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True, not as quite so grim relative to historical losses. However, doesn't the government now mute the unemployment data with it's wacky "birth and death" adjustment to the data? Didn't that start back in the 1990's. If you look at your historical data, all the worse job loses as a percentage of the workforce were pre-"birth and death" adjustment. I suspect if that adjustment were factored out, this month's unemployment data would move up the list a ways. Also, since we are early in what looks like a steep decline, this month's data could be viewed as a very negative indicator of what's ahead.

I always enjoy your analysis, though. Thanks.


@MikeH - the B/D model added 30k jobs in November, which means the number would be -563k, pushing the percentage to .41%, up to 38th on the list.


Thanks for the perspective. The way the market was/is shrugging off the report surprised me. Maybe come February we can rate three month job loss totals, and percentages, and see where this one ranks.


None of those 40 worse months happened in the last 33 years, however.


Yeah, you're right. After seeing that the job losses are only getting as bad (percentage wise) as the 1970's, I feel so much better. NOT. I remember the '70's, and the job losses are far from over. Can't believe the positive spin being put on this number, it's disgusting.


Oh sorry, there was one in 1980.

Must Remain Nameless

I think the BLS data from the 1940s is skewed by the wind-down of WWII military production. I don't mean to data-mine, but perhaps running in from 1/1/49 to present would show a more useful picture of how "bad" or "good" November's employment report was on a relative basis.


It's interesting how the media doesn't use percentages when it's convenient for a more exciting headline.

Really dumb, as well.




But I believe there may have never been this many HIGH quality jobs lost in a single month like what has happened in Nov 2008 even percentage wise. We have seen thousands of financial sector jobs and manufacturing jobs lost. Most of those in the manufacturing sector may be lost for good.


Job losses are a lagging indicator. Seeing this number is like looking in the rear view mirror while driving, meaning it doesn't tell you much more than you already know from leading and co-incident indicators. However, this is not to say that there will not be even greater job losses in the coming months.


Welcome to the 70's kids,most Boomers were too stoned to remember that time,but Donna is looking good lately. Will have to see if Barry can pull an fdr or an iyk out of his hat but don't keep all your egges in one basket

pater tenebrarum

it's no apples-to-apples comparison, even if you disregard the birth/death adjustments. the unemployment series that is comparable to the stats from the 40's and 50's is BLS's U6, which includes discouraged workers. currently showing unemployment of 12.4%.

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