Unemployment drops to 10.0%

posted at 8:55 am on December 4, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The Obama administration gets a little good news this morning.  The unemployment rate eased back two-tenths of a point to 10.0%, only the second decline in unemployment since the start of the Obama presidency.  However, the number of chronically unemployed rose again, indicating that the front-line decrease does not capture the full direction of unemployment:

The unemployment rate edged down to 10.0 percent in November, and nonfarm payroll employment was essentially unchanged (-11,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In the prior 3 months, payroll job losses had averaged 135,000 a month. In November, employment fell in construction, manufacturing, and information, while temporary help services and health care added jobs.

In November, both the number of unemployed persons, at 15.4 million, and the unemployment rate, at 10.0 percent, edged down. At the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons was 7.5 million, and the jobless rate was 4.9 percent. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates for adult men (10.5 percent), adult women (7.9 percent), teenagers (26.7 percent),  hites (9.3 percent), blacks (15.6 percent), and Hispanics (12.7 percent) showed little change in November. The unemployment rate for Asians was 7.3 percent, not seasonally adjusted. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs fell by 463,000 in November. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) rose by 293,000 to 5.9 million. The percentage of unemployed persons jobless for 27 weeks or more increased by 2.7 percentage points to 38.3 percent. (See tables A-8 and A-9.)

Temp jobs and health care have been hiring, and the former could signal the start of a mild job recovery — if jobs weren’t bleeding from everywhere else.

Update: Who would have guessed that we only lost 11,000 jobs in November?  I expect that number to get revised later this month.  It does suggest that the mass-layoffs number will drop significantly from the highs of the last five months.

Update II: Jim Geraghty makes a good point:

However, if you hear any fool on the left contending that the Obama administration can be credited with turning the economy around, the BLS release gives us a lot of reasons to point out our economy has steadily deteriorated during this year: “Last month, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) rose by 293,000 to 5.9 million. The percentage of unemployed persons jobless for 27 weeks or more increased by 2.7 percentage points to 38.3 percent.”

Also note “construction employment declined by 27,000 over the month.” Every month since the stimulus passed, employment in the construction field has dropped, confirming the president’s admission that the “shovel ready” slogan of the stimulus package was bunk.

Porkulus has done nothing for those fields that Obama claimed to be stimulating: long-term jobs, construction, and manufacturing.  The only jobs increasing this year are temp jobs, health care, and government sector jobs, the latter only occasionally.


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Comments

Thanks for your kind words but I am legal guardian of my WWII vet uncle who has Alzheimer’s. That is why I can’t move and that is the least that I owe him. After all he sacrificed for our country and my family, I cannot leave him alone. My parents died when I was young and he stepped up to care for us.

On top of that, my husband pledged to his late parents that he would care for his special needs sister who can’t care for herself.

Believe me, if not for those two, I would have moved as far away, as fast as I could, away from NJ.

margategop517 on December 5, 2009 at 1:58 AM

BFD. 10% unemployment? We are supposed to be happy about that? It is obvious to anyone with half a brain what this country needs to do to streghthen the economy. Holy Crap!

tbear44 on December 5, 2009 at 2:57 AM

tbear44 on December 5, 2009 at 2:57 AM

No, we shouldn’t. Nor should we be happy that the numbers are a sham. I know a lot of folks that got laid off in November. Does anyone actually believe there were only 11,000 laid off in the entire month, when every previous month many many were laid off?

Did employers run out of people to kick to the curb?

Many excellent posters astutely observe that its some real “magic” getting the unemployment number to go down while people are still losing jobs.

Obviously the only way that trick can be done is by lying about it. Thats right, they outright lie.

Just like they have lied about everything else. A lot of folks got shoved into that “longterm unemployed” group. Including yours truly.

The reality is that unemployment is close to 18% if one looks at the U-6 number and backs out the Bozo fudge factor.

dogsoldier on December 5, 2009 at 9:25 AM

Obama and his followers are slowly beginning to learn the painful lesson that the government, if it creates jobs, places a burden on society.

Also that it is much easier to instill uneasiness in the private sector and cause job losses than it is to provide confidence in the private sector to cause job growth.

Obama is not responsible for the initial recession, but he is responsible for how bad it got and most of the job losses.

