Patterico's Pontifications

6/5/2009

Unemployment Rate at 9.4%

Filed under: Economics — DRJ @ 3:03 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The unemployment rate is at 9.4%, its highest level in more than 25 years, but the New York Times hopes this means the economy is turning around. Geoff at Innocent Bystanders notices other examples of the media’s efforts to portray May’s numbers in a positive light. However, as illlustrated at this link, current unemployment is worse than the Obama Administration’s projections, both with and without a recovery plan.

No wonder Obama’s approval index is 0.

— DRJ

50 Responses to “Unemployment Rate at 9.4%”

  1. 25 years ago was what, 1984?

    Ronald Reagan was president back then.

    With an approval rating of 58%, less than Obama’s.

    But still good enough to get re-elected in a landslide.

    poon (093c46)

  2. Different day, same poon.

    What is most remarkable about this is that the numbers are worse than what Teh One said would happen if we did not pass the “stimulus”. Apparently paying off political friends on the Left does not create or save jobs.

    JD (72cf0d)

  3. Here is an updated graph plotting actuals against the Obama team’s predictions with and without the stimulus bill.

    kaf (525681)

  4. Thanks, kaf, I’ve added your link above. It’s the Innocent Bystander’s graph but the direct link is easier to click and read.

    DRJ (180b67)

  5. “Different day, same poon.”

    Says the crew that feels obligated to launch hourly attacks, no matter how lame they are, on Obama.

    Reagan was almost invariably positive…learn from him.

    poon (093c46)

  6. Remember everyone, poon originally claimed to be a conservative.

    It is now an “attack” to point out facts. Interesting, that.

    kaf – thanks for the link. Sadly, the actual numbers and results will have little to no impact on the believers.

    JD (72cf0d)

  7. And the reason Reagan won in a landslide was because he reversed numbers like 9.4% unemployment, not made them worse. How’s that for being positive?

    rrpjr (286b01)

  8. It’s hard to know what I am, JD.

    There hasn’t been a real conservative running for national office in…25 years.

    What’s a voter to do?

    poon (093c46)

  9. The actual term he claimed, JD, is “Staunch Republican.”

    That, and his non-stop trollery, is why I dubbed him Staunch Brayer, and continue to do so no matter what username he comments under.

    Paul (creator of "Staunch Brayer") (290fb9)

  10. His index ain’t zero in our house.

    Peg C. (48175e)

  11. It’s hard to know what I am, JD.

    No, your problem is that we know exactly what you are.

    Paul (creator of "Staunch Brayer") (290fb9)

  12. “the reason Reagan won in a landslide was because he reversed numbers like 9.4% unemployment, not made them worse”

    Unemployment was 7.5% or so when Ronnie took office, rrpjr.

    Unemployment then rose to a peak of over 9.7% under Ronnie before it started to get better aabout 4 years later.

    I’m sure Obama will have some ‘splainin’ to do if unemployment is still over 9% in 2012, but I don’t thing reasonable Americans expect him to fix it right away.

    poon (093c46)

  13. How can job cuts be only 345,000 but total unemployment climbed 787,000?

    The number of unemployed persons INCREASED by 787,000 to 14.5 million in May, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.4 percent… Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs ROSE by 732,000 in May to 9.5 million.

    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

    Perfect Sense (0922fa)

  14. Poon:

    I don’t think these people are really using logic in their arguments. If you really want to discuss economics and politics with people who have a clue I would suggest finding another site.

    I know what the no-heads will say: We use logic, she is just a troll. I concede. Yes, they use logic to the extent that they make logically bad arguments using statistical ‘data’ that somebody who has a political axe to grind fudged, but nothing more.

    bells bells (7bdd5b)

  15. Poon is forgetting that unemployment was only one of Reagan’s economic concerns. Inflation under Carter was up to 13% per annum and interest rates climbed to 22%. To date, Obama only has to deal with unemployment, but inflation and interest rates will accelerate.

    Perfect Sense (0922fa)

  16. To date, Obama only has to deal with unemployment, but inflation and interest rates will accelerate.

    Today’s winner for dumbest post! Congratulations.

    bells bells (7bdd5b)

  17. The reason RR was reelected in a landslide despite less than rosey unemployment numbers is that everyone was focused on inflation, which hurts all citizens whether or not they have a job, and that was the public emphasis of the administration, with a message virtually every day as to what was being done to drive inflation down to livable levels.
    But of course, children such as poon and tinkerbell wouldn’t know about such things – but, unless a miracle occurs, they will learn about rampant inflation and sky-high interest rates when the effects of $1.8Trillion dollar deficits kick in (a deficit that exceeds the total budget of the early Clinton years).

    AD - RtR/OS! (b0c533)

  18. Bells – Please use your superior logic skills to explain to us why these numbers should be viewed in a manner other than as presented.

