(Thumbnail image: New York Daily News)

 

America’s jobless rate has decreased to 9.7%.  The lowest rate since last August.  But what are the numbers really saying?  Economists weigh in on whether this is the beginning of the end of the recession -- or just an aberration.

 
We’re looking at perspectives from CNN, NBC News, MSNBC, Wall Street Journal, and FOX News.
 
Although 20,000 Americans lost their jobs in January, CNN’s Christine Romans says the 9.7% decrease in the jobless rate is a good sign.

“It means the labor market was abysmal for the last couple of years. It means you might still not have a job and it’s gonna be still hard to get a job, but it’s thawing. It is starting to thaw out and those mass, mass layoffs that we saw exactly a year ago, they seem to have slowed or stopped, so job creation, many economists say, is just around the corner.”
 
Mad Money’s Jim Cramer says the economy is on the rise and companies are actually starting to thrive.
 
“Let’s not panic.  There is a lot of stimulus coming.  A lot of the companies are doing so well, so it’s just a matter of time before they have to start bringing people on.” (Today Show)
 
But other economists argue that although the numbers might seem great, they may not be.  An MSNBC Morning Joe contributor says January is not the best month to start tracking new trends.

"Last year in January of 2009, we lost 741,000 jobs.  That number is adjusted.  It’s adjusted seasonally and that’s a very important thing in January because in January you always see a lot of people lose their jobs post holiday season.”

 

"So while the numbers have dropped to 20,000 a lot more people have lost their job in January, it’s just they’re adjusting it to try and get rid of the holiday effect.”
 
A Wall Street Journal analyst takes a more skeptical view.  He says some politicians might be making the jobless numbers seem better to for their own gain.
 
"Some lawmakers — in particular, those with elections in November — might try to use the latest figures to suggest that joblessness is trending lower. And some investors who want the Federal Reserve to tighten policy -- as it has done historically only once unemployment starts declining -- will do the same.”
 
Finally, FOX News says it believes the numbers are only showing the Americans who are actually still looking for work, and the unemployment numbers are down because more people have just stopped looking.
 
“Part of the reason that we are hearing behind this drop is that more Americans who are unemployed have simply given up, they’re not looking for work anymore, and they’re discouraged about what’s going on out there.   And that is now at 1.1 million people say they are just discourage and they’re not looking anymore from 734,000 a year ago.”

 
Do you think the latest jobless numbers accurate?  Are we finally heading out of this recession?  Or is it just false hope?

Writer: Alyssa Caverley

Producer: Grace Meiners

Economists Disagree on the Lower Jobless Rate

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Feb 6, 2010

Economists Disagree on the Lower Jobless Rate

(Thumbnail image: New York Daily News)

 

America’s jobless rate has decreased to 9.7%.  The lowest rate since last August.  But what are the numbers really saying?  Economists weigh in on whether this is the beginning of the end of the recession -- or just an aberration.

 
We’re looking at perspectives from CNN, NBC News, MSNBC, Wall Street Journal, and FOX News.
 
Although 20,000 Americans lost their jobs in January, CNN’s Christine Romans says the 9.7% decrease in the jobless rate is a good sign.

“It means the labor market was abysmal for the last couple of years. It means you might still not have a job and it’s gonna be still hard to get a job, but it’s thawing. It is starting to thaw out and those mass, mass layoffs that we saw exactly a year ago, they seem to have slowed or stopped, so job creation, many economists say, is just around the corner.”
 
Mad Money’s Jim Cramer says the economy is on the rise and companies are actually starting to thrive.
 
“Let’s not panic.  There is a lot of stimulus coming.  A lot of the companies are doing so well, so it’s just a matter of time before they have to start bringing people on.” (Today Show)
 
But other economists argue that although the numbers might seem great, they may not be.  An MSNBC Morning Joe contributor says January is not the best month to start tracking new trends.

"Last year in January of 2009, we lost 741,000 jobs.  That number is adjusted.  It’s adjusted seasonally and that’s a very important thing in January because in January you always see a lot of people lose their jobs post holiday season.”

 

"So while the numbers have dropped to 20,000 a lot more people have lost their job in January, it’s just they’re adjusting it to try and get rid of the holiday effect.”
 
A Wall Street Journal analyst takes a more skeptical view.  He says some politicians might be making the jobless numbers seem better to for their own gain.
 
"Some lawmakers — in particular, those with elections in November — might try to use the latest figures to suggest that joblessness is trending lower. And some investors who want the Federal Reserve to tighten policy -- as it has done historically only once unemployment starts declining -- will do the same.”
 
Finally, FOX News says it believes the numbers are only showing the Americans who are actually still looking for work, and the unemployment numbers are down because more people have just stopped looking.
 
“Part of the reason that we are hearing behind this drop is that more Americans who are unemployed have simply given up, they’re not looking for work anymore, and they’re discouraged about what’s going on out there.   And that is now at 1.1 million people say they are just discourage and they’re not looking anymore from 734,000 a year ago.”

 
Do you think the latest jobless numbers accurate?  Are we finally heading out of this recession?  Or is it just false hope?

Writer: Alyssa Caverley

Producer: Grace Meiners

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