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« Back it up | Main | High hopes »

Nov 02, 2012


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Andrew Brod

The unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9%, which isn't surprising given the volatility of the household survey. And it suggests that last month's 0.3-point drop was indeed probably a bit too big, though for statistical (not political) reasons.

The good news today comes from the more precise establishment survey: 171,000 jobs gained on U.S. payrolls. The private sector was up 184,000 and government shed only 13,000 jobs.

Also revealing is that the August and September gains in payroll employment were revised upward by 50,000 and 34,000 jobs respectively, to 192,000 and 148,000. When the revisions are all moving up (or all down), it's a useful indicator all by itself. Recently, the revisions have all been positive, as the first-round survey is apparently missing some employers (e.g. start-ups) that are ultimately captured in the follow-up data from state agencies like NCDES.

After many months of adding jobs but not enough to keep up with population growth, we're solidly in net-job-creation territory, and have been for some time.

Andrew Brod

So, is this good news for Obama? Well, it's certainly not bad news, and it'll drive some of this weekend's punditry, which isn't bad for him. But ultimately, I don't think it matters much. As I noted last week in the BizJ:

"The unemployment rate is a strong predictor of voter behavior, but it's not because voters pay attention to economic indicators. It's because those indicators are highly correlated with the underlying economic realities that voters know very well. They react to their economic circumstances, not the data, per se."


"Maybe the October unemployment rate will tick back up by a tenth of a point. Maybe not. But either way, the voters have probably already decided what they think of the economy."

Dave Ribar


Actually, the increase in the unemployment rate appears to be a standard encouraged worker effect. The survey recorded a very large increase in employment (+400K) and a huge increase in the number of people in the labor force (+600K composed of 200K from population growth and 400K from people switching LF status).

Andrew Brod

I saw that, Dave, and yes, that's how the arithmetic works out this month. But I've come to place less and less interpretative weight on individual months' levels (i.e. employment, labor force). There's just too much sampling error.

...Which mostly cancels out when you divide levels to obtain the unemployment rate.


Meanwhile, here's a different perspective than the rosy prognosis meme above.

I'm sure our "experts" will have no problem rationalizing why it's "all wrong" telling us Mitchell doesn't know what he's talking about.


And here's yet another perspective that smears the lipstick on the pig:

"– At 171,000 jobs a month, what we did in October, the Jobs Gap would close in 11 years and 3 months.

– At 157,000 jobs month, what we’ve done so far this year … well, it does not calculate, according to Brookings. The chart merely says the Job Gap would close sometime after 2025."

Heckova job, Barry!

Dave Ribar


In January 2001 when GWB took office, the U.S. had 111.6 million non-farm private-sector jobs. By January 2009, GWB's economic stewardship had whittled that down to 111.0 million, and the economy was sinking like a rock. We're now at 111.7-112.0 million and growing again.

To put it plainly, job growth beats the sh*t out of job losses.

Also, to borrow from Bill Clinton, it takes some brass for someone who spent all of 2008 and part of 2009 in recession denial to call out Obama for thinking that the recession would only be horrible instead of catastrophic.


"Also, to borrow from Bill Clinton, it takes some brass for someone who spent all of 2008 and part of 2009 in recession denial to call out Obama for thinking that the recession would only be horrible instead of catastrophic."

Why? He made it demonstrably worse. And your logic/excuse about "job growth" is flat wrong, and you know why it's wrong.

As far as your contribution, let's remember that I'm not the one who made a substantial misrepresentation about Medicare Advantage back in 2007.


Hahaha. To paraphrase...
Dave: here is evidence of job growth relative to the previous eight years. (presents actual numbers from each administration
Bob: What?! Don't you know that the Bush economy was really about to kick in until that President Obama made the economy suck?! Also, numbers are just an excuse. Also, don't you remember that time five years ago when you said something about a different topic that I disagreed with.

sean coon

that's our bubba; our special have a place in the front yard for all to see.

David Hoggard

How is it that Ribar's verified assertion "...job growth beats the sh*t out of job losses" can be deemed "flat wrong"?

Someone has hyper-partisan "alternately clued world view agenda", me thinks.


Lost on the those making the bozoid commentary above is the fact that the average "job growth" under Obama going forward would reduce the job gap to the level of pre-collapse times by 2025. For those whose math skills are challenged,that's an additional 13 years.

What part of "the Obama presidency has been a massive disaster for those unemployed/marginally employed/given up trying to be employed" do you not understand?

David Hoggard

Your ultra-partisan, 'my math or no math' take on it all, mainly, bubba.

'Massive disaster' is not all on the current administration. The previous one dug the hole, the current one can't figure out how to fill it. The challenger is woefully lacking in his hole-filling abilities as well.

I'm thinking of writing in Huntsman.


Bubbles also demonstrates a poor understanding of free market economics by heaping his child-like judgment concerning job creation exclusively upon the workings of government. Some level of cylical unempoyment has morphed into structural unemployment in the last 3 years, meaning that the labor market has been redefined by things like employers finding ways to do more with less during the recession and changing their hiring patterns in the meantime. The natural rate of unempoyment is going to be higher than what it was a few years ago, so the days of yore are gone for good.

Do we even need to discuss the trend of off-shoring, made freely by business owners in search of lower costs, which will, as long as those relative costs are lower, be an incentive to move jobs out of the US?

No, in Bubbles' little sandbox of life, all blame goes to whatever entity he likes the least. So if you're going to grab the bull, you get the horns -- you clearly are a socialist, since you attach so much weight to the government's (Obama's) responsibility for job creation.

