Aghast to Amused over 9.4% Unemployment Rate

Unemployment rate in the US 1910–1960, with th...

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On today’s AOL home-page the following press by The Associated Press is posted:

“Unemployment Rate Falls to 9.4% – Employers added 103,000 jobs last month and jobless numbers fell to their lowest level in 19 months.” (note: 113,000 gain in private sector less 10,000 loss in government jobs give us the 103,000 figure)

I don’t know whether to be aghast at the rate of 9.4% or amused at the reduction to 9.4%.  The reduction is clearly, in my mind, due to the hiring of seasonal employees. Um mm, (clearing my throat) do they expect me to believe all of the 113,000 private sector new hires will stay employed after the holidays? As I read this article I noted: “but the job growth fell short of expectations based on a strengthening economy. And the drop in unemployment was mainly because people stopped looking for work.” Really? A drop in unemployment because people stopped looking for work. Who pulled that statement out of the rabbits rear?

According to Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody’s Analytics, “the drop in the unemployment rate is unlikely to be sustained” although Mr. Sweet thinks things will get better this year.  I agree with Mr. Sweet about the drop being sustained (seasonal jobs) but I fail to see how and why he would think things will get better this year given the 210,000 jobs added in October and the 71,000 in November were under what economists are telling us we need.  Let us face the fact: It will take a lot more time, more than a year, maybe two or three, before the unemployment rate is down to where it no longer sends chills up my spine.




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