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120K Jobs Created; U3 Down To 8.6% On Revisions, Reduction In Workforce Participation

BLS reports:

The Labor Department said Friday that the nationís employers added 120,000 jobs last month, after adding 100,000 jobs in October. The unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent, after having been mired around 9 percent for most of 2011.

Novemberís jobless rate was the lowest recorded since March 2009. The rate fell partly because more workers got jobs, but also because about 315,000 workers dropped out of the labor force, and the jobless rate counts only people who are actively looking for work.

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    So I wonder (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 08:15:37 AM EST
    if you included the people that didn't drop out what would the number be?

    The most inclusive number for (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by caseyOR on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 08:29:51 AM EST
    unemployment is the U6. The U6 includes everyone in the U3 plus the marginally employed, the par timers who want/need full-time, the discouraged who have quit looking and those who have exhausted the unemployment benefits.

    I believe the government touts the U3 because it is always the lowest measurement. It only counts people who are getting unemployment benefits. Once those expire, even if you are actively seeking work, the U3 ignores you.

    Parent

    BLS does not calculate the rate of (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 10:17:54 AM EST
    unemployment on the basis of unemployment claims records.

    From the BLS:

    Some people think that to get these figures on unemployment, the Government uses the number of persons filing claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits under State or Federal Government programs. But some people are still jobless when their benefits run out, and many more are not eligible at all or delay or never apply for benefits. So, quite clearly, UI information cannot be used as a source for complete information on the number of unemployed.

    Other people think that the Government counts every unemployed person each month. To do this, every home in the country would have to be contacted--just as in the population census every 10 years. This procedure would cost way too much and take far too long. Besides, people would soon grow tired of having a census taker come to their homes every month, year after year, to ask about job-related activities.

    Because unemployment insurance records relate only to persons who have applied for such benefits, and since it is impractical to actually count every unemployed person each month, the Government conducts a monthly sample survey called the Current Population Survey (CPS) to measure the extent of unemployment in the country. The CPS has been conducted in the United States every month since 1940, when it began as a Work Projects Administration project. It has been expanded and modified several times since then. For instance, beginning in 1994, the CPS estimates reflect the results of a major redesign of the survey. (For more information on the CPS redesign, see Chapter 1, "Labor Force Data Derived from the Current Population Survey," in the BLS Handbook of Methods.)

    There's a lot more at the link, including more information on how the survey is conducted.  I did not this, for example:

    Every month, one-fourth of the households in the sample are changed, so that no household is interviewed more than 4 consecutive months. This practice avoids placing too heavy a burden on the households selected for the sample. After a household is interviewed for 4 consecutive months, it leaves the sample for 8 months, and then is again interviewed for the same 4 calendar months a year later, before leaving the sample for good. This procedure results in approximately 75 percent of the sample remaining the same from month to month and 50 percent from year to year.

    I agree with you, though, that it is the U3 that gets touted, and not the more-than-double U6; seems like there might be more pressure to do something if headlines were blaring that the effective rate of unemployment was some 16% - 20%.


    Parent

    The U6 is 15.9%! (none / 0) (#53)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 12:37:19 PM EST
    While the decline in the national unemployment rate is significant [40 basis points] the comprehensive view of employment, or U6 rate, that includes all marginally attached to the labor force, remains high at 15.6 percent and 60 basis points higher than a year ago.

    So a tiny (and largely statistical) piece of good news, followed by reams of (real) bad news!

    Parent

    Factually incorrect (none / 0) (#27)
    by me only on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 10:01:44 AM EST
    U3 counts anyone out of work who is actively looking for work.  Unemployment benefits have NOTHING to do with being counted in U3.

    Parent
    Interesting post at Seeking Alpha (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 08:27:57 AM EST
    Each month the BLS compiles unemployment data from a US Census Bureau telephone survey of approximately 60,000 households. As per internal regulation, the Census can only contact prospective survey participants via land line. Therein lies the fatal error: According to the Centers for Disease Control and market reports from the telco industry, more than 1/3 of Americans don't have access to a land line at home, including 50-60% of those age 18-30 and 40-50% of those living below the poverty level. As unemployment rates for the young and the uneducated run nearly twice the national average, there is a high probability that these groups are severely undercounted.

    How much are the young and the poor undercounted? Using a fair sample of 50% cell phone respondents, I calculate by more than 2 million. Adding 2 million to the official tally of 14 million unemployed, we get a U-3 rate greater than 10%.

    And how much do the 2 million undercounted unemployed add to the consumer spending deficit? If 14 million unemployed contribute to a total of $850 billion in lost annual earnings, 16 million contribute to a total of $910 billion. At the end of next year, when nearly 50% of the unemployed exhaust their benefits, including a disproportionate number of young and uneducated Americans, the total drain on consumer spending will be more than $1.3 trillion.

    [snip]

    As a side note, the BLS definition of "underemployment" is working part-time hours while desiring full-time work. This definition has nothing to do with skill utilization or pay scale. If the real U-3 unemployment rate is greater than 10%, it would not be out of the question to suspect that the U-6 rate is several points higher than the reported 16%.

    The job market continues to be an albatross for investors. Approach this rally with caution.

    Bulls Beware: The Real Unemployment Rate Is Much Higher Than BLS Reports
    Seth Mason, November 4, 2011



    There is no land line to our daughter (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 08:34:28 AM EST
    and her fiancee.  They are early 20s and have children to feed.

    Parent
    Any luck (none / 0) (#8)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 08:37:37 AM EST
    finding the equipment loan?

    I hear the fed is only asking something like 0.001% and has trillions they're dying to loan... ;-)

    Parent

    We did, but we will shop for better interest rate (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 08:49:23 AM EST
    Our whole credit system has been streamlined to feed the CEOs.  You can get a vehicle loan easily, but actually have someone on your staff who can or will appraise or find an appraisal on a piece of heavy equipment in a small town?

