April Unemployment #s, and gusty economic news/updated

Ticked up from 8.8 to 9%.

In a “gutsy call” (please donate to Obama) by CNBS this is good news.

Employment increased more than expected in April as private companies created jobs at the fastest pace in five years, pointing to underlying strength in the economy, even though the jobless rate rose to 9.0 percent.

It’s great news, right? Unemployement is down up. Wait? what?

The total amount of unemployed was unchanged from March at 13.7 million people.

The labor participation rate also was stuck at 64.2 percent, refuting the notion that the rise in the unemployment rate reflected more discouraged workers looking for jobs.

Also, the so-called real unemployment rate—which the government calls the U-6—which encompasses discouraged workers as well, actually rose in the month two-tenths of a point to 15.9 percent.

The numbers suggested that a good portion of the boost came from McDonald’s [MCD 78.60 — UNCH (0) ], which moved to hire 50,000 workers last month.

Someone explain how this points to an “underlying strength in the economy.”

In other superawesome news, double dip.

But perhaps most importantly, more evidence of an official double dip in home prices was found in a report from Clear Capital. The report stated that its monthly index is now below the prior all-time low set in March 2009. Two highlights (or lowlights) from the report:

¦ Year-over-year national home prices are down 5%.

¦ Home prices have dropped 11.5% in the last nine months, a rate of decline not seen since 2008.



Nancy Pelosi:

“Today’s jobs report is a sign our economy continues to move in the right direction, with more Americans going back to work. But we must do more. This is the time to invest in our future and America’s middle class to bring down unemployment and spur our economic growth. The American people have made it clear that job creation is their top priority. Republicans have not offered a single jobs bill or rolled out a jobs agenda for 120 days. In fact, their actions have actually risked jobs. Instead of acting to put people to work, Republicans have voted to end Medicare as we know it in order to give tax breaks to Big Oil, millionaires, and corporations that ship jobs overseas. It’s time to work together to create jobs, while responsibly reducing the deficit, strengthening the middle class, and growing the economy.”



But Democrats can expect that Republicans will work to keep them on the defensive so long as the jobless rate remains significantly above the 8 percent level.

That’s what White House economists forecast back in 2009 would likely be the top level with the passage of the economic stimulus of the same year.

Worth noting is how static the statements from the White House and House Republicans have been in the last few months with each new employment report.

And Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) continued to blame Democratic Party policies for any weakness in the jobs data that remains, though it appeared he shifted subtly from accusing Democrats of having “job-killing” policies to saying they were creating “uncertainty.”

NPR may wish to note that the statement put out by democrats are every bit, if not more, partisan.

Chuck Schumer:

“This job growth shows there is underlying momentum in our economy despite negative fundamentals like high commodity prices, a struggling housing market and a House Republican agenda utterly unfocused on jobs. We just may be on the verge of a period of sustained economic growth if we stick with the President’s plan and shrug off distracting Republican priorities like privatizing Medicare and protecting subsidies for oil companies.”

Harry Reid:

Today’s news that the economy added 244,000 jobs, including the most private sector jobs in over five years, is more evidence that our economy is headed back on the right track. But many people in Nevada and across America are still facing tough times. That’s why Democrats remain focused on putting Americans back to work. Republicans on the other hand are wasting time on partisan grandstanding, and this week blocked a bill to help small businesses innovate, grow and hire. This is not the time to be distracted by these political games – it’s time they join us in putting middle class families first and help us pass the common-sense measures that will help out economy continue to grow.”

All three of these Democrats merely demonized Republicans while not bringing up any particular issue upon which their criticism is based.

John Boehner:

While any improvement is welcome news, job growth in America is still nowhere close to what it should be. Our economy continues to suffer from the uncertainty being caused for private-sector job creators by the Democrats who run Washington. Over the past month, rather than joining Republicans in focusing on policies that promote long-term economic growth to help balance the federal budget, the Democrats who control Washington have indicated they are planning to increase taxes and allow the government’s spending binge to continue. The policies proposed by the White House and Senate Democrats are causing renewed uncertainty for private-sector job creators, crowding out private investment and punishing small businesses and entrepreneurs who are willing to invest, expand, and take risks to create more American jobs. Increasing the national debt limit without significant spending cuts and fundamental budget reforms, as President Obama has proposed, will compound these problems and further hamper job creation in America. For that reason, Congressional Republicans have made clear there will be no debt limit increase unless it is accompanied by significant spending cuts and reforms.”

244,000 jobs were added. 62,000 of them by McDonalds.

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5 Comments on “April Unemployment #s, and gusty economic news/updated”

  1. Hotspur Says:

    Where is Geoff when w need him?

  2. Car in Says:

    I know, right? I was wondering the same thing.

  3. He’s been working…self-employment doncha know.

  4. MJ Says:

    If you want data on the employment rate and expectations, lemme know. The post I put up at H2 was based on information available from the Dept. of Labor. I have stats programs that I use to analyze the data, but Geoff is always your best bet.

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