Caution: Graphic Content!

August 6, 2011 09:46 – 09:46

There are a bunch of reports and articles out yesterday and today about unemployment and jobs. I was curious to see exactly what’s been happening with unemployment and discouraged workers during Obama’s Presidency so far. So, I downloaded the seasonally-adjusted data from BLS (based on CPS monthly surveys).

Obama inherited a recession. The stimulus package began to kick in in November of 2009. More significant improvements came after the November, 2010 elections, but then things began to deteriorate after March, 2011.

June and July 2011 are interesting because we can’t tell whether another recession has begun or if things are beginning to turn around. Unemployment took an unexpected dip, but there was an increase in discouraged workers. Discouraged workers, simply put, are people who have dropped out of the labor force (and are no longer looking for work), but who are nonetheless available for work. August will tell us more.

Unfortunately, it seems that the Tea Party has been trying very hard to boot us into a recession (or depression) by ensuring that the Federal government’s hands are tied with respect to making the kinds of long-term investments needed to spur the economy. In August, perhaps, we’ll begin to see the fruits of their labors, particularly if S&P’s downgrading of the U.S.’s long term credit rating causes investors to look beyond our borders, sending long-awaited jobs overseas.

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