Personally, once I realized McCain/Palin didn’t stand a chance because of the dishonest press, I began to regroup and buckle down my business interests and investments to be able to withstand the Obama storm. I won’t change my behavior until Obama begins to change (not holding my breath) or another election gives me confidence to do so.

cntrlfrk on December 5, 2009 at 10:01 AM

The reality is that unemployment is close to 18% if one looks at the U-6 number and backs out the Bozo fudge factor.

dogsoldier on December 5, 2009 at 9:25 AM

You’re a dope. Hold on to that government job.

simplesimon on December 5, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Think maybe the Thanksgiving holiday had anything to do with these numbers?
Gov’t offices being closed??

bridgetown on December 5, 2009 at 10:24 AM

Troll still adds no value

CWforFreedom on December 5, 2009 at 10:33 AM

Obama will take credit for everything the economy does good and will pounce on the “free market” for everything going wrong. The typical socialist. but what most don’t know is that virtually everything that goes sour in the economy was started by government intervention

Libertarian Joseph on December 5, 2009 at 10:41 AM

why would obama want unemployment to go down when he and his pals are pushing for extended unemployment benefits? that’s just odd

Libertarian Joseph on December 5, 2009 at 10:42 AM

I was just wondering that same thought, how do you lose jobs and have the unemployment rate go down. Can someone, seriously, explain to me how that works?

kagai on December 4, 2009 at 10:28 PM

When the benefit timeline ends for those who have been unemployed, the unemployment rolls drop them as unemployed. This explains the real unemployment rate is 17.5% which includes those currently unemployed and those who quit looking for work. So, American workers lost 11,ooo thousand jobs but MANY more lost unemployment pay.

dthorny on December 5, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Thanks for your kind words but I am legal guardian of my WWII vet uncle who has Alzheimer’s…

margategop517 on December 5, 2009 at 1:58 AM

My best wishes to you – I was a 24/7 caregiver for my mother with Alzheimer’s for 2 1/2 years.

I learned, via a doctor’s talk show in Philadelphia, that folic acid eliminates the “sundowning” syndrome – one standard capsule OTC (300 ug?) 4 x day at mealtimes and bedtime. Helped within a week!! And lasted through TWO HOUSE MOVES, which are normally very unsettling

After one year of zero symptoms, the sundowning started up again, increased dosage by 50%, symptoms back to zero again.

NIH started a protocol on folic acid, also.

Didn’t help her medically, but stopped her insistant behavior to go home at 5 PM every day, and allowed me to stay sane.

Good luck.

fred5678 on December 5, 2009 at 11:34 AM

why would obama want unemployment to go down when he and his pals are pushing for extended unemployment benefits? that’s just odd

Libertarian Joseph on December 5, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Obowma is playing the game of “just words, just speeches”. He is saying one thing and doing another, just like his entire presidency. By extending benefits, his plan is to generate MORE democrat voters by enticing them with gov’t handouts while destroying the economy, which places more under gov’t control.

dthorny on December 5, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Obama is not responsible for the initial recession, but he is responsible for how bad it got and most of the job losses.

cntrlfrk on December 5, 2009 at 10:01 AM

The democrat congress IS responsible for the recession:

Raised minimum wage ALWAYS prevents job growth, TARP, stimulus 1 (600 dollar tax cut) and stim 2 (buddy kickbacks), bank bailouts, AIG, GM, Chrysler, Countrywide fiasco, throw in expired Bush tax cuts, cap and tax, healthcare, no oil drilling allowed high gas prices which hurt every business in the country causing price increases…

Vote them out in 2010!!!

dthorny on December 5, 2009 at 11:44 AM

What does the -11,000 mean? A 119,000 instead of 130,000? Or -11,00 as the total loss of jobs? If the latter, then that is an anomaly or cooking for the books or a legitimate number standing alone?

rlwo2008 on December 5, 2009 at 12:21 PM

You’re a dope. Hold on to that government job.

simplesimon on December 5, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Just basic math really, here you try it: 17.5% + 2% =

Well its not quite 18% but pretty close. Its Obama close. And I’m one of the folks Bozo moved into the “they don’t count category”.

dogsoldier on December 5, 2009 at 4:40 PM

fred5678 on December 5, 2009 at 11:34 AM

Thank you Fred5678! I will ask his doctor about it. He is beyond Sundowners now, unfortunately, but it can’t hurt to ask.

God Bless you for all you did for your mom. Caregiver 24/7 is not an easy role.

margategop517 on December 6, 2009 at 11:12 PM