July Unemployment August 7, 2009Posted by geoff in News.
The BLS released the unemployment rate for July this morning, and the answer is . . . 9.4%. A little lower than the Bloomberg survey predicted it would be, a lot lower than my swag of 9.8%, and, notably, a 0.1% drop from June’s rate of 9.5%.
Here’s how the actual data compares to the projections by Obama’s team:*
Seems a little odd, since we actually lost 155,000 jobs in July (and we lost 247,000 jobs on non-farm payrolls). The only way we can lose jobs and still have the unemployment rate go down is if the labor pool goes down even faster. And in fact that’s what it did, dropping by 422,000 workers. But the “Want a Job” category only increased by about 100K, so where did the other 300K workers go?
As you can see from the chart, both the unemployed and “want to work” categories dropped, and we know that the employed dropped as well. Something’s not right here, unless 300,000 people simply gave up entirely and decided to become bloggers or something.
[This post will be updated this morning as I crunch through the data and add more charts]
*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.
Related posts under the fold:
**Here are some other posts on the subject:
- The percentage of private-employed workers is steadily decreasing, meaning that the burden of supporting government workers is increasing. How long can this trend continue?
- The June numbers.
- Mark Zandi (Moody’s Economy.com) kind of agreed with the Obama team’s projection back in January. But his predictions weren’t much better.
- Saying that “the recession is worse than anybody thought” is a tired old tune
- Everybody did not “guess wrong” on the stimulus package
- The corrected chart for May.
- 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.