Feeds

back to article US sheds 598,000 jobs in January

They say you can't manage what you don't measure. But what do you do when you don't trust what you are measuring or when you are measuring the wrong thing? This morning, the US Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics announced its jobs report, as it does early every month to provide data on the preceding month. Like most …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Anonymous Coward

Eventually people will discover the world is in an economic depression

Despite the loss of over a half million jobs month after month in America and similar in other countries, most people don't seem to understand we are in an economic recession and rapidly sliding into a economic depression. Apparently anyone who still has a job is oblivious to what is happening all around them? Perhaps when unemployment reaches 20+% people will 'get it"?

0
0
Flame

Well at least......

We didn't lose 500,000,000 jobs this month. According Nancy Pelosi 500 "MILLION" americans are losing jobs every month that congress delays the pork belly er i mean "stimulus" bill that Obama wants congress to pass.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8hMJVXt09E

At least if we all took birth control we could stimulate the economy, or something else, and turn the country around.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_PTqvyzwRg&NR=1

0
0
Unhappy

more here

http://news.cnet.com/tech-layoffs/?tag=mncol

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Money

It's really hard to tell how bad this is compared to other recessions. The worst one I've worked through was 2001 dot-bomb. (I graduated college in 1997). Our game of politics is so polarized, each party inflates issues then blames the other party for creating it. Just think of all the "disastrous" issues over the past 10 years.

You just can't believe anything from the U.S. government to be accurate anymore, so I understand why people are leery of believing anything they say. They've turned into (or always have been maybe?) I giant propaganda network, herding the masses into believing what they want them to believe. Cynical? Yes. True? Look around you. Hell look at the amount of BS they shovel for the drug war.

0
0
Silver badge

It's worse than that, Jim

The problem with (un)employment statistics is that if Microsoft shed 5,000 software engineers in the same month that McD's take on 5,000 burger flippers, there's no net change in employment levels. Economists are human too and are easily tempted to use statistics that are readily available rather than try and delve behind the raw numbers to see what's really going on (cf. the use of GDP - an almost meaningless number, but one that's regularly produced by nearly all governments as part of their tax collection activities).

0
0
Bronze badge

@Nancy Pelosi

She is a nut job. When it came to rebuilding the instructional , they wanted to make people use US steel. Her response is well people think American product are crap.

Um people don't tend to have a opinion when it comes to metal . When is the last time you have seen some ask oh wait what country dose this steel comes from. Wait I cant buy that gold ring it comes from America . Hell most of the world does not seem to care about blood diamonds .

0
0
Thumb Down

Not to be pedantic...ok, fine...to be pedantic...

"Since the recession began in December 2007 - and isn't it funny that America only officially admitted that it went into recession a few months ago[...]"

A recession is a fairly rigidly defined term. According to most organizations that deal in such data, a recession is a period of two or more consecutive quarters in which GDP growth is negative.

In medicine, a doctor should not diagnose a condition unless symptoms and/or test results satisfy the diagnostic criteria for the condition, as indicated in the Physicians' Desk Reference. Likewise, it would not be prudent to declare a recession when an economy has not yet satisfied the definition of such.

I mean no offense, but people should learn a few things about economics before mouthing off about the economy...

0
0
Anonymous Coward

At the misguided pedant

someone made up the waffle you are going on about. A recession is a reduction, that is all.

If you want to be hoodwinked by charlatans that's your business, but don't call it pedantry, call it what it is, ignorant sucking up to the system :)

Oh, and I do have Economics as an advanced level qualification, you will find those with degrees even more scathing of the word games, unless they are being paid to be the performing monkeys :)

And as for Physicians, ever wonder why they make the worst patients? It is because they know the others are idiots. And don't bring Prudence into it, she left a long long time ago, supposedly eloped with Mr C Sense.

0
0
Go

The Other Number

The USofA Govern-ment has maintained, for as long as the records have been kept, there is always a certain level of acceptable. i.e. "good" unemployment: new college grads, those between jobs, and other "acceptable" reasons for not working. That percentage has always hovered around 3-3.5%. There have been no changes to this percentage in recent months and there shouldn't have been.

7.6%(total unemployed) - 3.5%(acceptable unemployed) = 4.1% (those available for work who aren't working).

100% - 4.1% (those available for work who aren't working) = 95.9% (those available for work who are actually employed and getting paid)

I'd say 95.9% (those available for work who are actually employed and getting paid) is pretty damn good. During the depression in the USofA the unemployed rate peaked at 24.75% in 1933. Or, from the other direction, the EMPLOYMENT rate was an adjusted 78.75% in 1933. 95.9% current EMPLOYMENT rate today in the USofA is still looking pretty damn good.

