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Thread: New Unemployment Numbers

  1. #1
    Senior Member Amit's Avatar
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    from innocentbystanders.net




    That’s pretty startling. The reason, though, is that fewer peopledropped out of the labor force last month. As I’ve mentioned ad nauseamin past posts, the labor market is responding sort of oddly in thisrecession, with millions of people simply dropping out of the laborforce. They’re not counted among job seekers or even discouragedworkers – they’re gone completely from the statistics. So a more usefulnumber, I believe, is the number of jobs remaining in the country.Here’s that graph:




    I'm very disheartened by these numbers, obviously. They are up .3% off of expectations.



    The "better" numbers of the day is that the average work week is up a miniscule amount to 33 hours / week meaning demand for labor could be increasing.

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    Ummm... No offense, but I am dead tired at the moment...



    What's the actual updated percentage?




  3. #3
    Senior Member Amit's Avatar
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    10.2%

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    Council Member Djinn's Avatar
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    Pay more attention to the numbers, and less attentions to the appearance of the graphs. This is a cut-and-paste of something I posted on a tech forum a few years back. Looking at the graphs above, I think this applies.



    =============================



    When I was in grad school, we learned a lot of advertising tricks used to exaggerate or mislead. Here's one of my favorites. Let's use videocards as an example. Your company wants to advertise a new videocard. Your tech lab tells you that the new card is the fastest, but unfortunately, not by much.



    They give you the following comparison chart:







    Your card clocks in at 1900. Competitor A clocks in at 1840, and Competitor B clocks in at 1820. In other words, your card is 3.1% faster than Competitor A and 4.2% faster than Competitor B. That's nice, but it isn't much of a sales pitch if you're planning on charging $60-$100 more than your competitors.



    So, you hand the chart off to the marketing department. They say, "Well, let's shave off the lower numbers equally from all three products, and renumber the X-axis." So, they chop off everything below the 1800 mark. Look what happens:







    Holy shit! Now your card blows the competition away! Scrutiny of the numbers will unmask the deception, but most casual readers aren't going to look much beyond the lengths of the bars in the chart.



    Next time you see a chart like this in an advertisement. Look at the X-axis. If it doesn't start at zero, they're using this trick to mislead.

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    [quote name='PoliticalHotwire' date='06 November 2009 - 10:15 AM' timestamp='1257520554' post='53634']

    10.2%

    [/quote]



    Ahhh, damn. This is the one case where I wish I was wrong about Obama's policies.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Amit's Avatar
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    Point taken and I agree completely. To amend what I was saying is that it's more concerning that the number there is going down versus jobless claims. It plays a piece in the puzzle of determining labor demand, which is what we're really interested in, especially when discussing employment as a trailing indicator.

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    Skeptic Bluegrass's Avatar
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    [quote name='SideTraKd' date='06 November 2009 - 10:20 AM' timestamp='1257520852' post='53641']

    Ahhh, damn. This is the one case where I wish I was wrong about Obama's policies.

    [/quote]



    I think people put too much wieght into a president's policies' influence on the economy. Bush didn't cause the housing crisis and dropoff, and Obama didn't cause the dismal unemployment rate.

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    [quote name='Bluegrass' date='06 November 2009 - 10:25 AM' timestamp='1257521109' post='53646']

    I think people put too much wieght into a president's policies' influence on the economy. Bush didn't cause the housing crisis and dropoff, and Obama didn't cause the dismal unemployment rate.

    [/quote]



    I was referring to the Obama people telling us that their stimulus was going to create jobs. I would normally agree with what you said about Presidents directly effecting the economy, but I think this is an exception.



    Personally, I think their stimulus had a negative impact.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Amit's Avatar
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    [quote name='SideTraKd' date='06 November 2009 - 10:32 AM' timestamp='1257521526' post='53651']

    I was referring to the Obama people telling us that their stimulus was going to create jobs. I would normally agree with what you said about Presidents directly effecting the economy, but I think this is an exception.



    Personally, I think their stimulus had a negative impact.

    [/quote]



    Most economists would agree with you, especially factoring in long-term impact. Hell, the CBO agrees with you.

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    The jump in the unemployment rate was driven up by a large drop in the number of people who describe themselves as self-employed, as well as the number of teenagers who have jobs. The unemployment rate for teenagers in the labor force soared to 27.6%, up 1.8 percentage points and hitting a third straight record high.



    Both teen workers and the self-employed are not captured very well in the government's separate survey of employers that is used to calculate the number of people on U.S. payrolls. That explains much of the disconnect between fewer job losses overall and the much worse unemployment rate.



    http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/06/news...ion=2009110608




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