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Unemployment for the year ending March 2010 was worse than previously stated, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday as part of its monthly jobs report. There were 366,000 more Americans who lost their jobs than previously counted. But those depressing numbers, or something close to them, won't be officially added to the final official count until the January 2011 monthly jobs report is released in February. Those aren't the only numbers that demonstrate the economy to be worse off than it appears. But let's go one step at a time.

The chart below includes the BLS's revision.

Click here for larger version of this Calculated Risk chart.

Last year, in February 2009, another BLS revision showed that a shocking 902,000 more jobs than previously estimated had been lost in the previous year.  That was the biggest revision ever, both in absolute and percentage terms, clocking in at a 0.7 percent overall change for the period. In the two previous years, a total 382,000 more jobs than previously estimated had to be added to the numbers. Add Friday's announcement of 366,000 lost jobs that went previously uncounted and, all told, 1.65 million more jobs were lost in the past four years than the BLS's original counts have included.

Such BLS revisions - the benchmark revision - have been standard procedure since 1979. Throughout the year, the bureau relies on a sampling technique that allows it to present monthly estimates of the nation's job situation. The sampling covers some 140,000 business and government establishments responsible for about one-third all of nonfarm payroll employees. This, however, is an inexact approach. So, every year, the bureau undertakes a major revision of unemployment data it has gathered to get a clearer and better calculation of joblessness. The revision is announced in October and finalized in the jobs report released in February. You can read about the methodology behind this revision here.

This revision, call it an update, covers 98 percent of the nation's non-farm employment in about 9 million business and government establishments.

Past annual revisions, either adding or subtracting from job loss estimates, have also been substantial. In 1984, for instance, BLS reported that 353,000 fewer jobs had been lost in the previous year than estimated. In 1991, the revision found 640,000 more jobs had been lost than previously estimated. Typically, it's after volatile transition periods between contraction and growth that the largest revisions occur. Such transition periods also present problems for the birth-death adjustment, a BLS formula that has generated considerable controversy. A few analysts consider the adjustment to be a cooking of the numbers. That's not the standard view, however. They think the formula works fine when the economy is stable.

Whatever one's perspective on the methodology, however, the benchmark revision announced Friday, together with the earlier revision, showed what had long ago become obvious – the recession that began in 2007 was significantly worse for rank-and-file Americans than had been shown by the job loss that was estimated while the downturn was in its acceleration phase.

That the recession and its aftermath were, and are, worse than previously reported is something we get reminded of nearly every day.

For one thing, a fair number of the private-sector jobs being added to the economy since January aren't equal to the relatively high-wage positions that were lost. Of the 64,000 jobs added in September, for instance, 34,000 were in low-wage sectors such as restaurants and leisure activities.

For another thing, 3.1 million more Americans would be in the labor force right now if the participation rate were the same as it was when the recession began. These millions have no jobs, but statistically, they've vanished. They just aren't counted anymore. In the real world, some have retired, some have enrolled or re-enrolled in college, and some have just plain given up in despair that they'll find anything. That ought to affect the unemployment rate, but it doesn't. Even the alternative U6 rate - which leapt to 17.1 percent in the latest report - fails to take into account people who have left the labor force unwillingly. It's not fair to blame the statisticians. They have their marching orders from the policy-setters. But those numbers are giving us a much rosier picture of what's happening in the economy than what's actually happening.  

As the folks at the National Employment Law Project pointed out Friday, for those without jobs who are still counted, the average duration of joblessness is now at 33.3 weeks, more than eight months, with some 9 million Americans collecting unemployment insurance, including 5 million on extended benefits.

But those benefits will be cut off at the end of November unless Congress renews them—putting millions of jobless workers on edge once again about how they will afford to pay their mortgages and take care of their kids.  …

“When Congress returns in mid-November, it will have barely two weeks to act in order to avoid cutting off unemployment benefits that serve as a lifeline for millions of hardworking Americans.  We’re talking about people who have worked all their lives and never could have imagined being at risk of plummeting into poverty and homelessness, but are now at the mercy of the worst job market in generations.

That Congress, I'm sure I don't have to remind anyone, will contain more obstructionist Republicans – perhaps many more – than it does now. We know full well what to expect from them on the jobs front.

Even under the best political circumstances, there are no silver bullets for the job crisis. And, yes, it is a crisis. For instance, America needs a new trade policy and an industrial policy. But there are some things that can be done that do not depend on reordering our country's interface with the rest of the planet. One of those is repairing old infrastructure and creating new, as davej recently hammered home. Getting Washington to do these things, however, is another story.

• • • • •

[gjohnsit has a more acerbic take on these numbers, and their market-moving ability, here.]

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:16 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  will false consciousness or panic compel them to (5+ / 0-)

    vote for the GObP?

    We’re talking about people who have worked all their lives and never could have imagined being at risk of plummeting into poverty and homelessness, but are now at the mercy of the worst job market in generations.

