Unemployment at 9.9%? It’s Actually Reasonably Good News! May 7, 2010Posted by geoff in News.
We (well, I) missed the unemployment release last month, so I wanted to be sure to hit it this month. And on this fine day the BLS tells us that unemployment has risen to . . . . . . 9.9%!
Yep, we actually added a lot of jobs last month (290,000 non-farm), but 800,000 people came back into the labor force, which increased the unemployment rate. It’s amusing that the BLS made a big point about the effect of laborers coming back, but they never discussed it when the laborers left in the first place. And the MSM followed suit.
Actually, though, this is what we’ve been waiting for – we can’t even start talking about recovery until the labor force gets back to its normal level. In previous months the unemployment rate would drop because huge numbers of people people dropped out of the labor market, so even though the administration was crowing about the success of their policies, we knew that we were still in trouble. Now they’re coming back (hopefully with good reason?), so the unemployment rate will start to more truly reflect the employment situation.
This is the economic shoe that’s been waiting to drop, and now that it’s begun, we can start talking about real healing of the job market. So even though the unemployment rate rose, it is more indicative of recovery than all those 9.7% rates we’ve been looking at over the past 3 months.
Note: The Bureau of Labor Statistics will be having a web chat on Tuesday (May 10, 1 – 2 pm EST) to answer questions about unemployment data. More info here.