Friday, December 02, 2011

This Is The Good News?

Headlines are crowing about a drop in unemployment to 8.6% which does look like almost stunningly good news, but on closer examination it’s rather like a shiny new car with no engine under the hood. The number of new jobs added was 120,000, which barely keeps up with the number of new workers entering the work force.

Update: Actually, it doesn't keep up because, on average, 127,000 new workers enter the work force each month. The population of the U.S. increased by 172,000 in November.

So why the drop? Because 315,000 workers left the work force, that is they simply quit looking for work, and are no longer counted as "unemployed." Not only that, but of the new jobs added, how many were temporary, holiday season workers?

Of all the people in this country who are working age, only 64% are either working or are looking for work. A full 36% have simply given up or are working under the table, which means they are working for substandard wages and without benefits.

Update: Most people would interpret that as an 36% unemployment rate. Oh, sorry, 36% + 8.6% = 44.6% unemployment rate. Yikes!

But Democrats are as happy as pigs in slop. Obama will be reelected in a cakewalk, because unemployment is dropping before the election and now is "in the 8% range.”

Congress is currently debating the continuation of extended unemployment benefits. They should not continue them, because if they don’t then millions will lose extended benefits and will, as a result, quit looking for work. They will therefore no longer be counted as unemployed and the unemployment rate will drop to somewhere around 5% or so.

Is this a great country, or what? American exceptionalism.

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