The May Unemployment Numbers are Here, and Worse Than Predicted June 5, 2009Posted by geoff in News.
While I was waiting for May’s numbers to be released I did a quick Google News search on “unemployment.” Here is the first set of entries that popped up:
Pittsburgh unemployment rate falls to 6.9 percent Bizjournals.com - Unemployment in the Pittsburgh area inched down in April to 6.9 percent…
US Economy: Jobless Claims Fall, Productivity Rises Bloomberg
US jobless claims fall again, productivity rises Reuters
Jobless claims are down, but work remains scarce AP
You get the feeling that there’s a little pre-spin effort afoot? I mean, why put up an article on April’s unemployment on the day that May’s numbers come out? And while jobless claims did fall, interpreting that information without the unemployment rate is very difficult.
Oh dear. And I’m serious – I expected the numbers to flatten out like it looked like they were going to a few days ago. This trend is terrible – the unemployment rate change was 60% higher than what was predicted, and is a larger increase than from March to April.
Maybe we’d better just keep focusing on those jobless claims.
*As always, this chart was constructed by overlaying the actual economic data on top of the chart made by Obama’s economic team to market his stimulus plan.
**Here are some other posts on the subject:
- The predicted numbers for May from a few days ago, with some thoughts on why unemployment is worse than expected even without the stimulus package (and a hearty discussion in the comments on proper graphing)
- A look at the stimulus package spending – how late it is, and how little thus far has been devoted to job creation (it’s basically gone to pay off states’ social services debts)
- The April numbers
- The original post on the subject, noting that criticisms of the stimulus package may not have been motivated by racism after all.