Posted by: Timothy Ellis (The Tim)

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

38 responses to “Seattle Unemployment Increases Four Months in a Row”

  1. Erik

    Employment looks like it is back to normal for the most part in the Seattle area. I think that interest rates will increase again soon. Then we will see how stable our economy is.

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  2. softwarengineer

    RE: Erik @ 1

    FAR More P/T and Underemployed and Giveups Today Than 2006

    They don’t affect the statistics….they did during the Great Depression unemployment counts….

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  3. Erik

    RE: softwarengineer @ 2
    Those people need to get another job. If they put you on part time, would you stay? I sure as heck wouldn’t. The more education you have, the more power you have not to let your company push you around. I plan to continue for many more years just so I can be empowered. Working all day then doing school really suck, but it sucks worse to be fired or put on part time. I was given a lay off notice recently. Then i showed I only need to complete one undergrad requirement to complete my masters degree and I was magically given opportunities to stay employed. Education is king.

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  4. softwarengineer

    RE: Erik @ 3

    Explain that “college education allegation theory” to the 50% unemployment rate for [scarce ????] RN college graduates. Or the 150K engineer [scarce ???] jobs removed from America since 2006 per BLS…..IMO, even the % that found jobs, what jobs? I asked the waiter if RNs were working tables at my local Applebees, he said they were….

    Cooked Books

    “….Apparently, Sen. Moynihan was wrong. According to media reports, employees at the U.S. Census Bureau fabricated employment data to make it appear that unemployment was declining dramatically on the eve of the 2012 presidential election. The New York Post names a specific Census Bureau employee, Julius Buckmon, who cooked the books, adding that “a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee.”…”

    http://immigrationreform.com/2013/11/21/the-credibility-gap-another-reason-not-to-move-forward-on-amnesty/

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  5. Erik

    RE: softwarengineer @ 4
    Yeah, we are being lied to probably. I’m just saying that the best way not to be laid off is to get more education in my opinion. That is the new climate.

    A bachelors degree is the new high school diploma. A masters degree is the new bachelors degree.

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  6. softwarengineer

    RE: Erik @ 5
    Yes Erik

    Hospital billing, even fireman jobs used to be all highschool educated only…..now its business degrees and other 4 year degrees for these jobs…..that is if even they can find a scarce opening.

    Perhaps we’ll have a hamburger flipper 4 year degree in the future…..hades, Bush Jr called hamburger flipping manufacturing [he also said $10/hr was great pay]….LOL

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  7. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: softwarengineer @ 6 – No need to worry about any of this. The $15 minimum wage will solve everyone’s problems and create full employment too! /sarc

    Seriously, I even saw Robert Reich advocating a higher minimum wage. Apparently understanding economics isn’t a requirement to be Labor Secretary.

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  8. Blurtman

    Bravo to The Tim for also describing the labor force participation rate. It is chilling to read economics and financial writers only report on the unemployment rate. GIGO.

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  9. Ira Sacharoff

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7
    On the other hand, if everything were left to the free market and there were no minimum wage, there would be a much larger underclass. I don’t know about a fifteen dollar minimum wage, but there’s a reason that federal and state minimum wages get raised.
    People who make 150 bucks per hour are often complaining that the people who make ten bucks per hour are being paid too much.

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  10. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 9 – All correct, but seemingly all that’s been accomplished by rising minimum wage levels is the middle class getting squeezed. The people making $150 an hour are now making $450 an hour! And they probably were never hiring anyone at minimum wage.

    Back in 1975 the grocery clerks were making about 3-4 times minimum wage. They no longer are, and in real dollar terms they are making much less money than before.

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  11. Scotsman

    Minimum wage does nothing to support or improve the lower class. Generally only entry level jobs are impacted- and they still remain only entry level jobs- but now fewer and further between. The rest of the wage/price structure just ratchets up to keep the value of labor constant. But it feels good and makes low information voters think they’re getting something. And who needs facts if it just feels right?

