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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press David Leonhardt Noticed the Bad Economic News, Why Didn't Anyone Else?

David Leonhardt Noticed the Bad Economic News, Why Didn't Anyone Else?

Friday, 27 May 2011 06:44

Yesterday the Labor Department reported that weekly unemployment claims were 424,000. This was the 7th consecutive week that they were above 400,000. This pace is inconsistent with healthy job growth suggesting that the May jobs numbers are likely to be very weak, with the unemployment rate likely rising further.

NYT columnist David Leonhardt noted this weakness, along with other news suggesting an inadequate rate of growth. It seems no one else is paying attention. I suppose that they are busy dealing with end of the world predictions and nonsense scare stories on the deficit.

Comments (5)Add Comment
written by Ellis, May 27, 2011 9:33
The important thing is the level of profits. I think they are very high. As long as that is the case, government policy is working.
Really, which is more important?
written by Steve, May 27, 2011 10:04
The end of the world, or the unemployment rate continuing to rise? I mean, I know we had no reason to believe the former was imminent, but what if Camping was right? Then how silly would you look, dwelling on a couple of points of unemployment? Seems to me that, just to cover their backs, the media was perfectly justified to dwell on the rapture.
Feels like the end of the world.
written by ljm, May 27, 2011 7:30
If you don't have a job in this economy or have one you hate and can't find a new one, it feels like the end of the world.
written by Fed Up, May 27, 2011 8:24
"NYT columnist David Leonhardt noted this weakness, along with other news suggesting an inadequate rate of growth."

Are you sure the economy does not need more retirees?
Towards "Fox on Times Square"
written by JHM, May 28, 2011 5:00
Towards "Fox on Times Square"

The trouble with nerds is (in part) that they suppose diagnosing us lay sheep as fully of nonquantitative and even unmathematicisable sillinesses --"end of the world predictions and nonsense scare stories on the deficit" -- to be definitive. "I belong on a spradsheet, therefore I exist" is no doubt all there is to say about ontology at M.I.T. and C. E. P. R. Yet there is a world of acronyms elsewhere as well.

So, then: the intellectually respectable (by comparison with Foxcuckooland) press is not much interested in unemployment numbers any more. I stick in that "any more" with a slight reluctance, inasmuch as it suggests that the humanist sillies have merely lost interested because The Jobless Show has dragged out too long. Unfortunately this is not really the case: one cannot justly be said to ‘lose’ what one never possessed.

  • By a happy accident, however, this point does fit in one of those narrow Bakerite grooves. Or call ’em "claustrophobic spreadsheet cells."

    Constant Reader has been informed often enough that the expensively educated are different from (those other than) you and me, that they/we soar far above the sort of Absolute Free Trade suitable for the lower orders, that if quacks and shysters (and mammonologists) had to compete with one another in an unjimmied marketplace like so many Jane Does an’ Joes the Wurzelbacher, we/they would all be out of work by about two weeks from next Thursday, wiped out the same way Ye Olde Englisshe Plumbinge was by the Polish Aggression.

    If Himself and I are on the whight track here, the question ought to be put about Mr. Leonhart in particular: ¿what are the special circumstances that lead him, quite unlike most of our/his Class, to worry that he might suddenly become disemployed?

    Fortunately, the answer is not beyond all conjecture. By coincidence, I was scouting out the land inside the NYTC paywall just before wandering over here. If I were Leonhardt, I’d definitely be worried by working for good corporate neofolks who think what they need to market fishwrap is more of the D. X. Brooks / R. X. Douthat product in the form of a certain Neocomrade J. X. Nocera kindly warnin’ everybody ¡Don’t Scorn Paul Ryan!. With that fancy prize he was once given, Comrade Prof. Dr. Krugman is probably safe for a couple more years, but I’d say lesser lieberals and demoncrats have sound reason to be concerned.

    _Securus judicat_ C.E.P.R., doubtless, and that whether or not Himself decides to take the marvelous opening JXN has afforded him this morning, "¡Please by all means scorn nonsense scare stories on the deficit!"

  • Happy days.

    [*] It’s not even quality nonsense, I fear. Agitprop like "Because even if Ryan’s solution is wrongheaded, he’s right that Medicare is headed for trouble" would have been far more meritorious if deployed several months ago. This particular neo-Johnnie is chimin’ in very lately.

    Only vaguely remembering the neocomrade’s name from somewhere distant in the past, I at first thought J. X. Nocera might perhaps have decided only just this week which team to root for in the _Klassenkampf_, "¡Uppers, Uppers! ¡Rah, RAH, RAAAAAAH!"

    But it appears from the wiki that he has long been a devout nonscorner of ScroogeBank family values.

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    About Beat the Press

    Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.