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Three new reports out today indicate continuing weakness in the U.S. economy, despite one of them showing a little better than predicted. Meanwhile, expectations are low for the week's most-awaited report, the Department of Labor's job survey for July.

How low are those expectations? Bob Pisani at CNBC retells a joke going around the trading desks: "The nonfarm payroll report will be so bad that it can [be] given out by name, not by number: 'Mr. Smith got a job.'" The reports for May and June were disastrous, but not that bad.

Ahead of Friday's report, ADP today announced the findings of its monthly survey of the private job market. It was a bit better than expected, with a gain of 114,000 jobs. But ADP's report is not usually a good match for the government numbers. For June, it reported 100,000 more private-sector jobs were created than the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics did. ADP also doesn't cover government jobs, which have been taking major hits for the past two years, especially in the past 12 months.

In addition to the less-than-sterling gains reported by ADP for July, a report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas said private-sector layoffs rose to a 16-month high.

None of that nor reports this week from the Institute for Supply Management on the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors of the economy have given any kind of boost to the optimists regarding the BLS report that will be released Friday morning.

Are there any optimists? But let's not go there. This isn't a diary about policy, the need for a WPA and other directly government-funded jobs programs and an industrial plan, and tax revisions that help real job creators. It's about process.

If anybody made money in the past couple of years predicting what would be announced each month by the BLS, it would be news to me. The consensus of experts interviewed by Bloomberg, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal and other business media almost never get it right and are sometimes stunningly off the mark. This month is unlikely to prove an exception. The consensus of experts Bloomberg has surveyed clocks in at a net of 75,000 new jobs. But some predict as many as 125,000.

Given how deep the unemployment hole is, even that top number would be paltry. Hitting the consensus would be four times better than the June report and 50 percent better than May's. If you're looking for odds on whether we'll come close to the consensus figure, you've come to wrong place. Based on previous predictions, it could less than half that, or more than half again as many. Or, for the first time since September 2010, it could even wind up in negative territory.

The problem with whatever numbers will be reported in the headlines—and that most expert analysts and pundits alike will respond to—is that they are not real.

Whoa! Hold on. I am not saying the numbers are fraudulent. It is just that, over time, the statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics have developed formulae with which to adjust the numbers seasonally so there aren't huge swings based on things, for example, like hiring extra help for the retail surge of the holiday season at the end of each year and laying them off in January and February. In a controversial methodology, they also adjust the numbers based on how many jobs are likely to be gained or lost by new businesses that are born and die each month. And they do other tweaking as well.

So do the headline numbers distort reality? Yes. But even if the numbers are not quite as they first appear, do they at least represent a trend that provides useful information? Yes.

The BLS itself includes non-seasonally adjusted numbers as well, but those never make the headlines except at specialist blogs.

Also impinging on how the numbers get interpreted is the fact that the monthly report combines the results of two different surveys, one of tens of thousands of individuals and one of business establishments. From the former we get the official jobless rate; from the latter we get the number of new jobs generated for the month (modified by those adjustments already discussed). This fact almost always creates some confusion, especially when there seem to be lots of new jobs created and yet the official unemployment rate goes up.

That official rate, now at 9.2 percent, has its own very big problems. When people drop out of the work force because they've given up looking for a job—as so very many have done in the Great Recession—the numbers, adjusted or not, can appear better than they actually are.

The math is simple. Let's suppose 1000 people are in the work force and 100 of them without paychecks are looking for a job.  Unemployment rate = 10 percent. Now, let's say 20 of those 100 people still want jobs, but they stop looking out of despair. Common sense says the unemployment rate is actually the same; 100 people out of 1000 want to work and haven't found any. But the official work force in this case has now declined to 980, and only 80 out-of-work people are listed as seeking a job. Unemployment rate = 8.1 percent.

As bloggers have brought to everyone's (including the reluctant traditional media's) attention in the past two-and-a-half years, the BLS does include some of those out-of-work people in its statistics, if they've looked for a job in the past year. These come under its alternative measure, labeled U6, now at 16.2 percent. This takes into account people who have no full-time jobs but are trying to get one and those who have looked for a job in the past year, but not in the past four weeks. The current count on all those people is about 25 million. But this does not include people who want a job but gave up looking a year or more ago. Should they be counted, too?

