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Ear to the Ground

The Good News on Jobs: Less Bad

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Posted on May 8, 2009
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AP photo / Kiichiro Sato

Get in line: Job seekers line up at an employment fair in Columbus, Ohio. The pace of layoffs nationwide slowed in April as employers cut 539,000 jobs, the fewest in six months.

While the unemployment rate climbed to 8.9% in April, the number of job losses was down to 539,000, a sign that the recession may be slowing and recovery is on its way.

The New York Times:
“The labor market is still very weak, but it looks like the most intense spate of weakness is probably behind us,” said Michael T. Darda, chief economist at the research and trading firm MKM Partners. “Less bad is always a prelude to good. It’s going to take some time for this economy to get back on its feet, but we might be closer to the recession ending.”

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Meanwhile, President Obama announced Friday an ambitious plan of rethinking our unemployment system as an opportunity for the jobless to go back to school and gain skills. Through favorable legislation and easier access to Pell grants, Obama believes that “ ... by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.”

Read his entire speech here

It is important, however, to not lose sight of the underlying issues of the economic crisis despite these new promises of recovery. As Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman reminds us, by not keeping banks in check, the American people run the great risk of losing the opportunity for real and profound financial reform and accumulating even greater losses.

“The government’s evident unwillingness either to own banks or let them fail creates a heads-they-win, tails-we-lose situation. If all goes well, the bankers will win big. If the current strategy fails, taxpayers will be forced to pay for another bailout,” Krugman writes.

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By Skwid, May 14, 2009 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Less bad”?! Double speak much? Orwell must be laughing in his grave.

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By Jackie, May 11, 2009 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The only way we can get a handle on this awful hole called employment is put out the plea for all people 55 years to retire and retire now, that would give us 40,000,000 jobs and would certainly put a dent in the unemployment.  So you hanger on’s get with it and retire, you might even save your kids a lot of headache as welll, thanks.

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By Whit3hawk, May 11, 2009 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

It is very encouraging to see more and more people are beginning to have a clear picture of the reality of economic basics.

PatricHenry suggested “stop outsourcing, and balance trade.” While on the face of it it sounds reasonable, tweaking the existing system, totally controlled by the folks that brought us to this disaster, is not going to fix anything. Most tweaking at the top, anything the Fed or government does with its “macroeconomics” manipulations take months and years to trickle down their effect, and more often then not they really have no idea what the effect will be!

Usually an understanding of fundamentals is enough for any tom, dick, or harry to make accurate predictions on what will happen, and be reasonably accurate. It is clear that most Americans now know and understand that without real production, there’s no recovery, no matter how much paper Wall Street trades in the financial markets; and without products, all the extra money they give to the financial community, the more the prospects for future inflation. And, you guessed it, it usually attacks the rank and file, by costing more for staples, which without being smooth out by including durable goods and financial community numbers, it turns out to be in the order of 30% or so percent in the real economy.

I was going to write a more detailed assessment, but I found one which covers the things I was going to mention, plus. Check it out here:

http://www.moneyandmarkets.com/five-economic-storms-raging-now-33659

It’s not my web site (like in my last post… but my interest is initiate action and accompany it with rational information that can make sense to the layman. Enjoy.

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By grumpynyker, May 11, 2009 at 9:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In NYC, where there is fifty percent unemployment among working age black males (outside prison), Mayor Ariel Sharon Bloomberg has done nothing to alleviate it.  Neither has our so-called city councilpersons, and we are the majority in government.  We’re back to being an apartheid city, subject to demands for our passcards(ID) by the police.  Numerically we’re the majority in population but the same white ethnics hoard the contracts and living wage jobs; illegal immigrants are hired over us for everything from construction to retail.  What happened to those outfits who used to go to construction sites and shut them down until qualified blacks were hired(not just to wave a flag)?  Not one shekel of stimulus money should come to NYC until programs/jobs for chronically unemployed black males are addressed FIRST.  You ethnics can seek work in Nassau/Suffolk/Westchester or wherever you live.

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By Whit3hawk, May 9, 2009 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment

To me the statistics tells me we’re near to hitting bottom. There’s humorous consolation to say that from the bottom, the only way is up.

