Heh: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says he is now open to considering Republican amendments to a bill extending emergency unemployment benefits through most of 2014.” Yeah, I understand that fighting on quicksand can be tricky. Especially when you hadn’t previously realized that it was quicksand. (more…)
You can tell by the fact that he’s demanding here that the House simply agree to allocate the money for another ‘temporary’ three-month extension of unemployment benefits for people unemployed past 26 weeks. The GOP is not adverse to extending benefits, by the way: but the House is fairly insistent that this spending be offset by an equivalent amount of cuts.
The federal government’s latest snapshot of the unemployment rate offered few bright spots on Friday. The economy added 165,000 jobs in April—slightly better than March’s revised number of 138,000 jobs. Unemployment went down one percentage point to 7.5 percent, and health care, retail trade, and the food services industry added positions.
The glaring caveat to this jobs report is the huge number of Americans who remain out of the workforce. Called the labor force participation rate in wonk speak, that number held steady in April at 63.3 percent: the lowest level since 1979.
We could use some. From Gallup:
The U.S. Payroll to Population employment rate (P2P), as measured by Gallup, was 44.5% for the month of April, up from 43.4% in March. This is the highest P2P rate so far in 2013, but is still more than a percentage point lower than the 45.7% seen last October, the highest P2P rate Gallup has measured since it began tracking employment in 2010.
Via Hot Air, who also is finding some other indications (jobless claims down, trade deficit down) that suggests that we’re hopefully going to have a good jobs report tomorrow. Well, good by current definitions. Still. Every little bit helps, right?
Come on, I’m trying not to be completely gloomy right now. The sun’s out, and everything…
Nonfarm payroll employment edged up in March (+88,000), and the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment grew in professional and business services and in health care but declined in retail trade.
The civilian labor force declined by 496,000 over the month, and the labor force participation rate decreased by 0.2 percentage point to 63.3 percent.
…That’s not good. And, in case you were wondering: (more…)
Andrew Malcolm is quite blunt:
As the Labor Department today reported more disappointing hiring news for January, including an unexpected jump in the unemployment rate, President Obama joined thousands of other American employers and let his own White House jobs council go.
The President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness expired in obscurity Thursday in an unmarked bureaucratic grave. Created two years ago to display the Chicagoan’s alleged concern with high unemployment, whatever its PR showcase value had long since ended.
After reading this plaintive essay by the New York Times about young voters discovering what happens when they vote against their class interests by voting Democratic (short version: they end up on the street), my first reaction was simply to shrug. But that’s not nice. What is nice is offering these people actual advice, because passages like this:
Two months ago, Mr. Tano gave up an apartment in his native Dallas after losing his job. He sold his Toyota and sought opportunities in the Pacific Northwest.
Keep in mind the following:
- We do not actually know if the number of reported expected layoffs and bankruptcies and retrenchments that we’ve seen over the last month will actually be reflected in this month’s job report. They may; then again, they may not. And, for that matter, they may, but they may not have made a significant difference yet.
- I suspect that a bunch of people on Capitol Hill and in the White House are waiting to see if Friday’s report will give them any leverage.
- The administration knows the numbers before anybody else does.
- The big question is going to be Recession in 2013? anyway.
- Is Right Out.
OK, let’s just make this real simple.
In case it isn’t obvious, the above is a graph of the unemployment rate for the last ten years (2012, naturally, has only eight months’ worth of data; equally naturally, the Obama administration isn’t going to be improving said rate any time soon anyway). I’ve sorted it out by the whole population; whites; and blacks. (data via the Bureau of Labor Statistics). And as you can see from that graph, African-Americans have been more seriously hurt by this thoroughly rotten economy than whites have; the slow convergence towards the average rate that we saw happening throughout the Bush administration was wiped out in a quarter. And they will apparently continue to be more seriously hurt by this thoroughly rotten economy. And, as near as anybody can tell, the Obama administration is remarkably indifferent to the widespread economic problems being faced by one of the Democratic party’s most loyal constituencies. (more…)
Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 115,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 8.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services, retail trade, and health care, but declined in transportation and warehousing.
Well, that’s… not great, but not too bad…
The civilian labor force participation rate declined in April to 63.6 percent, while the employment-population ratio, at 58.4 percent, changed little.
OK, that’s bad. That number represents half a million people leaving the working force (H/T: @cayankee). And here’s the thing: those half million aren’t going to go live in a box by themselves for the next six months. They’re going to be continuing on with their lives… and reminding other people that no, we’re not actually in a recovering economy. Quite the contrary.
So I invite the administration to tout that 8.1% unemployment; because this isn’t sympathetic magic. Over a third of the civilian workforce isn’t in fact, well, working: and while many of them can’t work, many of them can. If there were jobs, which there are not.
Down .2 percent, 243K jobs added. Looks like actual job growth, and not people giving up as usual. Good news for the administration, although not that good:
…they’re still woefully underperforming their promises with regard to the economy. Still, baby steps and all that, right?