James Pethokoukis

Obama’s nightmare jobs chart

March 10, 2011

The infamous Bernstein-Romer chart, now updated for political freshness:

hellchart

Who are the unemployed?

March 7, 2011

From James Glassman of JPMorgan (the purple and red are your worrisome colors):

Graphic

The long walk back

March 4, 2011

WH economic adviser Austan Goolsbee:

The 0.9 percentage point drop in the unemployment rate over the past three months is the largest such decline since 1983, and it has been driven primarily by increased employment, rather than falling labor force participation.

Obama vs. Reagan, 20 months in

March 4, 2011

Great context from the Heritage Foundation:

Since the Obama recovery began 20 months ago, the national unemployment rate has fallen only half a point, from 9.4 percent in July 2009 to 8.9 percent today. Contrast those anemic results with the robust job growth that occurred during the Reagan recovery in the ’80s. By the 20-month mark of the Reagan recovery, unemployment had dropped from 10.8 percent to 7.5 percent – a 3.3-point drop.

Just how badly broken is the U.S. economy?

February 4, 2011

This bit on the January jobs report from Bankofamericamerrilllynch worries me:

In the Household Survey, the unemployment rate plunged 0.4ppt for the second month in a row bringing it to 9.0% – the lowest since April 2009. The unemployment rate has not dropped this far, this fast since the 1950s. So, we question whether this decline will be sustained. The household measure of employment rose just 117,000 while the labor force participation rate dropped 0.1 ppt to a fresh cycle low of 64.2%. Never before has such a sharp decline in the unemployment rate been predicated on an ongoing drop in the labor force. The participation rate has crumbled 1.5ppts since the recovery began.

The U.S. jobs problem in chart

January 13, 2011

Until this  lump moves through the python (full of workers growing less employable by the day), unemployment may stay unusually high for years. From the Economic Policy Institute:

The Great Wage Drop and wage insurance

January 11, 2011

Big WSJ story on how the Great Recession has reduced wage growth. When the unemployed do return to work, it is often with markedly lower salaries. Here is the money graf:

9.6 reasons why the jobs report is bad for Democrats

October 8, 2010

How bad was the September jobs report? Even the White House had trouble spinning it. As economic adviser Austan Goolsbee wrote on his WH blog: “Given the volatility in the monthly employment and unemployment data, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report.” But this chart sort of says it all: