Unemployment Rate Falls To 10%

Some good news:

In the strongest employment report since the recession began nearly two years ago, the government said Friday that the nationís employers had all but stopped shedding jobs in November, taking some of the pressure off of President Obama to come up with a wide-ranging jobs creation program. The Labor Department reported that the United States economy lost 11,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate fell to 10 percent, down from 10.2 percent in October.

I have not had time to dig into the details, but at first blush, this seems like unconditional good news. Let's hope it continues.

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    David Dayen.... (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by trillian on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:41:20 AM EST
    David Dayen....

    .....the raw numbers should resist any call of this as good news:


    In November, both the number of unemployed persons, at 15.4 million, and the unemployment rate, at 10.0 percent, edged down. At the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons was 7.5 million, and the jobless rate was 4.9 percent.

        Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates for adult men (10.5 percent), adult women (7.9 percent), teenagers (26.7 percent), whites (9.3 percent), blacks (15.6 percent), and Hispanics (12.7 percent) showed little change in November. The unemployment rate for Asians was 7.3 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

    Discouraged workers and long-term unemployed actually edged up, which may account for the decline in the overall jobless rate.

    the good news (none / 0) (#4)
    by CST on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:46:58 AM EST
    is the 11,000 - down from 110,000.

    Of course, it could just be that there are no more jobs to lose.  Which is still at least an indication of where the bottom is.


    Unconditional Good News (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by me only on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:42:14 AM EST
    would have been adding jobs.  This is better than expected news, but it is possible that this will be downwardly revised.

    Like my dad's heart attack this week.  The good news is that they caught it early.  Better news would have been that it didn't happen.

    Wishing him well (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Radiowalla on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:48:59 AM EST
    as he recovers.

    +1 (none / 0) (#35)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:12:49 PM EST
    A little more information (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by MO Blue on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:42:36 AM EST
    Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates for adult men (10.5 percent), adult women (7.9 percent), teenagers (26.7 percent), whites (9.3 percent), blacks (15.6 percent), and Hispanics (12.7 percent) showed little change in November. The unemployment rate for Asians was 7.3 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

    Discouraged workers and long-term unemployed actually edged up, which may account for the decline in the overall jobless rate. FDL

    Cautiously good news (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:50:38 AM EST
    But the fact that long-term unemployed -- those out of work for more than six months -- increased by 293,000, and the average and median length of unemployment both increased by about one and a half weeks, might skew the numbers a bit.

    Hopefully, the rest of it is the start of a trend.

    Is it just temporary holiday hiring (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:55:54 AM EST
    that is mitigating bad news, or is actual progress being made?

    Very little (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:58:32 AM EST
    holiday hiring in retail this year, from what I've heard, so I don't think that has much impact.

    From what I've been reading (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:11:36 AM EST
    The nunmber of temp workers is up, as well as the amount of OT - so there IS work to be done, but I don't know if this is a long term trend, or a blip for now.

    Tempory employment (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:34:09 AM EST
    Employment in professional and business services rose by 86,000 in November. Temporary help services accounted for the majority of the increase, adding 52,000 jobs. Since July, temporary help services employment has risen by 117,000.

    Health care employment continued to rise in November (21,000), with notable gains in home health care services (7,000) and hospitals (7,000). The health care industry has added 613,000 jobs since the recession began in December 2007. FDL

    There's the rub ... (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:40:51 PM EST
    we can only hope that a good chunk of these temp positions will transition to full-time as things get better.

    But I wouldn't bet on it.  There are a lot of signs pointing to another dip in the economy in the spring.


    And (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:46:17 PM EST
    As someone who works as a temp lawyer, my guess is this is the new business model for many companies, especially depending on what happens with health care.  Temps go from project to project, and companies don't have to worry about tons of extra office space (I generally work with other people at computers in conference rooms or training rooms in the basement of hte office), benefits - both tangible and intangible, and HR functions.  If they don't like someone's work product, they call the  temp agency and that temp is gone that night - no fuss, no muss.

