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Depression-era black and white photo of big crowd waiting in a soup line.
House Republicans have a new excuse for not extending emergency unemployment insurance: A blog post from the Ways and Means Committee Republicans claims that the unemployment situation has gotten better since—and because—the jobless aid program expired at the end of December:
“What Happened Since Extended Unemployment Benefits Ended?” the post asks. “More Jobs and Less Long-Term Unemployment, for Starters.” [...]

Since benefits were cut off, employment is up 1.156 million, the labor force is up 1.29 million and the number of long-term unemployed is down from 3.878 million to 3.739 million, the post said.

Let's take that number of long-term unemployed, the people who lost their aid thanks to Republicans. The number of people unemployed for 27 weeks or more in December was indeed 3.878 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In March it was indeed 3.739 million. But in November, before the program expired, the number was 4.044 million, which means that it was already dropping. Ish. There are also significant month-to-month variations, and while the March number of 3.739 million looks good when you compare it to December, consider that, in January, the BLS reported 3.646 million people unemployed for 27 weeks or more, and in February, 3.849 million.

So the number of long-term unemployed people dropped like a rock immediately upon the expiration of the unemployment insurance program (except it was already dropping) ... then rose back to about where it was the last month of the program ... then dropped again but not quite as low as it dropped the first month after the expiration.

Never mind correlation not being causation, the correlation Republicans are drawing doesn't even work.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sorry, but some of us Progressives believe this!.. (0+ / 0-)

    Look what happened when Long Term Unemployed in NOLA fled to Houston! ... Many got good jobs for the first times in their lives!

    Proud to be part of the 21st Century Democratic Majority Party of the 3M's.. Multiracial, Multigender and MiddleClass

    by LOrion on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:06:52 AM PDT

  •  The real reason by economist Michal Kalecki (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne, telebob1, hbk, mr market

    Michal Kalecki, "Political Aspects of Full Employment, 1942

     Economist Michal Kalecki:
    "Under a laissez-faire system the level of employment depends to a great
    extent on the so-called state of confidence. This gives the capitalists
    a powerful indirect control over government policy:
    Everything which may shake the state of confidence must be
    carefully avoided because it would cause an economic crisis. But once
    the government learns the trick of increasing employment by its own
    purchases, this powerful controlling device loses its effectiveness.
    Hence budget deficits necessary to carry out government intervention
    must be regarded as perilous. The social function of the doctrine of
    'sound finance' is to make the level of employment dependent on the
    state of confidence."

    Kalecki stressed that full employment would always be resisted by
    capitalists because of its upward pressure on wages and consequent
    squeeze on profits. According to Malcom Sawyer, "Kalecki had established
    the lack of effective demand as the major cause of low economic
    activity and unemployment in the early 1930s, and it can be said that he
    did so about three years prior to Keynes." But Kalecki clearly believed
    that the obsticles to full employment under capitalism were
    significantly political; resistance from capitalists. Kalecki observed
    that full employment also raises the political and economic power of the
    working class which would prompt capitalists to attempt to constrain
    this power by bringing full employment to an abrupt end.

    You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

    by jeffrey789 on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:20:40 PM PDT

    •  Excellent quote! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jeffrey789, mr market, BooneForTexas

      Repeating this part for emphasis:

      But once the government learns the trick of increasing employment by its own purchases, this powerful controlling device loses its effectiveness. Hence budget deficits necessary to carry out government intervention must be regarded as perilous.
      As Warren Mosler points out, unemployment is the evidence that the Federal budget deficit is too small.

      ...if you plant ice you're gonna harvest wind. (RH/JG)

      by telebob1 on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 04:10:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The right really believes that unemployment... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hbk, coffejoe the result of people being too lazy to get up out of bed and take the jobs that are simply dangling out there. That if you just take the teat away, you create the motivation that's lacking.

    Does anybody know of any employers who can't get people to apply for jobs?

    Didn't think so.

  •  Just as an aside (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hbk, yelloweye

    I'm always somewhat bemused how often that famous photograph from Canada turns up in American stories referring to the depression (and/or unemployment in general).

    More, including similar photos, of Toronto's Yonge Street Mission, which is still operating, here.

    "He is Joe McCarthy, he is bad news ... I hope Mr. Cruz does not have a nice weekend." - Chris Matthews

    by lotac on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 03:50:43 PM PDT

  •  are people still counted? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Aren't the "unemployed," in general, considered to be "unemployed" only for the period that they are eligible for unemployment compensation?  Do both the numbers from year-end and now include those who fell off the eligibility list?  Are the forgotten long-term unemployed included in any such tally?  

  •  As long as Rethugs are willing to cut aid to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Americans, they are proving they are worthless, heartless, greedy, selfish creeps who need to lose THEIR jobs come November.  Women, minorities, LGBT, vets, people who only thanks to the ACA can now afford healthcare and anyone else who cares about children losing free school lunches and public education better F'ng VOTE in November to get rid of these Rethuglican FUCKERS.

    GOTV and put Rethuglican Congress assholes out of a job!

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 04:02:23 PM PDT

  •  Nothing novel about post-hoc bs Thug arguments, (0+ / 0-)
  •  Once again, that photo is in Toronto. (0+ / 0-)

    Yonge Street. It's in Toronto. And the next time the photo is used, it will still be in Toronto. No matter how many times it gets used, it will always and forevermore be from Toronto.

    Not to be a jerk about it, but using a photo from a different country when complaining about Republicans suggests that the photo was chosen for its effect on the viewer, rather than for relevance to the story.

  •  Then Thank Obama (0+ / 0-)

    If, as they say, unemployment has dropped significantly it must be because the President's policies have started working.  It's time to say, "You were right, Mr. President."

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