In a way, they are, and that produces one of the most telling numbers that comes out of the jobs report each month, the employment-to-population ratio. That's what the chart way up at the top of this diary shows. It's a devastating percentage.

If you dig into the interstices of the BLS report, you can find other data of interest. A beginning-of-the-year upgrade has made the site much more user-friendly. For instance, there's a calculation on how many people in the work force have been unemployed for more than six months. And tables showing specifics of various occupational fields.

The bottom line in all this? It's not a conspiracy. But when you hear those "headline" numbers Friday, you shouldn't take them literally. If you hear that 50,000 new jobs were created, which would be more than May and June combined, and that the unemployment rate has remained steady at 9.2 percent, take a deep breath and apply some caveats.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 12:34 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for your explanations. (20+ / 0-)

    They help in understanding.

    Harder times coming.

    I se eno way out so long as we practice austerity.

    Downward spiral.  Take out demand, create joblessness that reduces demand, etc.

    Even Fed may not be able to stop it.

    The American people must wise up and rise up!

    by TomP on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 12:40:38 PM PDT

    •  One of the best explanations I've seen. (6+ / 0-)

      I think the big number to watch is hourly wages.  A lot of government workers are getting their hours cut without being layed off.  Hard to grow and economy if no one is making any money.

      My bet:

      60,000 new jobs

      9.1% unemployment

      +.1% hourly wage

      •  My brother, the teacher. My wife, ex-programmer. (6+ / 0-)

        ...taking a pay cut this year for the third or fourth year in a row.

        Some of those years his nominal pay stayed the same, but his healthcare & pension costs went up. (Pension contribution mandatory; State of Georgia finally realized pension fund was underfunded & is now trying to make it up with bigger mandatory contributions).

        This year all 3: nominal pay cut, and healthcare increase, and pension contribution increase.

        Bottom line: his disposable income goes down, so he's able to buy less stuff, i.e., he generates less demand for the economy.

        Multiply by millions and overall demand continues to fall.

        OTOH he still has a job. My wife was laid off 16 months ago, had two short-term temp jobs, now no work since January.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:18:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This applies (0+ / 0-)

        to most of the population. People who have jobs are severely affected also, their wages are down, and the cost of living is still going up . Then there is the self employed and small business. It is trickle down poverty. The cash does not flow down to vendors or the people who work. It truly is crisis capitalism as the profits they site as growth are not based on anything other then the capital gained from the markets which have no connection to workers or cost to the real economy we all work and live in. Calls for sacrifice and austerity seem absurd and cruel. They are killing the source of their profit.  

    •  You get the impression (4+ / 0-)

      that they are not only not making any attempt to stop it, but rather are doing everything they can to exacerbate it?

      They cannot possibly be stupid enough to actually believe that anyone else can possibly be stupid enough to believe that they are trying to alleviate it, can they?

      Antemedius | Liberally Critical Thinking

      by Edger on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:16:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My understanding is due to Borders closing (6+ / 0-)

    to liquidate and a number of other unexpected corporate layoffs, there will be a 60,000 job loss . . . so even if there are 60,000 new jobs, its functionally a wash . . .

    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by bobdevo on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 12:48:25 PM PDT

    •  Here's a link . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, aufklaerer

      to the >bad news:

      For the past three months, American companies have been cutting their workforce in increasing numbers, according to a new report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement consultancy group in Chicago. In July, the number of planned job cuts surged to a 16-month high of 66,414 -- a 60 percent increase from June.

      I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by bobdevo on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 12:52:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The figure for new jobs is always... (7+ / 0-)

      ...a net calculation. As for Borders, most of those layoffs are still weeks away and the closing date is around the 12th of the month under being reported on.

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

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 12:59:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Job Growth Based On Our Carbon-Based Economics? (5+ / 0-)

    Probably not.

  •  I know you said you didn't want to discuss policy (6+ / 0-)

    but how can we not?

    To be sure, as the unemployment rate (at best) remains high or increases over time it's going to cause a bit of a problem with consumer spending. That seems like it could well lead to effects on the larger economy, thereby feeding more unemployed in a sort of self-feeding cycle.

    And in the face of it all, we see the complete and utter failure by a government with Democrats controlling 2/3rd of the branches to factor in a simple extension of unemployment benefits?

