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Old 05-07-2004, 06:37 PM   #1
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Job growth up, unemployment drops even more!

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp..._nm/economy_dc


Robust April Jobs Data Spur Rate Fears

By Glenn Somerville

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. employment swelled for a second straight month in April with American employers adding 288,000 more jobs to payrolls for the strongest two-month gain in four years, the Labor Department (news - web sites) said on Friday."

"The national unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent in April from 5.7 percent in March."


"Analysts said the employment report showed the pace of U.S. economic activity has kicked into a higher gear that promises continued gains in hiring."


"If so, it may take some sting from charges by prospective Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry (news - web sites) that President Bush (news - web sites) has presided over such huge job losses that he should be replaced in presidential voting in November."


"In the first four months of this year, 867,000 jobs were created -- a striking contrast to the comparable four months in 2003 when 195,000 jobs were scrubbed from payrolls."
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Old 05-08-2004, 06:17 AM   #2
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Again, I'd love to see what kind of jobs were created. Construction jobs? Because, by the end of summer into winter, they'll all be unemployed again, and, come spring, they'll be "re-hired." That is, after all, the nature of this profession, particularly in the north.

That's what I hate about these figures. They never tell you the quality, but always the quantity.

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Old 05-08-2004, 07:00 AM   #3
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Do you think that jobs created are any different at any other time Melon?

My thoughts are that some are seasonal and some ride a longer wave, but are jobs EVER completely created foreveer?
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Old 05-08-2004, 09:14 AM   #4
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Hi Sting,


Here is one more quote from the article you posted.


"Bush remains on track to be the first president since the Great Depression to have a net loss of jobs at the end of his term but April's gains cut that tally to about 1.5 million and it may shrink further in coming months. "
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Old 05-08-2004, 12:10 PM   #5
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This week NBC News made two points:

1. High school students seeking jobs this summer may have the toughest time since WWII due to competition with recent college grads and other more qualified applicants. (Local news)

2. Though unemployment rate is decreasing, the job search is stilll tighter because it is tough to find the right fit between company hire and job applicant. There are cases where a number of people must go back to technical or continuing ed school for manufacturing jobs, and other cases where even middle-aged chemical engineers have tough time finding employment. (NBC Nightly News Friday 5/7/04)
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Old 05-08-2004, 12:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Do you think that jobs created are any different at any other time Melon?
The difference is that this is an annual event. Thus, no new jobs are really being created; they're just rehiring people who are annually fired.

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Old 05-08-2004, 02:11 PM   #7
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...and remember, flipping hamburgers is actually a manufacturing job.
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Old 05-08-2004, 04:48 PM   #8
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For a little perspective lets compare the current 5.6% unemployment rate to the annual unemployment rates of the past 30 years, broken into four year segments by presidential administrations.



Nixon/Ford

1973 4.9%
1974 5.6%
1975 8.5%
1976 7.7%

Carter

1977 7.1%
1978 6.1%
1979 5.8%
1980 7.1%

Reagan

1981 7.6%
1982 9.7%
1983 9.6%
1984 7.5%

Reagan

1985 7.2%
1986 7.0%
1987 6.2%
1988 5.5%

Bush

1989 5.3%
1990 5.5%
1991 6.7%
1992 7.4%

Clinton

1993 6.9%
1994 6.1%
1995 5.6%
1996 5.4%

Clinton

1997 5.0%
1998 4.5%
1999 4.3%
2000 4.0%

Bush II

2001 4.8%
2002 5.9%
2003 6.2%
April 2004 5.6%



The average unemployment rate over the past 30 years in the United States has been 6.4%. Over the last 30 years, unemployment rate has only been below 5.4% in 6 different years.

Bill Clinton won re-election with 5.4% unemployment in 1996.

The Current unemployment rate is 5.6% and economist project this unemployment rate to drop to 5.2% towards the end of this year.
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Old 05-08-2004, 05:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


The difference is that this is an annual event. Thus, no new jobs are really being created; they're just rehiring people who are annually fired.

Melon
Well thats not the case here. For example, Unemployment was increasing at this time last year and peaked in August of 2003 at 6.4%. Unemployment is now down to 5.6%. So the idea that this is simply the result of temporary hiring for construction jobs for the summer is simply not true.


I don't have a break down of the Quality of the jobs but I do know where the USA currently stands among other nations in regards to Standard Of Living.

According to the United Nations Human Development Index which measures Standard of Living in all countries around the world, the USA currently ranks 7th in the world as of last Summers 2003 report. Here are the countries that ranked in the top 20 on standard of living.

1. Norway
2. Iceland
3. Sweden
4. Australia
5. Netherlands
6. Belgium
7. United States
8. Canada
9. Japan
10. Switzerland
11. Denmark
12. Ireland
13. United Kingdom
14. Finland
15. Luxembourg
16. Austria
17. France
18. Germany
19. Spain
20. New Zealand
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Old 05-08-2004, 05:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
Hi Sting,


Here is one more quote from the article you posted.


