Diary

The Road to 4 million (October jobs report)

Jobs gained / (lost) in October 2009 per the US Dept of Labor  (prelim):       (190,000)

Jobs gained / (lost) in September 2009 per the US Dept of Labor  (prelim) : (219,000)

Jobs gained / (lost) in August 2009 per the US Dept of Labor  (final) :        (154,000)

Jobs gained / (lost) in July 2009 per the US Dept of Labor  (final) :             (304,000)

Jobs gained / (lost) in June 2009 per the US Dept of Labor  (final) :            (463,000)

Jobs gained / (lost) in May 2009 per the US Dept of Labor  (final) :             (303,000)

Jobs gained / (lost) in April 2009 per the US Dept of Labor  (final):              (519,000)

Jobs gained / (lost) in March 2009 per the US Dept of Labor (final):            (652,000)

Jobs gained / (lost) in February 2009 per the US Dept of Labor (final) :       (681,000)

 

Total jobs gained / (lost) since Obama took office :                             (3,485,000)   

 

Number of jobs promised by the Obama administration :                           4,000,000

Number of jobs remaining to hit goal :                                                      7,485,000

Link to Bureau of Labor Statistics data (raw figures of jobs gained / (lost)).

Losses eased to (190,000) in October, the smallest number since August 2008.  September losses were revised lower with (219,000) vs previously reported losses of (263,000), and final August figures were also revised downward with (154,000) losses vs previously reported number of (201,000).

Unemployment rate as of : October 2009, 10.2%

September 2009, 9.8%

August 2009 : 9.7%

July 2009: 9.4%

June 2009: 9.5%

May 2009: 9.4%

April 2009  8.9%

March 2009 : 8.5%

February 2009 : 8.1%

 

Link to Bureau of Labor Statistics data (unemployment rate trends)

 

Unemployment rate sharply spiked to 10.2% from 9.8% in September.  This is the highest rate since April 1983.  Many economists estimate that the rate could climb as high as 10.5% and that the rate will hover around 10% throughout 2010 as frugal consumer spending and tight credit markets are not going to provide a robust hiring environment 

 

It’s important to note that the jobs losses and the unemployment rate are determined through separate surveys.  Job losses come from Establishment Survey Data, while the unemployment rate comes from Household Survey Data.  While the two measures should be directionally consistent, differences in the methodology can occasionally lead to what might appear to be disparate results.  This can explain a month like July, when there were job losses of (304,000), but yet the unemployment rate slightly decreased (from 9.5% to 9.4% that month), as well as the current month when you had a smaller amount of job losses, but a spike in the unemployment rate.

 

There has been muted reaction from the Obama administration to the actual data.  It has instead tried to focus on its claim of 650,000 jobs being “saved or created” thus far due to the stimulus.  However, based on this report from the Chicago Tribune (and others like it) they may not want to tout that figure too much, since it looks like it is rife with overcounts, double-counts, etc.

 

Notes:

  1. Number of jobs promised by the Obama administration has varied between 3.5 – 4 million.  He promised 4 million early, and then started easing off on that.  I’m sticking with his original promise. (also “The road to 4 million” sounds a little better than “The road to 3.5 million). 
  2.  The above is tracking only new jobs created / lost as tracked by the Department of Labor through its Bureau of Labor statistics.  Obama team has repeatedly said the 4 million represents jobs created or saved.  Since a “saved” job is highly subjective and can’t be calculated by any consistent standard, they are not accounted for above.
  3. Obama administration would likely dispute that the current job losses should be held against them, but that is life in the big city when you’re President.  The last economic recession started in March 2001 when George W Bush had been in office for 1.5 months.  Democrats were only too eager to hang that around his neck (ignoring the fact that it is economically impossible to drive the economy into recession in that short a time period).  Also, it is only fair to assume that Obama’s pledge involves a net gain of 4 million jobs as of the point when his administration took charge.  If we lose 4 million jobs at the beginning of his tenure only to gain 4 million jobs later to end up where we started, I hardly think that fulfills his promise.
  4. Updates to continue monthly