The details on exhaustees — the people have used up their total Unemployment benefits — are pretty daunting. I mentioned this to Doug Kass last week, who referred to our prior post in one of his recent missives.

Now, the Sunday NYT looks at the same issue prospectively, to guesstimate how many more exhaustees there will be in the next few months.

Short answer: 1.5 million.

Longer answer:

“Over the coming months, as many as 1.5 million jobless Americans will exhaust their unemployment insurance benefits, ending what for some has been a last bulwark against foreclosures and destitution.

Because of emergency extensions already enacted by Congress, laid-off workers in nearly half the states can collect benefits for up to 79 weeks, the longest period since the unemployment insurance program was created in the 1930s. But unemployment in this recession has proved to be especially tenacious, and a wave of job-seekers is using up even this prolonged aid.

Tens of thousands of workers have already used up their benefits, and the numbers are expected to soar in the months to come, reaching half a million by the end of September and 1.5 million by the end of the year, according to new projections by the National Employment Law Project, a private research group.”

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02unemploygraphicenlarge
Graphic courtesy of NYT

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Previously:
Continuing Claims “Exhaustion Rate” (June 22nd, 2009)

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/06/continuing-claims-exhaustion-rate/

Continuing Claims vs. Economically Lagging Unemployment (May 10th, 200)

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/05/continuing-claims-vs-economically-lagging-unemployment/

Source:
Prolonged Aid to Unemployed Is Running Out
ERIK ECKHOLM
NYT August 1, 2009

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/02/us/02unemploy.html

Category: Data Analysis, Employment

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

61 Responses to “More Exhaustees Coming”

  1. call me ahab says:

    let’s do it- not 13 weeks at a time- that’s ridiculous- let’s make it 104 weeks- 2 full years- what the hell- let’s make it 156 weeks- 3 full years- right out of the box-

    3 full years to find a job- of course they could just invest in education- like franklin says- once we all have great a education- we’ll all be making the big money-

    with a degree- a job is pretty much guaranteed- right?

  2. Bruce in Tn says:

    One day a barber was cutting the hair of a florist. When he finished the florist tried to pay him. The barber said,”No, I am not charging people this week. This is my week of community service.”

    The florist smiled and left. The next day there were a dozen roses on the doorstep to the barber’s shop and a nice thank you card.

    That day he cut the hair of a policeman. When he finished the cop tried to pay him. The barber said,”No, I am not charging people this week. This is my week of community service.”

    The cop smiled and left. The next day there were a dozen donuts on the doorstep and a nice thank you card.

    That day he cut the hair of a congressman. When he finished the congressman tried to pay him. The barber said,”No, I am not charging people this week. This is my week of community service.”

    The congressman smiled and left. The next day there were a dozen congressmen in line on the doorstep before the barber arrived to open his business……

  3. Mannwich says:

    I’d MUCH rather they extend unemployment bene’s for those on Main Street than bail out the uber-wealthy and those who are responsible for this mess. How can they not bail out the fat cats and not at least throw some crumbs to J6P? If they don’t do this, THEN we’ll see civil unrest. Mark it down.

  4. km4 says:

    Obama brags about how stimulus $$$ helped stave off deeper recession but unemployment continues and underemployment growing faster.

    In Tennessee Corner, Stimulus Meets New Deal
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/28/us/28county.html

    LINDEN, Tenn. — Critics elsewhere may be questioning how many jobs the stimulus program has created, but here in central Tennessee, hundreds of workers are again drawing paychecks after many months out of work, thanks to a novel use of federal stimulus money by state officials.

    One would think that someone in this admin would try to emulate what Tennessee has done but all we get is ‘The water boy for Goldman Sacks’ giving lame ass answers and talking about Unemployment Benefit extensions.

    Obamanomics is a joke !

  5. call me ahab says:

    mannwich-

    undoubtedly- I don’t disagree at all- I guess my point is only- where is the finish line?- maybe there isn’t one- and if these folks never find another job- what then- so let’s quit fooling ourselves and keep extending 13 weeks- like that will make a difference- if there is no job- then you an extend to infinity- it won’t make a difference-

    permanent underclass is emerging

  6. Jan Rogozinski says:

    Unemployment INSURANCE is in no sense “welfare.” It’s insurance. Every worker pays into the fund.

    Now it’s true that some people are employed straight through for 45 years and never have any return for the gadzillions they paid in for unemployment insurance. And others get more in benefits than the amount they paid in.

    So what. It doesn’t compute.

    That’s true of every form of insurance. Some folk drive safely Adan sanely and never use their auto insurance. But they still are happy to pay for auto insurance, just in case one day some jerk goes through a red light and ram them.