    "calling for a 5" deck gun is not parody. Not by a long shot." (gnaborretni),Warning-Some Snark Above

    by annieli on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:20:20 PM PDT

    •  more like inaction on the Dems' part. (6+ / 0-)

      Obama,asbby suggests, is reshuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic, and Jobs is the Iceberg we're headed for.  His team of Rubinites (who were instrumental in tearing down the New Deal regulatory structure - and mindset, it should be remembered) are still well represented at 1600 PA Ave, and the regulatory reform that was signed recently leaves in place, un the whole cobbled-together superstructure that is about to come to rest on the sea-bottom of the Second Great Depression.

      You would think that the grinding noise from the brush with the big 'berg that almost severed our hull in '08 would have caused to to change direction drastically and head for dry dock.  Heading NNW instead  of due North (because you felt you had to give part of control of the tiller to those who engineered that collision) doesn't qualify; and what's more, there aren't enough life boats (though the elite are comfortably watching the scene from not far off in their triple hulled floating palaces).  

      On the bright side, the oncoming disaster will provide the backdrop for a great movie someday.

      That's what will drive some folks to the GOP next month.

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

      by nailbender on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:42:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  *sigh* Forgot no Franken and Snowe and Spector (0+ / 0-)

        insisted stim be cut by $100 b and more billions be shifted to tax cuts from infrastructure, in order to get past the Rethug filabuster, eh?

        But, let's not let facts get in the way of blaming and demoralizing D's even more, right?

        (BTW, if u want to fault D's, fault Reid for no sense of theater: he should have made the Rs really filabuster on e.g. unemployment benefits and the small bsns bill so voters could actually see for themselves who was screwing them.  Instead, we have to hope voters don't watch Foxaganda or for once believe what a politician sez.)

        •  *sigh* ? Who set the rules for the (0+ / 0-)

          Senate fail in the first place? Yeah, there is blame for that, for sure.

          And you know   Dems are not going to be 'demoralized.'

          They may be angry, now.  Afterall, they saw how the Senate and House slammed through the notary bill which the President vetoed...

        •  This arguement is lame and ignores the obvious: (6+ / 0-)

          the "stand-back-and-watch-the-process-unfold while fiddling at the margins" method is politically and tactically stupid.

          This point in history calls for leaders with a very clear vision of both the causes of and solutions to our multiple dilemmas.  

          If Obama were a wise politician (instead of the merely "smart" variety) he would mount a Moon Shot campaign for the New Green Economy, with lots of govt support, taking us back toward full employment (much more quickly than the current dip irrigation method is providing) and onto a new sustainable path.

          But it ain't gonna happen.  The emergency's emergent aspect hasn't even gotten to them yet.  I guess that would involve an admission that their original fix is inadequate, so scratch the whole Moon Shot idea.  Sorry.

          Full ahead, cap'n.  Can't you feel the excitement?

          "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

          by nailbender on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 04:17:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  *sigh* (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mightymouse, Cliss, FistJab

          Accepting those rules on the brink of a depression with a 70% approval rating gives you  an opportunity to enjoy the option of filibustering from the minority.

          Congrats.   The plan worked perfectly.  

          Otoh...a leader would have figured out what was needed to correct the problem and the campaign until they got it.  Instead, our current leader decide to use your excuse and save his capital for a future debate.  

          A simple question. If three dems were blocking George Bush from saving the country from a n attack, do you think he would have sighed about the makeup of the Senate.

          We made this bed.  It is going to be tough to get some sleep for a while.

          "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

          by justmy2 on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 04:21:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Repeat after me: Obama is not a dictator. (0+ / 0-)

            He can't just 'do' Green bonds.  He can't change the Senate's rules.  He had to work with what he had.

            And btw, trying to do what progressives want is infinitely hard than starting a war or giving tax cuts or flimflaming with wedge issues whlile your executive appointees are gutting regulations.

            (As HCR, that was no doubt a reaction to the FAIL of Clinton when they did it the way you suggest: present a package with a bow and insist on it while waiving a veot pen.  And guess what? Obama GOT HRC.  Now, like social security in the 30s, work to make it better.

            As for the filabuster - Rethugs really have been not simply unprecedented but filabusting EVERYTHING. It simply never happened before.  No one, and I mean NO one, thought the Rethugs would go so far.  Read so (albeit very boring Congressional history.) And, if you read the front page or CongressWatch here you'd know they can't change the rules after the organizing resolution without (wait for it) a filabuster.  If we keep the Senate, they might change the filabuster rule in the organizing resoltion.  If Nelson and Lie-berman and whoever else decides to play their game let them.

            But,the D's could have made them PAY for these games.  But that required making political theater - forcing real filabusters on issues the public cared about and that culd not be easily distorted and lied away.  Reid and the D caucus chose not to do so.  That was their fault, not Obama's.  I can think of a few reason why - like fear of Nelson or Lie-berman or Byah or Landruie or Blanche... joining the filabuster on TV.  I for one think that was a price worth paying.  But, I at least know where the real blame lies - in addition to the enormous tools the Rethugs are.

            •  You don't have to be a dictator (0+ / 0-)

              to go to Maine and ask for support for the stimulus.  You don't have to be a dictator to have your first oval office address stating the nation is in crisis and carols Senators are putting us in economic danger.  

              The dictator meme is so old.  It is nothing more than an excuse.  They made a decision to save the capital for the health care debate.  Many here at the time agreed that is was not the time to attack Republicans because we needed Snowe and Collins for health care.

              How did that work?