"Bush remains on track to be the first president since the Great Depression to have a net loss of jobs at the end of his term but April's gains cut that tally to about 1.5 million and it may shrink further in coming months. "
Here is some math for you. 6 months till election time. Last month about 300,000 jobs were created. If this rate of job creation remains the same for the next 6 months, that tally will turn into a plus rather than a negative.

Can you name an incumbent President that lost an election when the unemployment rate was 5.5% or less?
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Old 05-08-2004, 05:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
If
I am a big fan of maths that include "if"
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Old 05-08-2004, 06:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Nixon/Ford

1973 4.9%
1974 5.6%
1975 8.5%
1976 7.7%

Carter

1977 7.1%
1978 6.1%
1979 5.8%
1980 7.1%

Reagan

1981 7.6%
1982 9.7%
1983 9.6%
1984 7.5%

Reagan

1985 7.2%
1986 7.0%
1987 6.2%
1988 5.5%

Bush

1989 5.3%
1990 5.5%
1991 6.7%
1992 7.4%

Clinton

1993 6.9%
1994 6.1%
1995 5.6%
1996 5.4%

Clinton

1997 5.0%
1998 4.5%
1999 4.3%
2000 4.0%

Bush II

2001 4.8%
2002 5.9%
2003 6.2%
April 2004 5.6%
The great thing about these numbers is that you can interpret them any way you want them. For instance, while Sting says that the average unemployment rate was 6.4% over the past 30 years, the current 5.6% is an increase of 1.6 percentage points compared with the 4.0% of the last year of the Clinton administration. And while it is true that Clinton won the re-election while he had an unemployment rate of 5.4%, that was a improvement of 1.5 percentage points of his first year as president (and even 2 percentage points compared to the last year of Bush I).
Oh, and the numbers also show that when there isn't a decrease in the unemployment rate, the president is out.
Looking over the numbers, we see that there's only one term for Bush I and now we have Bush II. And in the last 30 years, there was not a two-term administration following a two-term administration.

These are just some of the things you can get out of numbers.



Marty
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Old 05-08-2004, 06:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Popmartijn


The great thing about these numbers is that you can interpret them any way you want them. For instance, while Sting says that the average unemployment rate was 6.4% over the past 30 years, the current 5.6% is an increase of 1.6 percentage points compared with the 4.0% of the last year of the Clinton administration. And while it is true that Clinton won the re-election while he had an unemployment rate of 5.4%, that was a improvement of 1.5 percentage points of his first year as president (and even 2 percentage points compared to the last year of Bush I).
Oh, and the numbers also show that when there isn't a decrease in the unemployment rate, the president is out.
Looking over the numbers, we see that there's only one term for Bush I and now we have Bush II. And in the last 30 years, there was not a two-term administration following a two-term administration.

These are just some of the things you can get out of numbers.



Marty
#1 The one year that Clinton had a 4% unemployment rate is a record and unlikely to be repeated any time soon. That year, US firms were paying students from Europe to come over and work because they couldn't find any workers. The current 5.6% unemployment is much closer to a good maintainable unemployment level than the 4% level .

#2 Unemployment under the Bush II administration peaked at 6.4% last summer and already the Bush administration has brought this unemployment down by almost a full percentage point. So, the unemployment rate is decreasing.


#3 The fact that there was only one Bush I term and currently on one Bush II term as well as the fact that there has not been a complete two term president followed by another two term president are interesting but irrelevant to predicting the 2004 election.


The strongest point to be made about these statistics is how rare it is to have an unemployment rate of 5.6% much less 5.2% which economist predict it will be around election time.

Who ever is President for the next 4 years is not going to have an unemployment rate similar to what Clinton had in his second administration. A 4.7% or 4.8% unemployment rate average for the next 4 years is most likely and the current rate is already within a single percentage of that and dropping. Who ever takes over the office on January 20, 2005 will be far more interested in maintaining the unemployment level than reducing it because it is unlikely such and unemployment rate could be reduced anymore and then sustained over a good period of time.

If the current economic performance keeps up, John Kerry will have no arguement to make when it comes to jobs this fall.
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Old 05-10-2004, 03:18 AM   #14
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5.6% unemployment is a good rate. The only thing that's questionalble is the trend.
If it continues to go down (5.something) it seems like the unemployment rate is ok.
It's not as excelent like in the clinton times but it's no desaster.
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Old 05-10-2004, 03:48 AM   #15
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why compare figures from different periods without any info on what the main reasons of the influxes are?

we do not know what kind of jobs were created/got axed
we do not know the role of the government in this
if the governemnt did play any role in it we don't know the long term consequences

the info this does give has about 0% to do with politics
so if Kerry was planning on attacking Bush on these numbers instead of attacking him on his policies it would make no sense
as much sense as it would make for Bush to claim that he must be a pretty good president because some economic figures do not look piss poor
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Old 05-10-2004, 01:14 PM   #16
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You can make numbers say almost anything you want them to say. It's all selective interpretation.