    I took out a personal loan and bought the damn thing before the guy hauled it to a heavy equipment auction on the 15th.  It has been working almost every single day since purchase.  That kid/future son-in-law will be the last man standing, but I think the next few upcoming years are going to take him right up to that line.  If we were in his position at our age I believe it would break our spirits.  I think we'd swap out hope for embracing and drowning in hopeless.

    Parent

    At least he's finding the work (none / 0) (#16)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 08:54:55 AM EST
    He's one of the luck ones to have a MIL like he has, too...

    Parent
    I love him (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 09:05:10 AM EST
    He is a fighter, and caring and considerate too.  He phoned me one morning.  He was on the street above my house, he had been driving to his parents house.  Someone had hit one of my neighbors dogs, and they had hit him so hard he died quickly but the impact knocked his tail off.

    My SIL got there while he was still alive though and sat next to him, he had passed when I got there.  He kept asking me how someone could hit a dog like that and just keep going, not care.  I don't know but it happens often.  We called my neighbor who was at work and wrapped her dog in an old sheet and hid him in the bushes so his kids wouldn't see him before their mom could bury him.  My SIL got his water cooler off his truck and washed the blood from the street in front of the house so the dog's children would not see that when they got home from school.  He is hard working but so good.  My daughter teases that I get him in the divorce.

    Parent

    Like I said (none / 0) (#26)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 09:38:59 AM EST
    he's got a good MIL! I wish I had one like that, but I'd have to be married to have one, and that just wouldn't work for me. I was born to be single. ;-)

    Parent
    If you (none / 0) (#18)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 09:03:11 AM EST
    don't mind me asking what kind of heavy equipment? If I had a lot of land honestly, I think I'd invest in a tractor and a plow because at least I could produce some food.

    Parent
    It is a skid steer (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 09:09:43 AM EST
    Landscaping is much different here than where I started a landscaping business :)  It has been interesting and lots of learning, helping him along.  The huge hardwood trees here are not something that I had to deal with.  If anyone has trees out West we are preserving most of those.  Trees here can hamper growing almost anything else though and the skid steer is used mostly to down and remove the large trees.

    There are attachments he is looking at now.  One for grading that makes large lot grading simple, and a hydraulic bucket that you can use to grab with as well as scoop (would help a lot when you are moving tree parts).

    Parent

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 09:11:20 AM EST
    I wish him the best of luck with his business and I hope it all works out for him and your daughter!

    Parent
    Tyler Durden plays with numbers too (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 09:28:32 AM EST
    Here

    Here are the four most important data points and charts from today's job report: the civilian labor force declined from 154,198 to 153,883, a 315K decline despite the civilian non-institutional population increased (as expected) from 240,269 to 240,441: always the easiest way to push down the unemployment rate. Percentage wise this was a drop from 64.2% to 64.0%: the lowest since back in 1983. Naturally, this would mean that the people not part of the labor force rose, and indeed they did by 487,000 to a record 86,558 from 86,071. This also means that more people are looking for a job: and indeed, the number of "Persons who want a job now" rose by 192K to a record 6.595 million. And lastly, confirming the behind the scenes disaster of the US jobless picture, the average duration of unemployment rose to a new record 40.9 weeks from 39.4 weeks previously. And that is your "improving" jobless picture in a nutshell.


    Parent
    Yes, (none / 0) (#25)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 09:31:47 AM EST
    Durden is good - he stays right on top of things...

    Parent
    He's being very conservative there (none / 0) (#4)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 08:32:33 AM EST
    Many people calculate it differently, anywhere in a range from 16% to more than 20%, or even higher in some cases.... link

    Parent
    Faulty calculations = false conclusions (5.00 / 4) (#33)
    by shoephone on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 10:42:44 AM EST
    This job report's conclusions are meaningless. When 100,000 jobs are filled but 300,000 unemployed persons lose benefits and stop looking for work altogether, a statistic such as 8.6% is false on its face. I just listened to Obama's point man on economic b.s. pitifully not answering the questions on NPR.

    Come January, how will people like me be counted in the White House official talking points? I was self-employed for nine years, had to shut down the business, and therefore was ineligible to apply for UI benefits in the first place. I started working a part-time holiday retail job last week, which will end Christmas Eve. The bottom line: I haven't been counted in the unemployed numbers for the past three years, but I will be counted in the December job creation numbers, and then, once again, I will not be counted in January's unemployment numbers. The final conclusion from White House Office of Economic Indicators will be... that a job was created.

    Funny system, huh? Well, you know what they say. There are lies, d*mn lies, and statistics.

    Very well said. (none / 0) (#41)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 11:08:34 AM EST
    well now, (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by cpinva on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 10:44:34 AM EST
    according to david atkins, at digby's place, one huge reason for all these people dropping out of the job market is because they are unable to move to the places where there are just jobs o' plenty. they have homes suffering from "underwater" mortgages, and just can't afford to move.

    this, of course, is a complete misreading (assuming he ever actually read the actual report) of a recent roper survey/report, on the decrease in movement of people in the US. in fairness to young mr. atkins, he based his entire post on another column, written by someone who also apparently failed to read the source document.

    but there you have it, if these people really, really, really wanted to work, they'd just move across country (or town, city or county) to get them one o' those great jobs just a waitin' fer them!

    Any new job is a good thing (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by CST on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 12:24:08 PM EST
    We need more.

    Also, just as a counter to those that think job numbers are always revised down - "the previous two months were revised up to show that 72,000 more jobs added -- the fourth straight month that the government has revised prior months higher"

    It does go both ways, and now it seems to be going the right way.

    I would also like to point out "Private employers added a net gain of 140,000 jobs in November. But governments shed 20,000 jobs, mostly at the local and state level. Governments at all levels have shed nearly a half-million jobs in the past year."

    Emphasis mine.  Imagine where we would be if that number were reversed and the government had been adding jobs.  The economy is slowly recovering in spite of all attempts by politicians to achieve the opposite.  But their failure has caused hundreds of thousands of people to suffer more.

    Or do it this way (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by bocajeff on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 05:26:14 PM EST
    I lost 45 pounds this year. This is good news. The bad news, I chopped off my leg. The good news, My leg weighed 42 pounds so I still lost 3 pounds. Spin it anyway you want.

