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Jobs (and cautious optimism)

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Jobs (and cautious optimism)

Postby kurt_w » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:17 pm

A huge number of jobs were lost during the 2007-2009 economic crisis. Over the past two years, America has steadily been regaining those jobs. This morning's job report was very good news, in that respect. According to BLS data, we gained 243,000 jobs in January (257,000 private-sector jobs). That's not too bad.

What's particularly impressive is how much better this recovery has been going, compared to the recovery from the 2001 recession. Here are some graphs that a friend of mine forwarded, comparing job losses/growth during Obama's and Bush's first terms. The first graph shows the change in the number of nonfarm jobs (in thousands), relative to the start of each president's term of office (January 2001 or 2009):

Image

Note that Obama inherited a much worse economy, but job growth is actually recovering much faster. The dashed line shows a regression model to project job growth over the rest of 2012 based on the past year's data.

That looks pretty good. It looks even better if you focus on private-sector jobs, which have been increasing rapidly:

Image

So what's holding total job growth back is the extreme cuts in public-sector jobs. The contrast with Bush's first term is stunning. By this point in Bush's first term, the country had added 700,000 additional government jobs. In contrast, since Obama took office, the US has cut 600,000 public-sector jobs.

Under Bush, public-sector employment gains partially cushioned the loss of private-sector jobs, while under Obama a steep reduction in public-sector jobs has partially negated recent private-sector job growth.

Image

In case you're wondering, the large but short-term spike in public-sector employment during Obama's second year was ... temporary hiring of census workers. This happens in every decadal census year. It had no effect on the long-term trend.

While the numbers of jobs gained or lost is probably the best metric, the unemployment rate is also widely used as an indicator of the health of the economy. Here's a graph showing how the unemployment rate has changed since Obama took office, and how it changed during Bush's first term:

Image

The trends in the unemployment rate aren't as smooth as in the job-growth data, so the projection for 2012 is probably less reliable. It's a bit of a lagging indicator, so it's likely that, by the time of the November election, we won't be quite back to where we were when Obama took office. But considering how severe the downturn was, even the unemployment rate is recovering quite a bit faster than it did under Bush.

So ... in summary: things are looking up. It's always possible that someone will screw up, and send the world back into another recession. One obvious danger is from Europe, where a deeply misguided obsession with "austerity" has been slowly strangling the economies of one country after another. A new economic collapse in Europe could poison our own recovery, if it happened.

But I'm now feeling pretty optimistic about 2012. I think there are ways in which this country's governance, economic institutions, and social discourse are dangerously off-track. I'd strongly prefer to see the country address some of those problems, rather than pretending they don't exist. But things could be far worse.
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Re: Jobs (and cautious optimism)

Postby Ned Flanders » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:23 pm

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Re: Jobs (and cautious optimism)

Postby Stebben84 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:31 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:Image


Cause any good news for the economy is apparently bad news for the GOP. How delightfully American to cheer for a bad economy so that Obama doesn't get re-elected.
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Re: Jobs (and cautious optimism)

Postby Ned Flanders » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:35 pm

Huh? I'm celebrating all the good news that Kurt was kind enough to post!
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Re: Jobs (and cautious optimism)

Postby Stebben84 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:52 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:Huh? I'm celebrating all the good news that Kurt was kind enough to post!


Geez, you mean that wasn't sarcasm coming from you Ned? :roll:
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Re: Jobs (and cautious optimism)

Postby wack wack » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:54 pm

It's fun listening to Boehner try to explain how this is more evidence of President Obama's failures. He must be constantly nauseated with all that spinning.
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Re: Jobs (and cautious optimism)

Postby fisticuffs » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:56 pm

It's fun listening to Boehner try to explain how this is more evidence of President Obama's failures. He must be constantly nauseated with all that spinning.


The fun ends when you realize there's a legion of idiots who buy every lying word of it.
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Re: Jobs (and cautious optimism)

Postby Ned Flanders » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:29 pm

fisticuffs wrote:The fun ends when you realize there's a legion of idiots who buy every lying word of it.

Yeah, they're called the people living in the real world: the unemployed, underemployed and those who have left the work force.

The civilian labor force participation rate is at its lowest point in 30 years.

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Re: Jobs (and cautious optimism)

Postby fisticuffs » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:34 pm

Yeah, they're called the people living in the real world: the unemployed, underemployed and those who have left the work force.


Like I said Bush's recession was a bitch. What was the Republican plan to put people back to work? Did it have something to do with defunding planned parenthood or was it letting GM fail?
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Re: Jobs (and cautious optimism)

Postby Ned Flanders » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:53 pm

fisticuffs wrote:
Yeah, they're called the people living in the real world: the unemployed, underemployed and those who have left the work force.


Like I said Bush's recession was a bitch. What was the Republican plan to put people back to work? Did it have something to do with defunding planned parenthood or was it letting GM fail?

Doesn't Planned Parenthood reduce the workforce permanently?
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Re: Jobs (and cautious optimism)

Postby ilikebeans » Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:08 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:Doesn't Planned Parenthood reduce the workforce permanently?

Abortion procedures comprise three percent (3%) of their health care services.

Meanwhile, the Komen Foundation did the right thing and reversed their decision not to renew their partnership with PP.
"Politics have no place in health care," mayor [Bloomberg] said. "Breast cancer screening saves lives, and hundreds of thousands of women rely on Planned Parenthood for access to care. We should be helping women access that care, not placing barriers in their way."

Back to the topic: Thanks, kurt, for posting those graphs. That's (cautiously) fantastic news (no sarcasm)!
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Re: Jobs (and cautious optimism)

Postby rrnate » Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:16 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:Doesn't Planned Parenthood reduce the workforce permanently?


I see you have done your Christly duty for today Neds. Nice work!
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Re: Jobs (and cautious optimism)

Postby Rich Schultz » Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:19 pm

"Record 1.2 Million People Fall Out Of Labor Force In One Month, Labor Force Participation Rate Tumbles To Fresh 30 Year Low"
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/record-12-million-people-fall-out-labor-force-one-month-labor-force-participation-rate-tumbles-
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Re: Jobs (and cautious optimism)

Postby GOD » Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:22 pm

OBAMA'S ABORTION STANCE IS THE REASON FOR YOUR CURRENT FINANCIAL TROUBLE, MORTALS.

IF YOU REELECT HIM, MANY SHALL SUFFER AND SOME SHALL DIE.
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Re: Jobs (and cautious optimism)

Postby Stebben84 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:46 pm

Rich Schultz wrote:"Record 1.2 Million People Fall Out Of Labor Force In One Month, Labor Force Participation Rate Tumbles To Fresh 30 Year Low"
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/record-12-million-people-fall-out-labor-force-one-month-labor-force-participation-rate-tumbles-


It's amazing that 1 blog came up with these numbers and it has spread over the internet like wildfire. Click on any of the links and they list Zerohedge.com as the source.

I'm not saying it isn't true, but to take 1 blog's research and not not have it vetted is kind of laughable. The internet is a playground for gullibility(from both sides)

The comments section on that blog are quite amusing as well.
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