Meanwhile, Back At The Economy: Unemployment Hits 9.8%


The American economy lost 263,000 jobs in September — far more than expected — and the unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent, the government reported on Friday, dimming prospects of any meaningful job growth by the end of the year. [. . .] “It’s a very fragile and tentative recovery,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com. “Policymakers need to do more.”

(Emphasis supplied) A little late for that isn't it? Krugman wrote:

[T]he complacency now setting in over the state of the economy is both foolish and dangerous. [. . .] [W]hile not having another depression is a good thing, all indications are that unless the government does much more than is currently planned to help the economy recover, the job market [. . .] will remain terrible for years to come.

(Emphasis supplied.) There's a winning political slogan - "terrible for years to come." But the stimulus ship has sailed. Obama blew it.

Speaking for me only

< The Blue State Public Option Gains Adherents | Colorado DA's To Use Grants to For DNA Testing of Possible Wrongful Convictions >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Yep (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 09:46:46 AM EST
    bad economy until 2014 is what I've read. Too bad no one in the party listened to Krugman. He's been right so many times.

    To bad so many people's salaries (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Faust on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 10:17:59 AM EST
    depend on them not understanding Krugman.

    They seem to add a year (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by cawaltz on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:12:38 AM EST
    everytime they talk about how long unemployment numbers will stay high.

    And Bernanke just told everyone (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:28:39 AM EST
    that the recession is technically over.  But I think his definition of what a recession looks like and feels like is completely different from that of 80% of America.  When your economic life sucks miserably, every American without a degree in economics will experience this as NO RECOVERY.  But brainiacs will argue about tenths of percentages of certain things floating above the total economic cratering meaning the recession is over.  I still don't think the recession is over though.  I think there is a small second wave of economic contraction still off shore and coming in.  How can there not be when the toxic assets are still on the books undealt with as far as market correction goes, and oh by the way now are even being rebundled and sold?

    Wall St. (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:33:22 AM EST
    It seems they only look at the stock market. Even with the unemployment numbers out, the market is only down 4.15 right now. Evidently Wall St doesn't seem too worried about the numbers. They have jobs!

    It fell 200 yesterday (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by cawaltz on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:47:04 AM EST
    in anticipation of these numbers. There are plenty of gambling people that recognize the unemployment numbers for what they are.

    But it will come back (none / 0) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:52:02 AM EST
    It always does :) (this is what the investment advisor tells me over and over and over again while I'm hanging up on him).  I'll play when there's something to play for.  I'll invest when I'm investing in my nation again and not Goldman Sachs frontrunning software :)

    I haven't particularly cared for the stock market (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by cawaltz on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:59:18 AM EST
    for awhile. It always struck me as counterproductive to cheer everytime a company's jobs were shipped overseas. While I understand that cutting costs increases a company's bottom line, it isn't always a good thing. Shoddy materials and workmanship can cost in the long term and there doesn't appear to be any differentiation at all between productive and counterproductive cost cutting on Wall St.

    These are always short term (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by hairspray on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 07:14:02 PM EST
    goals. I believe that Wall Streeters and those who believe in this gambling on the street  are linear thinkers.  Today's profits trumps all.  We have no system thinkers about how to grow a stable economy.  Its all profit taking!!  Kevin Phillips' book, BAD MONEY tells how we became a money worshipping society (more so now than ever) as related to the squeezing out of production and the expanding of "financial services." The symbol of course is that creating goods is really passe and moving money around is the "real work" of value.

    Sounds like a very good book to read (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 04, 2009 at 10:01:29 AM EST
    so I will order it today.  I don't understand how the "money" common sense of folks does not understand what is happening?  I don't understand how they are missing that this is precisely what happened to us during the Great Depression as well, but they are.  Even after they read a decent article pointing out to them that our basic economic structure has been gutted and everyone's been living on credit now for years, and they seem to get that we must rebuild our manufacturing and get back to work, they'll read something about green shoots someplace and they are off at a gallop over the edge of just needing to go shopping again.

    I'm interested in some municipal bonds (none / 0) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 12:03:31 PM EST
    right now. That's about it.