              It took courage not a dictator to be willing to open yourself to an overspending charge.  They thought they could make te argument it was fiscally sound.  They underestimated how willing Republicans were to put their interests in front of the country's, for no apparent reason with Republicans making outright statements.

              They are paying the price now an making excuses after deciding to ignore basic economics does nothing to absolve them.

              "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

              by justmy2 on Sun Oct 10, 2010 at 11:42:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So your criticism of Obama, as opposed to Senate (0+ / 0-)

                (since I see you do not refute the remainder of my comment) is 1) he didn't campaign in Maine and if he had Snowe and Collins would have 'so totally folded', 2)they figured they'd only get 1 knock-down-drag-out and decided to do HCR.

                There can be no proof on the first, making it quite convenient for you. Of course, your pt is mere speculation and therefore not evidence of anything, and you have the burden of proof on this.  

                This truth of the 2nd is also completely provable - meaning you again fail your burden of proof.  I certainly agree Obama wanted HRC, but I see no proof they deliberately sacrificed stim for it.  Rather, I think like most sane people, they didn't think the media would simply lie - transparently, consistently and near universally - and transmute it into the Alaskian Bimbo's 'death panels' and 'Hilter was bad only 'cause he wanted to give health care', and the people would be so monumentally STUPID about it.

                So, ok, Obama overestimated the reasoning ability of too many voters by thinking they were at least 3rd grader level.  I think he gets a pass on that one.

                (OTOH, he media crew is completely to blame for some of the loss, utterly failing to do their job - i.e., a basic understanding of the market they were selling to and how it was changing and to, well, you know, actually use basic marketing - nee campaign tactics -  to sell the stim, HRC, Obama etc.

                Oh and Reids complete lack of understanding the theatre of politics, as noted in my 1st comment.)

        •  We need a national industrial policy. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:


          Snowball, I don't like your chances....

          The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

          by magnetics on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 09:47:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I think that we may be rolling into a (18+ / 0-)

    depression, and the new congress will certainly be unwilling to do much to prevent it.

    •  Plausible (10+ / 0-)

      Another stimulus can avoid it but there won't be one because Republicans + blue dogs will dominate the Senate and House soon.

      •  Beyond the dismal employment numbers, (6+ / 0-)

        the problems in the housing market may well do the trick. Once we know the degree of fraud that has been involved, a number of the banks that are "too big to fail" may well do just that.

      •  EUC extended benefits information (0+ / 0-)

        There are actually three layers of unemployment, and multiple tiers in some of these. The first 26 weeks is standard state unemployment. During high unemployment times, they kick in 20 weeks of extended benefits.

        What happened this time is the feds put in Emergency Unemployment Compensation, EUC. This can last up to 53 weeks. EUC is sandwiched between the first 26 weeks and the last 20 weeks of extended benefits.

        If eligible, you relieve EUC benefits after your original 26 weeks expires. After this you get EUC in multiple tiers, up to 53 weeks total, depending on how bad your state unemployment rate is. The first tier of EUC benefits is 20 weeks. Whatever EUC tier you are on in late November, you should be able to exhaust that tier, but you will not move onto the next EUC tier, you will instead get the final one of extended benefits, 20 weeks.

        For someone like me, I just exhausted my first 26 weeks, which lasted eight months for me because I had a couple of months census work. So now I am on the first tier of EUC, which runs out sometime in February. As far as I know, I will get to keep my EUC until the tier is exhausted. After this, I move right to extended benefits.

        EUC is in about four or five tiers. If congress does an extension of EUC, I should be able to get additional EUC tiers.

        If my info is incorrect, post a comment. I would be interested to hear what happened to people on EUC when it lapsed in the summer.

        Everything I write is within a margin of error of precisely 100%.

        by Bailey Savings and Loan on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:42:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I thought the usual extension after... (0+ / 0-)

          ...the first 26 weeks was 13 additional weeks, not 20.

          Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:43:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here is a link from WA state benefits (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Meteor Blades, divineorder

            The tier structure might vary by state.


            The EUC program has four tiers.

                 Tier 1
                 We can pay up to 20 weeks of tier 1 benefits.  You must apply to receive tier 1.  See "How do I apply for EUC?" below.
                 Tier 2
                 We can pay up to 14 weeks of benefits.  You do not need to apply or contact us to receive these additional benefits.
                 Tier 3
                 We can pay up to another 13 weeks of benefits.  You do not need to apply or contact us to receive these additional benefits.
                 Tier 4
                 We can pay up to another 6 weeks of benefits.  You do not need to apply or contact us to receive these additional benefits.

            When does EUC end?

            The EUC program was extended in July 2010 until November 2010.  To receive EUC you must:

                 Run out of regular benefits with your weekly claim the week ending November 20, 2010 or before to receive tier 1.
                 Run out of a tier with your weekly claim the week ending November 27, 2010 or before to receive the next tier.

            If you do not meet the deadlines for EUC or your EUC has run out, you may qualify for extended benefits (EB).  Please check here for more information.

            Everything I write is within a margin of error of precisely 100%.

            by Bailey Savings and Loan on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:52:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  f (0+ / 0-)

          I would be interested to hear what happened to people on EUC when it lapsed in the summer.

