Understanding the latest unemployment numbers

There’s been a lot of confusion and absurd conspiracy claims about last week’s drop in the national unemployment rate. Dean Baker has the actual skinny here.

The bottom line: Things are better, but the lack of demand in the economy continues to hold us back.

In other words, we’re still paying the price for the inadequate stimulus that the federal government has mustered over the last few years; The President’s efforts stabilized things but the roadblocks to doing more set up by conservatives have locked us into a just-slightly-better-than-treading-water pattern.


  1. Frank Burns

    October 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Many would disagree with this analysis as it fails to blame any of the anemic recovery on Obama’s policies. In a worse economy inherited by Ronald Reagan, his policies of tax cuts and cutting spending fixed the economy. The top down approach of Obama has failed.
    Evidence #1 $800 Billion Stimulus was rife with waste, fraud and abuse.
    Evidence #2 Cash for Clunkers – Had no effect on employment, and had a net cost of $2000 per vehicle to the government.
    Evidence #3 Jobs Bill (Hire Act) resulted in foreign capital leaving this country holding down our business.
    Evidence #4 Obamacare – New burdens placed on business, holding down job creation.
    Evidence #5 Dodd Frank – Rules are still being written by government functionaries leaving businesses in the dark. Too big to fail still exists for the banks.

  2. david esmay

    October 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Uh, Frank, Reagan raised taxes 11 times, raised the debt limit 18 times, Bushy II did it 7 times, and have you forgotten the worthless 780 billion dollar Bushy stimulus? What goes through your mind every morning as you emerge from the Right Wing Fever Swamp?

  3. Frank Burns

    October 10, 2012 at 8:35 am

    David, Your responses on Reagan and Bush does not excuse Obama for his failed management of the economy and poor policies. Focus please.

  4. Jack

    October 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Frank, you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. Reagan spent tax payer’s money like it was going out of style. The money he spent for efforts in Central American did help his credibility either.

  5. Frank Burns

    October 11, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Jack, Just because Obama uses misdirection to divert attention for his own failures does not mean you should do the same. I want to shake my liberal friends to wake themseves out of their excuse making, blaming, whining ways.

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