Friday, December 04, 2009

Jobs Declined Again in November But Unemployment Rate Improves? That Does Not Compute.

The jobs data was released today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  It shows that the economy lost "only" 11,000 jobs in November but the unemployment rate improved from 10.2% to only 10%.

How can the unemployment rate improve while jobs are still being lost?  I assume that the 11,000 jobs lost is a net figure, i.e. jobs lost minus jobs gained.  Only a positive change in net jobs could decrease the unemployment percentage.  This does not compute.

I suspect the jobs data does not reflect the number of job seekers who have given up looking, in which case the jobs report is overly optimistic.

Republicans were not impressed with the reported results:

"After yet another month of job losses, it's clear that one question President Obama is sure to get on his 'listening tour' is: 'Where are the jobs'?" says House Minority Leader John Boehner, in a statement.
While the Republican from Ohio says the decrease in the unemployment rate is encouraging, he says "anyone who views today's report as cause for celebration is out of touch with the American people, especially when Washington Democrats' policies – whether it's a government takeover of health care, a national energy tax, or 'card check' – are already costing jobs and will pile even more debt on our kids and grandkids."

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