Thursday, July 2, 2009

Half a Million Green Chutes?

By the Sandwichman

Oh, you thought it was spelled s-h-o-o-t-s?
"We were on the road of things getting less bad in the jobs market, and that has been temporarily waylaid," said economist Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics."
Although employment was not as less bad in June as it was in May or April it was still much less bad than it was in January to March. On a year-to-year basis, even January to March was less bad than November, which was hideous.

Actually, things got worse.

Cutting through the statistical noise and economystical public relations spin, the June employment numbers were pretty much in line with the average monthly job loss since September 2008. About a half a million jobs have disappeared per month. The month-to-month fluctuations don't really mean much because the raw changes are overwhelmed by seasonal and birth/death model adjustments. Those adjustments are reasonable but far from ideal. And sometimes they inject noise in an effort to counter other noise.

Here's a raw number: employment fell by 295,000 in June, not seasonally adjusted and without the birth/death model adjustment. Even adding in the birth/death factor, employment fell by 110,000. The contrast with April and May is that in those months non-seasonally adjusted employment actually increased, albeit not as much as it usually would have at that time of the year.

1 comment:

Economist said...

Every month this year (perhaps with the exception of May) economic forecasters were stunned by the unexpectedly high unemployment numbers. Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in June employers shed 467,000 jobs, pushing the unemployment rate to 9.5%, a 25-year high. With an ever gloomier jobs picture, President Obama’s economic team has started to change its tune with respect to the promised job creation. The first economic report on the job impact of his recovery plan carefully phrased the objectives to include “creating or saving” at least 3 million jobs by the end of 2010. Those early projections called for peak unemployment of 8% in the third quarter of this year, far less than today’s actual unemployment rate of 9.5%

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