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  12. Nothanks

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7 – Economics is a broad discipline that incorporates a wide variety of philosophical stances. Just because someone doesn’t buy the neoliberal party line doesn’t mean they “don’t understand economics.” They simply have a different set of perspectives than those that have pointed us in the direction of failure for all but a privileged few since the 1970s.

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  13. Nothanks

    RE: Scotsman @ 11 – If that’s how you feel, then why don’t you folks put your cards on the table, be honest for once, and tell everyone you want to throw out minimum wage laws altogether.

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  14. Blurtman
  15. Scotsman

    RE: Nothanks @ 13

    We probably should do away with them. It would lead to full employment, reduce prices, and most importantly change the social structure and our expectations from one of entitlement to more of a focus on individual responsibility. We should also do away with employer paid health care (reducing costs), a tax structure that is convoluted and distorts price structures, and a host of other things. Pink ponies, all of them.

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  16. Corndogs

    RE: Scotsman @ 11RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 9

    IRA wrong, Scotsman correct. It’s asinine to think the minimum wage laws move people to a higher social status. There are thousands of different kinds of people wanting jobs for differing reasons, Maybe a retired person just wants to interact and will take $6/hr. Maybe a young kid wants to get a foot in the door to prove himself…. Any wage fixing by the government only hampers these peoples ability to participate. Government interference is the only thing preventing young people from getting a decent start in the job market.

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  17. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Nothanks @ 12 – Keep in mind I’m not taking a position against minimum wage laws. I’m just saying that they have unintended consequences and that the $15 idea is particularly bad. I’d call the $15 minimum wage solution a band-aid solution, but band-aids serve a useful purpose.

    So, yes, I’ll agree with you that different economists take different positions on different issues. But I doubt any serious economist is promoting a $15 minimum wage. And typically when people take positions which don’t make sense economically, it’s because they have no understanding of economics, not just that they have a different understanding of economics.

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  18. whatsmyname

    RE: Corndogs @ 16RE: Scotsman @ 15
    There is already a no minimum wage paradise. It’s called the third world. People there work for a wide variety of reasons, although most frequently to avoid immediate starvation. Little government, lots of personal responsibility, and no one feels a sense of entitlement, (except those with enough wealth to virtually own their neighbors). You don’t need to bring that here; you can just go there.

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  19. Ira Sacharoff

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 10
    Correlation does not equal causation. You can’t say that increased minimum wages are the reason the middle class is getting squeezed any more than you can say that record corporate profits are responsible. I agree with you that a 15 dollar minimum wage is unwise and will likely have negative consequences. But prior to the minimum wage being instituted in the US, we had a much higher percentage of people living in poverty. And we’ve had the minimum wage raised numerous times. Did it cause the economy to collapse? Did it result in massive unemployment? In fact, we saw economic boom times during rises in the minimum wage, and when there was a higher percentage of unionized workers. I’m not suggesting that a rise in the minimum wage results in prosperity, and I think Scotsman’s right . If we raised the minimum wage to 15 dollars, everybody else’s wages would then also go up, and prices would then also go up, the result being a wash.
    All I’m suggesting is that there’s a reason there is a minimum wage. We had sweatshops, workers chained to machines, and children working all day on assembly lines. That could happen again, all in the name of economic freedom.

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  20. Corndogs

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 19 The minimum wage has nothing to do with child labor, sweat shops or people being chained up, that’s absurd. But if you want to talk about child labor, there is nothing wrong with children working, I’m glad for all the opportunities I had to work as a child, work is not a bad thing.

