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.