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Report: 40-Year Record Smashed As Unemployment Takes Wild Swing
By Craig Bennett|February 9, 2018
Report: 40-Year Record Smashed As Unemployment Takes Wild Swing

The employment of American citizens is vitally important to the nation’s prosperity, and it plummetted in the years following the 2008 crash.

Obama only exacerbated the problem with wasteful spending and overbearing regulations.

Unemployment numbers crept down over his 8 years, but many of those numbers were manipulated removing people from the workforce altogether.

But now that the economy is truly running again, theĀ Wall Street Journal reports a surprising change in unemployment numbers:

Initial jobless claims reported Thursday morning were 221,000 for the previous week, about 11,000 fewer than expected.

That series is volatile, but the smoother four-week average is now down to 225,000, which is the lowest figure since 1973. Considering the fact that the U.S. population was a third lower back then, that comparison is remarkable.

Low unemployment is one sign of a healthy economy, other things being equal.

What other things? Consider the engineer who got laid off and is now working full-time stocking shelves at Walmart. He or she is still employed. But his or her economic condition took a terrible hit. How is that accounted for?

One reason for the difference is that these days fewer people work in factory jobs subject to periodic furloughs and more work in interchangeable service jobs like pouring coffee at Starbucks. Another is that the U.S. labor market really is very tight.

There’s another topic that demands examination. What does it say about an economy when it moves away from producing goods, and in the direction of service industries?

The lesson to take away from this is to welcome any economic report from the government with a degree of skepticism. Some series are more reliable than others. None should be taken at face value.

This is all very similar to the problem of defining the difference between a recession and a depression. To solve that, this approach is recommended: If your neighbor loses his job, it’s a recession. If you lose your job, it’s a depression.

From: Wall Street Journal

Craig Bennett
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