Unemployment rate at highest level since November ’05

Unemployment jumped to its highest level in more than two years in
December, fueling fears of recession and sending stocks sharply lower.

unemployment rate rose a surprising 0.3 percentage points in December
to 5 percent of the labor force. That was the highest jobless rate
since November 2005, after the Gulf Coast hurricanes slammed the

Joblessness had not jumped as quickly since 2001, when the last recession occurred.

with a paltry December increase in establishment payrolls of 18,000
jobs, the news caused stocks and the dollar to fall Friday and talk of
recession to grow.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 256.54
points, or 1.96 percent, closing at 12,800.18. The Standard &
Poor’s 500 stock index fell 2.46 percent, and the Nasdaq composite
index fell 3.77 percent.

“It’s a scary number, no question about
it,” Joe Balestrino, senior portfolio manager at Federated Investors,
said of the unemployment report. “No matter how good you wanted to feel
about the economy averting a recession, there is far less conviction
than even two or three days ago.”



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...so despite the unemployment rate going up to 5% (which was always considered 'full' employment in the past...go figure), there was still a net increase of jobs.

While I'm not glad to see the unemployment rate rise, I don't think a 5% unemployment number is doom and gloom. It's not as low as rate we've experienced over the past 24 months - which means it was much higher 2+ years ago. The Washington Times says that these rates are similar to the rates Clinton presided over during his last four years in office.

Here are the Bureau of Labor Statistics historical unemployment rates back to 1948:


Many of us have been alive during times of higher unemployment and it did not necessarily signal doom and gloom (unless, of course, you were one of the ones unemployed). During the '90s, the rate averaged 5.75 - and that's during what was considered by many to be a 'boom' economy. From 2000-06, the average was 5.1, and that included the impact of Katrina.

I just wish we all had a better historical understanding of these rates, what they mean, and how other factors contribute to or detract from a 'good' economy."

Maggie said: ...so despite the unemployment rate going up to 5% (which was always considered 'full' employment in the past...go figure), there was still a net increase of jobs.

What types of jobs are these? If these are low paying jobs with no benefits than it isn't going to do much good.

...but I look at the job creation from a different perspective. Every day, unskilled and inexperienced individuals enter the job market. Those are the ones most likely to get hired into a low-paying job where they gain experience and then become qualified for higher paying jobs. (Read a study once that said a vast majority of individuals starting in minimum-wage jobs increase their earnings after 1 year - which makes sense.)

Additionally, people retire every day. Often, they're interested in staying in the job market (for numerous reasons) and don't always need insurance. They are also examples of people who might take one of the 'low-paying/no insurance" positions. (For personal reference - after retirement, my uncle took a job in a Walgreen's wine department because he wanted to learn more about wine...plus he liked the employee discount and the ability to try wines recommended by the distributors. Obviously, he's in a different state.)

So I don't think your statment (that the creation of jobs 'isn't going to do much good" ) is a good generalization. But I do believe I saw on the BLS page that they break jobs down by category - I just don't remember if that was for the monthly jobs report or for the year.

I spend time at the Source on Monroe and 14th street a few days every week. Its a very busy place. I'll tell you why. There are no jobs in Toledo and its getting worse!!! Most of the jobs that are available are service jobs and pay minimum wage, not the the type of jobs Toledo's best and brightest are looking for. Unless something dramatic happens in the very near future, last one out, please turn off the lights.

Ah, the voice of reason. Here we have about 60 years of unemployment rates, and Toledo is still with us. Therefore, the facts in evidence must be disposed of.

The good news for those of you who see the sky falling is that the unemployment rates listed by the US Dept. of Labor are undoubtedly incorrect. That's right - the US DOL listed phony facts in an attempt to deceive all of you, and especially people like James Kirk who says that he has first hand knowledge of how bad the local economy really is, and it's much worse than government will admit. You're right, James.

The bad news is that the unemployment rates are optimistic. Real unemployment is higher, perhaps double the amount listed. The reason for this is the way that the DOL collects data. The DOL fails to account for all the people who want a job but who are unable to find a job, and who do not collect unemployment.