    JD (d467d3)

  19. Reagan was almost invariably positive…learn from him.

    As opposed to Pooney – Tang, who’s always fair – minded and has nothing but positive things to say about everyone.

    I know what the no-heads will say: We use logic, she is just a troll.

    Well, when folks come on here and never use any sourcing to back up their many inanities – yeah, that’s pretty much the definition of a troll – so take a bow, Trolly.

    Yes, they use logic to the extent that they make logically bad arguments using statistical ‘data’

    …of which you seem not to have a concept of – but never mind, please continue:

    Today’s winner for dumbest post! Congratulations

    Today’s winner for most unsubstantiated postings -congrats, you’re our #1 douchebag of the day!

    Dmac (f7884d)

  20. 9.4% is scary. I’m not sure how leftists can argue against that plain fact with a straight face.

    Harvey M Anderson (a664fb)

  21. So, I guess the question is, is the stimulus bill making things worse or do Pres. Obama’s economists suck at economic projections?

    tjwilliams (831c6e)

  22. Oh, and BTW poon, if Reagan was at 58%, that puts him +4% on Barry’s latest Rasmussen numbers.

    AD - RtR/OS! (b0c533)

  23. tj,

    I vote for both.

    DRJ (180b67)

  24. poon, Obama could learn from Ronald Reagan who never went on an international tour slamming America.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  25. And Reagan was smart enough to pull our troops out of Lebanon, SPQR.

    Let’s hope Obama is smart enough to follow his lead.

    poon (093c46)

  26. Apparently, according to. Teh.One’s own numbers, the economy would be better off had he done nothing.

    JD (d467d3)

  27. poon, guess you found yourself another reason to be disappointed in the Empty Suit without my help.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  28. If Bush was still in office, the news would be something along the lines of “The Sky Is Falling.”

    But with Obama, it is more like “Good News: the lay offs are slowing down.”

    Reminds me of the Emperor’s New Clothes.

    Alta Bob (9f2c33)

  29. Isn’t the wearing of shear, revealing outfits against most school dress-codes?

    AD - RtR/OS! (b0c533)

  30. We use logic, she is just a troll. I concede. Yes, they use logic to the extent that they make logically bad arguments using statistical ‘data’ that somebody who has a political axe to grind fudged, but nothing more.

    9.4% unemployment wasn’t made up by conservatives, oh ignorant one.

    Another Chris (a3bb8f)

  31. 25 years ago was what, 1984?

    Ronald Reagan was president back then.

    With an approval rating of 58%, less than Obama’s.

    But still good enough to get re-elected in a landslide.

    That’s nice, Poon, but Reagan never claimed he could “lower the seas,” he sure as hell knew there were 50–not 57–states in the Union, and he rightly considered the notion of “borrowing spending your way to prosperity” to be nothing less than insanity.

    Do come back and visit again after you get your brain transplant.

    MarkJ (d2394a)

  32. It’s amazing to me how Obama’s campaign efforts split the country along racial, religous, class and even intellectual lines. Remember the quote about bitter Americans clinging to thier guns and religion. Now he goes to the Middle East and promotes unity. It would make me laugh if it weren’t so painful. The entire working class of this nation is bearing the burden and yet we have no one in Washington looking after our well-being. The unemployment rate is going to continue because we have nothing to offer a business other than skilled and ready workers. The tax rates, regulations, special interests protests etc make our country so un-appealing to conduct business it’s laughable. Can anyone tell me why we aren’t drilling our own oil yet?

    cld1662 (008106)

  33. 9.4%.

    That means that the Cømmunisty Ørganizer has saved 90.6% of the jobs so far, and that ain’t bad.

    Dave (in MA) (d51df8)

  34. _________________________________________

    Oh, dear, look at the limousine liberals starting to fidget.

    informationweek.com, June 4, 2009:

    Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Symantec Chairman John Thompson say the Obama administration’s plans to revise tax policy on foreign profits will force U.S. companies to move more employees overseas due to the higher cost of business and lower profits such policy would trigger.

    “We’re better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the U.S. as opposed to keeping them inside the U.S.,” Ballmer said in an interview with Bloomberg News. The Obama administration’s effort to limit deductions on foreign profits would lead to increased costs in the U.S. for Microsoft, requiring Ballmer to fulfill his “fiduciary responsibility” to shareholders by lowering the company’s costs by shifting jobs to other countries with lower corporate tax rates.

    Bloomberg News also reported that Symantec’s Thompson “said software companies are frustrated by being called tax cheats and compared with companies that moved their headquarters to low-tax countries such as Bermuda.”

    Calling the Obama proposals “counterintuitive,” Thompson said, “It is a little bit ironic that most of our most significant trading partners and partners globally have taken the tack that they’ll reduce corporate tax rates to stimulate economic growth and not raise corporate tax rates,” Bloomberg reported.