    Do you have any idea (none / 0) (#86)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 05:41:56 PM EST
    how much 42 pounds of flank steak would cost you at Safeway these days?

    Quit complaining. Sheesh. ;-)

    Parent

    The equivalent (none / 0) (#91)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 06:46:35 PM EST
    Is actually that you weigh 500 pounds, you lose 50 and you start to get excited about it and your significant other says that you suck because you still weigh 450.

    Yeah, of course you still have a way to go but damn.  Give a big guy credit for the progress.

    The significant other is kind of a jerk for being completely unreasonable about the process for losing that amount of weight.

    Parent

    You've lost me (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by sj on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 07:06:30 PM EST
    I've read your comment 4 or 5 times and I have no idea what you are talking about.  Significant other?  Am I missing something?

    Parent
    I think the significant other (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by observed on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 04:32:42 AM EST
    is a big cat, or a Hillary lover.

    Parent
    no, the significant other (none / 0) (#104)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 12:50:49 PM EST
    says you suck because you lost the 50 pounds by chopping your leg off, & now the s/he is stuck wheeling you around

    Parent
    Dean Baker (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 07:31:33 PM EST
    analyzed these numbers and said at this rate it's going to take us 16 years to make up what has been lost. that's a depressing thought for sure.

    Makes perfect sense: (4.83 / 6) (#6)
    by mjames on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 08:36:27 AM EST
    When calculating the unemployment rate, do not include all the unemployed. Then Obama can campaign on how much the economy has improved under his watch.

    Meanwhile, out here in the real world, we can walk downtown and see all the shuttered stores, or drive to an empty strip mall, or commiserate with our friends who have been out of work forever (oh, but they don't count), or redo our budgets each month as the cost of everything rises. Seriously, this is beyond insulting.    

    I think that figure is mostly funk and bunk (4.75 / 4) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 08:36:47 AM EST
    And there is no work, there must be more and better social programs or civil society breaks down.  Why do I even take the time to write that though?  Nobody in power gives a rip, they are golden as long as people are afraid of their police forces.

    Well the (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 08:39:24 AM EST
    figure could be real but honestly that many jobs when you spread it over the millions of people in this country really amounts to nothing. Maybe you would have 850 vying for one job instead of 1,000?

    The bottom line with all this is that IT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

    Parent

    When people give up hope (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 08:41:05 AM EST
    they don't get counted anymore?

    Parent
    They get counted in the U6 numbers, MT, (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by caseyOR on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 08:48:59 AM EST
    but that is always the higher number. So, nobody likes to talk about it. The U3 is the measurement that lets everyone pretend that things aren't as bad as we know they are. It is the measurement that will always show the smallest unemployment rate.


    Parent
    U6 is (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 08:54:26 AM EST
    still 16% according to the LA Times Article

    Parent
    I'm in a pisser of a mood today (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 08:55:56 AM EST
    There is a little boy who goes to school with Joshua and he is losing his fight against cancer.  I drove home from school furious this morning.  We will all face hard times when the world will seemingly fall away at our feet. It has always been our social structure that buoyed all of us when we get sucked into the breach, or at least for most of us, it has never been a perfect system.  When our lives are all in the breach now, how do you bury your small son?  What do you lift your eyes to?

    Parent
    ahhh, jeeze.... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 10:17:01 AM EST
    :-(

    Parent
    The pain in that little boy's family (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by christinep on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 11:46:23 AM EST
    is incomprehensible when we have been spared that tragedy in our own family. All I can think of is love & holding close. Everything else does not exist physically outside of that atmosphere of pain.  And what to "lift your eyes to" is central. Pray...Most everyone turns to what they believe at their essence...Pray in your deepmost spiritual way.

    And, MT, give even more hugs to your own dear family.

    Parent

    Standard method (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 10:24:21 AM EST
    The idea is that people who are stay at home parents or retired or in school are not unemployed in the sense of it being an economic problem.

    But that method also has its problems as you note.  

    Parent

    That is the Obama way (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 08:41:19 AM EST
    I guess (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 08:46:02 AM EST
    Obama will twist any number to make himself look good because it sure doesn't matter to him that there are actual people suffering apparently.

    Parent
    in fairness to pres. obama, (none / 0) (#45)
    by cpinva on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 11:50:45 AM EST
    the methodology employed to compute the "official" jobless rate has been in use for years, the obama administration had nothing to do with it. this is the BLS's baby.

    Parent
    Adding jobs is good, no question, but... (4.75 / 4) (#20)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 09:05:28 AM EST
    It's also important - really important - to look behind these numbers in order to put the rate-drop in context, and also to get a true big-picture look at the jobs situation.

    Many of us have pointed out over the last several years that while jobs are being added, they are not the same kinds of jobs that were lost, and they are not jobs that are compensating people at the same level their previous jobs were.

    Today, we get this report, via the NYT:

    Even though the Labor Department is expected to report on Friday that employers added more than 100,000 jobs in November, a new study shows just how rare people like Ms. Mowery are. According to the study, to be released Friday by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers, just 7 percent of those who lost jobs after the financial crisis have returned to or exceeded their previous financial position and maintained their lifestyles.

    The vast majority say they have diminished lifestyles, and about 15 percent say the reduction in their incomes has been drastic and will probably be permanent.

    [snip]

    According to the Rutgers study, those with less education were the most ravaged by job loss during the recession. Even among those who found work, many made much less than before the downturn.

    "The news is strikingly bad," said Cliff Zukin, a professor of public policy and political science at Rutgers who compiled the study, which was based on surveys of a random sample of Americans who were unemployed at some point from August 2008 to August 2009. The numbers represent "a tremendous impression of dislocation and pain and wasted talent," he said.

    More than two years after the recovery officially began, American employers have reinstated less than a quarter of the jobs lost during the downturn, according to Labor Department figures. Of the 13.1 million people still searching for work, more than 42 percent have been unemployed for six months or longer. About 8.9 million more are working part time because they cannot find full-time work.

