Sunday, May 24, 2009

When is bad news good news?

In a desperate attempt to put a positive spin on really bad news, the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted in it most recent employment report, that mass layoff events and initial claims for unemployment decreased from March to April. What this really meant was that "Employers took 2,712 mass layoff actions in April that resulted in the separation of 271,226 workers, seasonally adjusted, as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month." BLS. However, if you read a little further in the report, you find that the number of mass layoffs (defined as more than fifty people laid off at once) more than doubled the number from the previous year.

To get a small perspective of how serious things have become and how desperate the present administration is to see and end to the present crisis, you can continue reading to find that the total of mass layoffs from December 2007 to April 2009 was 34,126, while there were 2,712 in April alone, well over the average per month for the entire period.

The important number, the employment rate, hardly rates a mention in the news. The national unemployment rate was 8.9 percent in April 2009, season-ally adjusted, up from 8.5 percent the prior month and from 5.0 percent a year earlier. In April, total nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 539,000 over the month and by 5,240,000 from a year earlier.

Schools and related employers were the hardest hit. Teachers are losing their jobs in huge numbers. Of the 10 detailed industries with the largest number of mass layoff
initial claims, 6 reached their April peak: school and employee bus transportation; construction machinery manufacturing; tax preparation services; discount department stores; professional employer organizations; and hotels and motels, except casino hotels. If you are a teacher who has lost your job you can take consolation in the fact that you are part of the "good news" from your government.


  1. This is sad news.Things just seem to be going from bad to worse.Wonder when normalcy will return.Incidentally there is an interesting website that is specifically dedicated to recession victims.It offers help and discusses all issues related to recession- It’s worth a visit!

  2. When the economy wasn't tanking these past few years, all we ever saw about the economy from the news media was how bad the economy was. Now that the economy is sliding into ruin, the news media don't even report economic news.

    Just what are the media trying to do for the country?