Unemployment up to 9.4%

posted at 10:11 am on June 5, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The unemployment numbers for May hit earlier this morning, and it looks like Barack Obama didn’t save many jobs at all.  Despite claims from both Obama and VP Joe Biden that the Porkulus package had saved 150,000 jobs, unemployment went up another half-percent to 9.4%, setting a new record for the past quarter century.  Unemployment rose across a broad spectrum of demographics, too:

Nonfarm payroll employment fell by 345,000 in May, about half the average monthly decline for the prior 6 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.  The unemployment rate continued to rise, increasing from 8.9 to 9.4 percent.  Steep job losses continued in manufacturing, while declines moderated in construction and several service-providing industries.

The number of unemployed persons increased by 787,000 to 14.5 million in May, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.4 percent.  Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has risen by 7.0 million, and the unemployment rate has grown by 4.5 percentage points.

Unemployment rates rose in May for adult men (9.8 percent), adult women (7.5 percent), whites (8.6 percent), and Hispanics (12.7 percent).  The jobless rates for teenagers (22.7 percent) and blacks (14.9 percent) were little changed over the month.  The unemployment rate for Asians was 6.7 percent in May, not seasonally adjusted, up from 3.8 percent a year earlier.

The AP has more of the details.  This time, even government workers felt the pinch, after a blizzard of hiring in April:

Job losses — while slower in May — were still widespread.

Construction companies cut 59,000 jobs, down from 108,000 in April. Factories cut 156,000, on top of 154,000 in the previous month. Retailers cut 17,500 positions, compared with 36,500 in April. Financial activities cut 30,000, down from 45,000 in April. Even the government reduced employment — by 7,000 — after bulking up by 92,000 in April as it added workers for the 2010 Census.

A month ago, I asked in an AIP column whether Porkulus was irrelevant, considering the lack of response to unemployment.  Dr. Christine Romer prepared the administration’s battle plan in January  to get a massive stimulus plan in place immediately after taking office, and the economic adviser to President Obama warned of massive unemployment without the stimulus.  In fact, she predicted it could crest at 8.8% if no action was taken (page 5):

The U.S. economy has already lost nearly 2.6 million jobs since the business cycle peak in December 2007. In the absence of stimulus, the economy could lose another 3 to 4 million more. Thus, we are working to counter a potential total job loss of at least 5 million. As Figure 1 shows, even with the large prototypical package, the unemployment rate in 2010Q4 is predicted to be approximately 7.0 percent, which is well below the approximately 8.8 percent that would result in the absence of a plan.

Innocent Bystanders updated Figure 1 in May to reflect unemployment with the $787 billion Porkulus in place:

They now have a new version with the May numbers; be sure to check the graph out at the link above.

Not only has unemployment not followed the predicted dark blue line after passing the Obama/Pelosi Porkulus package, we have actually exceeded the boogeyman light blue line for unemployment.  We are heading towards double-digit unemployment and doing that while we incur the massive debt of the unstimulating stimulus package. We could just as easily have kept the money and ridden out the unemployment, much as we’re forced to do now, only being a lot poorer while doing it.

Why is this important?  It demonstrates that the President and his economic advisers have gotten pretty much everything about this economic collapse wrong.  Instead of contracting government spending and shoring up the credibility of the currency, they’re setting records in dissipating it instead.  Instead of focusing on fixing the problem that government explicitly created — mortgage-backed securities — they’ve literally left that for last while they waste money chasing every Democratic constituency but ignoring the actual cancer in the financial system.

The people that brought you the original version of this graph have no business leading the economic policy of the US government, and we’ll be paying for their mistakes for decades.