I don’t pin my hopes in the stimulus legislation, because the bulk of disbursements to Main Street will go through the financial community, and they have been less than forthright or cooperative. Once they bring Obama to his knees, by getting all they demand, then, and maybe only then will they start trickling down the funds. That should take a few years.

The answer is more activism: People’s action through how they use their money, and where they put it. Here is one example: http://progressivecoalition.net/?p=73

Very few of us have time to chase stuff down, and conceive some activity on which we can place our confidence. I am personally working to see this change.

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By samosamo, May 9, 2009 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

Yeah, all this ‘goodtime’ news about the economy starting to recover and doing better by the end of the year is poppycock straight out of fantasyland from disney; rethinking unemployment by sending people back to school, so what do they live on, a little bit love and a little bit of trickle down from some bailout or stimulus money printed fresh that morning?

“”“ ... by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.””“
The only HIGH PROPORTION of anything this country will have over the rest of the world is prison population to bolster and prop up that new and fledgling industry that will go hand in hand with the arms industry which is about all we manufacture and export these day, weapons and munitions and misery from the most ‘moral’ and ‘rightous’ country on the planet.

This is so much like w & dick’s stint at wrecking this country when I well remember all those ‘goodtime’ numbers of several hundred thousand jobs that were created each month from where I don’t know, because as all the real jobs that used to provide for a more secure life in the country of the ‘american dream’ had been or were being off shored to minimize costs and maximize profits for the investors.

And somewhere in that mix of going from solid and insured saving accounts to being able to ‘invest’ money with no security, those corporate profit rates that were in the real economy maybe 10% a year, now the ‘best and brightest’ had to produce the profits to 20 or 30% to placate the investor and shower executives with unreal pay and bonus money in probably the biggest ponzi scheme of all time.

And all the while, the more the regulations and laws that prevented misuse and abuse of our every increaseing false economy were being stripped and repealed allowing the infiltration of our government and economy of some of the the most straight laced crookedest of crooks to commandeer our government and economy that everything that was illegal and against the law just kept on happening until now these crooks feel comfortable acting as if it is the way to ‘do business’.

It really looks as if obama has given up any pretense of trying to correct the wrongs and damage form not just w & dick’s debacle, but even earlier administrations, all approved or mandated by the ‘ones’ that marketed him as their choice for president while the lobbyists handle the electorate in congress.

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By PatrickHenry, May 9, 2009 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

Quit outsourcing and have balanced trade.

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By G.Anderson, May 8, 2009 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment

Sorry but no. We will be hearing stories about the recovery for the next 10 years. Imagine, the surprise and explainations when the recovery never happens.

When you spend several trillion dollars, all you will really see is the cash you’ve spent, nothing more, but don’t imagine you see a recovery, your just believing in your own psy ops.

Nothing has changed, those bankers who did this are still in power, still selling derviatives. They haven’t released American’s from debt slavery and their not going to, because their not willing to give up the power or the money.

Yes their doing their best to re inflate the bubble, but the economy that we lived in, the mad orgy of consumption, of SUV’s, McMansions, of houses infinitly leveraged, is gone.

That economy can never return, because it wasn’t for real it was based on fantasy.

So the question is, what was the real economy, during those times, what was it really like for real people?

It was paycheck to paycheck, with a payday loan, it was millions of bankrupcy’s, and living on your equity.

And when it comes right down to it unless and until Americans have more rights than the corporations, this isn’t going to end, and it’s going to get real ugly.

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By Ed Harges, May 8, 2009 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

The bottom line is this: the US economy will never really be healthy until America again becomes a place where large numbers of actual workers make actual, useful things that people buy.

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By Big B, May 8, 2009 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

once again that old Wall Street and fed government shell game has come into play with economic numbers. It works this way, if you are expecting to make $10 a share this quarter, you report to Wall St that you are expecting to make $5. Then when reporting day comes and you only profit $7 a share, you can then claim you beat the street’s estimates, and your company is on sound financial footing, causing your stock to be more valuable and sell at a higher rate, even though you actually missed your profit estimates by $3 a share.

We now see the same thing with Losses. They know they are going to lose 5 billion, but tell the street that they will lose 10 billion, and when they report a loss of only 6 billion, they look like heros and geniuses.

It seems it’s the same with unemployment numbers now. Tell the people we will lose a million jobs, only lose 6 million, and look like a fucking hero!

Are americans really this stupid?

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