    I think as time goes on, people doing temp work will be more the norm.


    So different from the nineties ... (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:59:27 PM EST
    when I did temp work as a paralegal and legal proofreader.  I rarely had a gig that lasted longer than a day in which I wasn't offered a full-time position.

    And my temp agency was always scrambling for good people.  My temp rep once said to me, "Can you recommend any other people?  People like you. People who are ... um ... sane."

    I know it's a strong job market when I'm considered sane.



    That's certainly the new business model (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:25:40 PM EST
    in academia. Rather than hire actual faculty with decent salaries and benefits, just hire a bunch of adjuncts and instructors on a part-time basis without benefits. I can't tell you how many PhDs I know who rove around picking up classes at various institutions trying to cobble together a living wage (and still without benefits).

    It's the new America.


    Harbinger? (none / 0) (#55)
    by christinep on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:26:27 PM EST
    My understanding is that job economists often refer to a trend of increasing temporary employment as a positive harbinger of increasing full-time employment in the months to come.  The thinking is that employers test the water, so to speak, with a limited hiring commitment <of temporary hiring> as the economy grows better. I hope so.

    Maybe in the past (none / 0) (#78)
    by jbindc on Sat Dec 05, 2009 at 11:39:26 AM EST
    But I think the paradigm is shifting, if you will. I think this time businesses are realizing (especially with so many professionals out of work) that it's much cheaper (and maybe more efficient) to bring in temp HR people, temp lawyers, temp accountants, temp marketing people, etc. on a project-by-project basis.  They're also realizing that, for now at least, they are able to get the same work done with fewer people (although workers are feeling the pinch and stress).

    From what I've seen and have been reading, big law firms, who in the past year have had unprecedented layoffs, are realizing that they don't need large classes of summer associates, who will then become 1st year associates.  These law firms are looking much more closely at even that elite group of people and trying to figure out who will really be on the partner track, and who will wash out in a few years, and then they are making hiring decisions accordingly.  

    They are also realizing that instead of paying 1st and 2nd year associates $165,000/year - babies right out of law school, who never have had a real job in many cases - to review documents and do what I do, they can hire people who review documents for a living, and generally provide better quality reviews - all for about $50 /hour, paid to the temp agency, for a limited period of time. Law firm partners, like all top management in companies, are very protective of their bottom line (and ultimately, their share of the profits).  It's certainly in their best interest to reduce costs.

    My two cents - if anyone ever asked me, I would strongly advise against going to law school right now, unless they have a passion to work for social justice.  It's not worth the $100K plus of student debt.


    The unemployment rate is (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 03:20:17 PM EST
    supposed to be seasonally adjusted.  

    So, in theory the temporary jobs are averaged in to avoid any distortions of a higher employment rate this month than next, after the temps are let go....


    My Concern (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by CDN Ctzn on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:18:14 PM EST
    is that duringthe Bush years they were able to roll out figures and statistics that madt things seem alot better than they were. Are we doing the same here, and if they are, shouldn't we call them on it?
    As one of the "Unemployed" who was previously catagorized as "self-employed", though I was employed as a Pastor in a large denomination, I don't technically show up as unemployed, nor can I file for any unemployment benefits because my previous status disqualifies me. The point is...how many others are there out there in similar circumstances who are flying (more like crashed and burned) under the statistics radar?
    The employment market here in Portland is grim and eight years of college and graduate school in a specialized field has left me qualified for work in basically zero other fields.
    Just sayin'.

    Please (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by Dadler on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:03:56 AM EST
    These numbers are ALWAYS revised upward a few months later. And they don't count those who have given up (more than ever these days). And they don't describe the jobs supposedly created. Since we're a country that gleefully decided to destroy much of our employement base, these are most assuredly service jobs that don't pay a wage that's going to get any economy back on its feet. We're not a nation capable of being honest with ourselves about ANYthing. And we still can't face the reality of our own continuing self-destruction, and our pathetic "attempts" to remedy it.

