Unemployment: Better, Worse or Less Bad?

Unemployment rates worsened in 30 states in January:

In other words, unemployment increased in the majority of states.

However, CNN is seeing the glass as half full, noting in a report entitled “State unemployment picture brightens”:

A total of 30 states and Washington, D.C., reported rising unemployment rates in January, down from the number in the previous month, according to a government report released Wednesday.

Jobless rates decreased in nine states, according to the Labor Department’s monthly report on state unemployment. Eleven states reported no change.

In December, 43 states reported monthly jobless rate increases.

In other words, the January numbers were less bad.

Better in February?

Joe Weisenthal, using the following 3 charts from Gluskin Sheff, argues that the jobs picture improved in February, leading to a permanent rebound in jobs:


Image: Gluskin-Sheff


Image: Gluskin-Sheff


Image: Gluskin-Sheff

What Does It Mean?

Month-to-month statistics are too imprecise, too easy to game, and are still too volatile to be very meaningful.

The real situation is that there has been a permanent loss of jobs in America. And the administration has not taken the necessary steps to allow the creation of a substantial number of long-term jobs. See this and this.

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