Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Friday, March 09, 2007
Good News!
Here is what Wall Street considered "good news" today on the jobs front:
Employers, meanwhile, added 97,000 new jobs to their payrolls in February, the fewest in two years, as bad winter weather forced construction companies to slash 62,000 jobs, the most since 1991. Factories, feeling the strain of the troubled housing and auto industries, also continued to cut jobs. They eliminated 14,000 positions last month.
It was considered good news because it was close to the estimate, which was crappy to start with (I'll continue to remind you that you need 150,000 new jobs per month to keep up with population growth). Despite the revision of the past two months upward actually creating 50,000 new jobs (above population growth), this economic "boom" has been one of the most tepid in terms of job growth. And not only have jobs been less abundant, but the types of jobs have changed to lower paying with fewer benefits.

Update: By the way. You're going to hear headlines screaming about how the "unemployment rate" dropped last month. And indeed it did. But it dropped because of a large number of people who stopped looking for jobs, not because of new employment.

Update II: Here's a pretty picture to put it in perspective. In your mind, draw a line straight across at the 150 point and you can see what a marvelous boom in jobs we've had since Bush has been around:

Update: This is classic. The headline from Bloomberg:
U.S. Economy: Jobless Rate Drops, Easing Concerns