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Wow – Back to 10%? December 4, 2009

Posted by geoff in News.
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As noted yesterday, the pundits were predicting that November’s unemployment rate would be unchanged from last month’s, and that only 100,000 jobs would be lost in November. But the numbers released today show a much rosier scenario: the unemployment rate has dropped to 10%, and non-farm employment barely changed. Here’s how that looks on the graph:

The number of employed people went up last month – a result I find difficult to square with the persistently high initial unemployment filings:

I’m not sure what these numbers mean quite yet: I’ll be modifying this post as I look at the data this morning.

UPDATE:  Honestly, I’m not going to have time to get to this today. I recommend that you go to Calculated Risk for more analysis. It appears that hiring of seasonal labor is higher this year than last, which is consistent with the BLS’s note that there was a jump in temporary labor in November. But it seems to me that there’s more to it than that.

Here’s a list of relevant posts at Calculated Risk:
# Employment Report: 11K Jobs Lost, 10% Unemployment Rate for graphs of unemployment rate and a comparison to previous recessions.
# Seasonal Retail Hiring, Employment-Population Ratio, Part Time Workers
# Unemployment: Record number Unemployed over 26 Weeks, Diffusion Index
# If the Economy lost Jobs, why did the Unemployment Rate decline?

Previous posts in this series:

Comments»

1. car in - December 4, 2009

Duh. It’s obvious Geoff. Obama’s JOB SUMMIT WORKED.

All praise Obama.

2. Robert - December 4, 2009

The Gubmint doing all the hiring LOL

3. Eddie The Bear - December 4, 2009

I read somewhere that a Labor Dept Analyst believes that the unemployment offices being closed for Thanksgiving had something to do with this. Is that even an accurate statement?

4. Mrs. Peel - December 4, 2009

Speaking of jobs, I just thought of something I wish I had thought of eight f’n years ago. If I were in hotel management, I could eventually work my way up to managing one of those fancy resorts in tropical countries, which would mean I could live in comfort all the year round! How awesome would that be?? And rich people never stop being rich, so resorts don’t hurt all that much in bad economies. It would be a pretty recession-proof job, and I wouldn’t really care what I was paid because the perks would kick so much ass.

At this point, though, it’s a little late to change my career…

Someone invent a time machine and go back to 2000 and tell me to go into hotel management. Please?

(I have considered attempting to transfer to Florida, because their weather is nicer than ours…but it’s very expensive to live there, and the weather isn’t that much nicer, and they’re in more danger from hurricanes, and the locality pay is actually lower even before you adjust for cost-of-living.)

5. Sequel - December 4, 2009

I suspect these numbers will be revised in a week or 2.
By that time the “things are better” theme will be stuck even though the situation is far from better.
The revised numbers should be released next Friday at 5:00

6. MostlyRight - December 4, 2009

They used Obama’s “Stimulus trick” to hide the incline.

7. kuiper - December 4, 2009

@Eddie the Bear
The initial unemployment claims data released yesterday could be affected by closed UI offices (though after seasonal adjustment, it’s not likely to be a large effect). The data released today, however are collected directly by BLS and the Census Bureau and would not be affected state unemployment office closings.

8. Tushar - December 4, 2009

Thanks, Geoff!

9. MCPO Airdale - December 4, 2009

What Sequel said!

10. Eddie The Bear - December 4, 2009

7: oh. Thanks. Just asking

11. Joey Buzz - December 4, 2009

I must admit, it is getting quite difficult to comprehend whether we need to hide the declines or the inclines, therefore I think I shall recline with a fine wine.

12. Neo - December 4, 2009

Nov 2009 Net Birth/Death Adjustment, not seasonally adjusted (in thousands)

Trade, Transportation, & Utilities +16
Education & Health Services +14
Professional & Business Services +11
Construction -7
Leisure & Hospitality -14

13. d3ft punk - December 4, 2009
14. Instapundit » Blog Archive » MEGAN MCARDLE: Cautiously optimistic on today’s employment data. Well, so was I until I discovered… - December 5, 2009

[…] On a more serious note, the latest chart of promises vs. results. […]

15. J from California - December 5, 2009

Jobs Summit invitees.

Chamber of commerce…no
small business owners…no
Andy Stern..boss of the SEIU…check.

healthcare reform…kills business and kills jobs
cap and tax…kills business and kills jobs
card check…kills business and kills jobs.

I’m sure the worst is behind us though.

16. dumbflounder - December 5, 2009

Goebbels at work.

17. Tis The Season Of Hope (But Change Is Still Relative) | Blackinformant.com - December 5, 2009

[…] (image source) “This is good news, just in time for the season of hope,” Mr. Obama said in a speech at Lehigh Carbon Community College in suburban Allentown. “I’ve got to admit, my chief economist, Christy Romer, she got about four hugs when she handed us the report. But I do want to keep this in perspective. We’ve still got a long way to go.” (more…) […]

18. Ralph Gizzip - December 5, 2009

So if I’m reading this graph correctly I can infer that Obama’s economic team is either incompetent or bald faced liars.

There’s an old bromide that goes, “Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence.” Unfortunately, considering the man at the top, I think we’re dealing with bald faced liars.

19. Whitehall - December 5, 2009

I suspect that American citizens are pushing out the illegal aliens for day jobs and temp work. Americans get counted while illegals don’t.

Now, we’ll have an undocumented undocumented worker unemployment problem.

20. Mrs. Peel - December 5, 2009

Obama’s economic team is either incompetent or bald faced liars

Does it have to be either/or?

21. geoff - December 6, 2009

Looked over the data a bit more. It looks like the numbers are a combination of increased hiring of temporary retail workers, and a slowing of job losses in construction & manufacturing. The improvement in the construction picture is likely due to the Stimulus, so I doubt that it is sustainable.

22. The Definition of Insanity « The Autopsy - December 8, 2009

[…] I think the last thing we need is more government assistance in this matter.  Just ask this chart from innocentbystanders.net: […]

23. An Odd Stimulus « Wacki’s blog - December 27, 2009

[…] July Graph December 2009Graph […]


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