    They've had huge layoffs too (none / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:36:34 AM EST
    Put as long as some players ante up there will be a game.  And as long as people think that the poker game is our economy...well, I guess the recession is over today.  At this point though I don't know what these people are investing in?  It is either habitual throwing away of money or they like to gamble. If they like to gamble I think kdog can steer them to a better game out there.

    There are still plenty of (none / 0) (#57)
    by hairspray on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 07:07:49 PM EST
    millionaires around.  And suckers!

    Where's Friedman (none / 0) (#2)
    by Fabian on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 09:50:31 AM EST
    when you need him?
    "The next six months will be critical!"

    If Friedman could be a whip for war funding, why can't he do the same for economic stimulus?


    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 10:09:19 AM EST
    but it would be too funny to see the blogger boyz now embracing "friedman units".

    Well, President Snowe got her AMT fix (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by andgarden on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 09:51:05 AM EST
    We have priorities, you know!

    Lagging indicators (5.00 / 16) (#4)
    by Illiope on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 09:55:17 AM EST
    i believe that employment numbers are not, as many claim, a 'lagging indicator.' in an economy dependent on consumer spending, in an extremely tight credit environment, when both the private sector and individuals are trying to deleverage, the notion that, somehow, there will be an economic recovery that is NOT based on rising employment seems farcical. no, i believe that the conventional wisdom in this crisis has it backwards: jobs first, then economic recovery.

    the vast majority of govt stimulus has flowed to those that created the economic collapse, and not to the victims--who are, by the way, the most crucial part of the economic-equation.

    This comment merits a 10 (5.00 / 7) (#9)
    by Cream City on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 10:07:18 AM EST
    so I'll try to give you a 5 twice. :-)

    And yes, in my family, my progeny -- having struggled through college against all odds in one case, having come to this country in another case despite all we do to try to discourage the great immigrants who can bring us so much in expertise we don't have here, etc. -- continue to try to find fulltime employment.  

    I am angry beyond measure at the stoopid of the stimulus that is getting bigshots more bonuses while America hurts.


    I was going to just give you (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 10:57:12 AM EST
    my '5' for the comment, but after reading it, I ended up wishing I had the ability to rate it a '10', as well!!

    The simple logic is why I cough everytime I hear someone say how smart our decider is.


    bigshots (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Illiope on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 12:14:44 PM EST
    you said it. this is just the further, 3 decades long, continuation of neoliberalism/reaganomics.

    Yep (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 10:08:12 AM EST
    Your last sentence there gets right to the crux of the problem. Obama has decided to serve the "masters of the universe" and versailles (credit to Lambert) instead of your average citizen.

    I was going to respond to (none / 0) (#52)
    by NYShooter on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 07:22:34 PM EST
    Cream City, but the nice lady is angry enough; what I have to say may put her over the top. ( I'm singling out Goldman Sachs, but the same is true of all the "too-big-to-fail" institutions.)

    1. Goldman Sachs was technically insolvent (bankrupt) before begging for, and receiving billions of dollars of bailout money from us, the citizens, and taxpayers of America.
    2. This "Master," while winking at the notion they would use the money to balance their books, and lend money to small businesses in order to prime-pump the economy, instead used it to triple their collection (foreclosure) activity and also to gamble with obscene abandon for their own account, making many billions of dollars in "profits."
    3. G.S, "the smartest guys in the room," the guys who engineered the blowing up of the world's economies was universally hailed by the MSM for the rapidity with which they "recovered."
    4. As the rest of us are living the heartbreaking reality of unemployment, underemployment, bankruptcy, foreclosure, and destruction of our way of life for decades to come, the management of G.S. set aside approx. 9 billion dollars to reward themselves for their hard work.
    5. While we, the taxpayers, and citizens, were "rewarded" with bankruptcy, at least G.S's shareholders got something for their investment: 3 billion in dividends. Millions of shareholders, investing their own money, and got 1/3'd the money a tiny group at the top of G.S's management got.
    6. But, all is not lost; apparently a tiny "green shoot" of guilt began bothering Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Realizing the mind-boggling unfairness of using taxpayer money to save his company, and himself, from extinction, "Master" Blankfein had an epiphany: he would atone for his sins by..........hiring a P.R. company (probably the one that came up with "Compassionate Conservative") that would keep the "Gold" in Goldman Sachs name.