          Might vary by state, but in MN those who exhausted their present tier after EUC lapsed, automatically transferred to the final 13 weeks of extended fed-state extended benefits, as provided by state law. On July 28, 2010, EUC was retroactively extended, allowing eligible applicants to be transferred back to EUC.

          By TinyPic

          And when he came back to, he was flat on his back on the beach in the freezing sand, and it was raining out of a low sky, and the tide was way out. --DFW

          by klingman on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 09:42:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Stimulus can't avoid another depression. (0+ / 0-)

        It's a demand induced depression. Stimulus doesn't really affect private demand. Private demand is bad, real bad.

        "It's getting late early" - Yogi Berra

        by buckshot face on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 05:47:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  and blame it on Obama n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "All politics is national."

      by Auriandra on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 04:28:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Corporate America Sucks. (11+ / 0-)

    I know this first hand. Tax the rich...they have money.

  •  Thanks MB for sticking to the facts... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    instead of hyperbole and motive guessing...indeed counting the unemployed and underemployed is not an exact science...

    Obama - Change I still believe in

    by dvogel001 on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:24:26 PM PDT

  •  A new trade policy? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, coffejoe

    At this point to speak about a country having a unilateral ability to mold their trade policy is naive or uninformed.

    We are in a global economy and cannot make independent decisions about trade policy. The only thing to do is mold your economic structure to maximize the new opportunities presented by the global economy.

    "I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."-Jessica Rabbbit

    by Common Cents on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:25:24 PM PDT

    •  You lie (6+ / 0-)

      We can. What you are implying is that the consequences would be bad. But they wouldn't be bad for those Americans who make their income from labor; they would be the winners.

      Capital? Not so much...

      Fuck capital.

      For the elite there are no material problems, only PR problems. Time for a new elite.

      by Paul Goodman on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:27:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  For what it's worth, I studied... (18+ / 0-) policy extensively as part of my undergrad degree in International Relations. And you are mistaken. Countries sign treaties, unilateral or multilateral on trade, and they can, and do, alter them frequently. Moreover, how trade policy is enforced can and is altered all the time. It's naive and uninformed to think otherwise.

      Always looking at the consequences of trade in the aggregate instead of who catches the positive and negative impacts distorts the actual situation. It's like talking about average incomes without talking about income distribution. U.S. corporations often win big time from unfettered free trade. But that doesn't mean that rank-and-file Americans do.

      There is a big difference in free trade's effect on those whose economic well-being depends on wages and those who gain most from profits. There is no single national interest in this regard. Our economy is made up of many interests. Wage earners make up the majority. Profit-makers are a small minority, and they are the richest. So when you discuss the benefits of our current trade policy, you must separate those interests first. Then we can see what the impact is on wages and on employment vs. what the impact is on profits. Once that's determined, we can develop a progressive trade policy.

      Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:39:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We're the $14T Gorilla (7+ / 0-)

      Of course there's no unilateral trade policy. No one but you mentioned such a thing.

      But the US produces and consumes 25% of what's bought and sold in this world. Even more passes through our infrastructure, whether networks or transit. When the US decides to move, the rest of the world must move with it. The US represents most of the opportunity, cost and risk in global trade, especially since we can change so quickly when we want to.

      So yes, we need a new trade policy. Pretending we can't have one is just one step above the usual fallacy that we don't have one.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:46:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Replace your cannot with an ought not, (0+ / 0-)

      and I would agree.

  •  Four fixes: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, JML9999, coffejoe, ridemybike
    1. Tariffs
    1. Enforce immigration law
    1. $1,000 to each citizen every month to stimulate demand
    1. Trillions of dollars of government hiring for infrastructure, science, and technology

    Yeah, inflation sucks, but not as much as societal collapse and civil war.

    For the elite there are no material problems, only PR problems. Time for a new elite.

    by Paul Goodman on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:26:09 PM PDT

    •  Enforce immigration law? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      What are suggesting? Build a wall?

      "I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."-Jessica Rabbbit

      by Common Cents on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:38:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bust Employers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FuddGate, divineorder

        I suggest that the Feds pay the states to randomly investigate 10x the employers currently investigated for employing illegal labor, then quickly and heavily fine the guilty employers.

        What are you suggesting? Let illegal foreign labor unfairly compete with American labor, while subsidized by returning for downtime in their cheap foreign economies? We're doing that, and it's hurting us.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:48:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm suggesting we make the illegals legal. (0+ / 0-)

          And quit wasting our time trying to stop people that want to come here for a better life and work hard.

          "I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."-Jessica Rabbbit

          by Common Cents on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:56:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  National ID. Pro'ly with biometrics. Only way to (0+ / 0-)

            prevent employers from doing what they do now - avoid enforcement by claiming 'no one could have known they were illegal'.

            If your ok with that cool.  Doubt the 'black heliocopt...', er. 'Take my country back!' crowd will accept it.  Shooting hispanics near the border? Sure.  Actually doing what would work... not so much.

            •  I want an open door immigration policy. (0+ / 0-)

              It has been a great strength of this country to welcome in workers from all over the world.

              The freedom and possibility in this country is our best asset.

