We knew the economy would continue to deteriorate, but it is still difficult to read numbers like this:
U.S. employers cut a deeper-than-expected 263,000 jobs in September, lifting the unemployment rate to 9.8 percent, according to a government report on Friday that fueled fears the weak labor market could undermine economic recovery.
The Labor Department said the unemployment rate was the highest since June 1983 and payrolls had now dropped for 21 consecutive months.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected non-farm payrolls to drop 180,000 in September and the unemployment rate to rise to 9.8 percent from 9.7 percent the prior month. The poll was conducted before reports, including regional manufacturing surveys, showed some deterioration in employment measures.
The government revised job losses for July and August to show 13,000 more jobs lost than previously reported. Preliminary annual benchmark revisions, released together with September’s employment report showed that total non-farm payroll employment for March would have to be revised down about 824,000.
Reading all this terrible news makes Joe Biden look like he’s living in some alternate universe when he said this about the stimulus bill: “In my wildest dreams, I never thought it would work this well.” This is working well? The 9.8% unemployment rate isn’t the real number because it does not include those who have just thrown up their hands out of frustration and stopped looking for employment or who have taken part time jobs. That rate is at a whopping 17%.
And it is the real unemployment rate that the American people have to live with every day, which drives how they feel about this economy and the administration’s handling of it. Even Obama’s most ardent supporters must be feeling a pretty strong sense of cognitive dissonance as they try to buoy his economic policies and stimulus bill in the face of undeniable reality: Obama’s economic polices are not working. In fact, they are making our economic outlook even bleaker. Add to this awful economic news the president’s and Democrats’ push for a government takeover of health care and cap & trade plan and the tax increases that will inevitably follow, and, viola, you have the perfect economic storm that will wreak havoc on the American people for a long time.