Blast From The Past: "Unemployment Rate With And Without The Recovery Plan"

Tyler Durden's picture

Putting today's 7.2% unemployment rate (which is actually over 11% if using an accurate labor participation rate), here is the chart that puts it into perspective courtesy of the an "analysis" by Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein titled "The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan" from January 10, 2009. Oh yes, the ARRA did pass.

The chart, and the sheer and recurring economist idiocy, is self-explanatory

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Osmium's picture

It's all the "Shovel Ready" jobs

Rick Blaine's picture

"Mission Accomplished."

I am more equal than others's picture



"Lies, damned lies, and statistics"

Obama lies

His lies are damned

and he uses statistics to promote the BIG LIE..... Obama Loves You (and by the way he cummed in your mouth)

Dareconomics's picture

Even that dismal chart is optimistic.  Real unemployment, the u-6, shows how poorly the country has "recovered."

El Vaquero's picture

Even the U6 is optimistic.  It doesn't count people who are "out of work, but not unemployed," which is, at a bare minimum, 5 million people who have no job but are not counted as part of the labor force, even though they would actually like a job under normal circumstances. 

Captain Benny's picture

This graph is all fine and dandy, but why doesn't the "unemployment rate" in red actually include those people who have been unemployed longer than 52-weeks? 


Big Brother doesn't count them as unemployed?  Oh crap, I better learn Newspeak better.  Last time I looked at the definition of unemployed, it meant "had no employment" ... I guess that word has been redefined.

mickeyman's picture

COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America. ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It’s 8.3%. COSTELLO: That many people are out of work? ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%. COSTELLO: You just said 8.3%. ABBOTT: 8.3% Unemployed. COSTELLO: Right 8.3% out of work. ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%. COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 16% unemployed. ABBOTT: No, that’s 8.3%… COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 8.3% or 16%? ABBOTT: 8.3% are unemployed. 16% are out of work. COSTELLO: IF you are out of work you are unemployed. ABBOTT: No, you can’t count the "Out of Work" as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed. COSTELLO: BUT THEY ARE OUT OF WORK!!! ABBOTT: No, you miss my point. COSTELLO: What point? ABBOTT: Someone who doesn’t look for work, can’t be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn’t be fair. COSTELLO: To who? ABBOTT: The unemployed. COSTELLO: But they are ALL out of work. ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work… Those who are out of work stopped looking. They gave up and if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed. COSTELLO: So if you’re off the unemployment rolls, that would count as less unemployment? ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely! COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don’t look for work? ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That’s how you get to 8.3%. Otherwise it would be 16%. You don’t want to read about 16% unemployment do ya? COSTELLO: That would be frightening. ABBOTT: Absolutely. COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are two ways to bring down the unemployment number? ABBOTT: Two ways is correct. COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job? ABBOTT: Correct. COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?

originally on jsmineset

OutLookingIn's picture

How about those who have left the work force and joined the ranks of the "disabled" on social security?

A shrinking work force, phoney accounting gimmicks, exploding SNAP (food stamps) program, lower wages, vastly more part-time workers, fewer manufacturing jobs and more service jobs, large governmental (all levels) workforce, fewer small business hires, high cost of healthcare, taxation without representation, etc. etc.



dtwn's picture

Yet another example of failed Keynesian theories/wet dreams.  Their formulas don't work and can never work.  Of course they will always say, 'well it would have been worse', or 'if we only printed moar'.  There was a good analysis of Romer's failure either on or an Austrian econ podcast, trying to find it but don't remember where I heard it.

This just in's picture

Looks like it was shovel ready prognosticating.

syntaxterror's picture

The only thing that was shoveled was the $5 trillion into the Friends-of-Barry slush fund.

wee-weed up's picture



Economic numbers from the Gubbermint...

Aren't worth a bucket of warm spit!

Jaspergers's picture

Eventually, we will have 0% unemployment and 0% employment.

GernB's picture

According to Lafer that would occur at 100% taxation. at which point there would be no point in working because you don't get to keep anything you earn.

jcaz's picture

Ah, Christina-  just as useless as ever.....

0b1knob's picture

Bush's fault....

Seasmoke's picture

Romer and Bernstein. Two bigger mouthpiece clowns never existed.

JustObserving's picture

Shadowstats has unemployment increasing from 2009 and now at 23%:

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  Shadowstats has unemployment increasing from 2009 and now at 23%:

1 of 4 people looking for a job?   Hmmm...

akak's picture

No, idiot --- 1 out of 4 Americans are out of work, or more precisely, simply not participating in the work force, for whatever reason.

Why do you assume that all (or even most) of them are actually looking for work?  Most are probably not, for various reasons (satisfied with the welfare lifestyle, discouraged, living in the underground economy, etc.).

syntaxterror's picture

They'll undoubtedly win a Nobel for this. Top notch economic forecasting right here folks. Yep, economics is a science all right.

Seasmoke's picture

Can you imagine the blame games and lies they would have been able to tell by saying look at what the chart says we should have used the recovery plan !!!!!!

HUGE_Gamma's picture

That chart is a CLASSIC

rtalcott's picture

What they will say is "OK...our simulation was off...translate the recovery plan curve to the actual and move the other  curve up would have been much worse without the recovery plan."