    Newsmeat.com:

    [Political Campaign contributions of…]
    THOMPSON, JOHN W
    WOODSIDE, CA 94062
    SYMANTEC/CEO/CHRM

    Patrick Leahy (D) Senate – VT
    LEAHY FOR U.S. SENATOR COMMITTEE – $700
    primary 03/03/09

    Zoe Lofgren (D)
    House (CA District: 16)
    LOFGREN FOR CONGRESS Won $2,000

    NEVADA STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY (D) – $210
    primary 07/23/08

    Patrick J. Murphy (D) House (PA District: 08)
    PATRICK MURPHY FOR CONGRESS Won $500

    Charlie Brown (D) House (CA District: 04)
    BROWN FOR CONGRESS Lost $500

    Melissa Bean (D) House (IL District: 08)
    MELISSA BEAN FOR CONGRESS Won $500

    Anna G. Eshoo (D) House (CA District: 14)
    ANNA ESHOO FOR CONGRESS Won $1,000

    Tom Harkin (D) Senate – IA
    CITIZENS FOR HARKIN Won $2,300

    Tom Harkin (D) Senate – IA
    CITIZENS FOR HARKIN Won $700

    Jeanne Shaheen (D) Senate – NH
    JEANNE SHAHEEN FOR SENATE Won $1,000

    MADIA, JIGAR ASHWIN (DFL) House (MN District: 03)
    MADIA FOR U S CONGRESS Lost $500

    ACTBLUE – $500 primary 05/18/08

    CHILDERS, TRAVIS W (D) House (MS District: 01)
    CHILDERS FOR CONGRESS Won $1,000 05/01/08

    MONTANA DEMOCRATIC PARTY (D) – $1,000

    WALTNER, MOISE C (D) House (PA District: 03)
    WALTNER FOR CONGRESS Lost $500

    Tim Johnson (D) Senate – SD
    TIM JOHNSON FOR SOUTH DAKOTA INC Won $500

    ACTBLUE – $500
    primary 03/31/08

    ALLEN, THOMAS H (D) Senate – ME
    TOM ALLEN FOR SENATE Lost $2,300

    COMMITTEE FOR A DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY (D) – $1,000
    primary 02/14/08

    Edward M. Kennedy (D) Senate – MA
    KENNEDY FOR SENATE 2012 – $2,300

    Zoe Lofgren (D) House (CA District: 16)
    LOFGREN FOR CONGRESS Won $1,000

    Harry Reid (D) Senate – NV
    FRIENDS FOR HARRY REID – $2,300

    OBAMA FOR AMERICA Won $2,300

    Patrick Leahy (D) Senate – VT
    LEAHY FOR U.S. SENATOR COMMITTEE – $1,700

    ^ Steve Ballmer, by contrast, deserves a bit more slack since his record of campaign contributions appears to be somewhat bi-partisan, as his donations have been split between both Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives (or squishy “centrists” or whatever).

    Mark (411533)

  35. Alta Bob wrote:

    If Bush was still in office, the news would be something along the lines of “The Sky Is Falling.”

    But with Obama, it is more like “Good News: the lay offs are slowing down.”

    Reminds me of the Emperor’s New Clothes.

    At this point, if someone pointed out that our Emperor-in-Chief was stark naked, their reaction would be “Yeah! Isn’t it awesome?!”

    L.N. Smithee (64b10f)

  36. poon wrote […I can’t believe I just typed the words “poon wrote”…]:

    Says the crew that feels obligated to launch hourly attacks, no matter how lame they are, on Obama.

    Uh huh, poon (if that is your real name). And nooooobody gave Reagan a hard time when he was in office, right?

    L.N. Smithee (64b10f)

  37. If we use the same BLS U6 numbers that the left always pointed to when GWB was in office, the real unemployment number is 16.4%.

    Hope & Change!

    william (d2333c)

  38. And Reagan was smart enough to pull our troops out of Lebanon, SPQR.

    Most historians agree that his pullout actually did far more harm than good, since it led to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and Arafat in retreat, all the while proclaiming victory out of that napkin on his head. Thus began the series of events where the Palestinians were hopelessly addicted to their Dear Leader, which progressively deepened their nation’s poverty and lawlessness. The main reason that the Marines barracks were attacked in the first place is that their defenses were deemed vulnerable to a simple truck bomb crashing through a gate.

    Dmac (f7884d)

  39. The main reason that the Marines barracks were attacked in the first place is that their defenses were deemed vulnerable to a simple truck bomb crashing through a gate.

    The Marines should never have been sent to Lebanon in the first place unless they were allowed to defend themselves.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  40. Good point, Bradley – it was a lesson that Reagan learned all too painfully.

