For some strange reason, Dean Baker decided to paint a smiley-face on the news about unemployment, but there’s really LITTLE OR NO CHANGE in the same grim outlook for millions of Americans, and that isn’t just some amateur interpretation, it’s a phrase that the Bureau of Labor Statistics repeats over and over and over at http://www.bls.gov/news.releas…
“The number of unemployed persons (13.7 million) and the unemployment rate (8.9 percent) CHANGED LITTLE in February.”
“Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (8.7 percent), adult women (8.0 percent), teenagers (23.9 percent), whites (8.0 percent), blacks (15.3 percent), and Hispanics (11.6 percent) showed LITTLE OR NO CHANGE in February.”
“Both the civilian labor force participation rate, at 64.2 percent, and the employ-ment-population ratio, at 58.4 percent, were UNCHANGED in February.”
“The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially UNCHANGED at 8.3 million in February.”
A very few numbers got a little worse, and a very few numbers got a little better, so Democrats and Republicans can spin the news up or down, but it’s not much more than statistical noise or artefacts of the government’s Byzantine arithmetic for counting the unemployed, and the real news right from the source is CHANGED LITTLE, LITTLE OR NO CHANGE, UNCHANGED, and UNCHANGED.