If you want stories about real unemployment and real hard times, find someone who lived through the great depression and talk to them for a while. Toledo, by the way, survived the great depression.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

I don't know where you got your information about how unemployment rates are calculated, but it is simply incorrect.

You said: "The DOL fails to account for all the people who want a job but who are unable to find a job, and who do not collect unemployment."

unemployment rate = (those who want to work but don't have a job) / (total workforce)

I think you may have meant that the unemployment rate doesn't count those people who leave the workforce because they lose hope of finding a job, which is true. Also, there is a number frequently reported that requires unemployment benefits to be filed, but it's not the unemployment rate. It's simply a monthly number of those who are filing for unemployment benefits.

It always seems like the number that is always remains unspoken.

Being one of those and about to stop getting the UI benefits, I will slip into the land of the uncounted.
We can talk and debates statistics till the cows come home, people's lives are effected here and with the sub-prime debacle and resulting fall out and the cut backs in programs for those that need it, the future is not looking to bright.

And we do know that those that were in the 20's and other times of down turn and we are using what they taught, which included compassion for others in similar shape. 

"COLUMBUS - Ohio's slumping economy is draining the state fund that provides benefits to jobless workers, and officials fear that a recession could deplete it altogether by the end of 2008.
If that happens, employers likely would be asked to pay more in unemployment taxes, and unemployed workers could receive reduced benefits.
"If the fund goes broke, everybody loses," said Andrew Doehrel, president of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and co-chairman of the Ohio Unemployment Compensation Advisory Council.
Since 1999, Ohio's Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund has paid out more in benefits than it collected in unemployment taxes in all years except one.
As a result, the fund's balance has plunged from $2.3 billion in 2000 to $555.7 million at the end of November. It is projected to drop to $155 million by April, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services."

U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Toledo, Ohio

In the 1970's I asked my grandfather about the Great Depression. He was about thirty years old when the depression started. He told me that he and his family were so poor that they did not know there was a depression. He was a farmer and he picked up an odd job every once in awhile. I lived with him when I was a kid. We didn't have much then, but we knew when there was going to be meat on the table. When we heard a shot, we knew gramps shot something. It seemed that no matter what he shot my grandmother always told us that it was rabbit. I can only imagine what I may have eaten the first five years of my life. I still wonder the same thing when I go to a fast food restaurant. Unfortunately, I'm not equipped to survive without a job. There's not enough land nearby to farm and if I shoot something I will be arrested. So what are my alternatives. There are several. The most attractive one is, go somewhere that a decent job can be obtained. I tried to live in Toledo on three other occasions. I had to leave to get a decent job. I will have to leave again.

When I was there a few weeks to meet with a rep, she uttered in a low voice, that there are people in the system worried about their jobs, also, as we reviewed the positions available.

... is worse than in other areas of the state and probably much worse than other areas in the nation. No argument there!

But, we cannot assume that our perspective on this is what the rest of the nation sees. And if you want another personal story to go along with all the personal experience expressed by other posters, then I'll add mine.

My husband and many of his friends are engineers, but in different areas (mechanical, electrical, civil, ergonomic). They are all so busy that they can't keep up with demand. Lead times for equipment are up because demand is high. Availability of contractors is limited because demand is high. They're scheduling work months out when they used to schedule in weeks. And this is because companies are adding manufacturing lines, expanding operations, and increasing production. But none of this work is in Ohio or Michigan.

When you get outside our area, you see that there are many areas in the country where things are going very well - and when you look at national statistics, those areas doing great balance out areas like our own that are doing terribly.

One of the most interesting stats/polls I saw had to do with asking people how they were doing economically. Most answered 'good' or 'better than in the past.' But when those same people were asked how they thought their neighbors were doing, they answered 'poor' or 'worse than in the past.'

I just wonder - outside our own individual circumstances - how much the 'spin' on the economic news influences our perception of the overall economy? And I expect, considering that we're now in 2008, that even if the news is NOT bad, it will be portrayed as such, being an election year and all...
(and I'd think that regardless of which party was in the White House)

Whose spin?
The spinsters in office, any party that pumps themselves or the happenings day in and day out.
I have family and friends on both coasts and times are tough, where they live for a lot of folks.
"and when you look at national statistics, those areas doing great balance out areas like our own that are doing terribly."
That's the funny thing about stats, they are numbers and for me I prefer to speak with people and listen to their stories and draw my own conclusions on how things are.
The poop has not hit the fan, all the way, yet with the fallout from the subprime mess, people are now turning back in cars and defaulting on them.