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  21. Corndogs

    RE: whatsmyname @ 18 – The 3rd world isn’t the 1st world. Genius IQ only happens occasionally in certain genetic lines. Those lines virtually don’t exist in the 3rd world. Your comparison doesn’t make sense because the 3rd world will always be a$$ and it doesn’t depend on minimum wage laws. But at any rate you sh!t the bed on your comment because some of the most successful 1st world countries do not have minimum wage laws… check out Germany, Norway, etc… but most 3rd world countries do, so you’re wrong on that……

    .http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_wages_by_country

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  22. Ira Sacharoff

    RE: Corndogs @ 20
    Work is not a bad thing. But if you have to work in a factory 60 hours per week at age 12 because your parents aren’t making enough to live( this was the case with my grandmother when she came to this country 100 years ago), then something’s amiss.
    As far as those successful 1st world countries with no minimum wage laws, those countries have a very high percentage of unionized employees. Pick your poison. You want a country with strong collective bargaining tradition, or a country with a minimum wage?
    http://www.epi.org/blog/aei-forgetten-basic-statistics-advocating/

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  23. Corndogs

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 22 – “But if you have to work in a factory 60 hours per week at age 12 because your parents aren’t making enough to live( this was the case with my grandmother when she came to this country 100 years ago), then something’s amiss.”

    Again, of course what happened 100 years ago has nothing to do with today. During that time we were transitioning from a purely agrarian society to an industrial nation. In an agrarian society children worked in the fields 12 hours a day alongside their parents, that’s why we still have summers off from school so children could work the fields. As we made that transition our culture stayed the same, children went with their parents and they learned a skill and if they could work, they did, again nothing wrong with it, nothing amiss at all. That was the culture of the time.

    Today we have public school to babysit our children and when they get home they watch TV. They go to college even if they have an IQ of only 85. They obtain a worthless college degree for 100K and end up starting life with a huge debt and no job skills at 22 years old.. Nobody wants to hire them because nobody can afford to hire a 23 year old with no job skills at government defined minimum wage and to pay for their healthcare.

    Of course, you have your inner city youths that are incapable of obtaining even a grade school degree who will never be employed and end up in a life of crime. Your government regulated job market doesn’t have a slot for them does it? Is there not something AMISS with that IRA? I think so. Is someone going to hire these turdbirds and pay for their healthcare etc? He11 no! All of these little gang bangers would be better off with 12 hours in the factory from the age of 10 on and no public school unless they ask for it and are willing to work for it or show an aptitude and make the decision for themselves to have a life.

    Regarding your link about minimum wage, it proves my point. Negotiating minimum wage through collective bargaining for SOME job types and negotiating different wages for different jobs is NOT equivalent to across the board minimum wage legislation. Your link shows quite clearly that the countries without minimum wage laws have single digit unemployment as the norm, those WITH minimum wage laws have double digit unemployment as the norm. You can always search the internet to find an idiot with a weak argument, that’s what you’ve done here.

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  24. whatsmyname

    By Corndogs @ 21:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 18 – But at any rate you sh!t the bed on your comment because some of the most successful 1st world countries do not have minimum wage laws… check out Germany, Norway, etc… but most 3rd world countries do, so you’re wrong on that……

    Ha ha, I’ll be sure and pass the bed-cleaner. You’ve just said the most successful 1st world countries are the Western European Socialists. I was even ready to concede that a single minimum wage might get in the way of a socialist economy where they have big government mandated layers of worker minimums beyond anything ever imagined here, but then I learned than your friends in Germany don’t agree:

    http://www.france24.com/en/20131121-germany-introduce-minimum-wage-employment-angela-merkel

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  25. Kary L. Krismer

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 19:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 10
    Correlation does not equal causation. You can’t say that increased minimum wages are the reason the middle class is getting squeezed any more than you can say that record corporate profits are responsible..

    Correct, there are obviously additional reasons that the middle class is getting squeezed.

    I would contest your point though that the minimum wage being increased has decreased poverty. For one thing, that would require defining poverty in the same manner at two different points in time, and I don’t think the government is really interested in doing that. Beyond that though, for some people increases in the minimum wage increases poverty by reducing employment options. But by supporting the simplistic solution of increasing the minimum wage politicians can pretend they are helping people by putting more money in their pocket.

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  26. Ira Sacharoff

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 24
    I don’t disagree with you. But Washington State has the highest minimum wage in the country, and it rises with inflation.
    Are there less poor people here as a result? No. Was there a large increase in unemployment as a result of the initiative that resulted in the higher minimum wage? No.
    Washington is an expensive state to live in. If we’re going to have a minimum wage, doesn’t it make sense to have a higher minimum wage in places that cost more to live?

