No Change in Unemployment

For some strange reason, Dean Baker decided to paint a smiley-face on the news about unemployment, but there’s really LITTLE OR NO CHANGE in the same grim outlook for millions of Americans, and that isn’t just some amateur interpretation, it’s a phrase that the Bureau of Labor Statistics repeats over and over and over at…

“The number of unemployed persons (13.7 million) and the unemployment rate (8.9 percent) CHANGED LITTLE in February.”

“Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (8.7 percent), adult women (8.0 percent), teenagers (23.9 percent), whites (8.0 percent), blacks (15.3 percent), and Hispanics (11.6 percent) showed LITTLE OR NO CHANGE in February.”

“Both the civilian labor force participation rate, at 64.2 percent, and the employ-ment-population ratio, at 58.4 percent, were UNCHANGED in February.”

“The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially UNCHANGED at 8.3 million in February.”

A very few numbers got a little worse, and a very few numbers got a little better, so Democrats and Republicans can spin the news up or down,  but it’s not much more than statistical noise or artefacts of the government’s Byzantine arithmetic for counting the unemployed, and the real news right from the source is CHANGED LITTLE, LITTLE OR NO CHANGE, UNCHANGED, and UNCHANGED.  

1 comment

    • TMC on March 4, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    are falling over themselves to give Obama credit for this. Who are they kidding?? The reality is that most of the jobs created are low paying and many are part-time. How many workers have fallen off the unemployment rolls because their benefits have run out? Because they had to take a job that will not meet even the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter? Never mind the U-3 and the stock market, which are poor indicators of the reality of life for 99% of Americans, what is the U-6, that counts those without benefits and the under-employed? Try and live on minimum wage or even $10/hr in NYC. You’re better off with no job at all, at least you might be able to get a bed in a shelter.

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