    Always (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by me only on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:44:32 AM EST
    Is a word that you apparently don't know the meaning of.  From the same article:

    The government also significantly revised its September and October job loss estimates. September's data was adjusted to show a loss of 139,000 jobs instead of 219,000, and in October 111,000 jobs were lost, instead of 190,000.

    While they are regularly revised, they are not always revised upward.


    Took the words (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:39:08 PM EST
    right out of my mouth, so to speak. :-)

    The worst part of that phrase (none / 0) (#46)
    by me only on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:59:21 PM EST
    is whenever I hear it, "On a hot summer night would you offer your..." comes to mind.  And then 10 minutes get wasted while I satiate my sick desire for meat...

    (If this doesn't make sense, click here.)


    last month (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:16:52 PM EST
    they were revised downward.  I don't think we are going to have a big revision.  Seasonal hires jumped a bit yr/yr so it may be that we see the number jump again in February after Jan's results.  Considering zero economists predicted such a low number I have a difficult time not believing that it is a statistical blip.  

    America without a Middle Class (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Dadler on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:26:01 AM EST
    Warren plays loose with the numbers (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by me only on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:47:50 AM EST
    It is very annoying.  She uses the "only 10% increase in the size of the house" statistic and conveniently ignores the family size change from 3.1 to 2.6 members.  One a square footage per occupant houses are 36% larger in 2005 than 1973.  Almost half of the one bath houses in America were destroyed.  Is it any wonder that housing has increased so much in cost?

    OK (5.00 / 5) (#33)
    by Dadler on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:04:31 PM EST
    Then I guess she's entirely wrong. Workers have seen an overgenerous share of the national income. The middle class is too large and prosperous. We have too many blue collar jobs that pay a living+ wage.

    As for big houses, come on, our entire society is based on bigger, better, more expensive crap. We are raised from the womb into a hyper-consumer mindset. Many Americans, for good or ill, are products of that culture, believe it or not. Evolved geniuses like you and I are lucky.  Lol.

    The reality remains, we have become a corporate oligarchy again (a new Gilded Age) in which the spoils go entirely to corporate stakeholders, not the people who actually do the work, and it gets worse every day. And when sh*t hits the fan, the corporate get the most help from the gov't, everyone else gets crumbs. Corporations OWN this country and its lawmakers, and they are able to do with labor essentially whatever they please.

    If you have a beef with a few specific numbers you think she twists, so be it. I seriously doubt there is any economic analysis by anyone except yourself that you would not find faults with.


    Coservatively (none / 0) (#54)
    by me only on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:25:53 PM EST
    5000% wrong, at least.

    People like you don't get it.  Warren twists so many facts that she doesn't need to twist.  The case for some type of action is there, but when you distort facts you lose any moral high ground you ever had.


    I am SO relieved (none / 0) (#61)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:55:29 PM EST
    to see somebody say this about Warren.  That's been my sense, but I haven't really had enough facts at my fingertips to back that up, so I've kept quiet since she's been such a great heroine of the blogs.

    Well that was a joke (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by me only on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 02:53:25 PM EST
    I mean even W wasn't 5000% wrong.  (I calculate only 4942.8976%)

    Warren is an activist portraying herself as an objective expert.  That always pisses me off.  If Warren would admit to the fact that some of the current problem is regulation* she would be more credible.

    *If you saw the Frontline "investigation" that Jeralyn linked to about a week ago, what really stood out to me is that disclosure is a large part of the problem.  As the former CEO of Providian pointed out, it took him and lawyer over 20 minutes to understand a credit card offer.  It is too much.  My title company freaked out when I threatened to actually read the disclosure for my ARM.  It was over 80 pages.  

    Warren's answer is no ARM's.  That is a terrible solution for a great many people.  Lots of people in the corporate world move every 3-5 years.  A 3/1 or 5/1 ARM is a good product in those cases.  The problem that no one, including Warren, wants to address is that the average consumer thinks that the mortgage lender is their adviser (or the real estate agent).  Neither one of those groups represents you.

