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Friday, December 7, 2012

The Obama Economy: Unemployment Falls to 7.7 Percent

Posted by on Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Unemployment fell to 7.7 percent in November as the US economy added a net 146,000 jobs. All of the job growth was in the private sector, as government cut a net 1,000 jobs, led by a loss of another 50,000 jobs in local education. Priorities!

Much of the two-tenths drop in the unemployment rate comes from a contraction of the labor force. Also, self-employment jumped by 163,000 in November. I suppose you could view the self-employment numbers cynically, but it might also be viewed as a sign of entrepreneurial optimism.

Economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic Policy Research summarizes the monthly data:

On the whole the data in the November report show pretty much the same picture as what we have been seeing over the last six months. The economy is creating jobs at a rate that is a bit faster than what is needed to keep pace with the growth of the labor market. At the current pace, we would not see the economy returning to full employment for another decade. Furthermore, there are more downside risks than upside, for example if there were to be severe deficit reduction as a result of the current negotiations between President Obama and Congress.

I sure hope the Obama recovery isn't blown up by the terrorists in Congress.


Comments (19) RSS

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Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 1

Good numbers...seems like they would have less reason to fudge (if they ever did) given the election is over.

Let's focus on the Middle Class tax cuts and making sure they don't pick regular people's pockets for $1000 to $3000.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on December 7, 2012 at 8:35 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 2
First paragraph needs an edit.

"..cut 1,000 jobs, led but a loss of another..."

I have noticed gas prices have been steadily falling since the election, but of course Obama should not get credit for that. But perhaps a sign of renewed confidence in the stability that the Obama White House brings?
Posted by Theodore Gorath on December 7, 2012 at 8:47 AM · Report this
Self-employment.... Small business....

How many of these are people being forced to take what would otherwise be ordinary jobs, on a 1099 as an "independent contractor"?

The modern sharecroppers of the office world.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on December 7, 2012 at 8:55 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 4
@ 2, gas prices fell below $2 after the last election, a brief collapse that I wondered about given the timing. It was the basis for claims that gas prices had "tripled" under Obama (claims which thankfully failed, given the fact that gas prices had reached record highs in the summer of 2008).

Granted, the prices aren't collapsing today in the fashion they did back then, but I'm still going to be interested if they fall to their lowest level since Obama's inauguration.
Posted by Matt from Denver on December 7, 2012 at 9:01 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 5

I'm puzzled about this too.

How many are self-funded vanity projects running off a 401k.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on December 7, 2012 at 9:05 AM · Report this
sperifera 6
Boy, Romney's path to the White House just keeps getting tougher and tougher...
Posted by sperifera on December 7, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
When you take a closer look at the employment numbers, are they really as great as they seem? Much of the gain has been in retail--sounds like gearing up for the holiday shopping season. Manufacturing, which used to be a driver of good middle class living for the bulk of main street america, as per usual was flat. Construction employment fell. Temporary Employment, which I suspect has been a bigger driver of employment, increased.

How about all those discouraged unemployed not counted.

At least the unemployment rate hasn't gone up.

Not as
Posted by neo-realist on December 7, 2012 at 9:28 AM · Report this


maybe now Obama can start paying his way and quit stealing 40ยข of every dollar he blows from our children....
Posted by The Trillion Dollar (Deficit) Man! on December 7, 2012 at 9:44 AM · Report this
Original Andrew 9
Bull. Shit.

If the job market actually is improving, then why are employers still receiving hundreds of resumes for open positions? This is still the case even in Seattle, where the eCONomy supposedly is better than most of the rest of the country.

The only logical answer is that more people are dropping out of the labor market, and the jobs created are low-wage, dead-end positions. Maybe the job market will shrink to a size that our eCONomy actually can support after the vast majority of the baby boomers have retired.
Posted by Original Andrew on December 7, 2012 at 9:47 AM · Report this
this guy I know in Spokane 10
It's all a sad, desperate lie to try to help Obama's chances for reelection.

The people will not be fooled. Romney will win in a landslide.

Posted by this guy I know in Spokane on December 7, 2012 at 10:07 AM · Report this
biffp 11
It's no use, Gay for Romney has stopped getting the checks. He's not coming back for the abuse he so rightly deserves.
Posted by biffp on December 7, 2012 at 10:14 AM · Report this
aureolaborealis 12
7.7? Rounds to 8. And 8 rounds to 10.
We'll call it 10.
Posted by aureolaborealis on December 7, 2012 at 10:49 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 13
@9 there are literally hundreds of vacant positions in UW Medicine, at all levels, including part-time receptionists and groundskeepers.

Maybe you should move out of the South?
Posted by Will in Seattle on December 7, 2012 at 12:10 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 14

I wonder how many of the newly self-employed are trying to work freelance because they're sick of waiting for a traditional job.
Posted by keshmeshi on December 7, 2012 at 12:44 PM · Report this
Yeah it's not entrepreneurial optimism. I started a fake small business so I didn't have a big hole in my resume while I continue to look for an actual job.
Posted by Reader01 on December 7, 2012 at 2:24 PM · Report this
@14 Yeah, that too.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on December 7, 2012 at 3:02 PM · Report this
biffp 17
@15, I know 5 or 6 people who did the same thing. Everyone is a consultant in this shitty economy.
Posted by biffp on December 7, 2012 at 4:30 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 18

The unemployment rate only counts those who are collecting unemployment. It does not count those who's benefits have ran out or those unemployed who never had unemployment benefits, like recent grads.

Also lets see what happens to the rate when the holiday temp jobs run out.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on December 7, 2012 at 4:32 PM · Report this
@18 - no. It counts those who are looking for a job and do not have one, whether they are on unemployment or not.
Posted by Reader01 on December 7, 2012 at 5:13 PM · Report this

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