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U.S. unemployment for November and the new deal

Yes, I know that I am two days late with these figures, which were released on Friday, December 5, 2008. I really wanted to “work in” two POSITIVE entries, about the successful “missile shield” test (VERY positive for those of us on the West Coast!) and the entry about happiness being contagious in social networks.

OK, let’s get on with the horror story…. The Bureau of Labor Statistics published that nonfarm payroll employment fell sharply (-533,000) in November, and the U.S. national unemployment rate rose from 6.5% to 6.7%. The 533,000 jobs lost is the largest monthly loss since December of 1974.

See, all of those folks back in September who were predicting 500,000 fewer jobs by the end of 2008 were raving OPTIMISTS! (The Cat said that we’re all mad here.) We lost over half a million jobs in November ALONE!

The number of unemployed persons was 10.3 million in November. Since the start of the recession in December of 2007, as announced by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 2.7 million, and the unemployment rate has risen by 1.7%. The number of the long-term unemployed was little changed in November. In the past 12 months, this number rose by 822,000.

Well, you can read all the rest of the gory details in the report. Meanwhile, I found it VERY interesting that President-elect Barack Obama used the term “new deal” (lower case, “in my book”, for now – FDR was “one helluva man”) in describing some of his economic plans (see the link for an opinion from the UK).

Although the world was very different then, the effects of the New Deal of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) “still remain a source of controversy and debate among economists and historians,” according to the very long Wikipedia article linked above. (See, even hindsight is not always “20-20.”) :-) Some of FDR’s programs were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The New Deal of FDR effectively ended with World War II. Let’s hope better for Obama.

In any case, the worldwide economic situation was even worse in 1932 (not to mention, we had Hitler), and FDR’s team led us to a place that was economically different (and better) than the world of 1932. Let’s hope that Obama’s team, while keeping an eye on constitutionality, achieves similar success!

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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