Friday, April 18, 2014

Working moms left out of imaginary prosperity

Since having a non-white non-male workplace is the driving force of free-market enterprise, the drop in working mothers is a problem. Quentin Fottrell reports on how imagined prosperity is not freeing mothers from the hell of being with their children as expected:

Stay-at-home mothers have a complex relationship with the U.S. economy. As the job market improved in recent years, more families were either fortunate enough or could afford to have one breadwinner: From 2010 to 2012, for instance, the share of stay-at-home mothers (29%) was three percentage points higher than in 2008 (26%) during the height of the recession. But a growing share of stay-at-home moms — 6% in 2012 versus 1% in 2000 — also say they are home with their children because they can’t find a job.

It’s not complicated. The job market hasn’t improved. More mothers are staying home because the economy sucks, not because they can afford to. Incomes have fallen below the utility cost of leaving the kids at daycare. Fottrell’s narrative is false.

It’s reporting on the narrative that keeps economic reporters employed. Without it, economic reporting would focus on facts, which machines can do just as well as humans.

Everyone was less employed in 2012 compared to 2008. The labor force participation rate has steadily fallen since the recession technically ended. Jobs lost from September 2008 to June 2009 averaged 622,000 per month. The best 10-month job creation streak since then: 205,000 jobs per month.

Net jobs created since June 2007: -18,000. Net population gain: 16 million.

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