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Jobless Rate 8.1%, But Govt Jobs Are Up

From an elated Associated Press:

Jobless rate bolts to 8.1 pct., 651,000 jobs lost

Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer
Friday March 6, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s unemployment rate bolted to 8.1 percent in February, the highest since late 1983, as cost-cutting employers slashed 651,000 jobs amid a deepening recession.

Both figures were worse than analysts expected and the Labor Department’s report shows America’s workers being clobbered by a wave of layoffs unlikely to ease in the coming months.

"There is no light at the end of the tunnel with these numbers," said Nigel Gault, economist at IHS Global Insight. "Job losses were everywhere and there’s no hope for a turnaround any time soon."

The net loss of 651,000 jobs in February came after even deeper payroll reductions in the prior two months, according to revised figures released Friday. The economy lost 681,000 jobs in December and another 655,000 in January…

Since the recession began in December 2007, the economy has lost 4.4 million jobs, more than half of which occurred in the past four months.

With employers showing no appetite to hire, the unemployment jumped to 8.1 percent from 7.6 percent in January. That was the highest since December 1983, when the jobless rate was 8.3 percent.

All told, the number of unemployed people climbed to 12.5 million. In addition, the number of people forced to work part time for "economic reasons" rose by a sharp 787,000 to 8.6 million. That’s people who would like to work full time but whose hours were cut back or were unable to find full-time work.

If part-time, discouraged workers and others are factored in, the unemployment rate would have been 14.8 percent in February, the highest on record

Construction companies eliminated 104,000 jobs. Factories axed 168,000. Retailers cut nearly 40,000. Professional and business services got rid of 180,000, with 78,000 jobs lost at temporary-help agencies. Financial companies reduced payrolls by 44,000. Leisure and hospitality firms chopped 33,000 positions.

The few areas spared: education and health services, as well as government, which boosted employment last month

Even in the best-case scenario that the relief efforts work and the recession ends later in 2009, the unemployment rate is expected to keep climbing, hitting 9 percent or higher this year. In fact, the Federal Reserve thinks the unemployment rate will stay elevated into 2011. Economists say the job market may not get back to normal — meaning a 5 percent unemployment rate — until 2013

As usual, the Ms. Aversa makes some untrue ‘facts’ along the way:

[A]mid a deepening recession.

What are the indicators that the recession is deepening? These job losses are less than the two months previous. Spending is up. And the GDP is expected to dip far less than the last quarter.

But she goes on:

Since the recession began in December 2007…

The recession only began in the fourth quarter of 2008.

But she continues:

If part-time, discouraged workers and others are factored in, the unemployment rate would have been 14.8 percent in February, the highest on record.

Really? The Great Depression did not have more than 14.8% unemployment? Or are there no records of such a ancient period?

Lastly, note that according to Ms. Aversa, a five percent unemployment rate is now considered “normal.”

Even though during the Clinton years 5% unemployment was deemed by our media masters to be an unattainable goal, because it was more than “full employment.”

Mind you, Ms. Aversa is the AP’s economics expert.

Before that she wrote about handbags and puppy dogs.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, March 6th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Jobless Rate 8.1%, But Govt Jobs Are Up”

  1. Colonel1961 says:

    That’s embarrassing. Full employment is six percent and a heck of an accomplishment.

    And I love the conjecture about ‘discouraged and part-time’ workers. I guess there were no discouraged or part-time workers during the Great Depression, which could have driven that number to 40% unemployment… Charlatans.

  2. proreason says:

    “during the Clinton years 5% unemployment was deemed by our media masters to be an unattainable goal”

    When the goal is to have as many people as possible on the dole (and hence, hard-core commiecrat voters), then this makes perfect sense.

    Hey, why not 51%!!

  3. catie says:

    Yes, this warranted a CNN Breaking News Alert to my email this morning. Boy, do they miss President Bush and his 5.5% unemployment rate which was just terrible.

    Losers.

  4. BigOil says:

    “Since the recession began in December 2007, the economy has lost 4.4 million jobs, more than half of which occurred in the past four months.

    Hmm…I wonder what happened 4 months ago?

  5. proreason says:

    “Best Case” a lot worse than The Morons projections:

    “Our guest, Nariman Behravesh, chief economist with IHS Global Insight, says another few months of 600k to 700k jobs lost per month is likely.

    Before the economy bottoms (hopefully in late 2009), America could shed another 3.5 million to 4 million more jobs, bringing the unemployment level to a peak of 10% to 11%, he says. The economy and job market is in a “free-fall.”

    More broadly, the economist sees negative growth for a few more months (at least), with a best-case scenario of 1.5 percent to 2 percent GDP growth in 2010. But wait. The Obama administration projects the economy will grow 3.2 percent next year. “Too optimistic,” says Behravesh, author of Spin-Free Economics.”

    http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/202710/Economy-in-Free-Fall%3A-Unemployment-Rate-Surges-to-8.1%25%2C-Highest-in-25-Years

    Note, btw, that we do not now count many people as unemployed today who would have been counted in the Great Depression. An unemployment rate of 10% today might be equivalent to 15-20% in 1935.

    Of course, nobody knows for sure what will happen. America has proven to be resilient in the past. But what in the anti-business, anti-capitalism, anti-growth, pro-communism, pro-big-government Moronic Vision would lead anybody to belive the economy will grow at all, no matter 3.2%. Every single government job will take 5 private sector jobs to support it, after all. The only things that will “grow” are government, your taxes, and booty for the deadbeats.

    But I’m still amazed that economists persist in discussing the problem as if it is begin addressed within the boundaries of normal behaviour from the perspective of the last 68 years. In fact, the economic model that has made our lives prosperous has been shattered and after a few more months, will be irrecoverable.

    The only sane action now is to protect what you have as best you can. Don’t plan on a recovery. Plan on a militant and brutal confiscation of your property and money.

  6. Alice L. says:

    Note: that while unemployment increases, Obama plans a big power grab of health care, making the government largest sector of the economy. A bad, bad mistake which will be difficult to undo. Once you go people something – “free” health carre – they are loathe to give it up. Somebody must run the ads that helped sink Hillary Care in 1993. And fast.

  7. oldswimcoach says:

    “WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s unemployment rate bolted to 8.1 percent in February, the highest since late 1983, as cost-cutting employers slashed 651,000 jobs amid a deepening recession.”

    Aside from the fact that the adjective “bolted” is an editorial comment in an “objective” news story, this sort of indicates Reagan had a worse economic situation when he came into office and we had as bad or worse economic turmoil through the early eighties. I think we survived that precarious period because of… oh what was that… oh yeah… TAX CUTS!

  8. oldswimcoach says:

    “Since the recession began in December 2007,”

    From the US Gov website – GDP

    2007 2Q = +4.8%
    2007 3Q = +4.8%
    2007 4Q = -0.2
    2008 1Q = +0.9%
    2008 2Q = +2.8%
    2008 3Q = -0.5%
    2008 4Q = -6.2%

    OK, so we have established through official sources THERE WAS NO RECESSION UNTIL THE 4th QUARTER NUMBERS OF 2008 WERE IN!

    Just a note of interest, would we be in a recession if McCain had been elected? The stock market took a huge hit election day, and seems to fall further every time this guy opens his mouth.


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