Unemployment Feb 2010

All morning the whole world seems to be waiting for the unemployment number, not the Canadian but the US one. This one is supplied by the Dept. of Labor and is notorious for the enormous revisions and non factual basis. This time the big number went down to 9.7%, but the absolute number over the last 2 years went up from 7.2 mln to 8.4 mln, an additional 1.2 mln, but that was expected so it did nothing. A loss of 75,000 in the housing sector did surprise but could be explained by snow in Florida. The initial reaction of the market by way of the futures was positive even though Paris made new lows before regaining its composure.

      We would prefer to look at these things from a macro economic perspective, or , if you wish , from 30000 feet. Better yet we looked at Shadow Government Stats, a website that does things the way they were done in the 80-ties. Here is the chart again.

Unemployment rate jan 2010

Notice that even by the more correct “official” U-3 and U-6 stats we are already above 17%