              "I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."-Jessica Rabbbit

              by Common Cents on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 03:29:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •   Have you been in our overcrowded (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DocGonzo, FuddGate

                cities, schools, and hospitals lately? Thousands of police, teachers, firemen and other imporatant government employees being laid off?

                Do we really need more people here?

                I am no isolationist. I agree that immigration  has been a strength, with exceptions:   say the native americans, the forests, the soil, and the wildlife...

                We have not had an open door immigration policy for a long time.

                I do realize that we are one on this planet, and that their SHOULD be no boundaries. So I am somewhat conflicted. So far, I am supporting the Administration in its push to enforce the immigration laws now on the books.

            •  They Know (0+ / 0-)

              Every employer is required to get a Social Security number for taxes. When they don't, they should get busted. No Social Security number, and the worker can't speak English. Slam them with fines, and jail repeat offenders. Then employers will have to pay the US wages and keep US minimum working conditions.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 07:26:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The problem is they have a cinch legal defense: a (0+ / 0-)

                fake SSN was given.  How were they to know?  Look at Whitman. The IRS sent letter after letter and she still got away with it for years, and would still be if she wasn't running for CaliGov.

                •  They Check (0+ / 0-)

                  The IRS (or SSA) runs a hotline that confirms the SSN, name and DOB. If the employer confirms all those but they're fake, then indeed the FBI has to bust the fraud ring documenting those employees. But they don't. Tightening these requirements would protect our labor. But only if we actually exercise the investigations and slam those employers who get busted.

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Sun Oct 10, 2010 at 04:06:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  But most of the employ is construction and other (0+ / 0-)

                    short-term project-length employment.  By the time the letter comes, and the response time passes, then the letter responding to the 'are u sure, cause we don't want to get sued if u're wrong' letter from crooked employer, the job is over, and the employee doesn't work for him.

                    'side, have you figured in the independent contractor angle?  U think dodging worker's comp was the only reason that suddenly all these low wage workers are I/Cs?

          •  Competition (0+ / 0-)

            And I say we shouldn't let people come here and compete with our labor, then go back to where it's cheap so they can compete cheaply here. That's undermining our labor standards, and turning our economy into a bigger version of the one they leave for work here.

            It's not a waste of time to do it right.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 07:24:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah I was wondering about that too. (0+ / 0-)

        In the 1920s the US tried to keep liquor out of the country, indirectly, by making it illegal to sell it here. Didn't work. Too many people liked liquor.

        This would be the same for cheap labor. Too many people like it to in practice make it unavailable.

    •  Uhh. (0+ / 0-)

      $1,000 to each citizen every month to stimulate demand

      This sounds a lot like the Townsend plan in the 1903s. It's a great idea, of course, if one can come up with the money to fund it.

      Trillions of dollars of government hiring for infrastructure, science, and technology

      Trillions? That's a lot.

      The only place we can get trillions of dollars is maybe out of the US global defense budget, as far as I know. Or maybe raise taxes on million dollar earners??

  •  That is going to get worse (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, mightymouse, coffejoe

    Unless we keep both houses of Congress, it's got nowhere to go but down. We could be looking at 15%, maybe worse, by 2012 without a new stimulus. we might not get that in any case.

    The goddamn CoC should be backing Democrats.  They think they can keep going on bond issues at ridiculous interest rates (Thanks, Fed) until they get total Republican control again. But sooner or later that is going to run out and the well will go dry. No growth means no country - even for them.

    It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Fish in Illinois on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:26:50 PM PDT

  •  We really need to get out of (0+ / 0-)

    the box we are in that tax cuts solve everything. Obviously they don't....we are competing globally with countries that will work for less. There is limited resources and over population. We have literally built on every piece of many strip malls does a population need?

    I feel we are on a collision course. I wish we could take a space ship into the skies and escape.

    I am not sure what is the solution or what can be done.

    I am thinking maybe McCain should of gotten elected to deal with all the fucked up crap we now have.....

    Our only hope is a few good democrats will get in and put in some amendments to bills the republicans won't notice and vote it through.

    Vote 11.2.10 the penalty for refusing to participate in politics you end up being governed by your inferiors. Plato

    by coffejoe on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:27:15 PM PDT

  •  I wish that chart show the job losses in the (0+ / 0-)


    I think that would help put what has happened with better perspective.

  •  The solution is to build (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, divineorder

    more prisons.

    It reduces employment in several ways:

    (1) stimulates construction, with a multiplier effect;

    (2) incarcerates generally low skill workers, thus reducing downward pressure on wages for the bottom quartile of the labor market;

    (3) and provides recession proof working class and white collar security and administration jobs.

    Eh.  I should sell out and work for the Heritage Foundation.

    I'm not a witch - I'm you.

    by Pierro Sraffa on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:28:58 PM PDT

  •  Too many people are too close to Washington (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, WisePiper, JML9999, Ezekial 23 20

    making too much money sending jobs overseas to stop now...or be stopped.

    The Bush administration was all about cashing America out.

    The Republicans are still cashing America out.

    Them and their pet Dawgs.

    Why would they ever support infrastructure building in America? That would interfere with making the ascendancy of the Chinese inevitable.

    It would jeopardize their paychecks from overseas - you know, the ones they always accused Democrats of getting?

    Guess it's ... okay if you're Republican.