    Did it just slip their minds?

    More and Better Democrats

    by SJerseyIndy on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 12:59:43 PM PDT

  •  Nice diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Heart of the Rockies

    Thanks for the advice on the numbers.

  •  Too bad Obama didn't keep his word (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobdevo, jdmorg, aufklaerer

    and march with workers in support of CBA rights and take a strong stand against the draconian austerity measures of Republican governors. They would own these numbers. Now it's all his.

    Battleground Wisconsin: Fascism has come to America

    by jhecht on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 01:03:55 PM PDT

  •  The numbers are bad (16+ / 0-)

    The situation beyond the numbers...

    that's probably worse.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 01:09:16 PM PDT

  •  July numbers are hard to predict (12+ / 0-)

    ...because we are drifting.

    But, I have a really bad feeling about August and September numbers. They will tell our future.

    •  Great graphic. The interesting ... (12+ / 0-)

      ...thing about your comment is that we have been saying since January 2010 that the next two months of jobs reports would tell our future.

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

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 01:39:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Writing's on the wall: Next 2 mos. nos. w/be bad. (10+ / 0-)

      Just take a look at all the downward adjustments being made to GDP by the so-called pundits.

      It's interesting to note, over the past few months...

      1.) housing sales nos. were proven to be overhyped (I'm being kind using that word) by some 10%-15% by the NAR over the past few years.

      2.) GDP nos. have been significantly readjusted (for many past years/decades) downward based upon recent announcements. (And, GDP stats in general? Fuhgeddaboutit!)

      3.) Ongoing benchmark adjustments by the BLS are almost all downward trending over the past few years; and, for the record, it's a proven fact that "seasonally adjusted numbers" in virtually every government metric relating to our economy are almost always much more accurate during times of economic normalcy than they are during periods of recesssion, etc. So what does that say about not just the jobless numbers, but "the numbers," in general?

      4.) Even Austan Goolsbee has gone in record in the NY Times as stating that the U.3 index consistently understates unemployment by one to two percentage points on an ongoing basis.

      There's no conspiracy. Just a general tendency by the government to make reality more spinnable in terms of how the numbers are highlighted/presented/announced. And, that's just a fact!

      Numbers are, truly, just like words. They may be presented in a variety of ways to tell a story and support a narrative. Period.

      There's "truthiness." And, there's "proofiness."

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 03:15:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If the job number turned out to be negative (5+ / 0-)

        Do you think they would report it as such?

        That's an honest question.  Do you think the government, at this point in time, would sheepishly roll out a negative number and shrug their collective shoulders and shake their heads?

        Or would they massage them into...oh, say a paltry 25,000 net jobs?

        It's not like anyone can fact check this stuff.  It's, by definition, estimation.  Given that...if the truth were truly horrible, do you believe the impulse to sugarcoat it would overcome the impulse to accurately report the numbers?

        "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upwardly mobile." Hunter S. Thompson

        by Keith930 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:38:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Unfortunately, this is a valid question. Why so? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto, aufklaerer, Keith930

          The fact remains that throughout 2009 and 2010, the BLS was fully aware they were working with overstated seasonal adjustment numbers, yet they continued doing so. (Were they hoping for some sort of self-correction to occur, naturally? I don't know. I don't have the whole story here; but, I know what I've stated is accurate.) As Meteor Blades has noted, they've now added additional metrics and made them available in their monthly reports...but, still...

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:46:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Addenda to previous comment... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aufklaerer

            The BLS acknowledged this a few times, in public. But, the general sense I got from it all was the "we'll-adjust-them-in-February-in-the-Benchmark-adjustment" mentality. Now, if I'm not mistaken the BLS is now doing this quarterly. Again, I'm stating all of this from the seat of my pants, so to speak...not taking the time to do proper reference in this comment. So, if there are corrections to be made in my statements, please add them to this thread.

            "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

            by bobswern on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:50:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, they would report it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          liz

          These numbers are compiled by a lot of just professional bureaucrats and computers. They would really have to fake the input numbers and somebody would come forward. It would have to be a mini conspiracy. As somebody who has looked at these numbers for years (professionally and personally), I've never heard of such a thing.

          •  Yes, there have been plenty of reports (0+ / 0-)

            of net job losses in the past.