    Dmac (f7884d)

  41. the New York Times hopes this means the economy is turning around.

    At least one of their official bloggers, Floyd Norris, isn’t interested in sugar coating (or politicizing) all the information, since he did point out yesterday:

    Norris.blogs.nytimes.com:

    What is more alarming is the long-term unemployment rate. The government says that 4.5 percent of the work force has been out of work for 15 weeks or more. The worst previously seen — at least since 1948, when the government began counting people that way — was 4.2 percent, in December 1982.

    Put another way, 21 percent of those who are unemployed have been out of work for at least 15 weeks. That is also a record, exceeding the 19.6 percent proportion seen during the 1958 recession.

    Since employment peaked in 2007, the number of total jobs is down by 4.3 percent, and the number of private-sector jobs is down by 5.4 percent.

    Those figures exceed the peaks since 1950 of 4.2 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively, set in that 1958 recession.

    The number of jobs over all is now down 6 million from the peak, while private-sector employment is off 6.3 million from the high.

    Mark (411533)

  42. Unemployment rises in a recession because the previous boom distorted the economy. Recessions squeeze out the distortions as the bad business decisions are revealed for what they are. Once those distortions have been removed, the economy grows again. The unemployed get new jobs, which may be in different fields than the old jobs as new opportunities arise.

    The folly of statists is to think this natural and necessary process can be improved upon by command-economy tinkering. This inevitably political process rewards cronies and ignores how the economy really works, which is far too complicated to be understood by Larry Summers, Timmy Geithner or Barney Frank, let alone President God.

    Obama and the Dem congress are spending trillions to prop up bad companies, which only delays the re-adjustment. If there is a role for government here, it should be to encourage people to retrain for new jobs. That could be done for a tiny fraction of what’s now being squandered.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  43. You people are never happy. Last year the media was depression-mongering while conservative “pundits” were busy screaming “all is well!”, now they’re wrong for saying things aren’t as bad as was expected.

    JEA (535932)

  44. Reagan’s legacy is that even liberal trolls must invoke him to claim some sort of cred.

    Really, ol’ “Ronnie Raygun”? you know, the one who was going to start WW3 if Nancy told him that Capricorn was rising in the Second House while changing his Depends?

    Techie (482700)

  45. You people are never happy. Last year the media was depression-mongering while conservative “pundits” were busy screaming “all is well!”, now they’re wrong for saying things aren’t as bad as was expected.

    Last year? The media was beating the “economic trouble is on the horizon” drum from a multitude of angles as far back as 2004. As the unemployment rate dropped, the media often focused on the issue of a “jobless recovery” and didn’t mind pointing out that the reported unemployment rate did not give a full measure of how many people were actually out of work.

    A favorite technique was to talk down an increase in jobs over the month by stating that they weren’t as high as “expected”–for example if 121,000 jobs were created, the reporter would qualify it by saying, “However, economists expected 160,000.” The implication was ALWAYS that the economy was on the downturn, despite the fact that over 120,000 jobs had been created that month. Now, when over 300,000 people lost their job this past month, the media says, “Oh, but it could have been so much worse!

    So it’s understandable that an actual rise in the unemployment rate in conjunction with rising interest rates and heavy bond purchasing by the Fed would lead conservatives to question the media’s objectivity when they report on the state of the economy.

    Another Chris (a3bb8f)

  46. I’m sure Obama will have some ’splainin’ to do if unemployment is still over 9% in 2012, but I don’t thing reasonable Americans expect him to fix it right away

    .

    Not so sure that people on the unemployment line are going to be saying “Aw shucks, give him a little more time. heck if the unemployment bennies run out we can just move in with the neighbors.”
    Nor are those whose taxes go up markedly when they report in Apr 2011 and 2012 going to be so forgiving. My wife is not all that “into” political debates and is polite enough to listen to me rant on occasion. So you can imagine my surprise when we paid our taxes and saw them go up some 3 fold since I left the mlitary. It was my turn to politely listen 😉
    If it doesn’t start to turn around by the end of the year I think the GOP makes big gains in the house in the 2010 elections – if they can unify by then.

    voiceofreason2 (445035)

  47. poon #12, once again you demonstrate that you don’t understand anything being discussed. When you spew “I’m sure Obama will have some ’splainin’ to do if unemployment is still over 9% in 2012, but I don’t thing reasonable Americans expect him to fix it right away” you are ignoring the fact that the entire point of the post was that Obama was failing by his own projections.

    It was not us that claimed that there would be a difference in unemployment right away, it was Obama. Guess he’s not a “reasonable american” by your silly attempt to move the goals while Obama was still holding them.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  48. SPQR – Goolsbee should have been laughed at when he said that.

    JD (2a16e6)


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