Aug 07 2009

President Obama Gets A Pleasant July Surprise

Published by at 8:53 am under Measuring The Recovery

On the way in to work today the news was all about the pending unemployment report and how it will be bad. It wasn’t bad – the nation’s job losses leveled off  between June and July:

Employers throttled back on layoffs in July, cutting just 247,000 jobs, the fewest in a year, and the unemployment rate dipped to 9.4 percent. It was a better than expected showing that offered a strong signal that the recession is finally ending.”

The question is whether this is just a summer time blip or has the recession and job losses really began to level off? If there is a leveling off, then all the dire predictions of growing unemployment through out the rest of the year will have been proven to be too pessimistic. 

However, I do not think this was the case. President Obama’s team has been a leading voice in these concerns, setting expectations for months of bad news. I doubt they would do that if there was even a ray of hope they could be touting a turn around in the jobs picture.

I guess we have another month to wait and see. When I have the time I will try and see what the broader under employment statistics show. We could be seeing a lot of people moving to lower paying and temporary jobs, not getting back into full paying careers.

Update: I checked the U-6 number for the broader under employed metric and it dropped from 16.5% in June to 16.3% in July. With that said, I caution everyone to understand these unemployment surveys are just like polls, they have margins of error. I seriously doubt they are at the .1% level.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “President Obama Gets A Pleasant July Surprise”

  1. perdogg says:

    The books are being cooked. The economy lost jobs. However, those who are on extended unemployement benefits are not counted.

    Those rolled over onto extended benefits are NOT COUNTED in the unemployment figures. So if someone says unemployment is DOWN, they are NOT.

  2. max says:

    Cooking the books.

  3. MerlinOS2 says:

    They had the big Census hire and they also have auto workers returning after extended shut downs to let some of the backlog clear.

    You have to drill down into the details behind the numbers to distill it all out.

  4. MerlinOS2 says:

    Also you have to note these are ‘seasonally adjusted ‘ numbers and this is not your normal summer season.

    A slow down in layoffs should be expected due the total already laid off.

    The fat is gone and each one laid of now cuts into productivity much more than the earlier hits.