August Unemployment Data September 4, 2009Posted by geoff in Economics, Politics.
Update: September’s data is here
The latest numbers, fresh from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
The unemployment rate went up to 9.7%, reversing the improvement we saw in July. To be fair, “unemployment” is somewhat difficult to measure. For one thing, the way the unemployment rate is calculated doesn’t take into account the people who are no longer looking for work. (You know, the “discouraged workers” we heard about endlessly during the Bush years.) So you could see the economy improve but the unemployment rate actually go up, because more people start looking for work.
So, you might ask: just how many jobs have we got out there? Why, looky here, the BLS tracks that as well!
Doesn’t look so good, does it?
Previous posts in this series:
- The July numbers.
- 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.
Note: geoff didn’t write this post, but both charts and all previous posts are his work, and the person who updated the charts with the August numbers doesn’t want to take credit, so we put it under his byline. Direct any complaints to Site Administration.