    [snip]

    Even many of those who have managed to find a job are struggling to restore financial stability. "They have had to take pay cuts or benefit cuts or maybe they don't get any vacation," said David Elliot, communications director for USAction, a coalition of grass-roots groups that will release a report on Friday about the experiences of unemployed and underemployed workers.

    Not only is 7 percent an astonishingly low number of people who have been able to get themselves back on the same financial footing, but it confirms, I think, that extended high unemployment has significantly depressed wages.

    Again - it is always good when someone who lost a job has been able to go back to work, but I beg of those who will take this as a sign that Obama is a genius and this is good news for the Democratic party, to take the blinders off, see the numbers - and the people - behind these new numbers, and understand that  the unemployment rate, all by itself, is not as true a measure of economic health as it is tempting to want to believe it is, and the train that is still heading more or less unimpeded down the track of austerity may make this a fleeting and unsupportable-over-time uptick.

    anne, i don't see anyone doing this here: (none / 0) (#46)
    by cpinva on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 11:53:30 AM EST
    but I beg of those who will take this as a sign that Obama is a genius and this is good news for the Democratic party,

    your concern, for a non-existent problem, is touching.

    Parent

    Think you might have missed (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by MO Blue on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 01:59:43 PM EST
    comment # 32.

    Parent
    Is there anyone who didn't know that (5.00 / 0) (#60)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 02:05:06 PM EST
    ABG would show up to frame the numbers this way?

    Parent
    Is there anyone (none / 0) (#62)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 02:21:34 PM EST
    who believed that you would call the numbers negative no matter how good or bad they were?  It could have been a 2% drop and you'd be all "but what KINDS of jobs were they".

    I am convinced you are Atrios and took the name Anne to throw us off the trail.

    In January 2009 the rate was 7.8%.  The rate went up from there and that, according to everyone, meant something.  

    Bold prediction: the closer we get to that 7.8% number the less you'll care about the number and the further we get from it, the more it will matter.

    Parent

    So, you really don't think it matters (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 02:43:20 PM EST
    what kinds of jobs are being created?  That the ONLY thing that matters is the rate?

    We've seen the long-term effects of high unemployment.  What do you suppose the long-term economic effects are from lower unemployment that results from more people working at lower-paying, service industry jobs?  Do you think it matters how many public sector jobs have been shed - presumably higher-paying positions - to be replaced by lower-paying ones in the private sector?  You think the effect on the economy is the same when someone who had a $50K job with the city is now working for $30K in the private sector?  Or when someone who was making $70K in a corporate environment is now working for $9/hr at Wal-Mart?

    Do you think it means something that only 7% of those who have returned to work have been able to regain their prior financial footing?  

    And what do you think will be the effect of austerity programs that both political parties seem hell-bent to move forward with?  Will that create good jobs?

    There is a level of desperation in this country that has created an atmosphere of "any job is better than no job and no unemployment benefits," and when you're trying to pay the bills and feed your family, any job IS better than no job.   Employers have taken full advantage of that atmosphere, paying less for new hires and having the psychological upper hand with existing employees who know what awaits them if they land in this job market.

    I get it - the kinds of jobs don't matter to you, only whether declining U3 rates will work to Obama's political advantage.


    Parent

    It matters to some degree (none / 0) (#70)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 03:21:37 PM EST
    but isn't the most important factor in determining whether the economy is moving in the right direction.

    The issue is that I am measuring direction and progress in a long, long marathon struggle and you are measuring whether we've crossed the finish line.

    Parent

    Moving in the right direction? (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by MO Blue on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 04:28:30 PM EST
    315,000 dropped out of the job market in despair vs 120,000 people who actually found some type of employment. IOW 2.6 times more workers dropped out of the labor force than workers who found some type of employment.

    If enough people give up completely on finding a job, your prediction on what the U3 rate may come to pass while the total number of people who are unemployed or underemployed continues to rise.


    Parent

    Which is why (none / 0) (#92)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 06:49:23 PM EST
    The equivalent decrease in the U6 is something that matters.

    The numbers are admittedly mixed and some of it is bad but to pretend that there isn't some real positive news there is not objective.

    Parent

    ONE, A, Positive Of 0bummer - I finally (none / 0) (#103)
    by seabos84 on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 09:15:46 AM EST
    changed my outlook on the differences between the parties is! They're TRIVIAL!

    I got hide rates and zeroes GALORE on dkos going back to 2005. Those 2005 - '07 zilches are mainly for attacking the Democratic "leader-crap" for being  politically incompetent -

    funny how those zilches started happening less and less and less, and NOW the zilches are for attacking their sell out-ism ... and even those are less.

    When I was in my 20's in the 80's and cooking in Boston, I'd met a LOT of people with the right degrees from the right places who broke their butts getting those creds. I bought into the moderate Dem thing cuz, having grown up on welfare and having been dependent on incessantly changing crap student aid, I thought this social cla$$ was gonna make stuff work better -

    and then we'd be able to stuff the blatant lies of the RayGun-ite fascist thieves back down their lying thieving throats.

    BUT... my interest in being part of MA. Democratic politics was ALWAYS tempered by the fact$ that some Ivy'd Kennedy worshipper, or some Townie'd back room dealer, was NEVER gonna do much for me, other than use me for their advancement ...

    AND here we are, 2 HOPE's betrayed & decades later with scum (SCUM) like geithner and summers and rahm selling us out --

    so, THANKS OBUMMER!

    I did about 30 or 40 different campaign things for 4 school board candidates in Seattle this summer and fall, and 2 of the 4 worshippers at the Gates Of Waltonian Glory (ed 'reformers') lost!

    THANKS OBUMMER! Hell will freeze over before I waste ANY time in 2012 on helping YOUR yuppie sell out cla$$ sell me out!

    I will devote time to bad mouthing you all,

    AND

    I'll help the Alan Greysons

    AND

    the rest of you sell out Dim-0-Crap$ can COUNT on all those moderately independent centrally swinging nobodies to keep you in your cu$hy job$ selling us out!

    rmm

    Parent

    Good news. (none / 0) (#23)
    by lilburro on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 09:22:40 AM EST
    I hope this trend will continue.  Did more people drop out of the workforce in Nov than they usually do?  I skimmed the article but didn't see any mention of it.

