Saturday, December 05, 2009

The unemployment rate declines!

The economy keeps getting better (or less bad). The unemployment rate actually fell in November, down to 10.0% compared to 10.2% a month earlier:

The year-over-year percent change in initial jobless claims has fallen below zero, which means employed workers are safer than they were a year ago:

November's month-over-month change in nonfarm payrolls was just about zero, the best it's been since December 2007:

Compare the above graph with a graph of ADP's numbers.

The year-over-year percent change in aggregate weekly hours worked is rising:

Permabears must be growling at the improving data.


  1. Let me see if I have this right: The stated unemployment rate WAS 10.2%. For November, the economy still lost jobs. Now the unemployment rate is 10%.

    Does this makes sense to you? How can the unemployment rate decline unless there is a net positive employment change?

    Call me a dolt but I don't get the math.


  2. Likely more people simply quit looking. If you are not looking for employment, you are technically not considered among the unemployed.

    That alone isnt bothersome though. Those cycling between "looking" and "not looking" are all part of this series since its inception. Recoveries in the past have occurred this way. This one likely will too.

    Better sign however is when we start adding jobs. We went from shedding 700K+ a month down to 11K a month. Going positive is the next sign to look for.

    Ironically, when we go positive, and start adding jobs, its likely the "not looking" will rush back in and "look" thus considered unemployed again. Very likely that we will gain some jobs next month but more lookers than jobs will return, making unemployment rise.

    Again, not necessarily worrisome - all part of the process.

  3. *burp*
    I guess its all over, quick buy a house in the next 24 hours before the numbers change for the worse!!!!

  4. Permabears? How about people who time the market? How about people who treat the moronic housing market like a slow-motion, geriatric day trade?

    That would be most of us smart investors out here. The current cycle is still a bear. The world is not as black and white as you might think it is.

    Or is it just easier on a small brain to only think in terms of black and white?

  5. Permabears have been calling for imminent doom since 1986. Many of them are still waiting for 1982 prices to return.

  6. However most probably werent even born yet. If you are old enough to have bought in 1986 or 1982, I laugh at you cause most likely your retirement money was completely lost in 2008. Enjoy eating catfood old man....I will buy your home after you die at 1982 prices. lol