The official U.S. unemployment rate rose during the month of May to 9.1%, up from 9% in April, with only 54,000 non-farm jobs being created for the month. The real unemployment rate including short and long-term discouraged workers is now 22.3%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) used the birth/death model to produce a positive monthly bias during the month of May of 206,000 jobs, up from 175,000 in April, 117,000 in March, and 112,000 in February. Without the birth/death model, 152,000 jobs were lost during the month of May.
By utilizing the birth/death model, the BLS is assuming that during the month of May, the number of new jobs created by start-up businesses were 206,000 greater than the number of jobs lost from companies going out of business. NIA finds this assumption to be absurd and believes it is likely that jobs lost from companies going out of business were actually much higher than jobs created by new start-up firms. It is obvious to us that the BLS is using the birth/death model to manipulate unemployment figures to make the U.S. employment situation seem far less worse than it truly is. There is absolutely no legitimate reason for the birth/death model upward bias to have increased 84% over the past three months.
McDonald's recently had their own "National Hiring Day" in which they encouraged Americans to apply for new jobs at the company. All together, 1 million Americans applied for 62,000 jobs at McDonald's and over 900,000 Americans had to be turned down. To us, this is a sign that despite government economic statistics that are bottom bouncing from their lows due to the Federal Reserve printing trillions of dollars out of thin air, the U.S. economy is still in a severe downturn without the possibility of a real recovery. It is NIA's belief that the Fed needs to allow the U.S. economy to enter into a severe depression where all bad debts can be liquidated and the free market can rebalance the economy from the ground-floor with a solid foundation.
The fact that the BLS needs to resort to deceptive birth/death model manipulative practices to give the appearance of any job creation, proves that the Federal Reserve's destructive monetary policies of zero percent interest rates and endless money printing are not creating a sustainable reduction in the unemployment rate. Bernanke can claim all he wants that America's inflation is transitory, but the only thing transitory about our economy is the artificial decline in the official U-3 unemployment rate from its peak in October of 2009 of 10.1%. The real unemployment rate has increased since October of 2009 and NIA believes that the official unemployment rate will likely rise back into double-digit territory in 2012.
From October of 2009 until now, the number of employed Americans has increased by 1.09% while the U.S. population has increased by 1.12%. The only reason the official unemployment rate has declined from 10.1% down to 9.1% is a decline in the labor force participation rate from 65.1% down to 64.2%. Based on what the labor force would be today if the participation rate had stayed the same over the past 20 months and factoring in the increasing population, 2.1 million Americans have completely given up looking for work.
The 1.09% increase in employed Americans over the past 20 months comes at the expense of a $1.30 increase in the price of gas from $2.48 to $3.78 per gallon for a gain of 52% during this time period. Many agricultural commodities have increased over the past 20 months by an even greater percentage than gas. Although prices of all commodities are volatile and have many short-term ups and downs, NIA believes that gas prices are heading to $5 per gallon over the next 12 months and food inflation is going to rapidly accelerate in the months and years ahead.
Prices are now beginning to rapidly rise for U.S. goods outside of the food and energy sectors. 90% of sporting goods manufacturers have seen their input costs rise substantially this year and 41% of them have already announced major price increases for athletic apparel, footwear, and sports equipment. As the 8,000 toy manufacturers in China are forced to raise the wages they pay their employees, Toys R' Us is now beginning to see major wholesale price increases for their products, which they will have to pass on to U.S. consumers. Hasbo recently raised prices on all of their products by 6% to 7%. Mattel recently imposed an across the board high single digit price increase after reporting a 33% decline in quarterly profits (despite sales surging by 8%) due to skyrocketing raw material costs.
The U.S. is about to be cut off from its two largest foreign lenders China and Japan, which means the Federal Reserve will need to fund all of the U.S. government's deficit spending through outright money printing. Federal Reserve holdings of U.S. treasuries just reached a new record of $1.532 trillion. Meanwhile, China's U.S. treasury holdings have fallen five months in a row down to $1.145 trillion. Chinese central bankers are now calling for the country to reduce their foreign exchange reserves, which have increased by $200 billion this year up to over $3 trillion. Japan is currently the third largest holder of U.S. treasuries with treasury holdings of $907.9 billion. Unfortunately, Japan is in desperate need to raise $300 billion to fund their rebuilding efforts and this will likely come from them dumping some of their U.S. treasuries, during a time when the U.S. desperately needs Japan to buy more U.S. treasuries than ever before.
