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Tilting at Windmills

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September 4, 2009

UNEMPLOYMENT HITS 9.7%, BUT FEWER JOB LOSSES IN AUG.... In anticipation of the August unemployment numbers, the expectations were that the economy would shed 230,000 jobs and the unemployment rate would increase to 9.5%. As it turns out, the job numbers were slightly better than expectations, and the unemployment rate was slightly worse.

aug09.png

Employers eliminated 216,000 jobs in August even as the larger economy showed signs of turning around, suggesting that while the pace of job losses continues to slow, American workers will still be among the last to benefit from a recovery.

The unemployment rate, which dipped in July as Americans left the work force and stopped looking for jobs, resumed its climb last month, rising to 9.7 percent from 9.4 percent, the Labor Department reported on Friday in its monthly snapshot of the job market.

Obviously, losing 216,000 jobs in a month is awful news. It's worth noting, however, that this is the best month for jobs the U.S. has had since August 2008 -- 12 months ago.

If we include those who are working part-time but want full-time employment, or those who've simply given up -- the U6 measure -- the overall rate in 16.8%. It is, not surprisingly, the highest it's been since the government began keeping track in 1994.

Note: This is a homemade chart, updated to reflect the revised figures from June and July.

Steve Benen 8:55 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (14)

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fewer jobs left to lose...

Posted by: neill on September 4, 2009 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

I'll bet everyone's really glad that the f*cking Blue Dogs decided to cut $100 billion out of the stimulus package . . . just because.


Posted by: SteveT on September 4, 2009 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

I know I'm in the minority and I'm lucky I still have my job, but anyone who pays attention knows job recovery takes 6-9 months after a recession ends, historically.

It was never going to go from losing 700K to gaining 300K in one month and yet "everyone" is saddened and demoralized by the numbers as they...basically get better and better.

Not good enough, but on the right trend.

(I know, I know...I can't talk because I have a job...)

Posted by: Rob Goldman on September 4, 2009 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

"anyone who pays attention knows job recovery takes 6-9 months after a recession ends, historically."

I gots some work, too, Rob, but I aint that sanguine...

how about anyone who pays attention has never in our lifetime seen an economy so thoroughly hollowed out by a kleptocracy?

how about a recession/robbery so great so that the whole world economy is hanging by a thread, and even the smoke and mirrors of "the stimulus is working" doesn't even connect to the reality of real estate and banking in this country (and around the world) being thoroughly corrupted?

how about anyone who pays attention must notice that ever since ronnie rayguns (with a lull pretty much in the clinton years) these 'recessions' have gotten progressively worse and worse.

ah, but in a friedman unit or two... hang on, my friends, the stepford economists in the obama admin. are whole-heartedly behind you getting a good job asap. and no shit! and bon weekend!

Posted by: neill on September 4, 2009 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

"Economists had expected 230,000 job losses for the month, and believed the unemployment rate would hit 9.5 percent. The government also revised monthly job losses for July higher, saying the economy had shed 276,000 jobs compared with the 247,000 that had originally been reported. The June number was revised to 463,000 job losses from 443,000."

Look at the numbers. July was 29,000 worse and June was 20,000 worse for a total revision of 49,000 jobs. August was 14,000 better.

In other words, the total jobs lost was 35,000 WORSE than expected.

It is so easy to spin and be spun by the numbers.

My view is this report is more evidence that we need a second stimulus package.

Posted by: neil wilson on September 4, 2009 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

My view is this report is more evidence that we need a second stimulus package. -neil wilson

I completely agree. The chances of that happening, though, are closer to the 'none' side on the slim/none continuum, though.

Posted by: doubtful on September 4, 2009 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

If people would quit demanding unreasonable things like health insurance and decent wages, I'm sure employers would hire more workers, as long as their increased profits could be offset by more tax cuts.

Posted by: qwerty on September 4, 2009 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

The unemployment numbers don't reflect the people who've lost their unemployment benefits over the past couple of months and the 100s of thousands more that will fall off the roles over the next six months.

Oh and Rob Goldman absent a significant change in how the US economy works there will NOT be any 'recovery' in jobs. This will be even worse than the 'recovery' of 2002. Very few jobs will be created and they will for far less money.

The current US economy is structured to create a new serf class.

Posted by: thorin-1 on September 4, 2009 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Neill makes some good points and I agree with most of them, but...

A lot of people are just pissed and mad at this administration for not doing the impossible; positive job growth (by now) after the pile of shit and drunken binge the last admin left us with.

The shoveling money out the door they did over the last six-seven months to prop up the economy and make it look better to help McCain were criminal.

Not to mention the 740 billion Medicare Part D put on the credit card in 2005 to win over seniors.

Posted by: Rob on September 4, 2009 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

I KNOW THAT a TWIC CARD IS KEEPPING A LOT OF PEOPLE FROM WORKING IT OVER A 100,000 PEOPLE
WAITING ON THIS CARD TO BE SENT OUT IT BEEN 9 MONTH SINCE I PAID 132.50 FOR MY CARD

Posted by: pj on September 4, 2009 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO NOW I HAVE A JOB THAT WANT THIS CARD FOR A $132.50 YOU WOULD THINK THEY WOULD KNOW WE NEED THIS TWIC CARD

Posted by: pj on September 4, 2009 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

This is a homemade chart, updated to reflect the revised figures from June and July

I know this is how these data are always presented, but aren't you comparing apples to oranges here? The original number from July was revised from -247,000 to -276,000 (or 30,000 additional jobs lost). June's estimate was revised from -443,000 to -463,000. The original number for January was -598,000, now it's somewhere around -741,000.

People plot the revised numbers because the originals were in error, then they plot today's off-the-presses numbers for comparison. Shouldn't you at least include the original estimates.

Posted by: Jinchi on September 4, 2009 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

the expectations were that the economy would shed 230,000 jobs

Following up on my previous point. The revisions we've seen over the last year suggest that the revised number for August will end up being between 230,000 and 250,000 (not the 216,000 quoted today).

In other words, the expectations will have been too optimistic.

Posted by: Jinchi on September 4, 2009 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: Ambien on September 14, 2009 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK
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