Archive for Saturday, December 3, 2011

Unemployment rate drops to lowest mark since 2009

December 3, 2011


— The unemployment rate, which has refused to budge from the 9 percent neighborhood for two and a half frustrating years, fell sharply in November, driven in part by small businesses that finally see reason to hope and hire.

Economists say there is a long way to go, but they liked what they saw.

The rate fell to 8.6 percent, the lowest since March 2009, two months after President Barack Obama took office. Unemployment passed 9 percent that spring and had stayed there or higher for all but two months since then.

The country added 120,000 jobs in November, the Labor Department said Friday. Private employers added 140,000 jobs, while governments cut 20,000.

The economy has generated 100,000 or more jobs five months in a row — the first time that has happened since April 2006, well before the Great Recession.

“Something good is stirring in the U.S. economy,” Ian Shepherdson, an economist at High Frequency Economics, said in a note to clients.

The stock market rallied at the opening bell, after the report came out, but finished flat for the day. It was still up 787 points for the week. The only bigger point gain in a week was in October 2008, when stocks lurched higher and lower during the financial crisis.

The report showed that September and October were stronger months for the job market than first estimated. For four months in a row, the government has revised job growth figures higher for previous months.

September was revised up by 52,000 jobs, for a gain of 210,000. October was revised up by 20,000, for a gain of 100,000.

Unemployment peaked at 10.1 percent in October 2009, four months after the Great Recession ended. It dipped to 8.9 percent last February and 8.8 percent last March but otherwise was at or above 9 percent.


cato_the_elder 6 years, 6 months ago

The unemployment rate fell only because of a huge drop in the labor force of 315,000, the most since January of this year. The U.S. is still seeing very sluggish job growth, only averaging 132,000 jobs this year coupled with the biggest drop in the labor force since January and the participation rate at near record lows.

Leave it to the AP to leave out the most significant part of the story.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

And if we can elect a Republican president and give them full control of congress, we'll see the unemployment rate drop even more precipitously as millions of unemployed workers commit suicide out of despair.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 6 months ago

Committing suicide might be preferable to what's happened to them as the result of Obama's disastrous one term as president, including two full years of a Democrat-controlled Congress.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

No argument about that-- but it could be worse, and that's exactly what the Republicans would bring.

As long as our economy is run according to what's best for Wall Street banksters, and that's what 99% of Republicans and 75% of Democrats offer us, the unemployment rate will continue to skyrocket.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 6 months ago

Actually, if government would just get its nose out of it and let free enterprise prosper, unemployment would go down overnight. We could start by allowing the building of the pipeline that Obama has scotched in order to appease his far-left environmentalist wacko base.

Jimo 6 years, 6 months ago

So, that's about 1.5 million jobs in 2011. (1.1 million in 2010.)

Compared, with 3.0 million for the entire 8 years of the Bush Administration. See Wall Street Journal, "Bush on Jobs: The Worst Track Record on Record":

Of course, this is subtracting the hundreds of thousands of teachers and police officers shed, which by itself adds 1-2% of the total figure.

And is the direct consequence of the "Nein Nein Nein!" Republican policy of obstructing all efforts proposed to boost economic growth. Indeed, includes GOP anti-growth policies that slow economic activity.

So, in sum: We made a half-hearted Dem effort to stimulate the economy in 2009 and got tremendous results. (A) A 13 point boost in GDP from negative 9% contraction to 4% growth in 12 months, (B) the ending of the month after month collapse of hundreds of thousands of jobs back to adding jobs, (C) a booming stock market, and (D) the rescue of the entire auto industry, which itself is worth millions of job losses avoided. Then we've followed the GOP route for the last year (renewed tax cuts for the wealthy, massive gov't employment layoffs due to the end of stimulus efforts, obsession with deficit reduction) and got (A) a frozen economy barely growing enough to return to pre-recession levels, (B) record corporate profits, and (C) banks paying out bonuses with taxpayer-subsidized money.

Maybe we should return back to Dem policies and finish the job so we can all move on to fighting about other things. Growth through investment - investment in infrastructure, investment in people, investment in skills, investment in the middle class. Even the GOP's buddies in the corporate board rooms are getting tired of this 'live within our means as a bankrupt third-world country' crap.

jayhawkinsf 6 years, 6 months ago

Over the years, I've known many who said they wanted to work, yet did everything imaginable to sabotage their chances of becoming employed. Into which category do they fall?

Sunny Parker 6 years, 6 months ago

That would be the 'live off of someone else's dime' category

Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

"And if we can elect a Republican president and give them full control of congress, we'll see the unemployment "

There is documented evidence and unfortunately a definite pattern:

Introducing the RINO Economic Plaftorm Written In Stone:

  1. TABOR is Coming by Grover Norquist and Koch Bros sells out state governments, public schools,SRS services etc etc to private industry = Grab Your Wallets!

  2. The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist aka home loan scandal sent the economy out the window costing taxpayers many many $$ trillions (Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion), Plus millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance.

  3. Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern.

  4. Bush/Cheney implied more than ONLY 3 financial institutions instead of several were at risk so why $700 billion in bail out money? One of the biggest lies perpetrated to American citizens. Where did this money go? Why were some banks forced to take bail out money?

  5. Tax cuts = ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy which do nothing to make an economy strong or produce jobs. Tax cuts are a tax increase to others in order to make up the loss in revenue = duped again.

Still A Bad Idea – Bush Tax Cuts - The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class = duped one more time.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

All of the above has generated millions upon millions upon millions of USA job losses. The job losses brought with them loss of: 1. Retirement plans 2. Medical insurance 3. rock bottom economies 4.big time losses to tax dollars cookie jars = increased taxes

Flap Doodle 6 years, 6 months ago

I see somebody is doing their recycling this morning.

