I hope everyone in the US enjoyed their three day weekend, with most of the country having off today to celebrate the Labor Day holiday. I had the opportunity to spend the weekend down in Pawleys Island, where one of my good friends has an incredible beach home that is right on the water. The house is just a small walk down the beach from the Pawleys Pier landmark where we enjoyed some fine scotch and good cigar on Saturday night.
Since it is Labor Day, we can take a quick look at the current state of the labor market in the United States through the chart below. It shows the jobs lost during the recession (in red), which was the first quarter of 2008 through the first quarter of 2010. The next side of the chart (in orange) shows the jobs gained during the recovery, which unfortunately have almost exclusively come in the lower wage category. This essentially means there has been a shift downward for millions of Americans from higher tier and middle class jobs to the lower wage level for those that have been fortunate to find a job at all. Click for larger image:
I believe we will look at this as the first stage of an ongoing depression in the economy that will soon take other areas of the economy that have experienced a temporary burst (hint: the stock market) back down to reality.