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  27. whatsmyname

    RE: Corndogs @ 21
    Corny, my reply has been in moderation since last night, probably the link, so I will just quote from it here:

    “Ha ha, I’ll be sure and pass the bed-cleaner. You’ve just said the most successful 1st world countries are the Western European Socialists. I was even ready to concede that a single minimum wage might get in the way of a socialist economy where they have big government mandated layers of worker minimums beyond anything ever imagined here, but then I learned than your friends in Germany don’t agree:”

    You can read the link when it comes through. Germany is getting a minimum wage. Have you ever been to northern Europe? You can split all the hairs you want; they have an effective minimum wage plus service net (e.g. healthcare) that assures their low end workers much more than our minimum wage.

    I am astounded that no one here has called you on your theory of 3rd world by genetics. That is as racist as it gets. Do your neighbor’s know your views on this?

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  28. Erik

    RE: whatsmyname @ 27
    I agree. I think that intelligence is more of an environmental thing than a genetic thing. Smart parents raise smart children more often because of what is emphasized by the parents. When the children build their foundation of knowledge, was it accurate? Did they trust what they were being taught?

    These factors are what is important and not the genetic lottery.

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  29. Corndogs

    RE: Erik @ 28RE: whatsmyname @ 27 – Once again, it’s the simple mind that considers a diss on 3rd world countries a racist remark. Not all 3rd world countries are black or yellow or non-white. Corndog does not recognize race, There certainly isn’t a white race. All blood lines are gettiing ‘white’ over time. Recessive traits are admired by all, straight nose, straight hair, light skin, higher IQ. Those with the higher IQ have the brains to leave the third world or help make a country that is not 3rd world. That is why the third world has no blood lines that can compete. Have you heard of a ‘brain drain’? It happens. Many Americans came here because they were smarter than the rest, The African slave was one of the exceptions, they were randomly captured and brought here, you could argue that they were the stupidest ones because they got caught. Now look what we have, genetic crap unable to gain autonomy in the most prosperous nation in the world. You can call it racist but that’s not what it is. Our black blood lines just happen to be junk. As TeenErik can attest. Are there any black Americans in engineering? The answer is virtually none. They can’t accomplish such feats.

    Your argument that Germany is GOING to make a minimum wage law is another extremely weak argument. You guys have lost this debate and all I was trying to say is that your proposition that the 3rd world doesn’t have minimum wage laws and the rest of the world does was crap and it was crap, you were dead a$$ wrong about that, just admit it and move on.

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  30. Erik

    RE: Corndogs @ 29
    I don’t have any opinion on the minimum wage laws. This is NOT something I am capable of figuring out right now. I read your comment because your comments are entertaining. You said “Many Americans came here because they were smarter than the rest.” I would think the majority of Americans that came here were adventurous and not necessarily smart. That’s like saying people with money are smart. I don’t believe that is the case either, just look at 3rd Generation. 3rd Generation is a total moron that inherited his dad’s money. He probably would have come to America back in the day since he could afford it, but he has a weak brain.

    Most black people at work are from Africa and not from America. That could be an environmental thing as well.

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  31. whatsmyname

    By Corndogs @ 29:

    RE: Erik @ 28RE: whatsmyname @ 27
    Your argument that Germany is GOING to make a minimum wage law is another extremely weak argument. You guys have lost this debate and all I was trying to say is that your proposition that the 3rd world doesn’t have minimum wage laws and the rest of the world does was crap and it was crap, you were dead a$$ wrong about that, just admit it and move on.

    Actually, Germany already had a law prohibiting “obscene wages”, but that’s kind of vague for color charts and internet yammering. Now I will admit that I was surprised to see the number of third world countries with statutory minimum wages. That’s me talking from supposition, and I was incorrect. On the other hand, I have been to 3rd world countries, and the reality on the ground didn’t look like there was any minimum wage or control thereof. I’ve also been through a good part of northern Europe, and witnessed a lot of worker protections. And I sure can’t think of a weaker way to support getting the government out of the workplace than by championing socialist states. Have you been to any of these countries?

