Friday, July 24, 2009

Could big job gains be just around the corner?

Nate Silver, in his post Healthcare Timeout is Fine posted a number of 250,000 job losses for this month that might be announced August 7th as one of the reasons not to fret about not getting health care reform out of both the Senate and House committee's by August recess.

Well for anyone that has been paying attention, that seems like an awfully low number. I had my doubts too until I did a bit of checking and low and behold, things may not be as bad as they seem.

In fact, we may be soon see the end of the job losses as soon as September with a projected job gain of 100k non-farm payroll jobs.

Below is a chart with values obtained from Bureau of Labor Statistics loaded into a scatter chart and trending the data five months out. As you can see, the trend for July crosses at the 250,000 job loss mark and if you continue to follow the trend line to November, there is a projected 600,000 non-farm payroll jobs gained.

Lets hope this comes out to be true. With job creation possibly just around the corner, both public trust and confidence in this Administration to successfully overhaul our ailing health care system and our deteriorating environment are sure to gain traction.


I've updated the graph with updated information from The Bureau of Labor Statistics. This included revised numbers for May and June.

Surprisingly enough, the July number was just about right. With the adjusted values, August looks to cross the Y axis value at somewhere around 80k non-farm payroll job losses.

This is nothing to celebrate. Each job loss out there means one more person having to come home and break the news to their family. It could mean another person losing health insurance coverage. Or another, having to go into foreclosure because they can no longer afford the payments.

For the situation to really turn around, consumer confidence is going to have to keep up the upward trend it had maintained until May as consumer spending is the major driving force behind economic growth. We will see near the end of this month what impact the good job news has.

Until then...

(update 9/10/09)

I thought I'd continue to update this. I'm including a new chart with both last months and the previous months numbers adjusted from 443,000 to 463,000 in June and 247,000 to 276,000 in July. Augusts numbers came out above the trend at 216,000, much higher than the projected 80,000.

It would be safe to say to not expect an exact linear regression of job loss reductions.


  1. Read your post on 538 regarding the Harvard prof Feldstein's comments, Nate's rebuttal, and was very happy to see Rachel Maddow's piece on the Lewin Group starting to get out there.

    You've gained a follower. Looking forward to upcoming posts.

  2. This post made me think I should work harder to get a job, just so I can push the job numbers up by 1 and help Obama a tiny bit (kind of like voting). If enough people did that...