If we look back at previous occurrences of hyperinflation in countries like Bolivia and Brazil, hyperinflation broke out as soon as their central banks were forced to begin monetizing the bulk of their government's deficit spending, as foreigners stopped lending. China's inflation crisis is a direct result of the Fed's quantitative easing and the monetary inflation that we have exported to them in return for their sporting goods, toys, and other products they produce. If China stops buying U.S. treasuries and decides to instead use their foreign currency reserves to accumulate gold that can be used to back their own currency, the Fed will have no other choice but to become the U.S. treasury buyer of last resort. Not only will we see quantitative easing to infinity, but we will see the $1.5 trillion in excess reserves currently parked at the Fed enter into the money supply and increase the money supply by as much as $15 trillion.
Besides gold, one place where the Chinese are investing their money in order to diversify out of U.S. dollars is Real Estate. Housing prices in Beijing and Shanghai rose 28% and 26% last year respectively. With concerns that Chinese Real Estate is becoming a bubble, the Chinese are now buying Real Estate in North America. However, they are avoiding the U.S. Real Estate market because of the civil unrest that will take place in major U.S. cities during hyperinflation due to empty store shelves. The most popular destination for the Chinese in North America is Vancouver, where Real Estate prices are now more expensive than New York City. While New York City Real Estate prices still haven't finished deflating, Vancouver Real Estate prices are soaring to new record highs due to Chinese buyers, with the average Vancouver home price rising 14% last year. In the Westside section of Vancouver, housing prices are up 77% since 2005.
Canada's GDP grew by 3.9% in the first quarter of 2011 on an annualized basis, up from 3.1% in the fourth quarter of 2010, 2.5% in the third quarter of 2010, and 2.3% in the second quarter of 2010. Canada's GDP growth has increased for four straight quarters. U.S. GDP growth in the first quarter of 2011 declined to 1.8% on an annualized basis, down from 3.1% in the fourth quarter of 2010. Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper just announced plans on Friday to attract more foreign capital and diversify trade in an attempt to protect Canada from a collapsing U.S. economy.
The U.S. still has a AAA credit rating even with its 2011 budget deficit projected to reach 43% of government expenditures, exactly the same as Brazil's budget deficit as a percentage of expenditures right before they experienced hyperinflation. There is a major charade taking place in Washington today where Republicans are calling for spending cuts to take place in order for them to approve an increase in the debt ceiling. NIA predicts that the debt ceiling will be raised no matter what, most likely at the very last minute. We have zero confidence that Washington will implement any kind of meaningful spending cuts. The U.S. government clearly chose inflation over austerity in its attempt to stimulate the economy. It doesn't make sense for them to reverse course now, because then they will look incompetent for not having chosen austerity to begin with.
The U.S. currently has a budget deficit from Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other mandatory programs alone, without even paying the interest on our national debt. Major entitlement spending cuts are necessary if we are going to have even the slightest hope of balancing the budget and preventing hyperinflation. Unfortunately, most Americans have become dependent on entitlement programs and government transfer payments just to survive. These Americans fail to realize that the reason they are dependent on food stamps and other transfer payments to survive is because of the government's deficit spending and the Federal Reserve's massive monetary inflation. Only when the dollar completely collapses and Americans' unemployment and Social Security checks aren't worth enough to pay for the gas needed to drive to the bank to cash them, will they understand the need to elect a President like Ron Paul who will mandate a balanced budget and return the country to sound money, but by that time it will be too late. The only way America will survive as an industrialized nation is if we educate as many Americans as possible to the facts and truth about the U.S. economy that the mainstream media ignores, so that as many Americans as possible can prepare for hyperinflation and we have enough resources to rebuild afterwards.
It is important to spread the word about NIA to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, if you want America to survive hyperinflation. Please tell everybody you know to become members of NIA for free immediately at: http://inflation.us