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Unemployment Rate Rises to 9.1 Percent

by Keith Koffler on June 3, 2011, 11:18 am

“He made it worse.”

That increasingly looks like the political slogan Republicans are coalescing around, and indeed, the one number everyone can understand and care about is getting worse again.

Unemployment moved up again to 9.1 percent from 9 percent, the Labor Department reported today, and this time there is no excuse like “more people are looking for work and joined the labor force” to explain the increase. It was 8.8 percent in March.

The economy created only 54,000 jobs in May, well below the 125,000-150,000 needed to keep pace with population growth. So it’s really job losses, not job gains. The modest manufacturing boom that was occurring is over, with 5,000 jobs lost last month. And hiring of temporary workers failed to increase, signaling employers are not ready to significantly expand hiring.

White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Austan Goolsbee asked that you not make too much of this.

Today’s employment report shows that private sector payrolls increased by 83,000 in May and the unemployment rate ticked up to 9.1 percent. There are always bumps on the road to recovery, but the overall trajectory of the economy has improved dramatically over the past two years . . .

The monthly employment and unemployment numbers are volatile and employment estimates are subject to substantial revision.  Therefore, as the Administration always stresses, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report.

Note the effort to confuse by focusing on private sector hiring. This is what’s known as OPPORTUNISTIC CHERRY PICKING. Because state and local governments are faced with massive deficits and are shedding workers, the private sector hiring has generally looked better than the overall picture.

So, all of a sudden President Obama doesn’t care about public sector employees. At least not for the purposes of the jobs report. Give me a break.

And this is not just a bump in the road to recovery. There is general agreement among economists that the recovery, which should be roaring at this point out of a recession – particularly out of a deep recession, not despite a deep one – is very fragile.

While employment increases were 190,000+ for February, March and April, this month’s level is similar to January’s, which was about 68,000. And gross domestic product increased by only 1.8 percent in the first quarter of the year, while economists are slashing the predictions of annual 2011 growth below 3 percent.

It’s more than a bump. Something isn’t working.

{ 22 comments }

Star June 3, 2011 at 11:33 am

Sigh, Austan, Austan…slowdown of the uptick, maybe? A slowtick? Get out your dictionary. Yes–more people looking for jobs…unemployed…looking for jobs. I guess it’s supposed to be “good” if they are looking…Out here, more layoffs were in the paper this AM.

srdem65 June 3, 2011 at 11:39 am

Saw that, too. Look for another spike in home foreclosures here.

srdem65 June 3, 2011 at 11:37 am

Oh, no! another “unexpected” rise in unemployment!
What hooey they put out from the WhiteHouse.
The figures not included in this report are those of recent grads who Just.Can’t.Find.A.Job. anywhere.
Really, does MrGoolsbe not have any integrity left that he would try to make terrible news sound like another reason to support MrO?
Now the Prez wants to raise taxes on the ‘rich’ because, you know, the ‘rich’ are keeping our economy from gaining and ,you know, the ‘rich’ are just sitting in their mansions counting their money and we need it to give to, um, working families.

Keith Koffler June 3, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Never met a poor person who hired someone.

Star June 3, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I tried to hire someone (exception that proves the rule) for four images for an ebook I am writing. Offered $10 an image *clip arty–cartoon.” Got a letter saying I was a cheap so-and-so (Craigs people are so charming), which was karma, bec I have written such scoldies to the people who offer $5 for a 500-word article (there are many). This is all a rush to the bottom–for me, the country, my ebook, everyone. I just saw an offer–if you write for me, I will wash your car. Darn–no car!

JBH June 3, 2011 at 11:57 am

Insert ice pick here!

MT for re-redistribution June 3, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I have a good friend that works for a private jet service. He told me that the day after BO was elected, private air travel all but disappeared. The company has layed off most of their people. “The Rich” as BO likes to call them, as if it’s a crime to have money, collectively crawled into a hole after the marxist was elected because they knew our economy no longer had a climate where they could make money. They are not stupid. They will wait until the climate is better before they begin investing again. They are in no hurry, unlike BO’s “working families”. That’s what this putz doesn’t realize about our economy. The wealthier people drive it by aggressively operating their businesses. If they think investing is too big a risk, they won’t invest. Our horrible economy is a direct result of BO’s socialist ideology driving the wealthy people into hibernation.

