or she would likely do more to help improve the economy by staying out of the way, not intervening and not mucking anything up.

Maybe this is why I report about the economy instead of writing public policy or running for office.

By Brian R. Hookbrhook@missourijournal.com, (314) 482-7944

Hook is editor of Missouri Journal, which tracks the economy across the Show-Me State

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Doug Beck June 15, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Staying out of the way is how we got in this mess in the first place. Austerity measures is what is mucking up the economy and that is just a fact. The term job creator, really gets my blood flowing. The term is miss used mostly by so called business men. Jobs are created in large part by the middle class when they have good paying jobs and extra money to spend.
Brian R. Hook June 15, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Just to clarify, I am not saying Republicans or Democrats are good at "staying out of the way." Therefore, I wouldn't say it "is how we got into this mess," since both intervene. Some politicians, however, are better at colluding with big business and lobbyists than others, which is also not helpful. - BRH
Devon Seddon June 15, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Sorry Doug, Staying out of the way didn't cause employers to shut down, down-size, or move out of the country. Over-regulation, failed "solutions", and the highest corporate tax-rate in the world (as of April) is what has caused it. Ask Ford & Chrysler. Anyone who believes that the government has the abilility to 'create jobs', has the same misunderstanding of business & the economy that they do. Only businesses that can afford to do business can create jobs. Big business is not your enemy Doug, it's government interference in big business. Worse, it's when the government gets in bed with these businesses, like AIG, Goldmann-Sachs & Solyndra, or the new 'health-care law' which doesn't bother fixing what's wrong with the system, but simply puts it's hands further into the money-pot. Again, I'm sorry, but you've apparently been misinformed because that isn't a fact at all. Government over-involvement, using taxes to manipulate who does business & who doesn't, and using taxes as rewards & penalties, is where the jobs went. Ex: A government official (in a campaign ad) attacks businesses who have moved jobs overseas, when her policies are the VERY REASONS they had to go somewhere else to do business. She even says she wants to use taxes as a weapon & reward. That's when a government has overstepped it's bounds. She's admitting it, without even knowing it. Point is, your blood should boil when a politician says 'create jobs', not when people who ACTUALLY provide jobs says it.
Darrell Seabaugh June 15, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Well said Devon...you are absolutely correct!
Russ Rosener June 15, 2012 at 05:50 PM
It's too easy to blame one political party or the other. We've had both Democrats and Republicans put Wall Street ahead of Main Street with large tax payer funded bail-outs. Large Corporations will do what's best for their profits and shareholders; that is what they do and they will follow those profits without regard for the State, the Nation, or its citizens. It's simply their nature. So what to do? Perhaps instead of pouring money into Large Wall street banks who destroyed the economy the Federal government could lend cash to states who have proven to be fiscally responsible (That would exclude States like Illinois and California). Perhaps instead of raising corporate taxes the Feds should mandate the EVERY overseas worker employed by a U.S. Corporation should have Social Security taxes paid into the system FOR that employee? There seem to be no shortage of Fair solutions. Whether our elected politicians can turn down the bribes from Lobbyists and do what is best for America is the real blockade to economic growth for the majority of Americans....
Devon Seddon June 15, 2012 at 06:56 PM
OR maybe instead of giving back money that they got from the states in the first place, they could just not collect it at all. What sense does it make to invite the world's most wasteful CONSUMER into these situations to become a 'middle-man'? It will never result in MORE money going anywhere except their money-pit. Again, we're suggesting taxes be used as rewards, penalties and incentives. What you're really doing is using taxes to 'extort' the states that provided them. Lobbyists, should be illegal. If you asked most people who 'Big Business' supports, they'd be DEAD wrong. Goldmann-Sachs, Microsoft, Google, JP Morgan Chase, Citi-Group, Time-Warner, General Electric, Morgan Stanley, George Soros, Geffen, Warren Buffet... those are just SOME of the Big Businesses (Monopolies & Inside-Traders) who have the current government in their pockets. See through the conditioning. Make them prove thier statements. Ex: "We can't just drill our way to lower gas prices." (followed by laughter & applause) When actually... -$100/barrel earned instead of spent ($200 turn-around per barrel) -adding supply lowers demand & price -stop buying the only thing of value that the Middle-East has -devalue that product -stop funding wars AGAINST you by no longer buying their only asset, leaving them with an innability to fund said war Right now, we are funding our enemies in a pair of wars that have gone on way too long. How is that better? Make them back-up their claims. Please Think.
Russ Rosener June 15, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Devon while I agree that income taxes are of questionable legality according to the Constitution; unfortunately they're not going away soon. No one likes to pay them, yet EVERYONE (governments in particular) like the benefits they can provide if spent wisely, such as Clean public water, Safer food supplies, education, etc.. So the question is how to get politicians to spend our money back on us, rather than on Lobbyists' interests. I do agree that Lobbying needs to be SEVERELY restricted. However it's tough to get the people taking the bribes to pass a law against bribery! This is where the New Media needs to step up to the plate and publicly shame and identify gross cases of politicians taking lobby money against the public's interest.
Devon Seddon June 16, 2012 at 03:05 AM
You pointed out the problems, but are OK with letting them go. No, this is where we start. We have to get this government in check. They are unnaccountable to no one, for anything. Everytime someone tries to reel-them-in, they say: "they want to cut Medicare", as if there aren't trillions of dollars being wasted, or collected for something that if the people and businesses had money, we wouldn't need them for. That's not even accounting for the under-the-table money used to purchase these abusers of power. It's gotten out of hand. That's where we start. I'd love to give examples, as there are TONS, but space doesn't allow. They divide us into little groups everyday, white/black, poor/rich, straight/gay, young/old, male/female, blue/red, urban/rural, _______-American, on & on & on, because they KNOW we have to unite to put a stop to it. They KNOW the power is ours if we DO unite. Don't buy their crap. Don't let them separate us. It's the only way they can continue to pull-off this charade. It's time we regulate THEM, the other way around isn't working.
Devon Seddon June 16, 2012 at 03:06 AM
