Unemployment datapoint of the day

By Felix Salmon
June 18, 2009
Does this mean the recovery plan has failed? Or that it was even more necessary than we thought at the time? " data-share-img="" data-share="twitter,facebook,linkedin,reddit,google" data-share-count="true">

Brad DeLong reminds us, in case we’ve forgotten, how much worse things are now than we feared they would be last December:


Does this mean the recovery plan has failed? Or that it was even more necessary than we thought at the time? Or both?


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Whoever believed the promises in December deserves to be disappointed.
There is no recovery, just some signs of a fragile, and possibly temporary stabilization.
Get real.

Posted by yr | Report as abusive

that 4th point about health care being the only thing to matter in the long-run…I’d throw entitlement spending (underfunded liabilities at the state / local level, Social Insecurity, Medicare spending) into that same boat. US can not continue to spend it’s way into prosperity.

If the US Congress has uncovered a new means to increase deficit spending, lower health care costs, increase employment / reduce the output gap…some of those functions just seem largely implausible. At least for the Congress that i know

Posted by Griff | Report as abusive

See the DeLong post the previous day, the one that ends something like “if I knew then what I know now, I would have been pushing for twice as much stimulus.”

BarryO’s willful ignorance with the stimulus package was a harbinger of things to come.

Economics is not a hard science. It’s voodoo (and not just voodoo economics). There’s no way to know whether the stimulus had a good effect, or any effect.

Posted by Max | Report as abusive

Next time we get into this situation, Simon, it’s your job to go down the other quantum trouser leg of time and find out what happened.

Posted by Jon Hendry | Report as abusive

Sorry, I have no idea where “Simon” came from.

Posted by Jon Hendry | Report as abusive

As someone out of a job during that big swing up, I’m hoping that businesses have overreacted to the recession and will start hiring again.

Looking at the graph and considering the environment where I worked in Q4 2008, I think the forecast was flawed at the beginning. I mean that to be something like a weatherman predicting a high of 90 degrees for a day when at 7am it’s 10 degrees with a foot of snow on the ground. It looks like they had no idea how bad things already were.

Posted by Derek | Report as abusive

According to that graph we are headed back to where we once were back in 07′……..only with less jobs and they never estimate consumer psychology a key component……again they need to redo their graphs big time……I say the plan failed and will drag us deeper into the malaise……. the old economic model is dead….i ask again a recovery to what?? the old model?

Posted by Mr. Anderson | Report as abusive

Don Surber is 10 days ahead of DeLong on this. I never thought I’d ever say that about unemployment.

http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/200 9/06/09/rush-obama-failed/

Most absurd is how quickly they estimated the “Recovery Plan” would work. They have unemployment starting to level off in Q1-2009, when they knew full well a stimulus package couldn’t be passed until at least 50 days in to the quarter after the Inauguration. So by Q2 the effect on jobs is supposed to be well and truly underway, when in fact the money from the almost-instantaneously-passed stimulus is just starting to trickle out.

If it’s not an aphorism it should be: “You don’t need a graph to tell the truth, but you do to sell a lie.”

Posted by Rockfish | Report as abusive