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Comments

meanwhile, in the real world:

sesquipedaphilian on June 5, 2009 at 12:35 PM

You’re still a sycophantic moron.

jdkchem on June 5, 2009 at 9:36 PM

Nothing to see here–just move along. Blame the evil BOOOOSH for the economic problems and keep voting for the “democratic” / liberal / socialist / marxist / communist clowns in congress.
***
Wait until the C(R)AP AND TRADE, UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE, DOLLAR DEVALUATION, TAX HIKES, and BAD ENERGY POLICIES kick in and return us to Jimmuh Carter “stagflation”. Or until the Iranian or North Korean A-bombs start going off in American cities.
***
Like President Obama (PBUH) said, “You ain’t seen nuttin yet!”
***
John Bibb***

rocketman on June 5, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Stop your whining Bibb and post some graphics. We could have had Romney but thanks to bigoted anti-Moromon Republicans like you we ended up with senile John McCain, and, as I predicted, Obama trounced him in the debates.
People like you preferred a marxist to a Mormon. Live with it.

This was so predictible. I predicted it.

Basilsbest on June 5, 2009 at 9:38 PM

Sesquipedaphilian is absolutely correct. The economy is booming. That’s why IRS revenues are down 34% this year. You see people are spending so much money, that the IRS simply can’t keep up and so they are collecting less income tax.

In this world of Obama lies and make-it-up-as-you-go-along, why the hell not?

angryed on June 5, 2009 at 9:39 PM

sesquipedaphilian on June 5, 2009 at 1:04 PM

Your precedent’s economic policies are a complete disaster and rather than take responsibility you move the goal posts. Like your precedent you’re a fraud and a liar.

jdkchem on June 5, 2009 at 9:44 PM

The people that brought you the original version of this graph have no business leading the economic policy of the US government, and we’ll be paying for their mistakes for decades.

What should we have expected? Please name for me one single Democrat policy that has had it’s intended effect. Every one I know of has done the exact opposite of what it was intended to do.

Democrat pols are either morons for believing in what they say, or liars for pushing policies they know will be ineffective at best and harmful at worst.

Wingo on June 5, 2009 at 11:10 PM

The IRS isn’t getting money ’cause Republicans are earning less this year. Mystery solved.

Mojave Mark on June 5, 2009 at 11:26 PM

Face it. We are now living in a third world nation with our very own corrupt dictator at the top. The only difference between Obama and Kim Jung Il is the size of tne nuclear arsenals they control.

highhopes on June 5, 2009 at 10:59 AM

There’s another difference. One of them is a narcisstic megalomaniac, and the other is Korean.

Wingo on June 5, 2009 at 11:37 PM

What should we have expected? Please name for me one single Democrat policy that has had it’s intended effect. Every one I know of has done the exact opposite of what it was intended to do.

Democrat pols are either morons for believing in what they say, or liars for pushing policies they know will be ineffective at best and harmful at worst.

Wingo on June 5, 2009 at 11:10 PM

“Skynet” from the “Terminator” series is the ultimate metaphor for government programs. The minute they plug it in, it doesn’t do what they promised it would do and it starts f*cking stuff up royally.

venividivici on June 6, 2009 at 12:09 AM

The jobless data from the government are fake.

http://www.chrismartenson.com/blog/may-employment-report-not-believable/20102

jdun on June 6, 2009 at 1:32 AM

Has anyone noticed that the Libtards are not quite as happy as they were on Nov 4? Down deep they know Barry is a fraud. Stay vigilant people. The tide is turning.

Geochelone on June 6, 2009 at 1:38 AM

“Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

Hermann Goering

Ugly on June 6, 2009 at 4:02 AM

D’oh wrong thread

Ugly on June 6, 2009 at 4:03 AM

The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.

Milton Friedman

chipandcharge on June 6, 2009 at 6:54 AM

The economy is still trending downward and these euphoric outbursts of contrived rationalizations based on point estimates and seasonal fluctuations are irrelevant. The left wing media’s desperate attempts to prop up Obama’s failing economic policies are transparent, sad and dangerous.

rplat on June 6, 2009 at 7:12 AM

You know, 10% unemployment isn’t that bad. That means a 90% employment rate. And 90% is high. 90% if the equivalent of getting an “A”. So why are the Republicans complaining so much?

Wait for this line of spin coming soon to an MSNBC outlet near you.

angryed on June 6, 2009 at 7:26 AM

Socialism is Great- Until you run out of other people’s money….

Dr Evil on June 6, 2009 at 7:51 AM

I can’t wait for people to start turning off the unessentials, like Cable and Internet Access. How will the Liberal Propaganda Machine manage to keep brainwashing the masses then? How will people know what to buy and consume (that’s how the economy recovers consumer confidence) with out commercials to tell us all what to buy/sarc. Not that I am going to buy a GM product after watching their new unicorn Obama inspired commercial for a new GM beginning. LAME

Somebody didn’t read: Socialism Fails-ALWAYS.

Dr Evil on June 6, 2009 at 7:56 AM

We are watching a mental disorder. The future will reflect that what is happening now is the result of mind modification that was manipulated for the ultimate control of the masses. It was brought on by the collapse of the two party system. Of course then it will be too late to stop it. This is the New World Order in its embryonic stages.

volsense on June 6, 2009 at 8:30 AM

This is the perfect example of what state-owned news media can produce to exploit the ignorance of the masses. Joseph Goebells was the master of this concept and brought the Third Reich into existence. The news media today is a continuing part of that evolution.

volsense on June 6, 2009 at 8:41 AM

The deficit will absurdly increase if the Dems have their way with an amendment in the Supplemental War Bill. We will be borrowing even more money from China in order to contribute to the IMF, whose lending practices will subsidize our enemies.

Democrats have had to put the war supplemental to fund the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan on hold because they lack the votes to pass the modified bill that came out of conference. The Democrat leadership has reduced the amount of the supplemental for the troops and tacked on $108 billion in bailout funding for foreign governments through the International Monetary Fund (IMF). There is a large contingent of far left Democrats who always vote against funding our troops. Given the billions now included for the IMF global bailout, the Republicans are refusing to support the bill.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) led the charge to fight the addition of these bailout funds on this “must pass” funding for our troops.

“Clearly the Democratic leadership is having a tough time getting their members to support flawed legislation that reduces funding for our troops from the level originally passed by the House and funds a bailout for foreign nations,” Hensarling said. “I have led a group of House Republicans urging Democratic leadership to remove this $108 billion foreign bailout paid for by U.S. taxpayers. As we have done time after time, Republicans are eager to support our troops; but we will not stand by and let Democrats wrap pork barrel spending and a global bailout in the American flag.”

But Republicans had more problems with the pork and the IMF global bailout than just the vehicle the Democrats chose. The final conference report not only cut $5 billion from troop funding in order to send the bailout funds to the IMF but the funding would have no restrictions. Any IMF member could apply for the loans including Iran, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and Burma.

That finally seemed to rankle some Democrats. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) in a letter to colleagues yesterday said, “We face the very real possibility that some of the world’s worst regimes will benefit from the additional resources provided to the IMF, World Bank and other international institutions, unless the U.S. works vigilantly to deny this assistance.”

As if that weren’t enough to oppose the funding, the New York Times reported on May 27 that Hezbollah is in talks with the IMF about continuing loans to Lebanon should they win the election.

But the crème de la crème: inorder to loan the IMF $108 billion, the U.S. will have to borrow the money from other countries, like China.

Republican Whip Eric Cantor spoke about the absurdity of the Democrat plan yesterday.

“Borrowing money from China for a global bailout of the IMF makes no sense, particularly when China itself has not made the same commitment. … The possibility that tax dollars reserved for our military could fall into the hands of terrorists or their supporters is an affront to our troops. The truth is that Democrats currently don’t have the support needed to pass this bill, which is why it has been delayed.”