    How do you educate people about finances?  These products are not like toasters.  It is unsafe for anyone to buy a toaster that catches fire.  On the other hand, I have had three ARMs (my wife also had one).  They saved me nearly twenty thousand dollars over the course of the loan (that is before I include the time value of money).  Other people have real problems with ARMs.  So does Warren have a good solution with the new agency?  

    I'll let you answer that.  Taking away choices always seems good, but then again we tried that with prohibition and it didn't work out too well.


    Agree with all you say (none / 0) (#71)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 03:35:47 PM EST
    I did see the Frontline program (Frontline may be consistently the absolute best program on TV, so I watch everyhing they do and have done for many years!).

    Another point the Providian guy, and others, made is that although he and they have brutally exploited lower-income, high-risk credit card customers, they were able to do that because there's been a huge demand among that population for some kind of credit card.  Same with subprime mortgages.  Ending those things would end the abuses, but leave a lot of people out in the cold with no way to manage their money and improve their credit rating.

    So somebody needs to do some more serious thinking about how to rein in the abuse but still let the banks make a reasonable profit on these customers.

    Some sort of standard, plain-English explanation of the contract terms would sure be helpful, but the worst abuses need to be stopped, as well.  If that means everybody has to go back to paying a modest yearly fee on credit cards to make up the difference, that seems entirely fair to me, rather than letting these crooks finance free cards/checking accounts, etc, for most of us by fleecing the folks at the bottom out of their last dime.

    Putting in some laws about usury would be a darn good start.


    Well (none / 0) (#75)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 05:53:37 PM EST
    I didnt watch the frontline program but back in the 90's these people who were considered "poor credit" risks were able to get home loans but they were told right up front that the rate would be 10% or 12% in the case of the people I knew. So they weren't able to buy the mcmansions that they could get with the suprime loans but they were able to get a home. They certainly ahd to stay on the low end of the price range but it worked towards them improving their credit and after a few years of good payment history they could refinance to a lower rate.

    Thank you! (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:42:51 PM EST
    The dose of reality you're bringing here is most welcome.

    However good this news is, (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:26:38 AM EST
    and whatever trend it may portend, I don't understand the NYT saying that this could take ANY pressure off Obama re: jobs creation - much less the "some" (what? .2%?) they describe in the article, not when this:

    In November, both the number of unemployed persons, at 15.4 million, and the unemployment rate, at 10.0 percent, edged down. At the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons was 7.5 million, and the jobless rate was 4.9 percent.

    is the reality we're faced with.

    The sad thing is that I have come to expect more talk about jobs creation than actual action, as Obama continues to "gather ideas" and "consider all the options," and "consult with Congress (probably those fiscally conservative Democrats we've come to know and loathe)" in spite of having months and months and months to work on it.

    Obama may use left over TARP (none / 0) (#70)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 03:24:29 PM EST
    money for a jobs program.

    B of A is supposedly going to pay back some $30-40 billion of TARP money by year's end.  (It's not just a nice-guy move--they want to put pressure on Citi and Wells to do the same when they probably can't, at least not now.)


    Also (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by DancingOpossum on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:38:35 AM EST
    Also consider that how most people "know" about the economy is not from charts and trends but from personal observation, that is, the fact that most of us know people who have lost their jobs and are having an extremely hard time finding a new one; who've had their hours cut and their benefits slashed. Not a single person that I know--and I expect that's true of most of us--feels secure about the economy, and that's the gut instinct that drives how people feel and how they vote.

    The gut is right in this case (none / 0) (#25)
    by Slado on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:40:23 AM EST
    while the drop may be stopping I see nothing to support a rise to get us back to the levels we grew accustomed to.

    IMHO those levels where unrealistic and what the president should be doing is preparing us for the reality that the party is over.


    are you really saying... (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Dadler on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:09:59 PM EST
    ...that the great and free United States of America, through the combined efforts of the public and private sector, is not capable of fully employing its population?

    When money is entirely a human creation with no value whatsoever except for the human thoughts and feelings about it?

    IMO, respectfully, that evidences a staggering lack of imagination.