    Obviously, I hope I never have to use my hurricane insurance. And I certainly would not say that someone who has to use it three times is lucky and being spoiled by welfare. What a demented way of thinking.

    And, of course, current unemployment insurance payments are so small that no one can eat without supplementing them in some way.

    So to complain about insurance “extensions” as if someone were getting something for nothing is just plain ignorant and proof that the complainer knows nothing about the US and its economy..

  7. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Mannwich _ you beat me to it, and I am marking it down.

    This is the beginning of what will lead to social change on a large scale, and in an unknown direction (it ain’t like these folks will be able to go pick produce in CA with the Joads until things get better “down to the plant.”). As job growth is not on the horizon in the USA, it’s unrealistic to assume that the number of unemployed will not continue to grow into the foreseeable future (the article uses “several months” as a time frame). The “official” number of unemployed will remain at roughly half the actual number. Economically disenfranchised people are political dynamite. I’m willing to bet that “the Markets” don’t have a clue what’s coming. So much for forward looking.

  8. call me ahab says:

    Jan-

    sorry- you are wrong- employees do not pay into unemployment insurance- employer’s do- additionally unemployment compensation is considered a social wefare payment and is taxed-

    you do not pay taxes on insurance collected for home or auto damage- do you?

    my guess is- you probably think Social Security is an account with your name on it- and holds all the money you paid in- right?

  9. willid3 says:

    well considering how little you get from unemployment, there is really no incentive to stay on it any longer than absolutely necessary. if your lucky, you might get a maximum if 25% of your previous income. and above a certain level, you might get 10%. and its not fun looking for jobs that don’t exist. been there done that, way back in 86. in Texas. during the oil bust. the only way to find a job was to move to another state. but that was when there were some states doing well and avoided the recession. guess what? none of them did that this time.
    and given an unemployment rate that in reality is closer to 20% than 10%.
    if you don’t cover the UE payments you end up with political instability. and maybe the end of capitalism as it has been practiced in the US. and its not the first time that we have come upon that precipice.
    so which do you want?

  10. Bruce in Tn says:

    http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2009/01/26/government-salaries-vs-private-sector-salaries/

    2005 data from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    Attorney
    Government average: $105,577
    Nationwide average: $110,520

    Financial Manager
    Government average: $95,257
    Nationwide average: $96,620

    Economist
    Government average: $89,441
    Nationwide average: $80,900

    Microbiologist:
    Government average: $80,798
    Nationwide average: $63,360

    Architect
    Government average: $80,777
    Nationwide average: $68,560

    Accountant
    Government average: $74,907
    Nationwide average: $58,020

    Librarian
    Government average: $74,630
    Nationwide average: $49,110

    Human Resources Manager
    Government average: $71,232
    Nationwide average: $89,950

    Nurse
    Government average: $60,935
    Nationwide average: $56,880

    Tax examiner
    Government average: $36,963
    Nationwide average: $49,460

    Medical Technician
    Government average: $35,526
    Nationwide average: $33,170

    …The pr0blem is that layoffs have much more severely affected the private sector than government jobs….if you’d like me to post the supporting data for this I will, but it is widely known, and has been talked about here over the last several months…the private sector is still taking the body blows….you would think government will have to start making the type of cuts the private sector has already made, but who knows……

  11. call me ahab says:

    Jan-

    also- just to be clear- I do not disagree with unemployment compensation in any way- and if you have ever read my posts before- you would know that what I posted was satire-

    the USG keeps extending with the impression that those 13 more weeks will make a difference- that a job will magically appear-

    my point being- job growth is not in cards for the USA in the foreseeable future- so everyone is fooling themselves-

    sheeesh

  12. willid3 says:

    Bruce, can you find the salary rates based on location not national rates? since most of the Feds are in high cost areas? national rates get impacted by low cost areas and don’t make a good comparison (try comparing the same jobs in say Texas and New York in the private sector)

  13. Bruce in Tn says:

    @willid:

    I suppose my point is that in this recession, where statistics show most of the job creation such as it was went to the public portion of the economy over the last decade, that the private sector has done most of the heavy lifting here. Again, my mantra is fiscal conservatism, and with tax levies down by about a third, I don’t see why government unemployment hasn’t kept up with the layoffs in the private sector. But it hasn’t. No one wants to see people lose a job, but it is inherently unfair that government employees are keeping more jobs than the private sector. I realize they pay taxes too, but it is taxes on the redistributed taxes from the private sector…( at least to a substantial degree, and all you math whizzes, I understand that it isn’t all private with a second or third derivative..)

