So I was trying to find annual or  historical unemployment or underemployment numbers for the years of 2008 and 2009 just to compare them to see what is going on.

When I searched for 2008 job losses, this page is what came up first.  It was from CNN Money, dated Jan 9, 2009.  It was on the mark and a quick description of just how bad the last full year of Pres. Bush’s reign was for employment.  It turns out we lost about 2.6 million jobs in 2008.  Interesting to note is that in July 2009, CNN Money reported the number to be 3.1 million lost jobs from 2008.  Inflation?  Who knows.  So what about 2009?

I searched for 2009 annual job loss, 2009 total job losses, and other variations on those search terms and I have yet to find one article that lists the 2009 abysmal job numbers.  More often than not, the number one hit from the search was to that same Jan. 9, 2009 article from CNN Money highlighting the total job losses from 2008.

It is as if the numbers from 2009 don’t want to be found.  After some more serious digging, I found this article from CNN Money titled “Job Market Shows Big Improvement”.  As of Dec. 4, 2009 the total job loss numbers for 2009 was at 7.2 million.  With the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report, December 2009 job losses were at 85,000 bringing the 2009 annual total job losses to approximately 7.3 million.

It should not be this difficult to find out these numbers.

If you want more depressing numbers to consider, the unemployment rate at 10% is as low as it is because of all of the people giving up looking for work.  There is a new number that some agencies are tracking called the Underemployment rate.  It includes the people who have given up looking for work or who have found only part time work when they want/need full time work.  The underemployment rate as of last month is 17.3% which means that a full 27% of the work force is not really employed the way they would like to be.

None of these numbers count job displacement issues where someone was working at a better paying job but has now taken a job with less pay to keep working.

None of this means that the current administration won’t try to sound like the stimulus programs are working.  For several months the White House was trying to use the metric of “jobs created or saved”.  This is not an economically cognizable number that is even watched.  It is a completely made up metric.  The good news is that the White House has decided to report on “stimulus jobs”.  For any company or entity that received stimulus money and employed people, they are to report the number of employees they have so that they are called “stimulus jobs”.  It won’t matter if they were employed prior receiving and after the stimulus money is spent, it is a stimulus job.

Maybe a little free market capitalism might be a better solution?

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