    Reprioritzing and recalibrating (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:14:56 PM EST
    any country that can spend a trillion dollars on wars, military occupations and fat govt contracts can provide decent, constructive employment for it's citizenry.

    With a will and change of mindset, that is.


    I am saying that (none / 0) (#48)
    by Slado on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:05:23 PM EST
    our consumer economy built merely on consumption gave us a false standard of living.

    We got rich borrowing money and when the bill came due we have what you see before you.

    We are plenty capable of what you yearn for the question is can our society accept that not everyone gets to live in a McMansion and shouldn't be carrying half their salary in credit card debt.


    You have to dig a bit ... (none / 0) (#56)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:27:48 PM EST
    deeper.  The banks, once again, are at the crux of the problem here.  They give people virtually no incentive to save.  And they haven't for quite a while.

    If the banks were forced once again to depend largely on deposits to increase their lending power, they would be forced to make saving more attractive.  And more people would save.

    Do this, and fix health care, and most of the debt problem would evaporate.


    I can only speak for my (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by Slado on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:38:42 AM EST
    industry which is construction.

    If it weren't for public and gov't work there'd be no work at all.  As is always the case in hard times.

    It takes 18 months for our industry to feel the full effects and that time is just about coming due.   Projects that where started before the crash are finishing up and all material and product orders have happened.

    No one is hiring and most companies are using the weak economy as an excuse to streamline.   We are currently furloughing as are the suppliers and customers we work with.

    I know of no company that would even consider hiring in 2010.   We may have hit the bottom but there is no end in sight.

    Pile on the uncertainty that the squabble over health care and energy has produced and no company is making any moves to add employees.

    Basically it is survive and wait to see what happens.

    To second what you said (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by me only on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:51:37 AM EST
    the construction industry for the energy industry is really struggling.  No conventional electrical projects are likely to move until after some decision is reached as to CO2 regulation.  Probably a year away.

    Yep -- my stepson was laid off (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Cream City on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 02:04:28 PM EST
    two weeks ago in your industry.  How nice that he is part of a smaller group of the unemployed last month than were my other children laid off sooner.  Somehow, that is no comfort, and especially because the construction industry is so key to the economy.

    So we have another child to help, while we cope with our own pay cuts in this economy (excuse me, furloughs:-) and with most of our retirement savings gone, with our plan to retire anytime soon.

    Gosh, at least one of our kids got a temp job.  So he can afford to take out his wife once a week -- she who also is underemployed, having landed a part-time consulting job, anyway -- so that the newlyweds can have some time alone, since all that they can afford is to live with us.  

    Heckuva job you're doing, Obama and Dems.  Keep this up, and my plan is to unemploy all of you.


    I am not surprised ..... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by nyrias on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:03:42 PM EST
    Remember a while back that the recession is technically over (meaning GDP started to grow again).


    The job market is always a lag behind the economy for obvious reasons.

    For those who said it is not as good as jobs being created ... sure. However, it is the TREND that is important. These things have momentum and usually don't reverse itself unless there is a huge external shock (such as another war break out).

    My guess is that jobs will start to grow by next year.

    I have no quarrel (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by NYShooter on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:31:10 PM EST
    with your comments, yet I'm reminded of the old bromide: "Figures Lie, and Liars figure."

    My problem with the situation is from the Macro side. An example: A highly skilled professional earning $80,000 is terminated, and his job sent to India. Simultaneously, two key punch operators are hired earning $20,000 each. The unemployment figure drops, Wall Street goes crazy, and the stock market makes a bee-line to 20,000.

    My problem is, what kind of country are we building? The answer is quite obvious, an oligarchy. Wall Street goes crazy because it is the recipient of the greater profits of shipping the $80,000 job to India.

    But America just bleeds, and bleeds, and bleeds.


    If this is the result of the numbers (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:45:23 PM EST
    taking some of the pressure off of President Obama to come up with a wide-ranging jobs creation program.

    I'm not sure it it good news at all. The last thing the unemployed - of whom there are still way too many - is Obama feeling less pressure to help them get jobs. The man barely does anything when he does feel pressure.