I was reading some highway safety stats at work (I work for the US DOT) from back in the late 80's, when control of the Interstate speed limits was handed back over to the states. Curiously, several different groups were siting the same study, but for conflicting reasons. Safety people said roads got more dangerous, because there were more accidents, but if you look at the data, the accidents per mile driven took a nosedive, because more miles were being covered. It just depends on how you choose to interpret the data.

It's certainly not worth getting into a tizzy over. Lots of things can affect the employment numbers. Jobs being reclassified, people losing unemployment benefits, even workers who were on strike who went back to work were recently counted as "new jobs". If you try hard enough you can make the numbers say anything you want.
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Old 05-10-2004, 05:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Salome
why compare figures from different periods without any info on what the main reasons of the influxes are?

we do not know what kind of jobs were created/got axed
we do not know the role of the government in this
if the governemnt did play any role in it we don't know the long term consequences

the info this does give has about 0% to do with politics
so if Kerry was planning on attacking Bush on these numbers instead of attacking him on his policies it would make no sense
as much sense as it would make for Bush to claim that he must be a pretty good president because some economic figures do not look piss poor
The info is very significant and is often used by economist doing comparison and contrast of different years economic performance. It definitely effects the political situation and Kerry has had to back peddle on the jobs issue over the past week because of the good economic news.

The main reason for the drop in unemployment is sustained GDP growth on average of around 5% for the last 9 months. As the economy continues to grow and business's expand, more workers are needed. The Government has played in role in that it has cut taxes and kept interest rates low.

Clinton always sited his economic figures and he definitely contributed to that outstanding economic performance, just as Bush has helped get America over recession that started at the end of the Clinton administration and has brought about sustained GDP growth and now sustained job growth.

Kerry's best attack against Bush has been the economy, and the ability to attack him on that issue is really starting to dwindle.

The Misery index, an index started back in the 1970s to caculate discontent among the population adds unemployment and inflation together.

Right now, inflation in the USA is extremely low at 1.7%. The Misery Index at the current time would be 7.3 which is very low and dropping although as the economy continues to heat up, you will probably see a slight rise in inflation.
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Old 05-10-2004, 05:53 PM   #18
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Originally posted by cydewaze
You can make numbers say almost anything you want them to say. It's all selective interpretation.

I was reading some highway safety stats at work (I work for the US DOT) from back in the late 80's, when control of the Interstate speed limits was handed back over to the states. Curiously, several different groups were siting the same study, but for conflicting reasons. Safety people said roads got more dangerous, because there were more accidents, but if you look at the data, the accidents per mile driven took a nosedive, because more miles were being covered. It just depends on how you choose to interpret the data.

It's certainly not worth getting into a tizzy over. Lots of things can affect the employment numbers. Jobs being reclassified, people losing unemployment benefits, even workers who were on strike who went back to work were recently counted as "new jobs". If you try hard enough you can make the numbers say anything you want.
The Unemployment statistics sited here are used all the time by professional economist and are the best single accurate measure of the jobs situation.

The unemployment figures presented here are not seen as insignificant by professional economist and both political parties. They are an accurate measure of the current condition of the US economy which continues to grow rapidly, which is helping to reduce unemployment. The other factors involved in employment always exist are not the primary things that swing unemployment up or down. For example, those no longer collecting any unemployment compensation and not included in unemployment figures would only raise the unemployment figure by .4%. They are classified as longterm unemployment which has been measured for countries worldwide by the United Nations. Longterm unemployment has always been there, good times and bad and it has always been a small fraction of what the unemployment figure is at any given time.

The current numbers are indeed good for Bush and economist expect these numbers to get even better as the election gets closer.
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Old 05-11-2004, 02:05 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2


The info is very significant and is often used by economist doing comparison and contrast of different years economic performance. It definitely effects the political situation and Kerry has had to back peddle on the jobs issue over the past week because of the good economic news.
I am well aware how economists use these numbers
because the importance of unemployment figures on the economy is a major one it makes sense for them to do so

the numbers still don't show you nor these economists anything about the role of the government in this though
no matter whether Clinton, Bush, Kerry or Bert & Ernie want to make me believe otherwise
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Old 05-11-2004, 07:52 AM   #20
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Monday's Poll numbers still show the American people's perception of the economy as shit.

As long as that is the case it doesn't matter. I also saw a breakdown of the new jobs on CSPAN and most are seasonal and worse the remaining majority are part-time.
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