June 5, 2009

Obamanomics Graph of the Day

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:27 pm

Yikes (from Michael’s Comments; HT BizzyBlog commenter dscott):

stimulus-vs-unemployment-may

For hard-of-comprehension lefties, the three lines, all of which start in Q12007, are:

  • “With Recovery Plan” — What the Obama administration claimed would happen to the unemployment rate if the so-called, misnamed economic “stimulus package,” the one that nobody had the time to read, passed.
  • “Without Recovery Plan” — What the Obama administration claimed would happen to the unemployment rate if the so-called, misnamed economic “stimulus package,” the one that nobody had the time to read, didn’t pass.
  • Third line ending in dots for March ’09, April ’09, and May ’09 — What has really happened to the unemployment rate since the so-called, misnamed economic “stimulus package,” the one that nobody had the time to read, passed.

The three dots mean that things are not only worse than Obama predicted if the plan passed, but they are worse than Obama predicted if the plan didn’t pass. Three months in, it has become pretty close to conclusively clear that we would have been better off if we had done nothing.

I blame Bush …. and Rush Limbaugh …. and Sean Hannity …. and Dick Cheney (/sarc).

Don’t blame Boehner:

CNNMoney’s Hour-Later Employment Report Reax: ‘Better Than Expected’

It doesn’t seem like it would be too much to ask CNNMoney’s headline e-mailers to read past the first sentence of a government announcement. But, maybe it is.

Here is the first two sentences of the Employment Situation Report from Uncle Sam’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released this morning:

Nonfarm payroll employment fell by 345,000 in May, about half the average monthly decline for the prior 6 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.  The unemployment rate continued to rise, increasing from 8.9 to 9.4 percent.

Ahead of the 8:30 a.m. report, according to Reuters, Dow futures were up 54 points, while S&P and NASDAQ futures were up 5 and 5.75 points, respectively (the time-stamp is 9:22, but the narrative is clearly pre-8:30).

Just after the market opened, I received this CNNMoney e-mail:

CNNMoney060509onBLSempRpt

But according to this AFP report, expectations were that “employers ….. (will) have cut 520,000 jobs, down from 539,000 in April. But the unemployment rate is still expected to have jumped to 9.2 percent, its highest since 1983.” Thus, today report was clearly a not-as-bad news, worse news result.

“Better-than-expected” is obviously only half true, indicating that an hour after the employment report’s release, the intrepid folks responsible for generating the CNNMoney e-mails either hadn’t read the BLS’s second sentence, or didn’t think we needed to know about it.

As to stocks “soaring,” the Dow, S&P and NASDAQ went up about 88, 10, and 16 points, respectively, in the first 10-15 minutes after the opening. Except for the NASDAQ, the majority of the early gains were already built-in ahead of the employment report. As of this writing, today’s indices are below where the futures were just before 8:30.

Soar, schmoar.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

The May Employment Situation Report (060509)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:45 am

Run-up:

  • ADP’s National Employment Report on the private sector showed 532,000 jobs lost in May, and revised its original April figure of -491,000 down to -545,000.
  • Predictions for today’s report are grim. AFP says that “Most analysts expect employers to have cut 520,000 jobs, down from 539,000 in April. But the unemployment rate is still expected to have jumped to 9.2 percent, its highest since 1983.”

Here’s the news from Uncle Sam’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

Nonfarm payroll employment fell by 345,000 in May, about half the average monthly decline for the prior 6 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.  The unemployment rate continued to rise, increasing from 8.9 to 9.4 percent. Steep job losses continued in manufacturing, while declines moderated in construction and several service-providing industries.

Talk about a mixed bag — Many fewer jobs lost compared to expectations, but an unemployment rate that’s noticeably higher.

Here’s a major anomaly — BLS’s first paragraph discussing the unemployment rate, which uses the “Household Survey,” says that 787,000 jobs were lost in May using that report’s measurement methods, which are reportedly less precise than the jobs data, which is based on the “Establishment Survey” of employers.

My knee-jerk theory would be that the ranks of the self-employed, who tend to be missed in the Establishment Survey, got seriously depleted during May.

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UPDATE: The fact that ADP’s private sector job-loss number of -532,000 is over 200,000 higher than than Uncle Sam’s comparable -338,000 (-345,000 less 7,000 government jobs lost) would support the idea that many of self-employed abandoned their businesses in May. ADP does a huge business with employers of 1-9 people, and even does a lot for people who just work by themselves. Many of these people picked up by ADP get missed by the Establishment Survey’s data collectors, but are more likely to get picked by those involved in BLS’s Household Survey.

Latest Pajamas Media Column (‘GM, Chrysler, and Uncle Sam Have Already Failed’) Is Up

It’s here.

It will go up at BizzyBlog on Sunday morning (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

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Left on the cutting room floor: Did you know that the Obama transition/presidential “automotive task force” had only one full-timer on board from Election Night last year until mid-February? Further, that single person, 31, had no previous auto industry involvement or experience.

I kid you not (HT to Glenn Beck, who hit this story hard on his Tuesday program):

Brian Deese, a not-quite graduate of Yale Law School ….. had never set foot in an automotive assembly plant until he took on his nearly unseen role in remaking the American automotive industry.

Nor, for that matter, had he given much thought to what ailed an industry that had been in decline ever since he was born. A bit laconic and looking every bit the just-out-of-graduate-school student adjusting to life in the West Wing — “he’s got this beard that appears and disappears,” says Steven Rattner, one of the leaders of President Obama’s automotive task force — Mr. Deese was thrown into the auto industry’s maelstrom as soon the election-night parties ended.

“There was a time between Nov. 4 and mid-February when I was the only full-time member of the auto task force,” Mr. Deese, a special assistant to the president for economic policy, acknowledged recently as he hurried between his desk at the White House and the Treasury building next door. “It was a little scary.”

Kid, if you’re a little scared, how do you think the rest of us feel knowing that a complete newbie, “who is neither a formally trained economist nor a business school graduate, and who never spent much time flipping through the endless studies about the future of the American and Japanese auto industries,” was a key influencer, if not the key influencer, in the decisions to turn GM and Chrysler into Obama Motors?

As Glenn Reynolds sardonically notes from time to time, “Our country is in the very best of hands.”