    Atrios said it another way (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 02:27:16 PM EST
    Worried The Good News Is Bad News

    As I said yesterday, while I wasn't rooting for a bad economy I was somewhat rooting for a bad-sounding measurement of the economy. There's no contradiction here as measurement is imperfect and the unemployment number specifically bounces around quite a bit. The worry is that momentum for an aggressive jobs bill is lost. Obviously I could be completely wrong about everything and an aggressive jobs bill isn't needed, but our Fed chair doesn't seem to be too concerned about the unemployment rate, so...

    correction (none / 0) (#59)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:46:23 PM EST
    should be 'last thing the unemployed need'..

    sorry, that doesn't sound right (none / 0) (#6)
    by cpinva on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:52:26 AM EST
    Economists are expecting that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will report that between 114,000 and 125,000 jobs were lost in November. If the BLS numbers come anywhere close to the lower end, it will be the smallest job loss since the recession began in December 2007.

    While the losses have been diminishing, they are seemingly unrelenting. This morning the ADP National Employment Report said 169,000 private sector jobs were lost in November. It's the eighth consecutive month of declines in lost jobs and the lowest loss since July 2008.


    ok, i give up (none / 0) (#8)
    by cpinva on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:56:41 AM EST
    why does the hyperlink icon not work here?

    anyway, i had already seen the 169,000 job loss figure for november reported elsewhere. while certainly a decline from previous months, it's nowhere near what a rate of 11,000 would indicate.

    The -169K estimate was from the ADP Survey (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by steviez314 on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:10:22 AM EST
    that came out Wednesday.  It's a relatively new data series (about 2 years) and doesn't have any better a track record than regular gov't data, maybe even worse.

    yes, but the lower #, (none / 0) (#50)
    by cpinva on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:08:01 PM EST
    The -169K estimate was from the ADP Survey

    but still over 100K, is from the BLS. i still think 11k is a typo, it just doesn't pass the smell test.


    Typo (none / 0) (#10)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:59:40 AM EST
    I think.

    Not a typo (none / 0) (#11)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:03:03 AM EST
    NYTimes definitely says 11,000 repeatedly, and so does AP. "The economy shed 11,000 jobs last month, an improvement from October's revised total of 111,000, the Labor Department said Friday. That's much better than the 130,000 Wall Street economists had expected."

    Clarification (none / 0) (#15)
    by prittfumes on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:06:52 AM EST
    Are you saying you think the 11,000 figure is a typo? Thanks.

    No (none / 0) (#38)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:36:31 PM EST
    That's what I thought at first, but it's not a typo.

    Not really (none / 0) (#13)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:04:00 AM EST
    good news IMO BUT it's better than losing jobs in the triple digits. Good news is when jobs are being CREATED but I see a huge gaping hole in the paragraph you excerpted. It says that Obama has to do nothing or implies that he's off the hook and that is totally wrong. 10% unemployment is unacceptable and there's a large chance that the numbers are going to go back up in January because retailers are NOT having a good Christmas season so far.

    that (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:06:07 AM EST
    should be losing jobs in teh six digits. Mind must be gone today.

    scratching head (none / 0) (#18)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:24:12 AM EST
    cannot figure this out.  Wages up a fraction but still up, 11k seems impossible, hours slightly up.  u6 at 3 decade high but to be expected.

    Makes absolutely no sense.  Now i expect a bigger jump in January or February but with the shock of this latest number i couldn't even fake a prediction.

    That said, the jobs situation is still extremely tough and we need help from the administration.  the right will argue that it is fixing itself and time is the best cure.  Better to be on the correct side of job creation in an election year than on obstructionist side, but only if the reigning power can sell that to the people.

    You misunderstand the right (none / 0) (#41)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:41:00 PM EST
    The right argues, vehemently, that the Obama policies and programs make it impossible for jobs and the economy to recover.

    and it is working (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:48:27 PM EST
    the best defense in this case is a good offense.  Retail hiring was 100k more than last year at this point and my guess is therein lies the difference.  100k more seasonal jobs in the past two months than last year.  My guess is that without that, we are looking at 110k loss.