Star June 3, 2011 at 12:25 pm

My brother-in-law is a corporate pilot…he still has a job. But this isn’t saying you’re wrong. I remember that Housewife of Bev Hills–the one, Adrienne something, whose family owns a barketball team, I forget–she said she had stopped flying private.

Keith Koffler June 3, 2011 at 12:26 pm

It’s been demonized as “trickle down economics.” It’s actually just, “economics.”

srdem65 June 3, 2011 at 12:09 pm

MrsO going on an ‘official’ trip to South Africa later this month. With her children and FirstGranny and ???. To promote ‘young people’ to get involved with their society.
What insanity.

Star June 3, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Oh, no…thanks for the warning.

Susan June 3, 2011 at 12:36 pm

The economy is going to get a lot worse now that the feds can no longer funnel money to prop up public employees. Even here in Texas, where unions are pretty much impotent, legislators are being forced to cut public services to the bone in order to balance the budget. The democrats were able to hold up passage of the budget during regular session, forcing Perry to call a special session. Texas has a constitutional requirement to balance the budget, so all they accomplished was a delay in the pain we are all going to have to feel sooner or later.

Susan June 3, 2011 at 12:58 pm

This is a little off topic but the Texas wildfires are having a fairly big impact on our budget woes. Seems our border firefighters have a lot more to deal with than just wildfires. Illegals are not only starting some of the fires, they are also endangering firefighters.

http://wildfiretoday.com/

Susan June 3, 2011 at 1:01 pm
Star June 3, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Oh, nifty–all our stories are combining.

Shofar June 3, 2011 at 1:12 pm

IF the Republicans were smart they would would start using that campaign line from the “1st black president”, Bill Clinton, “It’s the economy, stupid” and use the Dems own words to drive home their point. Dovetail that comment with the words of the last real Republican leader who understood American greatness, Ronald Reagan, and ask, “Are you better off than you were four (2 1/2) years ago?”

If Obama can invoke the words of past presidents in an attempt to elevate himself to their stature, then the GOP needs to take the gloves off and make him eat the words of those that have gone before him.

Unfortunately, with very few exceptions, the GOP leadership seem to be “leader-sheep” afraid to truly stand up to this man.

Dale June 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Problem with standing up to this guy is that any disagreement with his policies equates to charges of racism and leads one to investigations

Shofar June 3, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Dale,
While I agree with what you are saying, I do think there is a way around it. The GOP needs to stop taking the “high road” and do what is needed to turn this country around, starting with getting Obama out of office.

Politics and sausage making are both nasty. I’ve never been in politics, but I have made sausage.

The GOP needs to take pages from Alinsky’s own play book. When they attack with charges of racism, defect and counter with “There you go again” not wanting to debate the merits of the issue. Use the same snark and sarcasm that they use towards the vast majority of Americans.

Example: “It’s not surprising then that the progressives are bitter, they cling to their limos or Little Red Book or antipathy towards people who want to uphold the law of the land or want real immigration reform or true health care reform as a way to explain their frustrations.”

This argument can be won, but not by being “nice”. Joseph Wambaugh in his book “The New Centurions” wrote that if the bad guy used his fist, use your stick, if he used a stick use your gun, end his ticket right there (paraphrase). I’m NOT advocating violence, but the sentiment, use the next highest level of response to your adversary is the way to defeat them.

They don’t play nice, neither should we.

Dennis June 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm

factoring in the BLS birth-death plugin (no not humans, businesses) of -201, the number actual drops to NEGATIVE. I for one am hoping for change!

Andy from Beaverton June 3, 2011 at 6:47 pm

2,320,000 less people are employed today than when Obama took office

Jan. 2009 http://www.bls.gov/schedule/archives/empsit_nr.htm#2009

Civilian labor force ….| 153,716| (1)
Employment …………| 142,099| (1)
Unemployment ……….| 11,616| (1)
Not in labor force ……| 81,023| (1)

June 2011 http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.htm

Civilian labor force ….| 153,693| (1)
Employment …………| 139,779| (1)
Unemployment ……….| 13,914| (1)
Not in labor force ……| 85,620| (1)

disquistrib June 5, 2011 at 7:08 pm

What a complete anti-American, disingeuous jerk.

Tell the 9.1% of American CITIZENS that are unemployed that they are a bump in the road.

The “bump in the road” to economic recovery in the US is a brick wall named Barhetoric Hussein Obu11$h1t, the Nymphomaniacal-Deficit-Spender-in-Chief.

Star June 3, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Is volcano smoke where we are going now? I like to stay current.