should read: "accountable to no one"
Sue Rhoades June 20, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Let it be known to all politicians in this country, we are awake and we know what you've been doing. We are aware that you do not follow the Constitution and do not work for anyone but the corporate United States of America, Inc. We the people will no longer send our sons and daughters to kill and maim men women and children of other nations in order to line the elite's pockets with profits from drugs and oil. We will stand together to end the poisoning of our skies, land and bodies with Chem-trails, Fluoride, vaccines and GMO foods. We will not acquiesce to NWO governance, subservience, ideology or control. We are Americans, we are the people of the creator, free to be and to live to the best of our ability in peace and prosperity with our neighbors. We will be divided no more. Whatever secrets are still to be unearthed in regard to the great harm done not only to the people of America but the world really do not matter. We know enough to know who the criminals are, who is aiding and abetting and who to hold accountable in the end. We need no more party players, back door dealers, bankster flunkies or federal boot lickers. If our elected leaders do not wake up and honor up very soon this country is headed for a great conflagration. There are only two choices; stand with the people as you are oathed to do or accept accountability to them when it's over. And that's your big dose of truth for the day.
Jaycen Rigger June 25, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Doug Beck 8:56 am on Friday, June 15, 2012 Jobs are created in large part by the middle class when they have good paying jobs and extra money to spend. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Doug, can you explain that mechanism to me? Ever time I got a job, it was from a business. I've never had to turn in my tax, social security or private information over to a "middle class worker". Other than a few odd-jobs done "off the books", I've always been paid directly in cash, and it was a one-time gig. I don't know of a single middle-class worker who started a business by having "good paying jobs and extra money to spend". Where do you think he would spend his money? An entrepreneur must first recognize a need, and then build a business to satisfy that need. A really savvy entrepreneur will figure out how to satisfy a need many people don't even recognize they have.
Jaycen Rigger June 25, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Russ, I agree with most of your comment, until you get to "...the Federal government could lend cash to states who have proven to..." The federal government should just get out of business altogether. Let businesses, states and municipalities sink or swim on their own. Only through the pain of failure can you force people to change their bad behaviors. Otherwise, what motivation exists? By the way, I'd also disagree that big banks ruined the economy. It was the federal government and our fractional reserve banking system that created the ripe environment for the financial disaster. The banks, as you said about corporations, only did what came naturally.
Jaycen Rigger June 25, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Amen, Devon. If the federal government weren't taking so much money from us, they'd have a lot less to spread around. The more money there is, the more potential for corruption exists. The more hands through which money flows, the easier it is to hide corruption when it exists.
Jaycen Rigger June 25, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Was anyone else bothered by the recent article talking about how the Department of Labor is about to force news agencies to write all articles regarding Labor statistics on government computers? Right now, all Labor data is sent to computers at the major news agencies. The computers and the wires that transmit the data were purchased by the news agencies from a third party. The Dept. of Labor has a master "release" switch. The data is sent out and the DOL then turns on everyone's abitlity to see it at the same time. This prevents "insider trading" based on labor data from occuring. Well, now the DOL is replacing all of those computers and all of those lines with federal equipment, and the software that will run the computers will be federally controlled, too. The federal government will have access to the news stories, including notes, as stories are written. It's scarey stuff: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/06/08/Obama-Labor-Dept-Forces-Journalists-to-Use-Government-Issued-Computers
Devon Seddon June 25, 2012 at 04:27 PM
How is this not socialism again?
Andrew Nelson June 25, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Some of the comments here suggest that people don't believe how the middle class creates jobs. There is a short simple video that explains. The video isn't perfect but it does explain the position. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBx2Y5HhplI
Larry Lazar June 25, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Did either of you do your own research on this, or did you just accept what you read on Breitbart or Fox News? Below is the link to the trancript of the press release. http://www.dol.gov/dol/media/audio/20120416-mediacall-transcript.pdf Yes, Devon, it's "Socialism".
Andrew Nelson June 25, 2012 at 05:14 PM
So our government is allowing reporters to get early access to information so that they can write articles and prepare graphs before it is made public. The only requirement is that because they are being given non public information it needs to be kept on secure government computers until public. So what?? This isn't socialism or anything of the sort. The fact that they give reporters early access and previously allowed such access on non government controlled computers is what is really scary!.. Think about it. We know that cyber-terrorism is a growing threat to the US. We know that China is working hard to steal US information. We need to be VERY VIGILANT about where we keep non public information, even if it is information that will soon be made public. I'm an IT guy so maybe I understand the security implications better than some others here.
Devon Seddon June 25, 2012 at 06:47 PM
No one says the rich shouldn't be taxed. This is the misrepresentation. The point is, people want to tax the rich to support government irresponsibility & overspending. The subject to them is always 'tax the rich'. Again, addressing the symptom, and taking advantage of the illness. How about backing down the government spending & involvement in things it doesn't understand. I've already illustrated how it doesn't understand simple supply & demand. If businesses are over-taxed, or over-regulated, they go somewhere else to do business. Again, ask Ford & Chrysler. Where'd they go? What happened to their employees? The rich are not responsible for the malfeasance of the government. See, this idea works the same for them. They collect more from the rich, but continue their poor fiscal responsibility. How does that fix anything? It doesn't, it only guarantees we have to do it again & again & again.
Devon Seddon June 25, 2012 at 07:11 PM
PS Taxing businesses also increases the price of their product - Reducing the number of customers - Reducing the need for as many employees.


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