Beyotches...leave toledo and go bitch somewhere else. The economy goes up and it goes down. Then it goes up and again.

Blaming your life on Bush, Carty, TPS, and HELOCs might be easier than looking in the mirror. Real men and women take responsibility for their personal choices in life. If it ain;t working out for you, time to make a different choice. Live long, be happy, make good choices. It definately makes the beer taste better.

"Love it or leave it", is that your answer, Brassmonkey? That's not an meaningful answer. That's a cliche on a bumper sticker. "The economy goes up and it goes down." Stop! You're getting way too philosophical for me there.

Life is not that complicated.

Bitch or Be happy - your choice.

In a few months, I'm buying low. Also looking at a VISA IPO. Probably slow cook some ribs. I donlt care about the whirlwind of things I can't control, I choose to make my life good!


It is all relative.

I have now run out of UI and I join the ranks of the non-counted.

The spinning is a shame because the stats involve people and people's lives and welfare.

The spinning is usually to boost someones standing, as in the party in office or politico's.

The President can sit in the big chair and say how things are this and things are that, but when it comes to the real meat of the issue it is very personal.

Sure they can spout stats and so on.

The reality, for me at least, now I have to take any job, pizza delivery even came to mind, to make ends meet and keep a roof over our heads and then the stats roll on.

It's also funny is a non funny way, that the glad handing about job numbers in the area.

What is not mentioned is the number of people actually applying for the limited jobs.

Costco had over 11,000 people apply. Something tells me that we have too many workers and not enough jobs.


Employment levels and unemployment rates are calculated differently. Employment numbers are derived by the Department of Labor polling thousands of businesses monthly to determine whether their payrolls are increasing or decreasing. The unemployment rate is calculated by polling around 60,000 households (either by mail or phone I guess) nationwide. It finds the number of people seeking to work and the number of people who are not working and calculated as a percentage those individuals who do not work.

Employment numbers can have a net increase month-to-month while unemployment actually increases because of larger increases in the workforce. If the workforce grows at a rate faster than employment does then unemployment increases. If employment grows at a faster rate than workforce growth then unemployment decreases.

To throw a further wrench into the unemployment numbers, during times of low unemployment (like those seen during the late 90s and mid-2000s) incomes rise because of a declining supply of workers. This leads to more people entering the workforce because wages are up, which can paradoxically lead to increases (or stagnant) unemployment rates. The opposite is true as well: in times of high unemployment, the unemployment rate can be deflated because of people leaving the workforce secondary to falling wages.

Toledo & Ohio only made things worse by passing a smoking ban. Especially Toledo, and other cities that border states with no ban (bars, etc. on the Kentucky border are doing well). All the smoker haters can be happy & think they're healthier now, as they stand in the unemployment line, or scan their empty kitchen cupboards when they're hungry & broke - and are on the street because they couldn't pay the rent.

Smoking makes the world go round!

Big fat cigar, thick porterhouse, and scotch on the rocks!

Not everything is about the gosh darn smoking ban. This is like a broken record. Can't we have one thread without what someone posting this? Criminy!

As a non-smoker, I quite enjoy being able to take my family out and about and not have to deal with the stench of cigarettes or cigars. Enough already!

1. You were always able to take your family out and about and not have to deal with smoking. Many restaurants had well-defined smoking areas away from the other non-smokers, who had the majority share of the restaurant.

But since you're a stupid fucking Socialist, well, that convenience wasn't enough for you.

2. I'm soooooo glad you're enjoying it, but your restaurant owners are NOT enjoying the drop in business.

But since you're a stupid fucking Socialist, well, you don't care about that.

"Enough already"? Really? That's what the owners of bars and restaurants said to you Socialists, who giggled obscenely and sickeningly while you cast a vote against their civil liberties.

REMEMBER ALL THAT ... when other stupid fucking Socialists go to the polls and remove YOUR civil rights.


Tell MaumeeMom what you really feel about this, GZ. lol. :-)

Man after my heart.

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