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Friday, March 05, 2010

Unemployment Unchanged

The employment report is essentially unchanged from last month with unemployment holding steady at 9.7%. Here are some discussions of the report.

There is a lot of optimism about this report due to the fact that it appears that the rate of deterioration in labor markets is slowing and perhaps even about to turn the corner. But I find it hard to be upbeat about an economy that is moving sideways, especially when the broad measure of unemployment increased, and hours worked fell.

It's good to see that the administration recognizes this. Brad DeLong:

Christy Romer:
Statement on the Employment Situation in February: [A]n unemployment rate of 9.7 percent is unacceptably high and we need to achieve robust employment growth in order to recover from the terrible job losses that began over two years ago.  That is why it is essential that Congress pass additional responsible measures to promote job creation.  It is also vital that we continue to support those struggling with unemployment...
Such as? What responsible measures?

The biggest and easiest would be another $300 billion in aid to states for the remainder of fiscal 2010 and 2011 to keep state and local services from suffering additional cuts and to shave perhaps 1.5 percentage points off the unemployment rate. Senators, however, are opposed to it: if they give money to governors, governors use them to cut ribbons and then run against senators to try to take their jbos. It would, however, be the right thing to do.

I expect Congress will implment a few token employment measures they can brag about in reeloection speeches, but I don't expect anything anywhere near the amount needed to be enacted. [Also posted at MoneyWatch.]

    Posted by on Friday, March 5, 2010 at 09:56 AM in Economics, MoneyWatch, Unemployment | Permalink  Comments (29)


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