            •  Show me (0+ / 0-)

              Usually it is because people don't understand how they are computed. The last example I can think of was when Bush 43 passed his second econ stim package some columnist (can't remember who) completely misunderstood how the birth/death model was applied and gave a faulty conclusion. I think this was the scenario I remember at least.

              If you have an example, I'd love to see it.

      •  Krugman was on KO's Countdown today (0+ / 0-)

        and said the new debt - ceiling bill will be a drag on the economy and Obama is the second coming of Herbert Hoover

        •  Wow. (0+ / 0-)

          The second coming of Herbert Hoover.

          Obama's the worst Democratic President I can think of.  I mean, Obama, Grover Cleveland, Obama, Cleveland.  You pick.

          We picked a young guy with tremendous verbal skills, but unplumbed political leanings.  Turns out Obama does not have the heart of a liberal.

          I really feel like I was "had" by Barack Obama.  I guess I'll leave it at that.

          To a Democrat, "democracy" means "free elections." To a Republican, "free markets."

          by XOVER on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 10:11:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That chart has a cousin (4+ / 0-)

      GDP,double dip recession,Recession 2010,2011

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 05:17:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A retail surge in the holiday season ? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    compared to what?

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 05:14:29 PM PDT

  •  Austerity Is Killing Our Country (7+ / 0-)

    The tea baggers and the repugs are killing our country.  The democrats are going along with them.  Please, won't someone stop the insanity?  If democrats start speaking up about the insanity of austerity when the economy crashes totally next year they can say we told you so.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 06:51:44 PM PDT

  •  Getting this far into the game, I suspect that if (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, HeyMikey

    unemployment is still at 9.2% a lot of people are going to have to take a deep breath. It's all they are going to be able to afford.

  •  If there is a LITTLE reason for optimism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, HeyMikey

    in the July report, it's that jobless claims for late June to mid-late July were down, and dipped below 400k in last week's report. The four week moving average was overall down during that period. It may mean a better than expected July report, or possibly an upward revision for June, depending on when the recording period was exactly.

    I'm not betting on that, mind you, but if you want to be optimistic about the report, that's what I would bet on. Initial claims are used to calculate the payroll report, I believe.

    •  No, they have exactly ZERO to do with... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, navajo

      ...the payroll report. Not a thing. There is some correlation, of course, between lower initial claims and better employment circumstances. But, as data, the BLS does not use the initial claims in its report.

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

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:41:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pay no attentio to MB on this (0+ / 0-)

      If you are looking for a silver lining, you may have a point (although probably not big enough to matter in the final numbers).

      While the non-farm payroll report does not use the unemployment claims for its data (what MB is taking about), I think you are saying that there is a change these people would have been employed during the first half of the month, before these last two weeks of bad UI claims (although that means they would have needed to file immediately upon being let go which is usually not the case).

      I don't see it happening, but I think I understand what you are saying. I'm unsure what the correct lag between unemployment claims and the payroll report is, but there is probably a few weeks in there.

  •  Didn't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fille americaine

    you hear?

    There aren't enough foreigners taking American jobs in our own country. People here illegally. People here on H1B visas. People here on B1 and B2 visitor visas. H2B visas. L1 visas.

    Everyone of these people is taking a job one of 22 million unemployed Americans could be in.

    Now they are going to give foreiners a leg up to start businesses.

    U.S. to Assist Immigrant Job Creators

    That's right. If you are an America you can suck an egg. If you can afford it.

    •  Why don't we cancel all foreign worker's visas? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crazy like a fox

      We have 16 percent unemployment (the 9.2 number is total BS.) Why on earth are we importing workers when tens of millions of Americans don't have jobs and desperately need them?? Total insanity.

      Husband looking for work in NoVA/DC! Skilled in web content manag. & Photoshop. Please email me at adorgan@hotmail.com if you have any leads!

      by fille americaine on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:10:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  because then the companies will just ship the jobs (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HGM MA, missliberties, Pluto

        to them.

        It doesn't matter to the corporados if the jobs go to the cheap workers, or if the cheap workers come to the jobs.

        Don't start treating the "forners" as the enemy.  That's what led to our current situation in the first place.