    Foxnews has several stories on "where are the jobs" yet i hear of nary a single repub with an idea of how to create them.  

    A good offense is to start floating a stimulus but he pretty much ruled that out.  The administration has to press the issue despite HCR and get republicans on record as to what their plans are.  The problem with so much emphasis on HCR is that the admin is skittish about releasing yet another program that costs money.  

    If there was ever a justifiable time to use "you are either for us or against us" is now.


    They have lots of "ideas" (none / 0) (#60)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:53:07 PM EST
    about how to create jobs.  Boehner held his own GOP "jobs summit" at the same time as Obama's yesterday.

    Problem is their ideas are the same old ideas, primarily cutting taxes both on individuals and businesses, cutting regulations on business, etc.


    WSJ today (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by me only on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 02:59:36 PM EST
    pointed out that until business knows what is going to happen with card check, health care reform and Copenhagen don't expect business to hire much.

    Some of that is overblown, but business hates uncertainty.  We could hire three people right now, but we won't.  Too costly if things regress.

    I think Obama was fooled by the stimulus bill into thinking that legislation could be moved along fairly quickly.  HCR was supposed to be on his desk before end of summer.  I guess it will, but that will be summer 2010, not 2009.


    Agree entirely on this, too (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 03:45:00 PM EST
    Some of the hoo-hah about the effect of uncertainty coming from the right is just noise, but most of it I believe is quite real.

    When you don't know where the economy is going and how fast, plus you don't know what a new administration and Congress is going to end up with on health insurance, and you get stuff like the government stepping in to dictate salaries and bonuses in bailed-out banks, you're not going to think about expanding your business or hiring new workers unless you're flat-out insane. If I had a business and was of a more conservative mind than I am, I wouldn't even take a small business loan from the government right now for fear they'd impose some new regulation, however laudable it might be in principle, on loan recipients after the fact.

    Like it or not (and frankly, I don't like it much) this is a capitalist economy and private business is going to do what it has to to protect its own interests, not those of the broader society.


    Same for nonprofit sector (none / 0) (#73)
    by Cream City on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 05:09:42 PM EST
    from talking to folks in it, who are not replacing staff if they leave, because funding is down so far that they don't dare take the risk.  Everybody works more and/or some tasks just are not getting done -- such as fundraising events that are so often being canceled, anyway, these days.  So it's a vicious circle.

    And it's certainly true in my sector of the nonprofit sector, also part of gummint employment.  Hiring is just about nonexistent to replace for retirements (those who can retire), and all long-range plans that would have created new jobs now are on hold.  Entire areas of the world just will not be taught, as we cannot even get approval to hire more temp teachers.  We're trying to get at it a different way, redefining those jobs, but the prospects are doubtful.  

    Instead, we also all wait owing to the uncertainties of not only fundraising but also gummint revenues from taxes -- which also are looking like they will be severely down, of course, since incomes are down, sales are down, so there go income taxes, sales taxes, etc.


    Yes, indeed (none / 0) (#76)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 05:56:25 PM EST
    One of my clients is a non-profit, and they've just been getting killed by the dramatic drop-off in fundraising.

    As a retired business type (none / 0) (#77)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 06:23:47 PM EST
    I can tell you that when all you know is that your transportation and energy bills will be driven up with Cap and Trade, your Benefit bills with Health Care and both personal and corporate taxes will be up...

    That translates over to "do nothing and hope for the best."

    Obama's polices are killing us even before they get made into law.


    Someone's Done the Digging (none / 0) (#21)
    by DancingOpossum on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:31:30 AM EST
    Investors Insight has done the digging and concluded that any celebration is extremely premature:


    Because of the near-certain loss of jobs for the next few months and the slow recovery, it is a very real possibility that unemployment will still be well over 10% a year from now.