    Xie xie ni, GOP.

  •  Krugman on NPR a few minutes ago (23+ / 0-)

    was interviewed about the current economic situation.
    ...when asked what should be done he replied:
    throw every single tool we have including another stimulus
    at least as big as the first one.

    he said economists aren't doing their job if they don't offer solutions.

    as soon as Krugman was finished, an australian economist was asked the same question.

    his reply was quite different:
    stop all the spending immediately, loosen regulations and let the private sector recover.
    he then went on to blame our current recession on Carter and Clinton.
    yes, according to this d-b, Carter and Clinton are to blame.


    meanwhile, those of us still without work are seriously struggling
    I'm in month twenty ... and it feels like there is no end in site.

    "Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle." -Helen Keller

    by ridemybike on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:31:48 PM PDT

  •  I am thankful every day that I finally found (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, 3goldens, Cliss, ridemybike

    a job and it is in my skill set. Not making what I once did and my share the health insurance is higher.

    I am more fortunate than many in the country right now so I count blessings every day.

    •  My brother was hired back after 2 years (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PatriciaVa, Cliss

      and accepted salary level he had 11 years ago. F*ckers.

      •  Tax Cut impact on Median Wages (0+ / 0-)

        Divineorder, this is a HUGE problem for President Obama as he campaign for Reelection.

        He came in lamenting the stagnation of median wages.  During Bush's terms, the median wage decreased 4.2%.  Well, during the first two years of Obama's presidency, the median wage has already decreased about 4%.

        And imagine what will happen to the median after-tax wage if Obama allows the working and middle-class tax cuts to lapse.

        Over the next 10 years, unless those tax cuts are renewed, the working and middle-class will pay 2.3T more in taxes.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

        by PatriciaVa on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 04:49:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A technical point, re: the chart link (0+ / 0-)

    Save the file in the link, then rename it, adding a .jpg extension.  You can then view it successfully.

    Three things cannot be long hidden - the sun, the moon, and the truth. -Zen Saying

    by thenekkidtruth on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:32:33 PM PDT

  •  ASCE says we need $2.2T in infrastructure (11+ / 0-)

    spending now.

    This is to restore the current civil infrastructure, and does not include a smartgrid or conversion from coal to renewable energy. I don't know whether or not it includes upgrading the US Internet to First World standards.

    Restoring the civil infrastructure means bridges that do not collapse under drivers, an electrical delivery system that isn't increasingly becoming unreliable, and neighborhoods that no longer blow up behind gas leaks, safe schools.

    Not restoring this infrastructure means that doing business in a First World manner (i.e. you don't have to buy a backup generator simply to be able to do business) will become increasingly impossible in America.

    Paying several trillion dollars for infrastructure repair / upgrades is the price of doing business as a First World nation. Not investing this money in America's future means the slide to Third World status is inevitable.

    What is our bi-partisan (or buy-partisan) centrist leadership doing about this?

    [sounds of crickets chirping]

    Our Richistani class doesn't want this money "wasted" because they think it better transferred to their own bank accounts before they bail out of what will soon be "America, The Failed State".

    Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

    by alizard on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:37:49 PM PDT

  •  They Stole Our Big Stimulus (17+ / 0-)

    The most revealing news in the economy this year came when Cristina Romer resigned, because her Stimulus simulations were ignored. She'd run simulations of small, medium and big Stimulus packages, and found what so many progressives said publicly without such specific data: small was too small to bother; medium was just big enough to keep us stagnant, and big was necessary to actually drag us into a new economy that could grow for a change. But when her report was delivered to Obama, the big stimulus analysis was deleted - off the table, like so much else including the Public Option for HCR. Once it became clear this Summer that we didn't somehow get lucky and grow anyway despite progressive consensus and scientific analysis, Romer resigned and we found out the backstory.

    Nobody else took the hit for the failure (except the American people). Larry Summers resigned as "economy chief" without mention of the deleted big stimulus; Peter Orszag moved on without mention; Rahm Emanuel is golden parachuting into the Chicago mayor's office. They've all got great jobs, even though they failed to do their most important one.

    Chump change you can believe in.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:42:40 PM PDT

  •  Even as unemployment remains disastrously high (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    we continue to award legal permanent residence to 1.1 million foreign nationals a year, of whom 3/4 are working age adults. A few Republicans in Congress, but no Democrats, have suggested that these legally mandated, but historically high rates of immigration should be reduced during the worst economic setback in two generations.

    •  So? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder, schnecke21, GeeBee

      Those people have to live too, and most of them do so by buying things from other people.  Housing, clothes, food, every one a consumer, giving our economy a boost.

      They're creating jobs by coming to live here.

      The true parasites are at the top of the economic ladder, sucking the wealth out of the rest of us, including those immigrants, and shoving it into hidden Swiss bank accounts to avoid paying taxes.

      If you feel insulted by anything I've said, find out if it was intentional. I'll let you know if you ask.

      by Ezekial 23 20 on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 03:31:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm on week 66 of UI... (7+ / 0-)

    ...and I have to do extra work now to get my UI because it does run out in November. Unfortunately, the extra work they're having me do now is actually redundant to what I've had to do all along and won't actually help me get a job. I did have an interview this past week, but I haven't heard back yet.

