The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Much Better than expected job figures

Comaprative downturns to Nov09 by Stirling Newberry

Comparative downturns to Nov09 by Stirling Newberry

Only down 11,000 this month, which is both better than I expected, and better than anyone else as far as I know.

The average duration of unemployment moved up from 26.9 to 28.5 weeks, which is an all-time record.  Headline unemployment dropped slightly to 10% even.  The broader U-6 measure dropped from 17.5 to 17.2%.   The labor force decreased by 98,000 people, which accounts for the drop in unemployment figures despite no net job gains.

Big winners were the general service sector (58k) and temporary help services (52.4K).Manufacturing dropped 41K and construction 27, both of which are slower rates of loss than typical in the past couple of years. Health care employment continued to increase, government was mixed.

As Stirling’s graph shows this is now the deepest job recession of the post WWII era.

The question now is what happens in the next three months.   My default assumption has been a job recovery in the spring, I suspect whatever we see in December, January will be a net negative (due to layoffs after Christmas), so I will be most curious to see February’s numbers.

Note that because of population increases, to maintain the same percentage of the population employed requires about 93,000 jobs a month be created.


Cutting Through the Public Option BS


Hell No Dems Won’t Vote


  1. jo6pac

    I really don’t think things will change, just more people running out of govt. funds. I agree more with the below.

  2. DeLong has a transcript of Obama talking to Robert Kuttner about his larger economic vision.

    The last thing we would want to do in the midst of what is a weak recovery is us to essentially take more money out of the system either by raising taxes or by drastically slashing spending. And frankly, because state and local governments generally don’t have the capacity to engage in deficit spending, some of that obligation falls on the federal government.

    Having said that, what is also true is that unless businesses and global capital markets have some sense that we’ve got a plan, medium and long term, to get the deficit down, it’s hard for us to be credible, and that also could be counterproductive. So we’ve got about as difficult a economic play as is possible, which is to press the accelerator in terms of job growth, but then know when to apply the brakes in the out-years and do that credibly. And you know, we are trying to strike that balance, but we’re going to need help from all of you who oftentimes are more credible than politicians in delivering that message.

    I don’t know where he’s getting this transcript from (transcribed himself from TV?), but it’s here

  3. Ian Welsh

    The deficit matters because they haven’t dealt with various other issues. But it’s not overwhelming. Make a credible long term commitment of money and business will follow it.

  4. S Brennan

    “Obama said he would look at “every demonstrably good idea” for creating jobs, but he cautioned that “our resources are limited.”

    So all good ideas don’t involve spending money because we shot the wad bailing the people created this mess?

    Obama is Bush’s 3rd term

    …but does the H in Barack H. Obama stand for Hoover?

  5. anonymous

    “The labor force decreased by 98,000 people”

    And the stores shelves will be stocked with plenty of baa for the holiday.

  6. Celsius 233

    I’m waiting for the inevitable “revised” figures that almost always follow…

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