    Good news? (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Romberry on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 10:05:32 AM EST
    This isn't really good news. Duration of unemployment for those out of work just shattered the record.* Again. The labor force participation rate remains in reverse. (That is the percentage of the working age population that has a job.) And those lucky enough to find a job are often finding jobs that will not approach what they previously earned. The headlines today on jobs are not so much a lead-in to good news as they are propaganda.

    *Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge has the applicable charts.

    Parent

    Of course the number is good news (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 10:29:12 AM EST
    Obviously a part of that is people dropping out and not looking but a part is just the fact that we are adding jobs at an increasing rate.  The U-6 is still high but it declined from 16.2 to 15.6.  You can't spin that as bad news. You just can't.  Recoveries don't happen instantly.  They happen in monthly improvements and what we are seeing are monthly improvements. When the base unemployment number is increasing, people seem to view it as a solid indicator of all that is awry, but when it drops, it is an indicator of a flaw in the number.

    Heck, the BLS also revised September (from 158,000 to 210,000,) and October's ( from 80,000 to 100,000) jobs numbers to reflect even more improvement, not less.  

    It's like some folks are vested in the idea that things won't get better and can't give in to the fact that they are getting better.

    [Ridiculous required disclaimer: the political part of the comment is below and this in no way reflects on the misery, etc. of those without jobs. I get that. It's still hard out there.  The following is only the political analysis, which isn't to say that the real world misery is unimportant.]

    When I suggested that the number could be in the 7s by next year at election time and that would show drastic progress, I was called crazy.  I don't think the prediction is that crazy anymore.


    Parent

    What makes you think (none / 0) (#36)
    by lilburro on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 10:47:34 AM EST
    unemployment #s will drop that steadily?  I would love for that to happen but is there any evidence that we've turned the corner?

    Parent
    Why I Believe (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 11:07:14 AM EST
    A number of reasons:

    1. The economy was on a slow and steady pace of improvement until the Spring when we were hit with the Japanese Tsunami and the first rumblings of real trouble in the EU.  I said at the time that there would be a period of stagnation that was more related to outside factors than our basic fundamentals.

    2. The base fundamentals have been growing more solid for months and small things like the uptick in state revenues and other indicators show what we've known for months.  The economy is growing at a slow but steady pace.

    The real question is what evidence do we have to believe that things won't continue to improve at the same slow place assuming the EU doesn't explode.

    If the EU detonates then we're screwed. There is nothing Obama, Mitt, or anyone else can do.  We'll backtrack rapidly.

    Parent

    Ah, but just last week (none / 0) (#37)
    by shoephone on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 10:53:40 AM EST
    you danced as fast as you could to revise your old prediction, and came up with a new prediction that unemployment would be between 8% and 8.5 % by next November. And today you are doing the fast dancing once again.

    It seems you don't know any more about the economy than anyone else, ABG. You change with the wind and flip like a pancake when it suits your narrative. If I want predictions for the future, I'd do just as well to pay a visit to the neighborhood tarot card reader.

    The number to pay attention to in this report is not the 100,000. It's the 300,000. But I suspect you probably already know that.

    Parent

    I think I have said (none / 0) (#42)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 11:12:31 AM EST
    High 7s or low 8s for months now.

    What's your point exactly?  I have said that things were improving more than people think and when my own prediction looks to be too pessimistic, that means everything I am saying is wrong?

    That is odd.

    Anyway, it wouldn't surprise me to see the number bump up to 8.8, let's say, in December or January, but that doesn't disprove the point.

    I think we may have seen the last of the 9.__ numbers and think we'll average about a .1% decrease a month overall.

    Salon has a good and fair take.  Here is the excerpt:

    "the employment-to-population ratio rose a tad, to 58.5 from 58.4. That's a positive sign, signifying the direct opposite of the labor force participation data. So there's a lot of noise in this report, grist for optimists as well as pessimists.

    But bottom line: a gain of 120,000 jobs is not enough to explain a .4 percent drop in the unemployment rate. We've seen this kind of disjunction before -- the numbers come from two different surveys that often point in slightly dissimilar directions. The question going forward will be whether upward revisions in the overall jobs number continue, and whether enough Americans become convinced that there are actually enough job opportunities available to make it worth jumping back in. A truly positive unemployment number for December might be one in which the unemployment rate rises -- if there is a substantial increase in the number of Americans who start looking for work again, that could mean real labor market positive momentum.

    Overall, November's report supports the picture that's been emerging ever since the summer. The economy is growing, slowly."

    http://www.salon.com/2011/12/02/a_happy_holidays_jobs_report/singleton/

    Parent

    No kidding, numbers will be revised in January! (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by shoephone on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 12:03:58 PM EST
    That goes without saying. Look, I have to rush off to work, but here's the simple point: My job began in November and it will end in December. I contend that most of the jobs created in November are just like mine -- holiday jobs, work for low wages and no benefits which will end after one month.

    To be continued...

    Parent

    That is why (none / 0) (#50)
    by me only on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 12:14:41 PM EST
    the BLS uses seasonally adjusted numbers.  They are fully aware of those types of jobs.

    Parent
    me only (none / 0) (#51)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 12:19:36 PM EST
    I did not know that, but it seems obvious that they'd adjust them.

    It feels like no matter how many positives there may be, there is a lot of emotional energy invested in believing that there is no improvement.  

    Parent

    If you subscribe the the idea that a (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 12:40:32 PM EST
    job is a job is a job, there's all kinds of goodness to be taken from these numbers, and certainly, if someone has been out of work, and now has employment, that's a good thing, too.

    But...if you lost a job that paid, say, $45,000 a year, and now, after some period of unemployment, have been lucky enough to get back into the workforce, the likelihood is that even if it's in the same field, and reasonably just like your old job, it doesn't pay as much as you were making before.  And the chances are even greater that you didn't find a job in your original field, and are now working, but making a lot less in salary and there may not be any benefits with it.  And if you've been out of work for a really long time, employers who have good jobs to fill don't want anything to do with you - you're branded with the stink of there-must-be-a-reason-no-one-has-wanted-to-hire-you, and off you go to see if Burger King thinks you're qualified to say, "do you want fried with that?"