Source: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?print=yes&id=32163

onlineanalyst on June 6, 2009 at 9:00 AM

obama doesn’t predict “surges” well.

perfectly wrong on the success of the surge in iraq, and perfectly wrong on the success of the surge in spending.

next up, healthcare?

toenail on June 6, 2009 at 9:06 AM

We are watching a mental disorder. The future will reflect that what is happening now is the result of mind modification that was manipulated for the ultimate control of the masses. It was brought on by the collapse of the two party system. Of course then it will be too late to stop it. This is the New World Order in its embryonic stages.

volsense on June 6, 2009 at 8:30 AM

On the up side in a few generations the elites will have achieved the goal of turning most humans into mindless drones that will serve them. The true utopia of the insect hive will be realized and the human drones will not have enough brain power to even care. I always said Lucas was visionary with the film THX1138. If you want to see the future society of humans just take a look at that film.

jmarcure on June 6, 2009 at 10:02 AM

Nonfarm payroll employment fell by 345,000

Wow what a mealy mouthed way of saying that another estimated 345,000 people lost their jobs in May, including yours truly.

The porkulus is an ABJECT FAILURE as is B. Hussein. Everything he touches turns to manure and his crew is a clown posse from top to bottom.

dogsoldier on June 6, 2009 at 12:48 PM

Thank goodness for the stimulus! Where would we be?

clorensen on June 6, 2009 at 2:36 PM

The porkulus is an ABJECT FAILURE as is B. Hussein. Everything he touches turns to manure and his crew is a clown posse from top to bottom.

dogsoldier on June 6, 2009 at 12:48 PM

Quite possibly the best overall description of this administration I’ve seen.

The Insane Clown Posse.

Obama needs to buy the rights for that name.

cntrlfrk on June 6, 2009 at 5:17 PM

cntrlfrk on June 6, 2009 at 5:17 PM

I laugh thinking what Gilbert and Sullivan could do with with the “Insane Clown Posse”. A strange melding of “Much Ado about nothing” (Thats Shakespeare for you barbarians) and “The Mikado” (Gilbert&Sullivan).

Yeah I would buy tickets for that! ROFL

dogsoldier on June 6, 2009 at 5:59 PM

Oh and lest I forget a score sorta like one of Wagner’s …
Scenery by Tim Burton and Frank Miller. Yeah thats got it.

dogsoldier on June 6, 2009 at 6:02 PM

Why isn’t this worthless “stimulus” package being rescinded as we speak? If we had actual Congressmen instead of the completely worthless clowns we have in the Capitol, they would admit their idiotic mistake and correct it, by killing the Bill.

Worst President in history, worst Speaker of the House in history, worst Senate Majority Leader in History – we have the three evil Stooges in charge of the handbasket to hell.

NoDonkey on June 7, 2009 at 8:32 AM

Dick Morris had a great analysis on FOX the other night

In summary he said the theory was give folk money and they will spend it to pump the economy. In reality people use money based on perception of the future.

If people fear job loss or bad times, they pay down debt, or save. Morris discounts job figures as a lagging idicator that may not improve a long time after any turnaround; however, saving vs spending is a real metric.

More money went into savings than out into the economy. It doesn’t matter which dollars went where, but it means the net is no trickle down

Morris said to get people spending you need guarantee people will not be squeezed down the road. He wants big tax cuts guaranteed not to go away for a long time. Businesses can extend themselves more, and consumers know they will have more, so they loosen their purses.

I did not paraphrase him very well but I think he is right.

The stimulus bill does not work unless the public is certain they will not be twisted financially down the road. Right now, everyone knows the stimulus is spent and there is talk of States not meeting payroll. Everyone has turtled

The stimuls was money that did not grow and cannot be retrieved, except by taxation

entagor on June 7, 2009 at 12:37 PM

I don’t think those numbers are so bad, Ed. In fact, they sound Surprisingly good.

leftnomore on June 8, 2009 at 7:57 PM