Friday, December 4, 2009

Unemployment Falls Back To 10%. Is The Worst Over?!?

I suppose it's fair to take any economic news with a grain of salt, since 10% unemployment is hardly reason for celebration.

But whatever the reason, this is a move in the right direction, even if temporary.
U.S. job losses slowed sharply in November and the unemployment rate unexpectedly declined, in a sign the labor market is finally starting to heal as the economy recovers.

Nonfarm payrolls fell by just 11,000 last month, slowing down from a downwardly revised 111,000 drop seen in October, as the recovery encouraged companies to retain workers, the Labor Department said Friday.

It was the best showing since December 2007, when payrolls rose by 120,000, said a Labor department official. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a payroll decrease of 125,000.

The unemployment rate, calculated using a survey of households as opposed to companies, edged lower to 10% in November from 10.2%. Economists had forecast the jobless rate would remain at October's level of 10.2%, when it rose to the highest level since April 1983.

Employment fell in construction, manufacturing and information, while temporary help services and health care added jobs.

Despite the better-than-expected report, the jobs market has still some way to recover. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed has increased by almost eight million.

Employment in the service sector -- the main source of U.S. jobs -- rose by 58,000 in November. But that was more than offset by manufacturing companies shedding 41,000 jobs and construction companies cutting 27,000. Health care employment continued to rise in November, by 21,000. The industry has added 613,000 jobs since the recession began at the end of 2007.
I'm sure the usual suspects are already lining up talking points to explain why the unemployment rate falling is actually a bad thing that we should blame Obama for, but I'll pass on that for now. I think that last paragraph is particularly interesting. Anyone with a brain would realize that so much of what's sold here is made elsewhere, and being in a services based career is where it's at. Likewise, I'd tell anyone that doesn't see Healthcare Reform as a jobs generator to consult the last sentence.

This is where the future of the American workplace lies. I give the President credit for recognizing this and putting measures in place to cultivate that trend, rather than continuing to bellyache about industries (autos, manufacturing) that simply aren't ever coming back to full strength.

But that's just me, what do ya'll think?

Question: Does this reversal in unemployment numbers bode well for Obama or is it merely a blip on the radar? What do you think is the longterm solution to America's employment situation?

Unemployment Rate Falls to 10% [WSJ]

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