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Obama’s Declining Economy Falls Further on Eve of G20

Sept. 2, 2016 (EIRNS)—As high-handicap Barack Obama prepares to take his "game"—trade war and military provocations against host China—to the G20 summit in Hangzhou, his much-bragged U.S. economy is not backing him up.

Both the ADP "private sector" jobs report, and the Labor Department’s overall non-farm payrolls report for August, continued the dismal trend of reporting flat or declining goods-producing employment, month after month. The Labor Department report claimed a 151,000 total employment increase, but with a large monthly drop of 24,000 in goods-producing employment; all sectors of it fell, including construction. Mining (oil/gas/coal) has now lost 235,000 jobs in two years. Goods-producing employment is down 20,000 from August 2015, supported only by construction; manufacturing employment is down 38,000 in that time; durable goods employment down 90,000. Average weekly earnings fell, and are now just 1.5% higher than one year ago. Since 2014, in calculations made from Labor Department reports by ZeroHedge, the U.S. economy has added 520,000 waiters and bartenders and eliminated a net 13,000 manufacturing jobs.

A comment in the Sept. 2 Wall Street Journal, "The Idle Army: America’s Unworking Men," reported that about 7 million American men 25-54 years of age are "neither employed, nor in education, nor training"—nor institutionalized nor in the armed services; simply still out of the workforce.

Thus do Obama’s policies treat the labor force.

U.S. capital goods shipments in August were 9.4% lower than one year earlier. U.S. factory orders were 3.5% lower, and have declined year-over-year every month since October 2014. CNBC on Sept. 2 reported "a shocking contraction in August manufacturing activity."

U.S. August auto sales fell by 4-9% from August 2015 for nearly all manufacturers.

In a speech broadcast on C-SPAN Sept. 1, U.S. Chamber of Commerce chief economist J.D. Foster categorized the extreme weakness of the U.S. economy after eight years of Federal Reserve support to the big banks. "In the last three quarters," Foster said, "private domestic investment fell 2.3% annualized, 3.3% annualized, 9.7% annualized.... Businesses are not investing because they don’t have a hope for the future of the economy.... You can expect further degradation of the estimate going forward. Labor productivity is not growing, ... we have been well below 1% [annual growth—ed.] for quite some time. That is another expression of the fact that something is going wrong in our economy, that our workers’ productivity is not expanding."

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