    I keep applying for jobs I'm definitely qualified for and I have to say, I understand the magnitude of how many people are out of work. I base this on the simple fact that any other time this has happened, I usually had a new job within a month if not six weeks of looking for new employment.

    It seems no matter how bad it gets, the people in D.C., just don't care. It scares me to think how bad it will have to get to make them care. I hate to think about what's going to happen in this country to make them care.

    We're still heading straight towards a precipice, but those who want to steer us away don't have the strength or courage to do so and the rest think they'll be fine regardless. This country really is that fucked up now.

    The sleep of reason produces monsters.

    by Alumbrados on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:44:02 PM PDT

  •  I thought U-6 included those who have given up. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    So how can that group even be estimated?  I think I've been confused all along about what U-6 means.

  •  B.(L).S (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alumbrados, gjohnsit, wsexson, mike101

    Such transition periods also present problems for the birth-death adjustment, a BLS formula that has generated considerable controversy. A few analysts consider the adjustment to be a cooking of the numbers. That's not the standard view, however. They think the formula works fine when the economy is stable.

    And just when is the economy ever "stable"? Try NEVER. And even if the economy in retrospect was stable, it was never perceived as such at the time.

    One of the biggest fallacies of traditional economics is the concept of equilibrium. In reality (as opposed to the economist's world) there is no such thing. WE have a very complex adaptive system (that is never in equilibrium) and it is about time we started treating it that way.

    The BLS statistics are pretty "questionable". There are alternate measures (daily SS receipts for one that provide a more up to date and possibly more accurate measure of employment).

    "If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." Mike Lazaridis of RIM

    by taonow on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 02:47:14 PM PDT

  •  Interesting thing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, justmy2

    For the last four months, it's actually public sector job losses that's been dragging us down, not private sector job losses.

    In other words, welcome to the anti-stimulus.

  •  Clearly, this is due to the fact that (0+ / 0-)

    liberal critics of Barack Obama did not clap loudly enough.

  •  It's always worse than the official numbers. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Virginia mom, Situational Lefty

    Corporate sponsors (of both the MSM and the government) have an interest in projecting the best economic picture possible. Mass psychology affects consumer spending habits. I always say that if you know you’re being bullshitted, go with your gut, misleading data is misleading on purpose, designed to produce flawed conclusion. In some cases, people can believe the exact opposite of the official narrative and be right on.

  •  More colorful charts and graphs by (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wsexson, cordobes

    people who pander to the wealthy telling the rest of us how not-so-bad it is. I, for one, am tired of being nothing more than a statistic, a political pawn. We are human beings, God damn it. You have spent our tax dollars to finance the off-shoring of our jobs, and are now helping the corporations drive our wages down and the cost of living up. Do you realize where this is going? My friends have a saying these days..."When you get down to your last hundred dollars, buy a gun." These people, like me, are left, not right, of center.

  •  Agree with Krugman (6+ / 0-)

    Massive spending cuts will lead to job loss in the government sector.  Deregulation will increase the gap between rich and poor even further, as well as make us susceptible to future bubble pops. I think a government jobs program is in order.  

  •  I suppose republicans think (0+ / 0-)

    when they are in control of the House we're going to help THEM get THEIR bills passed.

    Oh.  Wait.  We will.

    Republicans want to "take America Back." Democrats want to take America forward.

    by Detroit Mark on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 03:02:25 PM PDT

  •  Bad link for larger graph (0+ / 0-)

    Would be nice to find one I can email to relatives.

    I'm an American Liberal. Blogging in between family, work and activism time.

    by AlphaLiberal on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 03:05:10 PM PDT

  •  This is a very important subject for debate when (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the dust has settled. Their are global shifts of seismic proportions that will determine and dictate the very fundamental basis of American society in the years to come.

    It would be nice if some of those debates could be held here. It is possible I wonder?.  I do not see that America  can survive without re-ordering her attitudes and priorities with the rest of the planet.

  •  They won't seriously invest in US infrastructure. (4+ / 0-)
    Why would the US government (which is controlled by multinational corporations) want to invest in US infrastructure (where labor costs are higher) when the government could give tax breaks to their sponsors (corporations) to develop infrastructure in the "emerging markets" and take advantage of cheap labor? The last thing they (government/ multinational corporations) want to do is create more US jobs. That why we're not seeing any serious investment in US infrastructure.
  •  Blades, I have to confess... (4+ / 0-)

    that reading your diaries on unemployment stats and what they really mean requires me to psyche myself up a bit, 'cause it is a real downer, and I soooo want it not to be like this.
    But I find the gumption and I read through them, because it really is THE central issue of the day, and we all need to understand where we are and how we got here.
    I do thank you for your thorough work, and I continue to hope and press and work for better days.
    Thanks again.

    "Democracy is like chicken soup. You have to stir it up often or a scummy oily film forms at the top."

    by StratCat on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 03:39:33 PM PDT

  •  Duration of Unemployment (0+ / 0-)

    Duration Chart (CR)

    It's a shame we have to run on this!

  •  Chart shows who to blame (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Yes, I know that a "who's fault is this" filter is not very useful in analyzing what the economy needs right now, nor does it help unemployment people find jobs.