Just let me know where to mail you some wilted sympathy flowers on Wednesday when Mittens is brushed off by the American people.


Or maybe it just takes a long time to fill.

sean coon

grant, please stop pointing to fact-based articles. if we wanted to frame discussions within the context of reality, we'd beg for joe guarino to open the doors to his blog once more.


"The previous one dug the hole, the current one can't figure out how to fill it."

I don't know, David, I'd say there is some serious hole filling:

President Obama's record.


Lost on all the rocket scientist "experts" here is that no matter how you want to spin the numbers about Obama and employment, the reality is this.

Andrew Brod

I really like what Reinhart and Rogoff (the pair who wrote the article to which Grant linked) are doing during this campaign. As I understand it, Rogoff's a Republican, but as the piece notes, he and Reinhart aren't endorsing either presidential candidate. What they are doing is spending a good deal of time correcting misstatements about their research, most of them coming from the Romney campaign and its supporters.

Not all of their research gives intellectual aid and comfort to Democrats. One of their papers argues for dire consequences when debt/GDP ratios get as high as ours is right now. Not everyone agrees that the danger zone is as low as they say, but it's a valid and non-crazy contribution to the debate.

Andrew Brod

Bubba's claim is precisely the one that Reinhart and Rogoff says is wrong. R&R are saying that the reality is this.

David Hoggard

I read good into the graph you linked, bubba. Upward trajectory looks kinda like '01, but with a much deeper hole to come out of (the current hole started in '07, I notice... not that that make any difference to an "expert" like you).

It is not rocket science that is needed to make sense of it all... more like brain surgery.


If Bubbles is an expert in anything, it is the cut-and-paste, turn-text-to-bold skill.

sean coon

this recession may have started in '07, but it was started with 10 year long-fused TNT, not a shovel. the resulting hole was crazy deep.

Andrew Brod

Right. And if you compare it to recessions of the same type (i.e. my graph, not Bubba's), it turns out that as slow as this recovery is, it's actually a bit stronger than comparable recoveries.

sean coon

but andrew, you're an economist; bubba sleeps in a holiday inn express on wendover. i know who to trust.


"Bubba's claim is precisely the one that Reinhart and Rogoff says is wrong."

It's not my claim, little buddy. It's the Minneapolis Fed's claim.


And lost in all the noise of the babble, dribble, drool, and spew is the fact that Obama's job numbers represent a net increase of some 200k since he took office. The labor participation rate under obama dropped to the lowest level in 30 years this past summer.

In contrast, some 15 million more people were added to the food stamp program during his stay in the White House.

Heckova job, Barry

sean coon

so you're taking an opposing position to your own link?

here's how this works: when you say "the reality is this" and you proceed to link "this" to a chart elsewhere online, it's now your claim.

feel free to engage in its defense, or drop a disparaging remark, as usual.


"feel free to engage in its defense, or drop a disparaging remark, as usual."

There's no need for me to remark upon your obvious learning disability, Seanie.

Read it again, this time for comprehension.

sean coon

"It's not my claim, little buddy. It's the Minneapolis Fed's claim."

i did.


Who wants to point out to Seanie that the quote in his last opost was taken from Arnold's post, and my response was (obviously directed at him?

Our own Seanie O'Drama: yet another poster child for the failure of "No Child Left Behind".

David Hoggard

Always love the cute names, bubbie. They are just so darned, cute. And I'm sure they must just sting something terrible.

You okay, Seanie? I worry.


When's the last time you wrote anything of substance on a blog, Hoggard?

Oh, by the way- have you cast your vote for Obama yet?


"When's the last time you wrote anything of substance on a blog, Hoggard?"

You really want to go there, Bob? Noteworthy? How's the readership over there?


"You really want to go there, Bob? Noteworthy? How's the readership over there?"

Why don't you find out for yourself, after you get through with your adult remedial reading course, Suds?

Ed Cone

Hoggard posted recently on FB about the newspaper series he wrote when his wife had cancer.

It was a reminder of Jinni's courage and Hoggard's loving support for her, but also of the way his success as a blogger -- as a community-builder, a guy who co-organized a ground-breaking blogging conference in GSO and helped usher in a notable era in the development of local online media -- led to a huge outpouring of support for his family, a writing gig in the paper, and a public profile as a well-respected figure in city affairs.

Then he moved on to found a successful small business (job creator!) and let the blog languish. But I bet it still gets more long-tail hits than certain rote-anger linkblogs ever did.

As to the specific question about Hoggard's last substantive contribution to a blog, I'd say 6:34 PM.


"As to the specific question about Hoggard's last substantive contribution to a blog, I'd say 6:34 PM."

In which alternate reality of yours?


Why are you so angry, Bob?

sean coon

thanks for the concern, david. i'm fine. well, better than i was on another thread when someone asked if bubs was my father with all his "son" references. that gave me the shivers.

David Hoggard

Thanks, Ed. Those were heady times. I keep fiddling with getting back in the fray, but this job creation thing is very time consuming. (I now employ 10, with expansion plans in 2013 irrespective of who wins today).

As you alluded, Jinni is 8 years cancer free as of Sunday. Only side effects I can find from the ordeal is that it has created in her an addiction to playing tennis constantly.

Sean, glad you are OK. Your 'dad' thinks he treats you(and most others) badly. But at least he treats everyone who even slightly disagrees with him the same. He is such a sad man, and I'm sure his yard is bereft of children's footpaths crossing it. But I'm also sure he believes his dour ways are important and effective. I hope that's enough to sustain him.

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