Trade Rains on the Jobs Parade

Peter Schiff comments on the Department of Labor’s report of 227,000 new jobs added to the economy in February contending its figure to be a misleading indication that an economic recovery is underway based on the Commerce Department’s report that the US trade deficit has increased to $52.6 billion for January.

“If the jobs that we have created over the last few years had been productive, our trade deficit would now be shrinking, not growing. But the opposite is happening. These jobs are being created by the expenditure of borrowed money, and are not helping to forge a newer, more competitive economy. In the years before the real estate crash, our economy created millions of jobs in construction, mortgage finance, and real estate sales. But as soon as the bubble burst, those jobs disappeared. Today’s jobs are similarly being built as a consequence of another bubble, this time in government debt. And, likewise, when this bubble bursts they too will vanish.

Job creation at home has been like vegetation sprouting along the banks of rivers of stimulus. These artificial channels may help temporarily, but they prevent trees from taking root where they are needed most. Our economy has yet to restructure itself in a healthy manner. The recession should have forced us to address the problem of persistent and enormous trade deficits. We have utterly failed to do this. So while the job numbers look good for now, the pattern is ultimately unsustainable.”

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