News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used. Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year] Follow @arra Contact: email@example.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
A Legacy of ‘Falling Behind’
Middle Class Shrinks, Manufacturing Struggles, Paychecks Stagnate
“Americans are less optimistic about how well the economy will fare over the next year than they were last January. . . . For those in households earning $30,000 or less annually, the feeling of falling behind financially is widespread. Fully 68% of lower-income households think their family’s income is falling behind the cost of living . . . . A majority of those with incomes of $30,000 to $75,000 (54%) also say they are falling behind financially.”(“As Election Year Nears, Public Sees Mixed Economic Picture,” Pew Research Center, 12/22/2015)
Economic Reality: ‘The Middle Class Is No Longer The Majority In America’
National Association of Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey: “For much of this year, manufacturers have wrestled with softer growth in demand and output. . . . This slowdown can be seen in a variety of economic indicators. Manufacturing production has decelerated from 4.3 percent on a year-over-year basis in January to 1.9 percent in October, with employment remaining relatively flat over that time frame. . . . Other measures have also eased significantly across the year. For instance, manufacturers expect sales to grow 1.4 percent over the next 12 months, down significantly from the 4.5 percent pace in December 2014.” (NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey – Fourth Quarter, 12/2015)
“Pres. Barack Obama bid farewell to 2015 with a major blow to small businesses. Setting an all-time record, his administration packed the Federal Register with 82,036 pages of rules and regulations by the year’s end, according to a new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). . . . More than 500 pages of the final regulations—545 pages to be exact—affect small businesses, including stifling components like the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, according to the CEI. Final rules make up 3,378 pages of this year’s Federal Register, and another 2,334 regulations are still under consideration.” (“Obama Broke a Chilling Regulatory Record in 2015,” NFIB, 1/05/2016)
Mining & Energy
“Mining and logging employment decreased by 8,000 in December. This was the industry’s twelfth consecutive month of employment decline. Mining and logging has lost 131,000 jobs since December 2014. Mining drives the employment trend in this sector and accounts for essentially all losses over the month (-8,000) and over the year (-129,000). These losses were concentrated in support activities for mining.”(“Current Employment Statistics Highlights December 2015, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1/08/2016)
“Economist Scott Anderson expects companies in the Midwest to have a tougher time than those on the East and West coasts because the energy and mining industries are struggling. Anderson, chief economist with Bank of the West, counted 123,000 jobs lost in those industries from 2014 to 2015. And the plunge in commodities prices is hurting companies related to agriculture, he says.” (“Small Businesses Tend To Be Cautious About 2016 Outlook,” The Associated Press, 1/11/2016)
“[T]he cutbacks could in some areas be deepening. Oilfield-services firm Schlumberger Ltd. in December announced another round of job cuts in addition to 20,000 layoffs reported earlier in 2015. Agribusiness giant Monsanto Co. executives said this past week that it would cut an additional 1,000 jobs, after unveiling plans in October to eliminate 2,600 positions. Agriculture firms have been stung by falling commodity prices and lower farm incomes.” (“Hiring Ends Year on Strong Note, but Wage Growth Remains Sluggish,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/08/2016)
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