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September 2012 unemployment according to the BLS:  7.8%

Nate Silver comments:

The jobs numbers are certainly not enough to change the basic story of a slow economic recovery, and it will take many years for the economy to get back to full employment.

However, the jobs numbers are one of the more hopeful signs for the economy on balance. An average of 146,000 jobs have been created per month over the past year, or closer to 157,000 with the government’s anticipated benchmark revisions accounted for.

Those aren’t great numbers by any means, and would translate to an annualized growth rate of 1.4 percent. But over the past 25 years, payroll jobs have grown at an annualized rate of 1.1 percent, or the equivalent of about 125,000 jobs added per month given today’s population. By this measure, it’s been a fairly average economic year, although certainly not enough to make up for the productivity that was lost from the economy in 2008 and 2009.

Categories: Economics Tags: 2012, 538, fivethirtyeight, Jobs, Nate Silver, obama, unemployment, unemployment rate

1. Nate Silver is showing a significant bump  for the Democrat’s after the DNC, much higher than the RNC’s bump.

Via NYT’s fivethirtyeight:

Electoral Vote Prediction

Barack Obama

314.2

+10.4 since Aug. 31

Mitt Romney

223.8

Animated Granholm .gif via HuffPo

Personally, I thought Jennifer Granholm’s speech was the best. She was one of the more rousing and animated speakers of the night.

5. Factcheck.org had to aggregate their analysis of Obama’s and Biden’s speeches, because apparently they each didn’t have enough exaggerations and out-of-context quotes to warrant posts of their own. (Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney each had their own posts from the RNC previously on factcheck.org)

6. As promised, song for Friday. This is seriously the best Gangnam Style mash-up I’ve seen yet:

Categories: Politics or: the art of looking for trouble, Pop-culture Tags: barack obama, democrats, DNC, election 2012, fivethirtyeight, gangnam style, honey boo boo child, jennifer granholm, joe biden, Nate Silver, obama, politics, PSY

[May 2011 update:  Well, fuck.  8.7%.  This blows.  Nate Silver fail.]

I remember reading a post from Nate Silver a year ago about the relationships between recessions and unemployment.  No doubt Nate is a statistical genius.  He predicted the 2008 election 49 out of 50 states, a popular vote within 1%.

I’m totally going to steal a chart and bandwidth from 538 now.  From:  http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/08/why-unemployment-probably-wont-hit-10.html

People do not jump right back into the labor force the moment a recession is over. Oftentimes, indeed, they can’t, because they’ve made somewhat long-term commitments – good luck ditching the army because the local bank is having a hiring fair back at home in Topeka. These effects are fairly strongly lagged, probably by at least 3-9 months, and usually occur only once the jobs picture has gotten to the point where it’s actually pretty darn good – not just when it’s merely improving. Where we’ll see these effects is in, say, January of 2011, when the employment rate might not budge much even if a couple hundred thousand new jobs are created. But the unemployment rate should already be safely clear of 10 percent long before that… By the way, this model is decidedly more optimistic about the velocity of the jobs recovery than are most mainstream observers.

Here’s a monthly interactive unemployment map.  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27913794/ While some states have notably surpassed 10%, the “national average” has not peaked 10% as of May.

I don’t know what math MSNBC used for that “national average” (probably by adding all the state averages and dividing them by 50 or something like that), but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows something a little less rosy:  http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=usunemployment&met=unemployment_rate&tdim=true&dl=en&hl=en&q=current+unemployment+rate

Looks like Nate made the wrong call on this one.  Unemployment did pass 10% briefly for three months. 10.6% in January.  10.4% in February.  10.2% in March.  Looks like unemployment is about 1% higher than Nate predicted.  It’s currently 9.6%

I still have some faith in Nate.  My totally amateur and unprofessional prediction is that unemployment should be better by January 2011 and on a significant decline.  I’ll say 7.5%.  GDP is currently up a bit and it makes sense to me that unemployment rates should respond to that in 6-9 months.  I reserve the right to amend this number in 2 months depending on how the trends are looking.

I don’t think we’re going to have a double dip. But I did believe Paul Krugman in early 2009 when he said the stimulus was the size below what was needed for good Keyensian effect and that the economy was going to sputter along for 2 years.  His prediction seems to be coming true.  What this means for the 2012 elections, I’m not sure yet.

Andrew Sullivan shows GDP decline and growth over the last several quarters and a rundown of various persons’ analyses here.

Categories: Politics or: the art of looking for trouble Tags: 538, analysis, economy, fivethirtyeight, GDP, MSNBC, Nate Silver, Paul Krugman, prediction, recession, unemployment, unemployment rate