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December 15, 2011

On jobless benefits and holiday hiring

youranonsanon says: No *@^! Sherlock, and holiday hiring is why, huge post holiday layoffs can be expected.

» SFB says: Actually … if you hop over to the source article, you’ll see the trend line on new unemployment benefits has largely been declining for months, beyond the holidays. (Minus a couple hiccups, such as a huge jump caused by a Verizon strike.) On top of this, the Department of Labor clearly states the data is seasonally adjusted, meaning that it theoretically shouldn’t be affected by holiday hiring unless there was something out of the ordinary that affected the numbers. In fact, minus the seasonal adjustment, the number of new jobless claims is roughly 70,000 higher. This explanation, which was hinted at in our post, is the more likely one, though even then, this number strictly accounts for new applications, not long-term jobless benefits. — Ernie @ SFB

12:50 // 2 years ago

Christmas miracle? New unemployment claims hit 3.5-year low

  • 366,000 the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits last week — a number that’s been on the decline for months
  • 365,000 the number of people who filed during a week in May 2008, the last time that the jobless benefits numbers were quite this low source

» However: Don’t get too excited, guys. While the heavily-fluctuating number is certainly better than it’s been in a long time (and the unemployment number is at its lowest level in a long time), the comeback is far from here. Example: During the financial crisis, the U.S. lost roughly 8.8 million jobs; less than a third of those jobs have returned. On top of this, many are still unemployed, and their benefits could run out soon if Congress does not act on the extension for unemployment benefits. Yeah, sorry we have to be such downers, but let’s look in perspective here.

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11:16 // 2 years ago
December 2, 2011

braveandorstupid says: Wouldn't the increased job numbers be partly due to the abundance of seasonal jobs that will unfortunately disappear once the holiday season is over?

» SFB says: Well, the unemployment numbers and jobs numbers are seasonally-adjusted, so while that’s a possibility, it’s just as likely that was already compensated for. But there could be some weirdness that affects the numbers. For example, the Verizon strike a couple months back threw off the numbers significantly. — Ernie @ SFB

14:27 // 2 years ago

Rosy, but not too rosy: Today’s jobs numbers show modest upswing

  • 8.6% jobless rate in November, the lowest since early ’09
  • positive The economy added many more private-sector jobs in November than in prior months — 120,000 new non-farm payrolls, to be exact. A sign of recovery?
  • positive On top of this, the revised jobs numbers from September and October show that things were rosier than first estimated, meaning it’s a more substantial upswing.
  • negative However, the drop in unemployment partly came from an overall shrinking of the labor force. In other words, fewer people are seeking jobs. Bummer. source

» Political ramifications: The jobs numbers aren’t at a point where people have reason to be dancing in the streets, but cautious optimism is the name of the game. The GOP’s election platform could waver if the numbers get any better. Hence this response from House speaker John Boehner: ”Any job creation is welcome news, but the jobless rate in this country is still unacceptable.” What do you all think?

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12:39 // 2 years ago
October 26, 2011

Obama backs plan to alleviate crushing student loan debt

  • $24,000 average student debt in 2009 source

» Way down in the hole: The above figure represents the average student loan debt for a graduate of a four-year, non-profit university, as measured in 2009 by the Institute for College Access & Success. In an economy that’s stifling the job prospects of even accomplished college graduates, finding yourself in this level of debt can feel a bit like you’ve been scammed. President Obama is today promoting his plan to tweak the Income-Based Repayment Plan for student loans with changes that were meant to take effect in 2014 (Obama wants 2012). The percentage of one’s discretionary monthly income that must be paid would be lowered from 15% to 10%, and all debt would be forgiven after 20 years, as opposed to the program’s current 25.

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14:40 // 2 years ago
October 23, 2011

We’re all pretty miserable: U.S. misery index nears 30-year-high

  • 13.0 the highest level since 1983; what a miserable level source

» How it’s calculated: The misery index is the sum of the country’s inflation and unemployment rates — a pretty simple number to calculate. On the plus side, this number will slide at some point, because, due to the weak job market, inflation will likely decline next year, lowering the misery level. On the down side, that’s not the number everyone’s looking to fall.

10:46 // 2 years ago
October 18, 2011
Rick Perry says we shouldn’t be worrying about Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan so much as one 9; the nation’s 9% unemployment. This is a tricky tact for Perry to take, however, as he has yet to release any detailed economic platform, beyond his general call for “energy independence,” which drew cheers from the crowd but is yet pretty vaguely defined.
Be sure to check out all the further debate coverage over at DC Decoder!

Rick Perry says we shouldn’t be worrying about Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan so much as one 9; the nation’s 9% unemployment. This is a tricky tact for Perry to take, however, as he has yet to release any detailed economic platform, beyond his general call for “energy independence,” which drew cheers from the crowd but is yet pretty vaguely defined.

Be sure to check out all the further debate coverage over at DC Decoder!

20:29 // 3 years ago
September 29, 2011

Jobless claims fall to super-low level … but there’s a catch

  • good news Weekly jobless claims reached their lowest level in nearly six months, which seems like it’s a cause to celebrate, especially since it greatly beat analysts’ estimates. On the surface, it seems like a cause for dancing in the streets, folks.
  • catch However … the Labor Department claims that report is off because of some sort of weird anomaly regarding the calendar, making it harder to seasonally-adjust the numbers. So, things are still crappy for the workforce. source
10:32 // 3 years ago
September 15, 2011

Postmaster General will seek to close 252 mail processing plants

  • 32,000 postal service jobs may be lost source

» Cost-cutting galore: Facing down a U.S. postal service that lost about $8.5 billion lat year, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has proposed some major closures, which will come at the price of the mail efficiency. With a plan to close 252 offices nationwide, the downsizing could mean that first-class mail could take up to a day longer. The postal service is, as a business model, deeply unusual — it’s also not a matter of argument, as it’s the rare government agency explicitly demanded by the Constitution. The hope that the postal service has the resiliency to both lower its size and speed of delivery, yet still compete with the private carriers strikes us as an unlikely premise.

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15:25 // 3 years ago
September 13, 2011
What the president’s proposed so far is not serious. And it’s not a jobs plan.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell • Ramping up his criticism of President Obama’s jobs bill. The plan’s starting point is, as many of the President’s negotiating postures throughout his term have been, pretty generous; more than 50% of its value goes to tax cuts, ostensibly a cherished Republican ideal. Obama’s tact in discussing the bill has been unique from past initiatives, too – whereas on health care and financial reform he deliberately distanced himself from the process, deferring to congress, he’s said in no uncertain terms that this is his plan, and he wants it passed swiftly. Faced with a more assertive adversary, the GOP seems happy to stick to the playbook, and why not? It’s been very successful for them so far, if at the risk of looking obstinate. source (viafollow)
14:50 // 3 years ago