Unemployment: Better, Worse or Less Bad? → Washingtons Blog
Unemployment: Better, Worse or Less Bad? - Washingtons Blog

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Unemployment: Better, Worse or Less Bad?

Unemployment rates worsened in 30 states in January:

In other words, unemployment increased in the majority of states.

However, CNN is seeing the glass as half full, noting in a report entitled "State unemployment picture brightens":
A total of 30 states and Washington, D.C., reported rising unemployment rates in January, down from the number in the previous month, according to a government report released Wednesday.

Jobless rates decreased in nine states, according to the Labor Department's monthly report on state unemployment. Eleven states reported no change.

In December, 43 states reported monthly jobless rate increases.

In other words, the January numbers were less bad.

Better in February?

Joe Weisenthal, using the following 3 charts from Gluskin Sheff, argues that the jobs picture improved in February, leading to a permanent rebound in jobs:


Image: Gluskin-Sheff


Image: Gluskin-Sheff


Image: Gluskin-Sheff

What Does It Mean?

Month-to-month statistics are too imprecise, too easy to game, and are still too volatile to be very meaningful.

The real situation is that there has been a permanent loss of jobs in America. And the administration has not taken the necessary steps to allow the creation of a substantial number of long-term jobs. See this and this.


  1. I have been out of work since October.

    I thought I would find at least something minimal but absolutely nothing is seemingly happening where I reside in El Paso County, Colorado.

    It will get a lot more difficult for me now as I have exhausted my savings and will have to start living in my automobile and going to soup kitchens for food.

    Being in these demanding circumstances will only create a whole new level of problems.

    A sad fate for one with three college degrees, but has never found their niche and place in the US economy.

    One cannot help but feel quite depressed, downcast, and increasingly hopeless.

  2. It's a crime that we are outsourcing and have this unemployment. A crime! The outsourcing stats are not being told to us on purpose by the media and the government. Because Americans would go ballistic.

  3. I had coffee with a friend who has been out of work for two years and who has exhausted unemployment benefits. As one might imagine, he has a bit of a complex about ever working again. He still claims to have a gymn membership, although he has put on a lot of weight. Two kids, one in college and a working wife but he is clearly stressed out.

  4. http://www.unknowncountry.com/journal/


→ Thank you for contributing to the conversation by commenting. We try to read all of the comments (but don't always have the time).

→ If you write a long comment, please use paragraph breaks. Otherwise, no one will read it. Many people still won't read it, so shorter is usually better (but it's your choice).

→ The following types of comments will be deleted if we happen to see them:

-- Comments that criticize any class of people as a whole, especially when based on an attribute they don't have control over

-- Comments that explicitly call for violence

→ Because we do not read all of the comments, I am not responsible for any unlawful or distasteful comments.