The Employment Report
This is not the report we've been waiting for. Unemlpoyment has risen from 9.6 percent to 9.8 percent, and job growth is very low:
The unemployment rate edged up to 9.8 percent in November, and nonfarm payroll employment was little changed (+39,000)
We should have done something about this months and months ago. But instead, it was easier to rely on the hope that things were getting better and avoid the hard work and difficult politics of trying to spur job creation. What do we hear from the White House now? Are they ready to embrace a less optimistic but more realistic path for employment? Nope. The White House view is that "one month does not a new trend make." When bad news is always discounted as an aberration, and good news embraced as though it is the trend, this is the policy outcome you get -- too little, too late, if at all. The White House needed to push as hard as they could for more help, and it should have started long ago. I realize that they probably wouldn't have been successful due to opposition in Congress, but you don't know that unless you try, and the battle itself would have had value even if it wasn't successful.
[Also posted at MoneyWatch.]
Posted by Mark Thoma on Friday, December 3, 2010 at 09:36 AM in Economics, Unemployment |
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