Getting Better But a Long Way to Go

Friday’s jobs data confirmed that labor markets are getting better, but slowly. Payrolls expanded by 200,000, the unemployment rate fell again to 8.5%, weekly hours ticked up from 34.3 to 34.4, and hourly earnings rose by 0.2%.

Of course, there is still a long, long way to go. Unemployment and underemployment both remain very high, but they’ve been moving in the right direction. After peaking at 10% in October 2009, the unemployment rate has declined by 1.5 percentage points. The U-6 measure of underemployment, meanwhile, peaked at 17.2% and now stands at 15.2%:

(The U-6 measures includes the officially unemployed, marginally attached workers, and those who are working part-time but want full-time work.)

One thought on “Getting Better But a Long Way to Go”

  1. 2012 will likely be a recession within a recession (depression if we use the old language aka b4 newspeak was implemented by the cia/media)

    1. The financial industry is in terrible shape, overextended as usual and under regulated. The waves of consequences continue to erode confidence with MF Global theft of customer accounts of over 1.2 billion dollars likely to decimate ranchers and farmers who had hedging accounts that are now empty thanks to fraud and theft.

    2. The real estate industry continues its slow motion collapse, expect to see price declines in previously “safe” markets like D.C. and coastal L.A., as unemployment related defaults increase and baby boomers attempt to dump out of the real estate market before further collapses of prices.

    3. Oil shocks will wither travel and leisure industries and food prices will consume more disposable income.

    4. continued drought and fires in texas will destroy wheat and cattle production.

    5. the oligarchy will continue to loot the middle class decimating the professionals who depend on them for income.

    6. The illusion of wealth provided by continued central bank stimulation of the stock market is collapsing with every intervention costing more but having a shorter duration effect. The net number of dollars moving out of the stock market is increasing each month as even the suckers begin to realize the game is rigged.

    Happy New Year,

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