        •  I'm not treating them as the enemy (2+ / 0-)

          In fact I would probably do the same thing and come to the U.S. to work if I could. I blame the heads of multinationals who use and abuse them and refuse to pay a living wage to an unemployed American who desperately needs a job. Please don't put words in my mouth. They can't possibly ship that many jobs overseas....otherwise how the hell will people have money to buy their shitty products if no one has a job????

          Husband looking for work in NoVA/DC! Skilled in web content manag. & Photoshop. Please email me at adorgan@hotmail.com if you have any leads!

          by fille americaine on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:32:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  they are trying to have it both ways. (3+ / 0-)
            They can't possibly ship that many jobs overseas....otherwise how the hell will people have money to buy their shitty products if no one has a job????

            That is a very old problem--one the "free market" has never been able to solve.  The "free market" depends on two completely contradictory imperatives.  On the one hand, the boss only makes high profits when the wages are low.  On the other hand, the boss can only sell his products when wages are high and people can afford to buy them.

            What they have been trying to do for the past three decades is MAKE all their products in low-wage places, and SELL them in high-wage places.  Alas, as they are now discovering, that is inherently an unstable situation--inevitably the wages equalize, and the strategy fails utterly.

            I blame the heads of multinationals who use and abuse them and refuse to pay a living wage to an unemployed American who desperately needs a job. Please don't put words in my mouth.

            No offense intended.  Many Americans unfortunately DO treat "forners" as enemies, and assume as a matter of course that we white Americans should get more than everyone else simply because we are better than they are and deserve it. That silly attitude helps no one.

            As you correctly point out, foreign workers are not our enemy. Our enemy is the business owners who suck the life out of workers EVERYWHERE and don't give a rat's ass what country those workers come from.

    •  You would not believe the number of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crazy like a fox

      'consulting' companies are staffed by people from India.  I've gone through my share of them and it's incredibly difficult to understand them and they've generally been rather insulting to me as a woman.

    •  Let's not go there (0+ / 0-)

      The last thing we need is to pit working people against each other based on bullshit like nationality.  It's bad all over the world.

      "Workers of the world, unite!  You have nothing to lose but your chains."

      Fuck yeah we need us more of that shit, a lot more!  

      When the power of love overcomes the love of power, there will be peace. - Jimi Hendrix

      by CharlieHipHop on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:13:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the forners are not our enemies. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrsgoo

      They need jobs the same way we do--and they usually work for the same people we do.

      Don't start playing that silly "we Merkans deserve more because we're better than they are" game.  It leads nowhere.

      Know who is destroying all our jobs?  Those red-blooded patriotic American businessmen who own all the companies.

      Your patriotic flag-waving doesn't mean shit to them.

  •  Jobs recovery about same for other recessions. (0+ / 0-)

    Interesting that the graphic shows that the slow job recover is not that different from other recessions.

    But likely a long recovery from such a deep recession is going to doom Obama's re-election.

    His own fault, he didn't take Nobel economists advice and go big on stimulus, he bought into the failed Reagaonomics tax cut ideology and now it's too late for him.

    I think a relatively moderate GOP candidate like Romney, Huntsman or, most likely, Jeb Bush will beat Obama as too many are angry over unemployment and Obama bashed the base that elected him with too many broken promises.

    Double bad for US, economy will be recovering, GOP will credit Obama/Bush tax cuts, GOP debt deal, unfettered Wall St and US will be setup for another fall as Romney gets in and goes along with the flow of GOP right wingers.

  •  125,000 jobs/mo needed to match population growth. (3+ / 0-)

    Due to population growth, the number of people needing jobs grows by about 125,000 people a month. So if we create 125,000 jobs, we have reduced the number of unemployed by...zero.

    Create 25,000 jobs, and we actually have 100,000 more people unemployed.

    Etc.

    I have seen slightly higher or lower figures used, but 125,000 was used this week by Robert Reich, and that's good enough for me: http://robertreich.org/...

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:12:16 PM PDT

  •  It would be interesting (2+ / 0-)

    to see this broken down by age group. It seems that people just out of school and over 50 are being hit the hardest age-wise.

    Thanks for the excellent info looking behind the numbers ( though the data is discouraging).

  •  Mr Smith got a job, alright... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heart of the Rockies, liz

    As a bill collector.