    A job is not a job is not a job, ABG, and I think that is the point people are trying to make: look behind the numbers.  We simply are not creating good, well-paying jobs, long periods of high unemployment are depressing wages for those lucky enough to go back to work, and those of us who still have our jobs are working harder and doing more to make up for those who got cut when the lean times hit, and are not getting raises and/or bonuses that come close to compensating us for the extra load we bear.

    You see that as being negative; I see that as being realistic.

    Parent

    No wonder the drive thru (none / 0) (#56)
    by me only on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 12:52:01 PM EST
    at BK is so slow.  People must be responding yes to

    "do you want fried with that?"

    Sounds unpleasant.

    Parent

    Standard of Review (none / 0) (#57)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 01:10:11 PM EST
    Fundamentally what we talk about here is whether government is doing its job, through the courts, the congress, the POTUS or whatever.

    The economy is not going to instantly fix itself so pointing to every negative isn't helpful or good for letting us know whether the government is helping or hurting.  We have to pick a group of stats that aren't perfect but give us some indication of how we are doing.

    If there is a monthly stat that we can use to track whether people are getting great jobs, please provide it and we can use it to determine how things are going.

    We can also look at the various stats being thrown around today. None of those stats is going to give us a perfect picture, but how else are we going to judge. Antecdotal evidence is useless.  We have to choose some stats and base our opinion on them.

    Again, I would be happy to add any stat you provide to the list of numbers I look at so that we can track whether things are getting better or worse.

    Parent

    if you did not know (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by The Addams Family on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 02:17:14 PM EST
    something as basic as the fact that the BLS uses seasonally adjusted numbers, i wonder why you have considered yourself qualified to pontificate, month after month, on the (un)employment trends

    Parent
    Because I never claimed to know everything (none / 0) (#63)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 02:26:06 PM EST
    everything.  This is a silly comment.

    I guess that if you do not know everything about every provision of Obamacare for example, you are disqualified as someone who can speak about it.

    This just a crazy way to view things.  Well, I take that back.  Not crazy.  Just the type of silly excuse that people use on folks who disagree with them.

    If I were agreeing with you on everything you'd paint my comment as evidence of my willingness to be open and honest about what I know and a sign that my opinion, when given forcefully, should be respected.

    The fact that you only throw those comments at folks who disagree makes them meaningless.

    Parent

    bullsh!t (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by The Addams Family on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 02:37:22 PM EST
    I guess that if you do not know everything about every provision of Obamacare for example, you are disqualified as someone who can speak about it.

    classic strawman maneuver - i'm not talking about the ACA but about your (1) not knowing something that is fundamental about understanding the unemployment/job creation numbers & about your (2) habitually pontificating on a subject of which you lack fundamental knowledge

    & the rest of your comment builds a fantasy case from nothing & then argues that case from simple & repetitive assertion

    Parent

    You really should direct (none / 0) (#66)
    by me only on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 02:48:49 PM EST
    this at the people who don't know that U3 counts people who aren't receiving unemployment benefits and still pontificate.

    Parent
    you are free to address that group (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by The Addams Family on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 03:15:38 PM EST
    i was addressing the "liberal black guy" whose pontificating comment trail regarding this issue is as long as, well, Pinocchio's nose

    Parent
    What's hilarious about this (none / 0) (#68)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 03:19:09 PM EST
    is that you are focused on me when Shoephone was the guy who originally didn't know this fact.

    If it were about calling out people commenting who didn't know that detail, chronological and every other order would dictate that you comment on the person who did it first.  But it's kind of obvious that your issue isn't that I didn't know the random fact.  This is just the way you treat people who disagree.

    If you were at all consistent or sincere in your point, I wouldn't have been the person you addressed on this issue first.

    Parent

    focused on you (5.00 / 4) (#71)
    by The Addams Family on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 03:28:07 PM EST
    because of your incessant pontificating, devoted in part to Obama cheerleading & in part to hijacking threads

    Parent
    Right (none / 0) (#74)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 04:03:54 PM EST
    And you spend everyday being an objective observer of politics and the economy.  The fact that people who spend all day finding every single thing they can possible find wrong with Obama are shocked that someone defends him are funny to me.

    I am an Obama fan.  Get over it.  I've gotten over the fact that many here are anti-Obama.

    I just take their comments on their face now.  It's not hard.

    Parent

    One ? for me (none / 0) (#76)
    by christinep on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 04:28:32 PM EST
    Actually, my question is more rhetorical in that the form of argument it leads to can neither be proven nor disproven. The "question" then concerns the demonstration by some that there must be a cloud with the silver lining.

    Normally, the looking for the downside of data favoring one side in an election year is espected from the party & followers who have an interest in the data making the opponent look wrong or bad.
    Of course, no side ever really gets all the good data in a US economic debate. Different interpretations, as well as spin, makes sense.

    But...what has been fascinating on this thread is how some who have a record of the strongest opposition to Obama cannot seem to find positives in the data. Yes, but look at the clouds! There must be different reasons. Or is it human nature that if we like someone, we give that person the benefit of the doubt; and if we don't like, we don't. If it is that elemental, that's fine. I'm wondering how far that might extend. And, how big a doo-loop are we in. Maybe we all (me too) have a deep-down liking for exercising our fingers on the keyboard.

    Parent

    well, as recently as last night (none / 0) (#78)
    by The Addams Family on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 04:47:25 PM EST
    i commented that i don't want to see the GOP take control of the executive branch ever again

    & that will be true for me in 2012 because i despise GOP policies, no matter who implements them

    the best i can say about Obama is that i think it matters - marginally, in the short run - how quickly the country goes to hell, & that slower is somewhat better than faster

    & if some self-described Obama "fan" decides that my critique of the failed Bush/Obama/Geithner policies is reflexive Obama hatred, well, that's on the "fan"

    Parent

    Did not use nor mean the word "hatred." (none / 0) (#87)
    by christinep on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 05:43:52 PM EST
    'Saw your comment last night...understand & accept your position. You state openly a consideration, a measuring. My earlier comment was responsive to what others elsewhere might term "knee jerk responses" where the same tape plays & replays. Addams Family: I've never noticed that kind of in-the-rut, unmoveable attitude from you. (Actually, in many ways, you are more receptive to broader arguments than I have been.)