Armstrong 6 years, 6 months ago

Translation. Christmas help has been hired. Next headline Jan 1 Spike in unemployment

seriouscat 6 years, 6 months ago

Ummmm is it possible that the jobs gained are mostly seasonal holiday jobs and that the actual economic recovery that they will bring amounts to zilch, and that the corporate owned media wants to make everyone think it's something significant so that they will be more willing to open their wallets during the holiday $hopping $ea$on? NAH that's crazy conspiracy theory talk!

voevoda 6 years, 6 months ago

Ron Paul and the Austrian school are working off outdated premises concerning economic forces. They assume that the only alternative to socialism and fascism (what they call an "interventionist" government) is no regulation at all--an notion that made sense (but not good sense) only in the 1920s-1930s. It's been disproven again and again in the post-World War II period. The countries that have weathered the global crisis best aren't the ones that have the least government regulation of the economy.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

"The economy could have been completely recovered by now if the government had cut spending instead of increasing it" Nonsense

When the government stops spending tax dollars you will not have a job and the stock market will sink to 1929 levels.

voevoda 6 years, 6 months ago

Last time I checked, Detroit and California were part of the US. Any American citizen or legal resident can move there legally. Russia is now a country that permits private businesses to operate without a lot of regulations. Tax rates are low, the wealthy are free to indulge in conspicuous consumption, employers can mistreat employees freely, and the Soviet-era social safety net has become frayed to the point of virtual uselessness. So it sounds like the kind of place that would suit you, FalseHopeNoChange.

voevoda 6 years, 6 months ago

Liberty_One, You really need to get information about the stock market collapse of 1929 and the New Deal from a source other than Murray Rothbard's tendentious article on the subject. He doesn't know anything about the history of the period. There are so many superior sources on the subject as close as the KU Library. If you familiarize yourself with them, you'll avoid saying things that reflect so badly on your understanding of history.

Armstrong 6 years, 6 months ago

Understanding selective history and understanding economics are 2 different things

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 6 months ago

FYI: Wall Street crashed in 1929. "Economic historians usually attribute the start of the Great Depression to the sudden devastating collapse of US stock market prices on October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday."


"In 1932, the Pecora Commission was established by the U.S. Senate to study the causes of the crash. The following year, the U.S. Congress passed the Glass–Steagall Act mandating a separation between commercial banks, which take deposits and extend loans, and investment banks, which underwrite, issue, and distribute stocks, bonds, and other securities."


"The long contraction and painfully slow recovery led many in the American population to accept and even call for a vastly expanded role for government, though most businesses resented the growing federal control of their activities. The federal government took over responsibility for the elderly population with the creation of Social Security and gave the involuntarily unemployed unemployment compensation. The Wagner Act dramatically changed labor negotiations between employers and employees by promoting unions and acting as an arbiter to ensure “fair” labor contract negotiations. "

"All of this required an increase in the size of the federal government. During the 1920s, there were, on average, about 553,000 paid civilian employees of the federal government. By 1939 there were 953,891 paid civilian employees, and there were 1,042,420 in 1940."

"The common view among mainstream economists is that Roosevelt's New Deal policies either caused or accelerated the recovery, although his policies were never aggressive enough to bring the economy completely out of recession."


"The common view among economic historians is that the Great Depression ended with the advent of World War II. Many economists believe that government spending on the war caused or at least accelerated recovery from the Great Depression, though some consider that it did not play a very large role in the recovery. It did help in reducing unemployment."

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm sorry, your original post implied that government spending prolonged the depression. In fact government spending didn't prolong the put poor people to work and helped to protect old folks.

From the WSJ: "Some New Deal policies certainly benefited the economy by establishing a basic social safety net through Social Security and unemployment benefits, and by stabilizing the financial system through deposit insurance and the Securities Exchange Commission. But others violated the most basic economic principles by suppressing competition, and setting prices and wages in many sectors well above their normal levels."

It wasn't government spending that prolonged the depression, many economists blame the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) for that. Not government spending as you suggested.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 6 months ago

Whatever, clever. We'll have to agree to disagree.

Jimo 6 years, 6 months ago

I'd pass on what was said at Republican National Headquarters when this news first flashed across the screen but LJW prohibits profanity in the comment section.

Armstrong 6 years, 6 months ago

That post would probably be debunked as pure fiction anyway

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

The only rational response to this is -- Great!

Now, lets hope the unemployment number continues to fall. We are better off when Americans are working.

pace 6 years, 6 months ago

I agree with you Beatrice, glad the unemployment number fell and I hope there are more jobs and higher pay. We are better off with jobs.

pace 6 years, 6 months ago

Why does the GOP extremist blow off the importance of jobs, homes and the middle class? We need a trained, educated work force, today and tomorrow. The cuts in education don't benefit the country they benefit the slum bosses. We are watching families lose their homes, housing stock is decaying, pensions being looted, And you think big ads by billionaires saying the economic collapse was Obama's fault is the answer. Clean coal, clean oil, good old fashioned energy is getting millionaire dollar ad campaigns. Some one has money to burn. Our money.

Get over it. I got it , you hate Obama, I don't care about your emotional hangups. . I hate the inaction and corruption of Congress. Tell Moran and Roberts, you want jobs more than tax cuts to the ultra rich. At least tell them. In case you haven't been paying attention, the tax cuts and loop holes for the ultra rich isn't trickling down, turning into jobs. The middle class, the working class, the poor, are losing ground while the policies of the tea party feed the rich. Tax cuts and loop holes for the ultra rich are unfair, and are hurting our economy. We need Jobs, jobs, jobs, homes, We don't need to pad the portfolios and make American workers into a cheap third world labor class.

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