    Even with robust growth of 200,000 jobs a month thereafter for the next two years, unemployment will still be close to or over 9%. That would only be an additional 1.8 million jobs (making the most optimistic assumptions) over the new jobs needed for population growth.

    Lots of charty goodness here:  http://www.investorsinsight.com/blogs/thoughts_from_the_frontline/archive/2009/09/25/welcome-to-the- new-normal.aspx

    h/t to corrente

    OK, but (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:46:00 PM EST
    are we allowed to be slightly relieved at least?  I actually haven't heard/seen anybody celebrating, but if you say they are, I take your word for it.

    Obama should deliver future job speeches (none / 0) (#30)
    by SOS on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:56:28 AM EST
    in standard Chinese.

    Figures don't lie, but... (none / 0) (#31)
    by Lora on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:00:07 PM EST
    Those who have been out of work too long aren't factored in, and there are more and more of those.  And what about part-time employment?  Is part-time (with no benefits) status distinguished from full-time status, or are the part-timers just lumped in and made part of these optimistic numbers?

    What's the unemployment rate when you don't leave out those "discouraged" workers, and take out those who only have a part-time job because that's all there was?

    How many jobs with benefits have been lost versus how many have been gained?

    How many applicants are there on average for each opening?

    What's the REAL unemployment rate?

    According to this (none / 0) (#49)
    by Slado on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:06:36 PM EST
    it fell slightly as well.

    Did anyone report the U6 number? <n/t> (none / 0) (#52)
    by FreakyBeaky on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:20:48 PM EST
    U6 Number (none / 0) (#63)
    by DancingOpossum on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 02:14:12 PM EST
    Did anyone report the U6 number?

    The Investors Insight article I posted did. They said if you add it in the actual unemployment rate is 16.8%. Yowza!

    Bloomberg (none / 0) (#66)
    by Makarov on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 02:41:57 PM EST
    reported U6 as declining from 17.5% to 17.2%

    Mark Zandi (none / 0) (#64)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 02:26:34 PM EST
    10-29-09 Joint Economic committee.  Zandi, Chief Economist and Co-Founder of Moody's Economy dotcom.

    A few interesting notes.

    "That fact, however, says nothing about the program's efficacy. If anything, it suggests the $787 billion stimulus was too small."

    Since 1948 this recession rates as follows:

    Longest, 20 months -- average 10
    Highest GDP drop -3.9 --  avg 2.0
    Industrial Production -19.6% -- avg -8.3
    Largest change in jobless rate = 5.9% avg -- 7.6

    All of the above are the worst since 1948.

    "The fiscal stimulus is also working."

    "The part of the stimulus providing the biggest bang for the buck--the most economic activity per federal dollar spent--is the extension of unemployment insurance benefits (see Table 3). Workers who lose their jobs before the end of 2009 can temporarily receive more UI, food stamps, and help with health insurance payments. Without this extra help, laid-off workers and their families would be slashing their own spending, leading to the loss of even more jobs."

    "Whatever the reason, unless hiring resumes soon, the severe stress in the job market will not abate. With nearly 26 million workers--17% of the workforce--unemployed or underemployed, and those with jobs working a record-low number of hours, workers' nominal compensation threatens to decline."

    "It is a tragedy that the nation has been forced to spend so much to tame the financial crisis and end the Great Recession. Yet it has been money well spent. The fiscal stimulus is working to ensure that the recent dark economic times will soon be relegated to the history books."

    Zandi was an advisor to McCain during his campaign, although McCain would say after he heard that Zandi thought the stimulus was too small "I had lots of advisors".  

    if you get a chance, read his testimony it is one of the better reads on the situation out there.....


    Interesting (none / 0) (#74)
    by DancingOpossum on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 05:40:15 PM EST
    Thanks for posting that Zandi testimony. It coincides with what I've reapeatedly read elsewhere, that the biggest bang-per-buck in stimulus spending is giving people money, e.g. increasing welfare payments gives a better ROI than, say, cutting taxes. It seems logical when you think about it: Give people $$ and they'll spend it. Sometimes you just have to whack the Gordian knot!