Employers added 39,000 jobs in November, far fewer than expected, as budget-strapped local governments continued to lay off workers, and retailers and manufacturers cut payrolls despite recent signals that both sectors have been growing.
The nation's unemployment rate, which is calculated from a different survey, rose to a seven-month high 9.8% from 9.6% in October as the labor pool grew by 103,000, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday. Among their ranks were many discouraged Americans who re-entered the workforce after giving up their job searches in the recession.
The report disappointed economists, many of whom believed the 172,000 increase in jobs last month signaled that the job market would finally shift into a higher gear. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected payrolls to grow by 150,000 in November.
It has been noted both here and other places how consistently economists and the media at large are caught off guard by "unexpected" bad economic news. It's getting to be that you can set your first Friday of the month (when the jobs reports come out) clock by any and all bad economic news to be "unexpected".
But why is that? Precisely what actions has the government taken that would be of benefit to the economy and where economists would not express shock, shock, of "unepected" bad news?
Did economists actually think gimmickry like Cash for Clunkers was going to going to provide any sort of long-term growth for the economy instead of merely the illusion of stable growth? And it's been obvious to anyone with a pulse that Porkulus has come nowhere close to delivering on its promise to keep unemployment under 8 percent.
People and businesses don't know what they are going to be paying in taxes next year and a looming regulatory regime which includes ObamaCare have contributed to a chilling of the business environment where these businesses are unwilling to hire new employees.
We'd hate to think that the economists are in the tank for statist government actions but given the fact that this administration has consistently pursued actions that have done harm to this nation's economy with the full knowledge of economists who are supposed to know these things, what else are we to believe?
Enough with the "unexpected". We need new economists.