    Parent
    Let me add: The more appropriate (none / 0) (#88)
    by christinep on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 06:15:17 PM EST
    term in my earlier comment about clouds & silver linings would be "disposition/predisposition."
    My tendency is to expect people to go with a predisposition about someone or something until overwhelmed by facts/emotions/statistics to the contrary.

    BTW, Good Luck in your determination process, your political weighing process in the months ahead. (Admittedly, it is far easier for an affirmed partisan like myself.)

    Parent

    thanks (none / 0) (#90)
    by The Addams Family on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 06:46:24 PM EST
    BTW, Good Luck in your determination process, your political weighing process in the months ahead. (Admittedly, it is far easier for an affirmed partisan like myself.)

    i vote in a state that has been reliably blue for a while

    but i'm keeping my eye on Ohio

    my 92-year-old father lives there, & i spend enough time there to vote in that state

    given the GOP's feral madness, i am leaning toward voting as an Ohioan - for Obama - if Ohio should once again play a determinative role

    i repeat, those crazies must never again get their hands on the executive branch & all its agencies - that's where i come down

    Parent

    oh, christine, let me clarify (none / 0) (#89)
    by The Addams Family on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 06:38:02 PM EST
    you are not the "fan" alluded to in my comment!

    i find your positions balanced & well reasoned from their starting premises, & you are unfailingly civil (unlike me)

    Parent

    Christenep (none / 0) (#93)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 06:55:40 PM EST
    Guilty as charged.  I am a supporter and look for a silver lining.  I come here n part to have my optimism challenged.

    But that is not what those who seem so focused on me do.  They do not acknowledge that bias could be a part of their analysis.

    If you are positive, you are biased. If you are negative, you have a lock on the truth.  

    That's obviously wrong but people  can't seem to bring themselves to even fathom it.

    It's no different than the conservatives who find a way to take every action, no matter how positive or negative, as a sign of liberal evil.

    You know they are wrong because they are talking in such absolutes.

    Parent

    That's a pretty absolute (none / 0) (#95)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 07:24:42 PM EST
    set of statements.

    Parent
    ABG: Like you, my concern lately has been (none / 0) (#97)
    by christinep on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 08:50:17 PM EST
    about some not being able to see a silver lining, about those who will only see a bleakness, a despairing darkness. That is hard for me to fathom. Then, I realize that there are a number of others in these threads who are more open to give & take, discussion, & persuasion on a practical level. But, you know what, the older I get...the less I know.

    Parent
    shoephone is not a guy (none / 0) (#99)
    by shoephone on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 11:06:40 PM EST
    n/t.

    Parent
    me only (none / 0) (#69)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 03:19:31 PM EST
    is on fire.

    Parent
    Really? (none / 0) (#98)
    by shoephone on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 11:04:45 PM EST
    Please explain to me how U3 knows I've been unemployed, when I had owned my own business, and in the lean years, paid next to nothing in income tax. After being 90% unemployed, I have, in fact paid some income tax (though not much.)

    Parent
    U3 doesn't know that (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by me only on Sun Dec 04, 2011 at 02:26:51 PM EST
    you are unemployed.  Unemployment is calculated by a survey of 60,000 occupied households.  

    The BLS separates respondents into one of three categories:

        Employed: This category includes everyone 16 years or older who: (1) had paid jobs, (2) worked for 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in family businesses, or (3) were temporarily absent from paid jobs due to illness, vacation, labor dispute, and similar events.

        Unemployed: The unemployed category includes everyone 16 years or older who: (1) were actively seeking employment and available for work or (2) were not actively seeking employment because they were temporarily laid off from jobs and waiting to be a recalled.

        Not In Labor Force: Because the labor force is comprised of anyone in the employed or unemployed categories, this third category includes everyone else. Two notable groups included are marginal workers and discouraged workers.

    If you were part of the survey when you were without work, you would have answered either unemployed or not in labor force.  Since you didn't know this, I assume that you were not part of the survey.  Once they have the survey they calculate the U3, U6 and other numbers.  People who are employed part time, but want to work full time are included in other measures, not in U3.

    Parent

    Thanks for explanation (none / 0) (#107)
    by shoephone on Sun Dec 04, 2011 at 08:54:42 PM EST
    I did not know about the survey, and you assumed correctly, I was not part of any survey. So... I guess I'm not being counted as either employed or unemployed. Except for the four-week holiday stint, that is. But the past three years? Likely not being counted at all.

    Parent
    210,000 new jobs in September (none / 0) (#43)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 11:20:49 AM EST
    That is a very good number....

    Steady job growth would look like a lot of months like that.....

    Parent

    It's good news. (none / 0) (#35)
    by lilburro on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 10:45:09 AM EST
    The number may not be as clear cut as it appears, but improvement is improvement.  If this signals a downward trend in unemployment, then that's great.  I don't think anyone is pretending recovery is imminent, I know the economy is still terrible.

    Parent
    Define "improvement." (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by Romberry on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 10:59:57 AM EST
    Is a lower number the definition of improvement? I submit that a lower number is just a lower number. It's the story behind how that number is calculated that tells whether or not there is an actual improvement.

    -Labor force participation? Steady or in reverse.

    -Duration of unemployment? New record.

    -Numerator used to get this number? Declined...because 300k+ people gave up looking for work.

    -The jobs that have been created? Generally lower paying than the jobs they replaced, and often in dead-end retail or service sectors.

    (Suggested viewing/reading: Fuzzy Numbers

    Parent

    Watch my lips (none / 0) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 11:06:46 AM EST
    What about this didn't you understand?