    The unemployment numbers are.... (5.00 / 6) (#23)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:01:40 AM EST
    also not accurate. In this current situation, I believe the gov't should be obligated to release the number of unemployment claims that met their expiration with no indication the person found a job during the same time period as the new claims.

    and underemployed (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by Illiope on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 12:10:02 PM EST
    for a real sense of employment, both the employed and underemployed should be factored. i totally agree with you.

    And doesn't the very structure (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:32:22 AM EST
    of our existing economy not tell us that the recession is NOT OVER?  That it literally can't be?

    I have heard some people (none / 0) (#47)
    by me only on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 01:49:25 PM EST
    still believe that the Sun orbits around the Earth.

    Just because other people agree with you doesn't make it any more true.


    We know the economy is turning around (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 10:01:09 AM EST
    Just look at all those hugh bank and Wall Street bonuses after they got stimulus :-) money. Another proof of how well the economy is doing will be the fact that stocks for the insurance industry will go through the roof once Congress passes  "reform" legislation.

    Ye of little faith. If the rich are getting richer, our economy is just fine. So say the experts (excludes Krugman) and our leaders.

    Banks liked it! (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 10:05:44 AM EST
    It seems the only one that have "recovered" are the banks. And they don't seem willing to share their good fortune. I still haven't heard anything positive on their efforts to work with mortgages.

    It seems the stimulus package was just used to buy up their competition and solidify their power share of the market. If they were too large before to allow them to collapse, what about the next time? They have more political clout now than ever.

    Kind of like what is going on (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 10:07:51 AM EST
    with the health insurance industry in the current reform.

    And (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 10:18:43 AM EST
    The energy companies with the Cheney bill. Not to mention the telecommunications industry with their bill. It's nice to see a government of the people, for the people at work!

    I'm still trying to remember the last major bill that was directed for the people.


    Unemployment extension? (none / 0) (#44)
    by oldpro on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 12:41:19 PM EST
    Minimum wage?

    Finally (none / 0) (#50)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 04:04:21 PM EST
    Only after they had succeeded in holding the minimum wage down for so many years it became an embarassment even to them!

    I still defy any politician to live on the minimum wage for a year and come back and tell me how they did it.


    I think they should have to... (none / 0) (#51)
    by NWHiker on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 06:57:23 PM EST
    For a year, or heck, even six months, after they get to DC as freshmen, they should have to live on minimum wage, with no access to their personal wealth. Allow them decent housing so the kids aren't penalised, and tweak their insurance so that they get the plan the "average" American does.

    Car breaks down? Ouch.  Your teenager needs a graphing calculator for school? Hopefully you can find it on eBay.

    Obviously, it could only be a voluntary program, and I doubt any would sign up, but I think it would be interesting for them to be there, 10 months in, wondering how to pay for both the kid's field trip and dinner.


    Uh huh. (none / 0) (#53)
    by oldpro on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 07:40:37 PM EST
    I can tell you right now that the lineup of lobbyists to buy their dinner (and breakfast and lunch) would reach clear around the corner...any corner you can name.

    Let's get back to reality, hmmm?

    There are, in fact, legislators who have lived (at some time in their lives) on minimum wage, and less...and not one of them would go back to it voluntarily or any other way!


    But just look at how cooperative (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 10:14:32 AM EST
    the Republicans are being now about healthcare because Obama was so flexible on the stimulus bill.

    Oh wait...  Never mind.

    Your business model... (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 10:17:06 AM EST
    does not inspire optimism spammer-man...get a real job:)

    Jobs for the sake of JOBS!!! (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Dadler on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 10:33:10 AM EST
    Is this really so far-fetched?  I guess so.  Currency only has value because of our belief it has value, our confidence in it.  The more people not working, or not able to live decently because of stagnant wages, the less and less confidence there is.  But I guess in our economy, where we pray to the gods to grant us things, the notion that we control our destiny is folly.

    Fools, we are, fools we will remain, until...

    It's eleven dimensional genius (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 10:34:37 AM EST
    He's outfoxing Goldman Sachs and the rest of them and setting a trap for them by giving them everything they want and more to co-opt them into working with him and fool them into thinking he's on their side.