Stinko da Munk's picture

Obviously mo' money was the answer and we missed that golden opportunity to spend our way to lower unemployment.

justsayin2u's picture

Just another obama-nation served up by the community organizer in chief and his always willing to spend congress.  So what's the multiplier on that money?  -3X?


jpc578's picture

No problem. All the BLS has to do is one of those one time adjustmenets that they are now so famous for to bring the offical U3 rate in line with the projections and all will be well in Propaganda Land.

jtg's picture

I can hear the Obamabot response to this chart. "Well, upemployment would have been much worse without ARRA". Their response to any embarrassment is always to spin, spin, spin.

jtg's picture

Since American's can analyze with more than twenty minutes of data...?...

One And Only's picture

If Republicans weren't making stinkies and funnies everyone would have jobs and the obamacare exchanges would be working

NOTaREALmerican's picture

See what all this austerity is doing to us.

We need Krugman's Anti Space Alien defense shield, and we need it NOW!

adr's picture

Looks like we need a new recovery plan.


The reason why we're screwed is the massive imbalance caused by Wall Street. Shares of overpriced corporations selling overpriced goods. I don't want to get into off-shoring vs homegrown labor, but the insane inflated price of goods to help support Wall Street has got to stop.

Everything you buy is priced at least 50% higher than it should be. Retail margins are insane. $35 retail items are produced for $.50 and people are expected to pay $35.

Crocs cost less than $.50 a pair to produce, and retail for $38. EVA blow molded shoes aren't expensive, there is virtually no labor to produce them, yet they sell for more at retail than hand sewn shoes that have over 100 components in them. Why? So Crocs can go long on margin and see their share price increase.

Anyone that buys a pair of Crocs for $38 is an idiot.

But it goes across nearly every sector. $649 for an iPhone that cost $80 to assemble in a Foxconn factory. Sure Apple is entitled to a profit, but $570 on a single unit? But people are dumb and line up to buy their products.

What is amazing to me is that you can buy a full PC at retail for $299 with more power than any new cell phone or tablet. Complete with a Windows operating system that costs the PC company $50 to sell you the license. I've tried to buy components to make a similar PC for less money, but it is impossible.

Yeah, people say supply and demand increases the price. I say stupidity increases the price. Most consumers have no idea what it actually costs to produce 99% of what they buy. When Americans made things, a lot of people knew what it cost. If someone tried to sell them a product for $100 that cost $10 to make, nobody would buy it because they would know they're getting ripped off. If the majority of Americans knew their $100 coffee machine cost $6 to manufacture, would they still pay $100 for it?

Go on Alibaba sometime and see what your favorite retail products cost publicly traded marketing corporations like Nike to buy. Nike doesn't own a single factory. Everything they buy comes from an Asian factory bidding for a job. You can buy a shoe of the same quality, built in the same factory as a $150 Nike for $12. TWELVE DOLLARS and that is international wholesale cost, not actual production cost.

When you go to a Nike store and hand them $150 for a pair of must have shoes, you are handing Nike close to $130 just for the privilege of buying a shoe from them. So Nike stock can go up. Is that swoosh really worth overpaying by $100? The shoes could retail for $50 an still leave a ton of profit for Nike.

All you have to do is stop buying overpriced crap. You can buy jeans that match the quality of $100 Levi's, because they are made in the same Chinese factory, for $8 a pair with a minimum order quantity of 20. That's $160 and you'll have twenty pairs. Sure they won't have a Levi's button, but if you're really desperate you can steal the extra button from a pair at the store and sew it on.

I bought my wife her wedding dress from an overseas factory. It was custom tailored and cost me $120 with $60 for shipping. $180 total and it was made by the same company that makes dresses for most of the US stores. In the store her dress retailed for $3500. When I told her I could get it for less than $200 she laughed. I told her to go look where the dresses at David's Bridal are made. She came back and said, "All China, every single one is made in China." So why should I give David's Bridal $3300 for the privilege of selling me a dress?

GreatUncle's picture

If everybody went and did this what would happen to the total retail sales in western nations?

A fraction of what it is now.

Why would it not be permitted?

In playing the inflate / deflate game the only argument ever presented to justify the level of debt is based on the size of the existing econmy and that includes the falsely inflated existing values.

DrData02's picture

Evil.  Idiots. Or both.

undercover brother's picture

And the really exciting part about the unemployment rate delta on the chart is the fact that it was accomplished without creating a single job.  Well done Washington!!!!



Sleepless Knight's picture

You actually believe the RED line?

flacorps's picture

We need to task the government with a goal of wrecking the economy...

Zymurguy's picture

Unemployment percentage figure is a figment of manipulation and subject to many adjustments/interpretations.  Simply said, it's a complete lie.

NeedleDickTheBugFucker's picture

The faster you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.

nmewn's picture

The first rule of academic, elitist egotism is, no tenured, socio-economic theoretician will EVER pay a personal price for being completely upside-down wrong with the publics money.

They'll just go back to the blackboard where other like-minded idiots can stroke their battered ego's for a few years until they're ready to try it all again.

Element's picture

Did anyone include the effect of a totally collapsed banking system held in suspended animation via printed-voodoo and mark-to-make-believe accounting within any of these <ahem> 'modelling' exercises?


Then what real-world veracity has any of this extremely dubious and facetious pap?