Friday, August 07, 2009

Is This a Sign of Recovery?

Habitually, unemployment stats peak at the end of a recession.If that holds true now for the worst economy since the Great Depression, then the fact that unemployment ticked down a hair last month is great news. Certainly the stock market thinks things are improving, it's up over 40% since the March, 2009 low.

The pessimist in me knows that there were several head fakes, several false recoveries, by both the market and the unemployment stats between between 1932 and 1938. I'm cautiously optimistic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And, instituted long ago, maybe to make the numbers look better, the usual unemployment numbers are the count of people receiving unemployment compensation. It makes no attempt to account for people who have slipped off those rolls. If you are no longer getting unemployment benefits but are still looking for a job, you do not count.

So, direct comparisons with the Great Depression are not really possible.

On the Daily Kos, some months ago, I saw graphs of more than one set of unemployment data, not just people receiving unemployment benefits.