Friday, November 2, 2012

Employment Update: October 2012

The October employment report (Bureau of Labor Statistics, link), the last one before the elections next Tuesday, were quite favorable. First of all, both August and September data were revised, upward, August by 50,000 and September by 33,000, so a gain of 83,000 over the last report. Then, the change from these revised totals in October was an additional increase in employment of 171,000. The chart follows. Revised months are marked in pale red, October results in red.

This month we also, finally, crossed a symbolic border. We have now recovered 51.2 percent of the total jobs lost in the 2008-2009 period. It took almost three years to regain half the jobs lost in two. But the direction is upward, however slowly. I show that result in the next graphic.

These numbers, ultimately, have little to do with who is in the White House or who controls Congress. The Great Recession, however, may be blamed, at least in part, on the Federal Government. It had loosened banking controls gradually and thus “enabled” the mortgage bubble to develop. That disaster did not take place under President Obama, however. But at the level of the Great Collective, which struggles to display even the intelligence of a duck, we operate under odd delusions…

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