Monday, March 5, 2012

January unemployment numbers

Some perspective needs to be applied to the December numbers. Even if these numbers reflect a trend rather than the seasonal addition of people to wrap gifts - and we all hope that it is a positive trend - the reporting and exuberance needs to be tempered, especially on LI.
Several things need to included in the reporting after the obvious fact that more employment nationally is a good thing. Like,

Where are these increased jobs and what are the local policies in the places that create job growth? For example, Sheldon Silver wants to raise the minimum wage to Connecticut/Massachusetts levels. Are Connecticut and Massachusetts adding jobs or are they as stagnant as LI?
About 10,000 a day are becoming eligible to collect Social Security What is this doing to the number of people looking for jobs and the resulting unemployment rate?
The few times it is reported, the number of people that are actually working appears going down as the unemployment rate also goes down. That is certainly counter intuitive and looks like people are leaving the job market regardless of age. To what extent does that impact the rate?
What kind of jobs are being added? Jobs that require wearing a hairnet and a name tag need to be distinguished from actual head of household positions to accurately gauge what is happening
Unfortunately, the reported number of jobs - even if they are head of household jobs - is still below what is needed.
We should celebrate that the rate is going down; not that the reported rate is 8.2%.

It is good that the rate goes down. It makes people more confident, especially people who have jobs. Unfortunately, with all the other factors considered, a lower rate is a public relations issue, does not create any jobs, and it does not help anyone who is looking for a job to find one.
So, let us celebrate the good news and look forward to those who have a public voice do a better job of explaining what it means.

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