    But joblessness has become a political issue, not as much an economic issue, in current public discourse.

    And as a political issue, Obama and Democrats are being unfairly blamed.

    The BLS chart shows the downward slide starting in Dec. 2007. By month  13, when Obama took office, employment is down perhaps 3.2% and dropping fast. (Remember, the economy was tanking big-time, starting in September 2008.)

    The first stimulus package was passed in February 2009, and I'd say we should start looking for any significant impact on unemployment beginning 6 months after that (remember, it took quite a while for stim funds other than tax cuts to start flowing into the economy).

    So a POLITICAL evaluation of the effect of Obama's economic policies should look at the employment statistics in the BLS chart from month 19 on. Job losses were 5.6% off the 2007 peak. Now? 5.6% off the 2007 peak.

    Political conclusions:
    Have Obama's economic policies devastated jobs and the American economy? No.

    Did Obama's policies stanch the bleeding, keep things from getting much worse? Maybe. Perhaps the cycle was bottoming out anyway, or perhaps it really would have kept falling to Great Depression levels.

    Have Obama's stimulus programs succeeded in reversing job losses and reviving and growing the economy? No.

    I think an INFORMED political question then, is whether the stimulus was large enough, and whether we need more federal stimulus spending. (or can we trust that the bleeding has stopped, and private sector growth and/or business cyclical patterns will slowly restore employment to 2007 levels and up.)

    •  Key point. (0+ / 0-)

      The BLS chart shows the downward slide starting in Dec. 2007. By month  13, when Obama took office, employment is down perhaps 3.2% and dropping fast. (Remember, the economy was tanking big-time, starting in September 2008.)

      And the chart is smooth, not bumpy there, showing this downturn is a very big, very long in the making event.

  •  Good thing you noted (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, Situational Lefty

    my diary. I most of the way through your essay here and about to say something nasty about using my material, when I saw that you linked to my diary.

    Acerbic? Really? I thought I was pretty mild. Just cynical.

    "The people have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want & the courage to take." - Emma Goldman

    by gjohnsit on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 03:46:27 PM PDT

    •  My diary was written at 11 p.m. PDT last night... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...FP diaries often wait in line for a while after being written, especially on weekends. I added the link to your diary today shortly before mine posted. I also added three sentences to mine around the birth-death adjustment because of your diary. And I ALWAYS credit other diarists. Usually, I am in 95% agreement with you. Today, it was more like 75%.

      Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 04:26:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That explains it (0+ / 0-)

        I had actually posted my diary yesterday afternoon on Docudharma. I didn't post it on DKos until this morning because I figured that no one would be paying attention on Friday afternoon.
         I didn't honestly think you lifted my material. You aren't that kind of person. It just seemed that way.

        "The people have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want & the courage to take." - Emma Goldman

        by gjohnsit on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 07:15:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, we do tend to follow the... (0+ / 0-)

          ...same economics stuff. But I'm beginning to wonder if soup kitchens have free wi fi. Because we may eventually be posting from one.

          Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 07:27:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I disagree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    there is a silr bullet, our political leaders just don't have the will or bravery to put it in the chamber and fire.

    Democrats only have themselves for buying into the Republican spending boogeyman in the midst of a crisis with the backup plan of "well it could have been worse".

    "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

    by justmy2 on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 04:10:13 PM PDT

  •  How about a 35-36 hour work week -- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, soccergrandmom

    if this is a long-term structural readjustment, why can't Americans work fewer hours in a year, more in keeping with workers in Europe? They work us to death in this country.

    Thirty-six hours from forty is 10 percent, which is our unemployment rate. Plus, five percent is the actual goal, not zero.

    France tried imposing a shorter work week and it didn't work, but, being French, they tried to do it top-down, by mandate. We could do it by offering incentives to companies.

    I lived in Germsny. They work many fewer hours than we do, and their economy is doing great.

    Of course, we are "exceptional," meaning we have nothing to learn from other countries. I have just about given up on this country. I'm about to tell my kids to leave.. My best friend recently moved to Canada. I have a brother who has lived in France for 10 years; his kids are growing up multi-lingual. My 15 year old daughter is learning Chinese, which she loves.

    'When will America be America again?'

    "All politics is national."

    by Auriandra on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 04:24:35 PM PDT

  •  It would be nice to see the Great Depression (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    overlayed on this graph.

    Even the 1937 Recession and the economic situation during and directly after WW2.


    Ugh. --UB.

  •  This is NOT a post WW-II recession! (0+ / 0-)

    This is Great Depression II. During Great Depression I, the name "depression" was coined to say that it was less than a full blown Panic, "Just a little depression in the economy."  A radical change to the economy's structure is needed or the Depression will continue to plunge.

  •  Where's the recommend button? (0+ / 0-)


    This story needs better coverage.

    By the way the red line on that chart looks like none of the others. Unless you want to convince yourself the biggest employment boom in the last 60 years is about to commence.

  •  Obama = Hoover (0+ / 0-)
    I'm sure I'm not the first to say it but how can anyone doubt that President Obama is our Herbert Hoover.

    "Your Actions Are So Loud, I Can't Hear a Word You're Saying"

    by toosinbeymen on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 06:26:50 PM PDT

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