    Government job creation has grown much faster but layoffs are so far at least, much slower.

  14. olephart says:

    call me ahab Says:

    with a degree- a job is pretty much guaranteed- right?

    Would you like fries with that Ph.D.?

  15. willid3 says:

    Bruce, yup I think the private sector didn’t exactly live up to all of their PR in job creation. This decade has been the worse decade in job creation in many years. and all sorts of tax cuts and other enticements were given to them, with little job growth to show for all of it. in fact we are so far behind where we need to be even support population growth, that we will likely to ever catch up. and now we are falling behind even worse with a recession that is removing even more jobs.

  16. Bruce in Tn says:

    http://www.publicpurpose.com/lm-mass.htm

    Mass Layoff Separations: By Quarter
    All Source Data from US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics

    Quarter Private Government Private Employee Risk Relative to Government Employee
    1996:1 244,146 5,637 8.58
    1996:2 212,532 24,416 1.72
    1996:3 179,539 18,859 1.89
    1996:4 374,911 16,719 4.44
    1997:1 226,814 3,7 12.06
    1997:2 238,330 36,382 1.30

    This is old data, but the trend is even worse now…once hired by the government, it is one hell of a lot harder for you to lose your job than the rest of us…and the pay is AT LEAST equivalent…

    Sorry, a pet peeve…I have been reading about the lawsuit in California to stop furloughs, by government employees, and it burns me up….

  17. Mannwich says:

    I think we can now safely conflude that globalism has been an outright failure for the middle and lower classes in this country and a failure overall for the country itself. The already-wealthy have gotten even wealthier though, so their lackey economists will call this a “victory” since the jobs that have been sent away will soon be replaced with better, higher paying jobs……..[cue the sound of crickets]……..we’re still waiting. A job at Wal Mart paying a fraction of what those other jobs pay isn’t a “better” job in my estimation.

  18. Ducky62 says:

    Unemployment INSURANCE is in no sense “welfare.” It’s insurance. Every worker pays into the fund.

    It IS welfare after the first 26 weeks is over and you get an extension. There is no “insurance pool” for the Federal extensions.

  19. cvienne says:

    Per my post in another thread…

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/08/how-do-you-spend-your-day/#comment-199698

    Don’t worry…Charlie Rangle is already on the beat trading crocodile tears for votes…

    What I’m wondering is this…The $$ to come up with the ADDITIONAL 13 weeks of unemployment (layered upon the previous extensions)…Where’s THAT going to come from?

    And I wonder if we get another massive bank crisis this fall, where do I allocate the funds first?

    - Do I allocate it to further the banks (who are in the process of doling out “bonuses”) for campaign contributions?
    - Do I allocate it to extend unemployment benefits 13 more weeks (to get votes)?

    Tough to be a politician these days…

    As the Pet Shop Boys sang…

    “When you’re a boy…some days are tough”
    “sittin on your ass scratchin’ your balls & stuff”…

  20. Ducky62 says:

    well considering how little you get from unemployment, there is really no incentive to stay on it any longer than absolutely necessary.

    There is great incentive to stay on unemployment if the alternative is to work 40 hours a week for < $100 a week more.You get to stay home and still get paid.

  21. Bruce in Tn says:

    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2009/06/a-lost-decade-for-jobs.html

    “Over the past 10 years, the private sector has generated roughly 1.1 million additional jobs, or about 100K per year. The public sector created about 2.4 million jobs.”

    ….I suppose it depends on your definition of “created”…created in the private sector is not NEARLY the same definition as created when talking about public jobs…

    …again, mad about the damn California state employees, who haven’t been laid off in near the number of their private sector counterparts, filing to prevent furloughs….makes me sick….

  22. willid3 says:

    Not sure about other states, but the top amount for UE in Texas , is less than 1000 per month. at minimum wage you get a lot more than that

  23. willid3 says:

    Bruce, looks more like the private sector has lots 4+ million jobs in the last decade

    from the BLS site

    total non-farm

    Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics survey (National)
    Annual
    year number of jobs
    1999 128993
    2000 131785
    2001 131826
    2002 130341
    2003 129999
    2004 131435
    2005 133703
    2006 136086
    2007 137598
    2008 137066
    2009 132609(Preliminary)

    government(fed,state,local)
    Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics survey (National)
    Annual
    year number of jobs
    1999 20307
    2000 20790
    2001 21118
    2002 21513
    2003 21583
    2004 21621
    2005 21804
    2006 21974
    2007 22218
    2008 22500
    2009 22511(Preliminary)

  24. Bruce in Tn says:

    @willid:

