Friday, February 3, 2012

Good Economic Numbers

Good news: (Dean Baker)
The Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent in January, bringing its drop over the last year to 0.8 percentage points. African Americans in particular saw an especially sharp decline in unemployment, with their overall rate falling by 2.2 percentage points to 13.6 percent, the lowest level since March of 2009. The unemployment rate for African American men over age 20 fell by 3.0 percentage points to 12.7 percent, the lowest level since November of 2008. The drop for women over age 20 was 1.3 percentage points to 12.6 percent. The unemployment rate for Hispanics dropped by 0.5 percentage points to 10.5 percent, the lowest since January of 2009. These numbers are erratic and may be partially reversed in future months.

The gains for whites were more modest, with the overall unemployment rate edging down by 0.1 percentage points to 7.4 percent. The unemployment rate for white men over age 20 fell by 0.2 percentage points to 6.9 percent, while it was unchanged for women over age 20 at 6.8 percent. The unemployment rate for all men and women over age 20 is now the same at 7.7 percent, the first time they have been equal since the recession began in December, 2007.
As atrios points out:
One more month of good news and I'll shed a bit of my bearishness, but it's still important to note that while this is good, it isn't recovery good. It's basically the average monthly job growth over the entirety of the Clinton presidency. Job growth in a recovery should be better and faster. This is enough to make a difference, but not a fast difference.
So, it's not quick enough, things are still really shitty, but this terrifying chart apears to be slowly moving in the right direction.:

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