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Employment Report Shows Small Decline in Unemployment

The unemployment rate dropped from 10.2% to 10.0%. That's an improvement and that is good news, but the improvement is small, payroll employment was essentially unchanged, long-term unemployment remains a problem, the number will be revised later and could go higher (or lower), and if this takes the steam out of efforts to further stimulate jobs, it will have the perverse effect of making the unemployment problem last longer, and hence be worse.
See also Paul Krugman (who worries this will undermine efforts to further stimulate jobs and the economy), Brad DeLong (who notes that the payroll employment is flat), Justin Fox and David Leonhardt (who break down the underlying numbers and note the long-term unemployment problem), Spencer (who also looks at wage income), and Calculated Risk, Part 2, Part 3 (who shows the numbers graphically).
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