Awesome! We Only Lost 11,000 Jobs Last Month!

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on December 4, 2009


That appears to be the attitude taken by Steve Benen, concerning the New York Times report on unemployment, which fell to 10% when last month’s figures are taken into account. Benen–after offering the usual caveats that losing any job is bad–appears to be overjoyed by the news.

I would be overjoyed to . . . except, there is stuff like the following passage to bring me back to Earth:

But Allen L. Sinai, the founder of the research firm Decision Economics, said there was reason for caution, given that 15.4 million Americans still remain unemployed.

“It is like a patient after having collapsed with a heart attack sitting up and taking a breath—nothing more than that,” Mr. Sinai said. “Things are getting better, but a one-month respite, frankly, means nothing in the context of the worst labor market ever seen since the 1930s.”

I know that Benen wants to celebrate, and I understand the reasons why. We have a Democrat in the White House, and Democratic control of both chambers of Congress, and the longer that unemployment remains problematic, both the Democrat in the White House and Democrats in Congress face tricky re-election situations–especially given the coming midterms in 2010. I guess that it is necessary for Benen to be as enthusiastic as possible about the jobs numbers, and to hope that others share his enthusiasm, lest the table be set any further for significant Democratic electoral losses in the coming year. But really, 10% unemployment is nothing to cheer about–especially given the possibility that within short order, things may get a lot worse once again.

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