Saturday, March 6, 2010

This is good news on the jobs front?

Lead headline in today's NYT: "Jobless Rate Holds Steady, Raising Hopes of Recovery." The so-called good news is that unemployment held steady at 9.7 percent. The not-so-good news is that employment fell by 36,000. Keep in mind that this is the net change in jobs, equal to vanishing jobs minus new jobs. The optimist will say that the employment number is encouraging given the lousy February weather. The pessimist will point to the paragraph in the article that says we will need to create more than 100,000 jobs each month to bring unemployment down to any significant degree. Somehow I don't think the new jobs bill is going to make a big difference.

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