    "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upwardly mobile." Hunter S. Thompson

    by Keith930 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:15:34 PM PDT

  •  In my job searching over the last 1.5 years, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo

    there's a few things that I've noticed.  Actual companies will have web sites that have a 'jobs' page.  Ok.... not bad, actually, it's pretty nice - just if I knew the names of all the companies out there!!!  But, what I've seen is that there are many consulting companies out there that appear to be screen scraping the real company's web site and listing these as their own jobs that they're looking for.  It's not uncommon to find as many as 10 'consulting' companies to have the same job listing.  It's often difficult to tell the 'screen scraping' because the 'consulting' companies will remove the real company and sometimes re-word the descriptions, or give the bare minimum description.  I'm sure that that has hurt me more than once.  I would find the real company and apply through their site.  Find a job that has a description that sounds about right to me and apply through there.  Get a phone call from the second company, do a little talking, they submit my resume under their name, and then find out that it was the original company I had already applied to.  So, I'm betting the real company is getting pissed off with multiple applications from the same people over and over.......

    •  not uncommon in tech at all. I saw that trend 10 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nchristine

      years ago. Dice was particularly loaded with it. They would reword what the company sent out. If you were local and knew the company involved it was pretty laughable. Except for the poor job seeker who did not realize it was the same job over and over from various head hunter firms.

      Wolverines and Badgers and Buckeyes - Oh My! Be Afraid Kochroaches. Be very afraid.

      by mrsgoo on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:46:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You can't count on GDP numbers either. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    missliberties, wsexson

    We are now told that during the recession, the economy shrank by 5.1 percent. That is a full percentage point more than the 4.1 percent the old numbers showed.

  •  Hope is not an economic policy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, TofG, Heart of the Rockies

    It's as ridiculous as expecting a miracle. The irony of course is that after signing a bill that is severely contractionary and that will end up increasing the jobless numbers while at the same time decreasing the GDP (that takes rare talent), Obama is now on a jobs/listening/campaigning bus tour. First stop Chicago. What a joke!! lmao

  •  what's a nonfarm payroll or in other words (0+ / 0-)

    what's the opposite of a nonfarm payroll?

    •  well . . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mimi, Heart of the Rockies
      what's the opposite of a nonfarm payroll?

      A farm payroll.   :)

      The split between farm and industrial sectors is, now, no longer valid anyway--it is a relic of the time when agriculture was based on small family-owned farms. That is simply not true now---agribusiness has virtually eliminated the family farm, and most of the people who work in agriculture now are just hired employees of large agribusiness corporations, no different than auto workers or service cashiers.

      As an aside, the same thing is also happening in the service sector, which used to be marked by lots of small mom-and-pop shops, but where large corporate chains are now invading and killing off the small business owners----corner pizza shops are now Pizza Huts, tax preparers now work for HR Block, neighborhood hardware stores are now Home Depot megacenters, local computer shops are now Best Buys, family doctors are now Hospital Corporation of America, corner grocery stores are now Publix or Piggly Wiggly or Giant, and WalMart replaces everything from record shops to toy stores to gardening shops.

      As more and more types of small businesses are crushed and/or taken over by corporate national chains, small business owners (even professionals like lawyers and doctors) become mere lower-paid employees, the middle class shrinks even further, and the US becomes starkly polarized between the hyper-rich corporados and those who work for them.

      The "American Dream" of starting one's own business and hitting it big was in reality a mere myth for all but a tiny handful of fortunate few---but now even the myth is fading away.

      Welcome to the 21st century.

      •  Thank you, Lenny Flank, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Heart of the Rockies

        I am glad that you didn't mistook me for stupid asking the question, because I formulated the question badly and you answered actually what I really wanted to know. Why was there the separation into the two categories and you answered it perfectly. Thanks. :-)

  •  That population raio employment (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, wsexson, Heart of the Rockies

    chart is scary!

    One trend I believe after the early 1980's recession , is for more spouses to enter the work force , so families could just stay ahead.

    Now with the depressed wages and families needing both spouses to work to make ends meet that recent plunge is the chart is downright alarming. Especially with policies geared now to make things worse in the coming months/years.

    •  as an aside. . . for those of us who lived through (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ctsteve, mrsgoo

      the recession of the late 70's early 80's, the whole current situation looks like deja vu. That recession too, at the time, looked like it would drag on forever with no end in sight.

