October 5, 2012

Employment: October Surprise or October Miracle?

Justin Katz

A lot of people who watch policy and politics relatively closely were very surprised, this morning, to hear that the unemployment rate had fallen to its lowest level during the Obama presidency — a level last seen in January 2009.  As James Pethokoukis notes, of the seasonally adjusted 873,000 jump in employment from August to September, 582,000 were people who want to work full-time but had their hours cut or were unable to find full-time work, involuntary part time, as they're called.

Given the sheer size of the jump in employment, though, some cynical folks on the political right are finding it to be a bit suspicious. In their view, the move would be in keeping with the Obama administration's request to defense contractors not to notify employees before the election of possible layoffs and promise to cover the cost if they are sued for it.

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I know little ofthe bureaucracy that generates these numbers, but I do wonder how many serve at the pleasure of the executive.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at October 5, 2012 4:51 PM

Phony numbers from a corrupted bureaucracy and charlatan president. U-6 is where the real story is and it's at almost 15%. By the way $5.00 plus gas in CA. From Business Week today:

"The broader U-6 rate — which takes into account part-time workers who want full-time work and lots of discouraged workers who’ve given up looking — stayed unchanged at 14.7%. That’s a better gauge of the true unemployment rate and state of the American labor market."

Posted by: ANTHONY at October 5, 2012 10:54 PM

The raw unemployment number isn't completely useless, but it's close. Look at skyrocketing disability, those who have dropped out of the labor market, and involuntary part-time workers. In any prolonged recession, the unemployment number will eventually drop simply based on how it is measured. See also: Rhode Island.

Posted by: Dan at October 6, 2012 8:38 AM

"Look at skyrocketing disability, those who have dropped out of the labor market, and involuntary part-time workers"

Exactly. Plus LOWER wages other than for the real 1%-government "workers" who have better benefits, health care and pensions than 99% of the private sector.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at October 6, 2012 1:51 PM
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