    Genius, I tell you. Watch for the coming trickle down deluge. :-/

    I've been casually job hunting (5.00 / 4) (#34)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:37:17 AM EST
    I figure it's time to get out of the individual insurance market, especially if the Baucus-Obama garbage plan passes.  So I'm looking for a job in the corporate world.

    I was thinking of posting that the unemployment numbers are going to rise, based simply on what I've seen over the last 2 weeks in actual availability of jobs.  It's getting worse out there.  Hard to believe that is possible...

    Sometimes I just hate being right.

    Actually, I just got my (none / 0) (#49)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 03:58:56 PM EST
    brother and SIL on individual plans here that are good plans and very affordable. The broker is located in Issaquah.

    9.8 percent ? (none / 0) (#5)
    by SOS on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 09:59:18 AM EST
    Um excuse me? Where are these numbers being manufactured?

    U6 is 17% (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 10:04:54 AM EST
    Does U6 (none / 0) (#54)
    by NYShooter on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 08:27:29 PM EST
    count the 80k former engineer, now, still "fully employed," as a 15k deli clerk?

    Um (none / 0) (#36)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:41:39 AM EST
    From the Secretary of Labor:

    WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement on the September 2009 Employment Situation report released today:

    "This past September, the economy lost 263,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate increased to 9.8 percent.

    "At the beginning of this year, the economy was in an unprecedented freefall, shedding 700,000 jobs a month. This administration met these challenges head on by putting a plan in place designed to create jobs and drive economic growth through a combination of tax relief for individuals and businesses, aid to hard-hit families and state and local governments, and funding for science, technology and infrastructure projects across the country.

    "Seven months into the Recovery Act, it is clear that this program is successfully fulfilling its broad mission of helping those harmed by the economic crisis, aiding in our recovery and laying a new foundation to keep America competitive in the 21st century.

    "According to estimates from the Council of Economic Advisors, the Recovery Act and other policies saved or created approximately one million jobs through the end of August. These jobs span the spectrum of the economy, from technicians working on the next generation of hybrid batteries, to welders who are critical to building and repairing bridges vital to our national infrastructure, to teachers and police officers who would have been laid off had it not been for aid to state and local governments.

    "And just yesterday, Vice President Biden announced a new administration-wide goal of obligating 60 percent of the $499 billion estimated in spending under the Recovery Act before the end of the 2009. This includes a plan to provide $5 billion in capital to more than 12,000 small businesses through two key lending programs -- continuing to keep us ahead of schedule in getting Recovery Act money out the door.

    "I have met many workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own who have told me that they just want to get back to work and be productive. I've seen this spirit all across the country. At the Department of Labor, we are working tirelessly to ensure that we fulfill our responsibility to provide these workers with the assistance they need today.

    "We have invested nearly $4 billion toward workforce training in high growth and emerging sectors, where we know that workers can find good jobs. Our more than 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers across the country provide basic employment search help and job training. There are many opportunities available at these centers for workers who wish to access training to gain the skills necessary to be successful not only in their job searches, but in their careers.

    "We still have a ways to go before we can be sure that all Americans have access to good jobs, but I am confident that we will reach that goal. And I will make sure that the Department of Labor is supporting workers every step of the way."

    whose backloaded stimulus plan? (none / 0) (#21)
    by diogenes on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 10:39:51 AM EST
    Didn't the Democratic party set up the crazy back-loaded stimulus plan that still hasn't spent that much money in 2009 as opposed to planned spending in the future?

    On the horizon... (none / 0) (#25)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:15:40 AM EST
    For the next 6 months the job market will continue to show net loss.

    For the next 6 months savings will start to decline.  People who have been saving for the past year fearing a layoff will or have been indeed laid off and will use their savings for basic living expenses.

    Bankruptcies and foreclosures will continue to rise and will surpass '09 in '10.

    Stock market will experience severe contractions in January and March due to severe strain caused by lack of consumption.

    Lobbyists industry will continue to grow. They have had a considerably small contraction oddly enough.

    CRE will implode in the first 2 qtrs of 2010 causing further widespread job loss.

    In October of 2008 many people were predicting a "Jobs Crisis".  Unfortunately, our government accepted 10% unemployment and the collateral damage to individuals that go with it, after all 80% of the country is still working.  

    The administrations' calculated risk that jobs would come back in time for the next presidential election and HCR would be sufficient to hold ground in 2010 elections.

