Opinion

Felix Salmon

Finally, an encouraging jobs report

By Felix Salmon
December 4, 2009

Today’s jobs report is genuinely encouraging, I think. Unemployment is down a little to 10%; employment is “essentially unchanged”, in the words of the release; payrolls in prior months were revised upwards; total hours worked went up; wages went up; what’s not to like?

Still, it’s early days yet, and it’s still more likely than not that unemployment is going to top out well above the 10.2% rate from which it fell this month. It’s great to have a little bit of holiday cheer in the last payrolls report of 2009. But winter still hasn’t started yet.

Comments
8 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Wow. Hate the redesign. Don’t mind the layout, but the single least reader friendly trick ever is having a ‘Continue Reading’ link at the end of a completed post. At first I thought the entire sight had gone against your anti-headers only preaching.

Also no way to navigate between posts from thing a post, which makes the fake ‘Continue Reading’ links even more annoying.

Posted by Zdneal | Report as abusive
 

Known issues. I’ll try to get them fixed as fast as I can.

 

None of the post-redesign posts have made it to my reader yet. But I’m curious: Should I expect full feeds or should I get my outrage preheated?

Posted by Sandrew | Report as abusive
 

Full feeds indeed. Phew.

Posted by Sandrew | Report as abusive
 

Contrary to those above, I love the new format. You do very good work. I read you every day. Cheers.
J. Daniel Wright

Posted by jdanielwright | Report as abusive
 

Everyone complains about format changes, just ask Facebook. That said, check out how fivethirtyeight.com handles the ‘more’ issue. They just expand the story out within the same page and allow you to contract it back when you are done reading.

Posted by JonHocut | Report as abusive
 

The continue reading thing is a pet peeve of mine. That and the post to post navigation. So hitting both of them is probably the only reason I hate it.

Otherwise I do like it.

Posted by Zdneal | Report as abusive
 

Riddle me this: the Labor Dept claims that unemployment has fallen from 10.2% to 10%, BUT there was still a job loss (presumably net) of 11,000 jobs in the reference month (Nov). This therefore has to mean that the workforce is larger, since jobs were still lost and yet the percentage shrank. How did it suddenly get larger? And if it did, and yet the percentage of unemployed fell, then jobs must have been added to make up the increment in size of the workforce. Let’s say we have a workforce in Oct of 1,000,000 people. 102,000 of these are unemployed. So 898,000 have jobs. By end Nov, 113,000 (102,000 + 11,000) are unemployed, but unemployment has now sunk to 10%, meaning that the workforce now numbers 1,130,000 and that 1,017,000 (90% of 1,130,00) are now working, so that somewhere along the way a mysterious 119,000 (1,017,00 – 898,000) souls were added to the ranks of the employed. How? I think we should be told.

Posted by midasw | Report as abusive
 

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