Of course there will be those who will quibble with the 3-3.5% "good" unemployment but no matter. The logic is still the same and the current EMPLOYMENT rate in the good old USofA is still damn good.

Noted: a low heart attack rate among those who live a certain lifestyle is of no comfort to the individual in that lifestyle who just suffered a terminal Coronary Event. But then I'm talking population raes and not individuals. It does no good to tell a laid-off GM assembly plant worker the national EMPLOYMENT rate is 95.9% so he should be happy, Doesn't work that way, but 95.9% is still frakking good.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Even Micky D's is cutting jobs

Unfortunately even Mickey D's is cutting jobs so the Mircosoft employees who got axed won't be finding jobs at Mickey D's.

0
0
Silver badge

Definitions

When my neighbour is unemployed, that's a recession. When I'm unemployed, that's a depression.

Old, but still valid.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

You can't pay the bills with optimism

@Doug Glass

The way unemployment numbers are determine in the U.S. today is different than in the 30's. Today they only count those applying for unemployment benefits, not those who no longer qualify for benefits. When unemployment benefits runs out you no longer exist in the system. The official unemployment rate this month is 7.6%. the actual unemployment rate is above 12% and growing rapidly each month.

Even those who have not lost their jobs are being forced to take pay cuts or cuts in hours. The failed fiscal policies of the old and new admin will make things worse for the working class worldwide. Naturally the politicians in Washington will continue to receive their $175,000 a year salary, lavish expense account, the best health care in the world, free travel and a platinum retirement - while the working class suffers.

0
0

More Deifnitions

When we can afford 2 loaves of bread instead of 3 - recession

When were trying to remember what bread tastes like - depression

0
0
Flame

WHAT SALT??????

It is massively insensitive, not to say irresponsible, for any El Reg journo to file a report on here asking people to read something and "take it with a pinch of salt".

Currently in the UK, there is almost no salt.

Anywhere.

Local Councils desperately trying to clear major and minor roads of a snowfall that averages out across the UK to a depth of 1 milimetre have had to buy packets of salted crisps and melt them down.

Also, container ships are in emergency convoy as I speak, loaded with salt from Spain. They will arrive on Wednesday bu the chances of anyone still being left alive to unload them are now remote.

This is because UK news media is full of stories of people being killed or injured as they set out through the White Hell of Winter to the local Job Centre or anywhere else.

To judge from the scale and volume of headlines, around 3,846,000 people are now dead and 15,760,142 seriously injured.

None of this would have happened had this country not run out of salt.

As noted, I protest most strongly at El Reg's irresponsible advice and its crass insensitivity to the horror unfolding throughout the UK.

You should be ashamed.

0
0
Dead Vulture

RBS? £Billion bonus?

I really don't know why we strive to seek a better society.

Why bother?

Isn't it better to just go with the flow, jigger democracy and do what everyone else seems to be doing and just grab the money, anyone's money, just grab it?

0
0

@Money

I've witnessed 4 recessions, including this one. The only one that wasn't linked to housing or finance or both was the one you were talking about, and that was certainly not as bad as what is going on now.

This one has it's own distinct flavour, but ultimately it's just a variant on the normal housing and financial meltdown recession. IT recessions are a fairly new invention, and they take a pretty stupid class of person to instigate.

How stupid? What about investing all of your pension funds assets into a company with a really neat website and a promise to make something cool one day. Obviously that makes them the same as Microsoft. Well apparently it does to people with absolutely no clue about IT. Like people who work in the financial sector for example. You'd think with all the technology they use they'd understand it a bit more. But apparently not, because to them a really neat website is the same thing as a business that produces 90% of the software installed on computers world wide and a fair amount of hardware too. You can argue over the quality of that software, but it doesn't change the fact it actually exists and it's actually being bought. Unlike most of the so-called dot com businesses they thought would turn into Microsoft.

The truly stunning thing is when these people did finally figure out what they'd done (invest all their money into a kid with a pirated copy of dreamweaver, who then did the predictable thing and used it to buy a Ferrari) they then decided to use their expert knowledge of IT and go one step further. Yes, they decided to lump in real businesses with the kids and companies like Cisco, Oracle, Intel and so on had their stock price slashed to unrealistically low levels.

Therefore although the words 'dot com' do conjure a fair description of the most stupid people in the history of the stock market (because what could be more apt than actually spelling a full stop/period with the words d-o-t), it really wasn't as bad as the one we're having now.

Giving $500,000 to homeless people has surely taken stupidity to a whole new level. I can't wait to see what they do next time.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.