Economic Forecast: Still (Really) Sucky

A couple days ago the government announced that unemployment had decreased to a mere 9.7% (of course, real unmployment is a rather higher 16.6%, but I digress).  So this is good news, right?  With 431,000 new jobs created in May, things are ostensibly looking up — a long way up, but up nonetheless:

Until you look a little closer.  See, 411,000 of those jobs are temporary, government jobscensus workers.  And they’ll be let go come August.  This means that actual job growth should probably be estimated as a mere 20,000, which is barely statistically significant when dealing with unemployment figures like these.  Moreover, it’s not hard to see that this supposed growth in jobs — even if we do count the census jobs — still keeps us within a percentage point of the last year’s worth of rates:

It’s also worth noting that nearly half of those unemployed are considered long-term unemployed, meaning they haven’t had a job in more than half a year.  And that’s not even using the 16.6% figure, which includes “all the people that want a job but gave up, all the people with part-time jobs that want a full-time job, all the people who dropped off the unemployment rolls because their unemployment benefits ran out, etc.”  (The DC area, of course, isn’t doing too poorly…)

Ouch.  But to add to the grim picture, let me include a few more points:

Check out a list of 50 such statistics, each with a linked source, here.  That this will come to be known as the Second Great Depression seems likely, to say the least.

Cross-posted at my own blog here.

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