We’re a little slow this morning at TMV. (It probably has something to do with a holiday weekend for many.) As a result, this subject is almost old news by now: The U.S. economy added an estimated 162,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate stuck stubbornly to 9.7 percent. Such is life.
Incidentally, the trend chart that Sullivan posts is an excellent counterpoint to the RNC echo chamber:
… the Republican National Committee put out a research e-mail calling the jobs report “unacceptable,” saying that the unemployment rate is too high and that despite the jobs gained, the economy has lost 2.3 million jobs since President Barack Obama took office.
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor is slightly more realistic …
Any report showing that the economy added jobs is clearly a better alternative to one showing that it lost more jobs.
The Republicans might be more credible in their arguments if they somehow convinced Nate Silver to work for them.
The good news, of course, is that the economy added any jobs … The worse news is the share of unemployed persons who are long-term unemployed, defined as having been unemployed for more than six months (27+ weeks). That percent looked like it had capped out in January 2010 at 41.2 percent, dipped slightly in February to 40.9 percent, but jumped in March to 44.1 percent. These figures are all seasonally adjusted, so they account for payroll drop-offs that occur naturally at the end of summer or as the drop in temperature forces certain types of employment to cease for winter. By comparison, the seasonally-adjusted long-term unemployment share a year ago, in March 2009, was 24.6 percent.
UPDATE: If you’re a fan of charts, reader “DLS” emailed to suggest this one, which leaves (at least initially) a much different impression than Sullivan’s shared chart. Even so, I think those two charts, when juxtaposed, tell a cohesive story: With sustained, significant job losses month over month (see Sullivan’s chart), the unemployment rate responds: going up steadily then exponentially (see DLS’ chart). Similarly, based on what multiple others (more expert than I) are saying, it will take sustained, significant job gains month over month before the unemployment rate responds, i.e., before it starts going down steadily then exponentially. I trust the aformentioned “others (more expert than I)” will correct me on this point, if I’m wrong.
Do you have a reaction or related information to share on the subject of this post? Email me at [email protected] Please write “TMV Comment” in the subject line, and please include a link back to this post in your message text. I can’t respond to all emails, but I will occasionally publish follow-up posts, featuring the reader feedback that I find the most germane, compelling and/or persuasive.