    •  With two wage earners, (0+ / 0-)

      I think consumption expanded.  Larger houses, second houses or vacation condos, two cars, expensive vacations, multiple TVs and so forth.  When I was growing up all of this was unthinkable for the middle class, even the upper middle class.

      Some years ago Sunset Magazine did a special on the change in mass built housing over the decades.  They chose a typical house from every other decade.  Houses went from 2 br, 1 ba to 3 br 2 ba, to 4 br (or more) 3 ba + family room.

      The federal government is basically an insurance company with an army. Paul Krugman

      by Heart of the Rockies on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 07:54:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I just wonder.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, mrsgoo

    I wonder if Repub Senatorial and congressional leaders pull condoms over their heads at night for stocking caps so that they can go to bed feeling like the pricks that they are.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Ghandi

    by Randolph the red nosed reindeer on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:37:37 PM PDT

  •  Well I can tell you this about that. Here in the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nchristine, Heart of the Rockies

    CA Delta, we just had a January in July. Yep, revenue down almost 9k in one month in what is supposed to be our 'busy' season. Was talking to my favorite small biz pet store owner in town today, he said the same thing. People have zippered their wallets shut and are not spending money. I've been thinking that folks have been scared shitless over this debt thing but it feels more sinister than that. The phone is just not ringing. I do not see people out on the water with their boats and so far - 1 reservation for Labor Day. But, 4th of July was the same way, not sheeite for reservations until a week before. What is more ominous, total lack of call from construction worker looks for temporary housing. Spring started out strong with that sector. No, nothing. 2009 sucked. 2010 worse. 2011 - I'm having to prepare for worse still. sigh.

    Wolverines and Badgers and Buckeyes - Oh My! Be Afraid Kochroaches. Be very afraid.

    by mrsgoo on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:55:10 PM PDT

    •  one advantage being a publisher of socialist books (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrsgoo, wsexson, liz

      is that as the economy gets worse, sales go up.

      ;)

      •  I have this gut feeling that as goes WI this next (3+ / 0-)

        week - goes the country in 2012. And if it goes to being a total repudiation of Republicans - we need to work really, really hard at getting out the registrations and votes. My husband who isn't nearly as political as me, is PISSED about the FAA debacle. And he wants to rip our totally blue D rep a new asshole just as much as any Republican. And he has a good point - Why The Fuck are they on vacation when 70K people are laid off and the FAA is shut down? Townhall season should be interesting and I hope somebody like moveon or even here, gets the info out on where and when these congresscritters will be appearing. They need to hear from us.

        Wolverines and Badgers and Buckeyes - Oh My! Be Afraid Kochroaches. Be very afraid.

        by mrsgoo on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 09:08:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting (0+ / 0-)

      Our county (about 2 hrs from Denver), has been absolutely booming this summer with vacationers.  One reason is the high runoff that has kept the rafting season going.  But we also wonder if people are coming to nearby areas for their vacations rather than going farther from home.

      The federal government is basically an insurance company with an army. Paul Krugman

      by Heart of the Rockies on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 07:56:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How many new jobs (2+ / 0-)

    pay what the ones that were lost did?

    If we replace 100,000 lost manufacturing jobs, with decent pay and benefits, with 100,000 low paying fast food jobs with little or no benefits, we've lost ground.

    Over and over I hear about job loss vs. job creation, but it doesn't mean much if the end result is the continued decline in wealth of the vast majority of Americans.  This an enormous shift, and should be getting much more coverage in the media.

    explain how letting gays marry will directly affect your own heterosexual relationship?

    by bluestatesam on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 03:39:10 AM PDT

  •  Initial claims not responsible? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm looking at the e-mini chart, and there appeared to be a small rally at the release.  Either somebody went the wrong way, say something good in the report, the street expectation was beat, or maybe another news release happened at the same time.

    (I used to trade these reports, so I have a pretty good understanding what does on at release time.)

    Ever since then, it has been a slow slide all morning long.

    If claims were to blame, you would have expected S&P to get hit at the release. With it holding, that would imply claims were already accounted for in the market and the slide is something else (or dumb money coming in too late, and it is time to be a buyer).

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