    The rate fell partly because more workers got jobs, but also because about 315,000 workers dropped out of the labor force, and the jobless rate counts only people who are actively looking for work.

    The U6, which include those drop outs, is around 16%.

    If that's good I'd hate to see your bad.

    This is the Obama administration trying to get ready for the election.

    Parent

    You are ignoring the various deltas (none / 0) (#49)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 12:10:09 PM EST
    The U6 dropped almost a percentage point.  If you believe that that is a good measurement, the fact it dropped from the 16s to the 15s should be defined as good news.

    T

    Parent

    Uh a drop (none / 0) (#55)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 12:51:17 PM EST
    of .4% is good news??

    Nurse: Doctor! Doctor! We have good news!

    The patient's temperature is now down from 116 to 115.4!

    Doctor: Call the morgue. The temperature is down because the patient is dead.



    Parent
    Yes (none / 0) (#58)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 01:16:15 PM EST
    .4% drop in that number is good news.  This time last year the U-6 rate was 17%.  Last months drop was what we were normally seeing happen over almost 6 or so months.

    That is good.

    Parent

    Projections? (none / 0) (#48)
    by christinep on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 12:08:44 PM EST
    While projecting in the past about where the economy will be has been more than a little off in view of the rush of global events (e.g., Japan's tsunami with severe interruption of the parts industry and the Euro crisis spiraling from Greece & other overextended European governments). there does seem to be a ray of sunshine peeking through with the latest series of reports.  Steady improvement in the job market--albeit so slowly; and, per AP summary today in its lede on jobs story, continuing manufacturing growth, construction growth, and an almost 10% increase in Thanksgiving period $$ spending over last year.  It is the month by month growth in these areas that is giving some cause for optimism today.

    Obviously, some will spin (both ways.) We would expect to hear Repubs later complaining about the numbers...what else is new.  I'd add: Most roses have thorns...but, not too many look at new roses & say "Ugh, the thorns" (unless we are careless in how we handle them & get the sting of a thorn.)

    Parent

    U3 v. U6 (none / 0) (#72)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 03:46:10 PM EST
    Because there is a lot of discussion today between the U3 number that is most widely discussed and the U6 number, I found this chart that shows their close correlation to be extremely helpful: Link

    When U3 was at 5.5 in 2003, U6 was almost 11.5.  In December 2008, when U3 was at 7.5, U6 was at 13.5 percent and rising at the exact same rate.

    The point is that when trying to determine whether we are improving or falling back, it does not seem to matter whether you are using U3 or U6.  They historically track very closely to each other so using one to determine delta over the other is unnecessary.

    Under each of U3 and U6 things are getting better.  Slowly, but they are getting better.


    "better" numbers (5.00 / 0) (#77)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 04:40:33 PM EST
    The size of the US Labor Force was 153.9 million (CIA Factbook), until, as BLS noted, 315,000 workers dropped out of the labor force in October 2011.

    The BLS Employment Situation Summary released today, says the unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent, from 9 percent, and said today that the nation's employers added 120,000 jobs last month.

    Added JOBS, not added employed people.

    The number of unemployed persons, at 13.3 million, was down by 594,000 in November. The labor force, which is the sum of the unemployed and employed, was down by a little more than half that amount [there's the 315,000 workers dropped out of the labor force in October 2011].

    [snip]

    The civilian labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 64.0 percent. The employment-population ratio, at 58.5 percent, changed little.

    41.5 percent of the US Population is "unemployed" (not working anywhere, for any money) now.

    129,397,000 people out of a US population of 311,800,000 in mid-2011 are not working now.

    That should help drive wages down to a more "reasonable" level with demand for income of any amount - not to mention demand for food and housing - increases, yes?

    It's the land of opportunity. There's never been a "better" time to build a factory. Except... it's still apparently cheaper to build and staff a factory in China or India or anywhere but here.

    That's better.

    Parent

    But let's look on the bright side for a change. (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 04:53:13 PM EST
    The sooner the US can become "competitive" wagewise with places like India and China the better the unemployment numbers will look, and then things will be so much better you won't be able to contain yourself.

    And that 41.5% of the US population who will be working at better more "competitive" wages will have no problem supporting the 99%. Of course.

    The 1% of course, will be fine, as always. and they'll all vote for Obama. Or for whoever will help make their businesses even more competitive.

    I feel better already. Maybe I'll have a drink and celebrate.

    Parent

    Pour one for me too, Edger (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by Zorba on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 04:56:21 PM EST
    Although I suspect that we both would not be "celebrating," but rather, commiserating.  :-(

    Parent
    On second thought (5.00 / 0) (#81)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 05:03:13 PM EST
    All that calculatin' was pretty sobering. I think I'll just go get falling down drunk.

    Then I'll feel better.

    Till the morning sun shines and makes things even better...

    Parent

    Peace out, (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Zorba on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 05:14:13 PM EST
    my brother.

    Parent
    Thanks (5.00 / 0) (#83)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 05:22:40 PM EST
    Maybe a new Occupation in a park somewhere would be better? I'm sure I'd have lot's of company...

    Parent
    LOL! (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Zorba on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 05:24:33 PM EST
    ;-)

    Parent
    As soon as the child labor laws are (5.00 / 3) (#100)
    by MO Blue on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 12:05:14 AM EST
    abolished, the U.S. will be real competitive in providing the really cheap U.S. labor force that the Masters of the Universe are demanding.

    Parent
    And who are you (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 06:04:20 AM EST
    to deny a young person the right to work and make something of him/herself, and live the American Dream,  anyway? ;-)

    Parent
    The Advent of Gingrich (none / 0) (#105)
    by christinep on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 09:21:45 PM EST
    ...and the reality of the Repubs with their throwback to the 19th century. But, some in their umbrage would have claimed that both parties are alike. Abolish child labor laws? The beginning of a Newt Gingrich rule (or other Repubs...Paul Ryan, Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann?) Hey, some would argue with a harumph that there is no difference. Do we laugh or cry...or get real???

    Parent
    define "better" (none / 0) (#73)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 03:49:01 PM EST