    I think they were correct with holding ground in 2010, but disastrously wrong about 2012.  

    In our last jobless recovery, we used credit to move the economy.  Now that the credit situation is tapped out so to speak and we cannot use the equity in our homes for survival through job loss, we are in the crisis predicted last October.

    I do not believe they view UE as a crisis based on 80/20.  It is my impression that they are viewing this as the business cycle which requires it to fix itself with "some" assistance.  Normally that approach works.  

    This time it won't.  It will take 3-4 years for credit to heal.  Consumption will reflect that.  Business consumption and expansion will also stall for 3-4 years as a result of credit and re-configuration.

    It is not too late to address, but I agree with BTD when he says the ship has sailed.  There are a hell of a lot more people without Health Insurance (and even more who favor public option) than there are unemployed and PO is a sidebar.  

    The rest of this year will be dedicated to HCR.  I would assume that job creation will not be discussed until 2010 (the stimulus is working, give it time meme will rule).  I believe that not addressing the employment crisis will make 2010 second half as bad as this years........

    Economic statisticians (none / 0) (#56)
    by NYShooter on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 01:17:54 AM EST
    tell us it takes 250,000 new jobs each month just to keep pace with new workers entering the job force, including new (legal) immigrants . We have lost close to 7 ½ million jobs so far. (since Sept. '07)

    So the question I would like to see Obama answer at his next news conference is: "based on the aforementioned employment facts, and given a 5 year time horizon, what rate of GDP growth would be necessary to bring us back to the employment situation that existed at the time "The Masters" blew up the world?"

    Answer: "A rate of growth our country has never seen, nor come close to."

    Deduction: President Obama, together with his senior staff, and in collusion with the Major Banks, have discounted his being a one term President. Consequently, the next three years will be devoted to raping and looting what's left of our national treasure, and making preparations for their own, future well-being.

    I don't see any alternate appraisal that makes sense, insofar as the architects of our destruction, both in our current administration and the financial community, continue their behavior unabated. Except, now they are richer, more powerful, and have the full support of the FED, the Treasury, and the Presidency. Not a single meaningful investigation has commenced, not a single conspirator has been even indicted, and not a single practice that caused the debacle has been curtailed.

    Looking at things through this prism makes their actions, and inactions, look quite reasonable.

    Anybody got a better evaluation?


    I'm still waiting for that (none / 0) (#26)
    by CST on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:20:24 AM EST
    new regulatory system that was supposed to prevent another collapse.  The longer that takes to implement, the longer the financial/credit industry can continue to rob us blind.

    I'm worried about a second financial sector collapse.  There is nothing that indicates (to me) that they are seeing any true sustainable growth.

    I don't know what your problem is (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:30:46 AM EST
    <snark>There are brand new derrivative investment opportunities out there for you to make your retirement on.  You just like to whine.</snark>

    Not great at negotiating (none / 0) (#33)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:36:37 AM EST
    The new regulations should have gone hand in hand with the money. Another negotiation blunder by this administration. Now they have no leverage to use as a whip.

    It is being drastically watered down (none / 0) (#35)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:40:17 AM EST
    in the House so you know what will happen in the Senate.

    Bailouts and stimulus are not the same (none / 0) (#29)
    by FreakyBeaky on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:31:02 AM EST
    Let's try to keep them straight, hmmm-kay?

    (Yes, the stimulus is/was too small, and the bailouts to fat cats too large).

    They were too close together (none / 0) (#38)
    by cawaltz on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:48:36 AM EST
    for Joe Average to be able to differentiate IMO.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#55)
    by FreakyBeaky on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 10:57:08 PM EST
    I don't blame Joe Average.

    The truly unfortunate aspect (none / 0) (#48)
    by me only on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 01:56:23 PM EST
    of this recession is that many of these jobs are never coming back and some aren't going to figure it out for a long time.  Like the recession earlier in the decade some of the affected industries are not going to recover because the industries were in a bubble (tech workers peaked in '99-01 time frame and has never recovered, for example).  We just don't need as many people in FIRE as we had in '04-'06.  I realize that many people want these jobs because they are relatively easy and high paying.  I wonder if these people are going to ever accept employment in something that makes less money and is harder to do.