Saturday, April 2, 2011

Employment: Update March 2011

It pleases me to present the first employment update on this new version of LaMarotte. It is a monthly posting. My purpose is to track the recovery. In 2008 and 2009 (“Great Recession”) we lost a total of 8.66 million jobs. How are we doing in gaining these jobs back—and once more reaching employment level as it was in December 2007? To show that is the purpose here. Quite early this month, and on April 1st at that, the Bureau of Labor Statistics brought good news (here). We posted a net gain of 216,000 jobs in March. The situation actually improved more than that overall. BLS also revised data for January and February upward, another 12,000 jobs gained. Happily, in March, even manufacturing grew jobs.

In this post I also show a pie chart to indicate visually total jobs recovered. The pie itself represents 2008-2009 jobs lost (8.66 million), the slice the jobs recovered (1.42 million). That slice has increased from 13.4 to 16.4 percent in yesterday’s report. A thickening slice is good. But we’ve still got a long ways to go to reach the situation we enjoyed 3 years and 3 months ago.

Now it is undeniable that the great pit that appeared in 2008 and 2009 was not caused by a natural disaster but by financial malfeasance. It was a human disaster. The still weak upturn in employment, however, is also merely the sick economy finally showing signs of life. It was not the result of enlightened political policies and programs, although these probably helped some. The contrary is being claimed—so that the New York Times headline includes the phrase a “Lift for Obama.” It amazes me that Administrations always take credit for good news but never claim to have caused the bad… It is also a sign of our times that everything that happens is always explained by pointing at political figures. We are a community. All those jobs were created by hundreds of thousands of decisions inside many, many thousands of companies...


  1. At least the roller coaster appears to be climbing again, a little... Lets hope that state and local government cut backs won't produce another downward ride again.

    Love the new look of the blog!

  2. OBama still gets blamed. Why? Any administration during its first year or two continues to live with the previous administration's fiscal policies and the results thereof. You say the trend is not due to enlightened policies, however, it is interesting to note that upon taking office and saving GM and others and putting the stimulus in place the trend reverses. To return to trickle down economics as the right wants will engender a return Bushite results. Why is it that during the last 7 democratic admins jobs haven't been lost? Dem. polices focus on lower-middle class vs repub. policies focus on the upper class. Its almost a given if your focus is on the "99%" who have to spend and are the real engine of the economy, jobs and the overall welfare of the people will have to improve!