Patterico's Pontifications

12/17/2009

AP: Bad Job News is Good Recovery News

Filed under: Economics — DRJ @ 1:59 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Today’s job report is bad but you wouldn’t know that from reading this AP headline and article, at least not based on the opening paragraphs:

Economic reports point to gradual recovery

“A report on unemployment claims and a forecast of U.S. economic activity pointed Thursday to an economy mending slowly, without the job growth needed to fuel a vigorous recovery.

The number of newly laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week. But the four-week average for jobless claims, which smooths out fluctuations, fell. That was an encouraging sign that the labor market is gradually improving. The four-week average is now at its lowest point since late September 2008, when the financial crisis hit with full force.”

Deeper in the article comes the real picture: An unexpected jump of 7,000 in new jobless claims, an increase of 5,000 in ongoing jobless claims, and an increase of 143,759 in people receiving extended job benefits. Could this be a one-time blip? Of course, but these are not signs of a “gradual recovery” unless you have a flexible definition of “recovery.”

— DRJ

17 Responses to “AP: Bad Job News is Good Recovery News”

  1. Could this be a one-time blip?

    You forgot to mention that when jobless claims dip unexpectedly it isn’t a one-time blip, it’s a rock-solid sign that Barack Obama is succeeding.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  2. Just because we’re unemployed doesn’t mean we can’t live like Americans!

    Do it at Home, America!

    (satire)

    bondwooley (547ba0)

  3. I will never forget how for years the MSM reported any decline in year-over-year job creation as “pink slips”! There was something different back then, though… what was it again? OH YEAH – I remember, it was the party affilitation of the President!!

    sherlock (e1e91e)

  4. What happened to the all – purpose “funemployment” we kept hearing about? You know, the one where people lose their homes, lose their families, have their careers destroyed, lose all semblance of security…but now they have more time for golf.

    Dmac (a964d5)

  5. Nothing to see here….Move along now!

    AD - RtR/OS! (2917cb)

  6. Economists often point out that unemployment is a lagging factor. Boy, ain’t that the truth. Lots of lagging going on just about everywhere except in high paying govt jobs that get parceled out to the well connected.

    political agnostic (03d8ec)

  7. i’m giving the recovery a solid “B+”….

    if i ever find a j*b, i’ll give it an “A”, assuming, of course, that i’ll make enough money to live on…..

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  8. The President Bush version:

    Economic reports stoke new recession fears

    “A report on unemployment claims and a forecast of U.S. economic activity pointed Thursday to an economy drifting back into recession, without the job growth needed to fuel a vigorous recovery.

    The number of newly laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week. Added to the 17% real unemployment rate, this news brings added misery to America’s struggling families.

    President Bush attempted to put a positive spin on the dire report, claiming that the four-week average for jobless claims, which smooths out fluctuations, fell, and that this was an encouraging sign that the labor market is gradually improving. However this is cold comfort for the millions who need work now.”

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  9. Doesn’t do much for the newly departed from the LAT.
    I wonder how they feel about being jobless during the Obama Administration, v. working during the Bush Administration?

    AD - RtR/OS! (2917cb)

  10. AD – They feel that poor Obama was dealt such a bad hand by that mean-old, big-oil, silverspoon-suckin Bush, and that he so cares for them, that he couldn’t possibly have prevented their fate.

    And they’re sure their messiah will get them free healthcare, and cool the planet, and bring world peace. So, Obama is just alright, Oh yeah.

    Matador (176445)

  11. It’s so gradual I can hardly feel it! Or see it!

    Patricia (b05e7f)

  12. weird how all of these threads that dont involve jayfree gouldstine are so less… Active lol.

    chaos (7c068a)

  13. Dirty socialist Associated Press propaganda whore Martin Crutsinger is now eliding the fact that the consumer expectations portion of the Conference Board’s report fell. That’s a gauge that’s of amplified import in the month of November. Can anyone think why?

    happyfeet (2c63dd)

  14. pretty easy to guess why: people have seen that the christmas season isnt going to be the pickup the economy needs.

    chaos (7c068a)

  15. I find it odd this was “unexpected” I think unemployment always jumps this time of year because construction sites shut down for weeks at the holidays. Even in Texas where I live next week and the week after we’re closed and our guys file.

    Mel (67a577)

  16. I think job losses in construction and related areas are typically offset by employment increases in department and retail stores during the holiday season, making it unusual to see net job losses this time of year.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  17. DRJ’s right. People get hired during the holidays, not fired, if there’s a general rule.

    the ‘Unexpected’ hopefully means Top Men already took both predictions into account. All this means to me is that we’re still in an economy that is unstable and sputtering. It might pick up, and it might slip down.

    The White House wants to characterize this as a “gradual recovery” because that soothing language lowers expectations. It’s just more fair to call this economy “shuddering in the corner”.

    Dustin (44f8cb)


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