Sunday, April 08, 2012

"The Forces Swirling Around Our Strange Job Numbers" (with chart)

Charles Pierce (Esquire):
Today's jobs numbers continue to convince me that Americans are completely baffled at the depth of the ditch into which the Avignon Presidency drove the economy between 2001 and 2008, and that economists largely just make stuff up. It's good that we're still adding jobs, but it's bad that we didn't add as many since the last report as people predicted we would. On the other hand, unemployment ticked downward by a percentage point, although it's still clearing eight percent with daylight to spare, which is a spooky number if you're planning the campaign of a president running for re-election. And the retail numbers are just weird. Retail sales up, but retail employment down? Was there an outbreak of shoplifting around the country over the past couple of months? This morning, appearing with my man Chuck Todd, Mark Zandi from Moody's stated flatly that he simply didn't believe the retail numbers, which seems to be a realistic appraisal, actually. MORE...

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