And yes, it is all about numbers, sorta.
6.6% is not the alcoholic content of malt liquor, it is the stated Unemployment Number from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the report month of January, 2014. And it is a lower number than December, 2013 where Unemployment was reported as 6.7%. There is the downside, however, of the number of jobs created as reported and adjusted. January was lower than estimates and the adjustment to December was negative. However, the second one, the participation rate increased a like month-to-month which meant that as a number of those that could be employed, more were.
So, what to make of all these numbers? In general, there is a recovery going on, a slow one and one that has a long, long way to go to get to employment levels prior to the 'Great Recession'. But, wait, not all bad news. The buffet punch bowl offered by the Fed is still Wall Street's to use in that the Fed has to keep free money going for certainly a while longer to 'aid' the recovery, even though corporate profits are high and equities still at record levels.
As to Main Street, it is a recovery stupid. The quantity of jobs and quality of jobs still equal to a slow, long and possibly fragile economy for employment. Worse, there are structural changes that just have eliminated whole classes of jobs and status of employment that paid well and had good benefits. And we now have a bi-polar workforce of the overqualified, over-experienced, older workers against the under- qualified, no-experience, young and racially defined workers vs. the needed qualifications of an ocean of STEM background and experience, to handle the best and highest paying jobs that are now available.
And yes, it is unfair to be a worker in America today, and that is just too bad. The idea that somehow collective bargaining is a better deal for America and Americans is so thirties and red. Today the premium is mobility, flexibility and ability to live on what you can make, and no, this isn't your father's America. And no, it isn't China on the Mississippi either, but closer to the Yangtze than anyone would like.