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  32. One Eyed Man

    RE: Corndogs @ 29

    In Corndog’s comment he states that his prior comment concerning the 3rd world wasn’t racist and that he “doesn’t recognize race.” He seems to be implying he’s not a racist, but then he goes on to say:

    “Now look what we have, genetic crap unable to gain autonomy in the most prosperous nation in the world. You can call it racist but that’s not what it is. Our black blood lines just happen to be junk. As TeenErik can attest. Are there any black Americans in engineering? The answer is virtually none. They can’t accomplish such feats.”

    While I cherish and will certainly honor anyone’s freedom of speech and generally prefer not to waste my time with cheap trolls, I can not with any good moral conscience sit idle when some bombastic trolling A-hole excretes that kind of blatantly cruel and false crap.

    Although blacks are most definitely underrepresented in science and engineering professions, Corndogs statements that there are “virtually none,” that black blood lines are “junk” and that “they (blacks) can’t accomplish such feats” are at best inappropriate hyperbole laced with derogatory epithets and at worst the racist rantings of a small minded petty bigot tolerated only out of respect for freedom of speech.

    The proof that CD’s comment qualifies as a racist epithet lies in its derogatory nature and its contradiction by the actual statistics. Blacks receive undergraduate science, technology, engineering and math degrees (STEM degrees) at just over half the rate of the general population. That’s underrepresentation, but a far cry from the “virtually none” that CD claims for black participation in the engineering profession.

    A 1993 study by the NSF found that blacks made up approximately 3% of the engineering profession at that time. That would be a participation rate of approximately 25% of the participation rate for the general population which again is definitely underrepresentation, but also clearly not “virtually none.” That’s particularly true when one considers that until Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 and the forced integration of southern universities in the 1960’s blacks in many states couldn’t even attend the same schools as whites.

    According to the Huffington Post in an article concerning declining rates for STEM degrees received by blacks, the author states:

    “Black people are 12 percent of the U.S. population and 11 percent of all students beyond high school. In 2009, they received just 7 percent of all STEM bachelor’s degrees, 4 percent of master’s degrees, and 2 percent of PhDs, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/24/stem-education-and-jobs-d_n_1028998.html

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  33. whatsmyname

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 32 – This is a subject that raises deep passions; but having read you many times, I think that last sentence is a place you didn’t really intend to go. I hope you will lobby Tim to remove that, and I hope he will agree. This is my fifth post, so that’s all that I will have to say about it.

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  34. One Eyed Man

    RE: whatsmyname @ 33

    You’re right, my apologies to the forum at large and to Corndog. If The Tim has the ability to delete the sentence, I request that he do so. Even if said only figuratively and for pedagogical purposes, language that could be perceived as threatening has no place here.

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  35. One Eyed Man

    RE: The Tim @ 35

    Thanks Tim

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  36. Blurtman

    Peace and love, y’all. We are all God’s children, and brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, the US government encourages racism, as well as the US media. It is fairly typical for media to focus on the race of a person viewed to be a “minority” who accomplishes something noteworthy, as if we should all be surprised. And my folks ain’t from the Caucusus, by Zeus, so why the heck do I have to keep checking off Caucasian?

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  37. Ira Sacharoff

    “Our black blood lines just happen to be junk.”
    Corndogs might know something about real estate, but I’m not sure I’d consider him an expert about genetics. A few months back, he called me “semi-black”, and I don’t think he was paying me a compliment.
    Not more than 30 years ago, it was said that blacks could not be successful quarterbacks in football, because they didn’t have the brains, that they were much more suited to just knocking down opposing players. Since then there have been numerous very successful quarterbacks. Why? Was it a genetic mutation?
    When you decide that an entire race is inferior based on their genetics, maybe that’s not racism. Maybe it’s just ignorance.

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