    Yes, and when you think about it, it makes perfect, logical sense…when folks talk about outsourcing jobs, they are all private sector jobs…you can’t send Charlie Rangel’s job over to China, or a BLS employee’s job to India…those government jobs are not prunable…

  25. Bruce in Tn says:

    But all those turds in the punchbowl require taxes….as Macro Man so eloquently stated…

  26. Bruce in Tn says:

    Supper, but if you read my unhappy postings from this afternoon, you see that:

    1. More than twice the number of government jobs were created in the last decade than private jobs
    2. Government jobs, once created, are hard to remove.
    3. Government employees make equivalent salaries to their private counterparts.
    4. I am sick of bigger and bigger government…it makes no sense and I think Jefferson would puke up his breakfast at where we have gone…

  27. matt says:

    @Bruce:

    The government’s proportion of the total job market has grown over my entire life. One implication that just came to me from reading your post is that, even if Obama can’t stuff government healthcare down private employers throats right now, it will be a trivial issue in the future. Given the trend toward total government domination of the job market, it seems likely that there won’t be many private parties left with a stake in public healthcare opposition.

    The only thing that can possibly interrupt this trend is a sovereign default, which is unlikely in the medium term (because of the exporters’ hold over policy in the surplus countries).

  28. JoWriter says:

    Bruce – there’s more …

    Every govt job takes money out of the private sector say $100,000 per job on average, including benefits with the govt ‘pays’ for as well as salaries. That’s $100,000 that won’t pay some private sector salary. That leaves fewer companies and workers to pay for the govt workers and entitled govt money receivers, like Social Security and Welfare.

    I, too, get sick considering this. I also get waaaayyyy sicker when I hear politicians talking about ‘investing’ in the economy. This kind of ‘investing’ is just more govt pork. Notice we don’t get what we really need – roads. We DO get more, newer schools though. New school building spending is called spending on education or on ‘the kids.’

    I’ll stop now, in case you come back from supper and read this.

    Also, the recession isn’t hitting all state the same way. Texas is doing quite well, and I just heard the new governor of Louisiana saying he has low unemployment and has cut taxes and govt jobs. I think a few other states are doing the same and being rewarded in the same way.

  29. willid3 says:

    not sure that we are doing that well. thats more of a PR campaign than reality . sort of like that claim about deregulated electricity saving us money. or tort reform reducing health care costs. or selling us toll roads as a replacements for roads we already own and built. none of these have done much to save any body any thing, but it was great PR

  30. Onlooker from Troy says:

    “Now, still poorer, she feels devastated because they cannot buy their son a laptop to take to college and she cannot give her 9-year-old son money for the movies.”

    “She was unable to afford summer camp and baseball activities for her children, despite scrimping on basics.”

    Oh, the inhumanity of it all! Such sacrifice and hardship. I just can’t stand to hear it.

    Really, that’s the best they can do in finding folks who have been hit hard by UE? There’s something very out of touch and reflective of an entitlement attitude in this that irks me. You’re not going to engender a whole lot of sympathy from a good portion of our population with those anecdotes.

    If you’re out of work, “already fighting foreclosure”, and “sinking into debt”, of course you’re going to be living a rather spartan lifestyle and scrimping to get by. But the real truth (all too often) is that lots of folks just leaned on debt rather than make hard choices and live within their means. And now they still don’t understand it. This kind of thing just gets the ire up of those who are truly needy and those who’ve lived without those things all along, just to be able to save.

    With that said I do understand the very difficult conditions regarding job opportunities and falling wages, but it’s just the reality that you have to deal with.

  31. larster says:

    How does an excess teacher salary crowd out a private sector job? How many workers get crowded out due to excessive mgtr compensation? Really, this is an argument that starts with a false assumption and ends with someone wearing a tinfoil hat.

    Read up on Louisiana and you will find that they are not doing well. Haven’t for some time and are nowhere near turning the corner now. Not a R or D problem, jus the way it is ( sort ol flike NJ and ILL).

    Unions are fighting for jobs because that is their responsibility to their members. It’s the legislators or the citizens that voted in the initiatives that are the problem. The other salient issue is that when yopu cut like CA the good get’s thrown out with the bad. Additionally, those of us that have experienced corporate cutbacks like this understand that the workload does not decrease. You may be furloughed 3 days a month but you are working those days at home to keep from getting buried. The real problem is not solved. Just postponed to another day. But it makes good porch talk.

  32. Bruce in Tn:
    The problem is that the private sector hasn’t been keeping up its end of the bargain for ages. If it weren’t for government hiring, the job creation numbers would look a lot worse. I am not saying it’s right. Just pointing out what seems to be the obvious.

  33. Mannwich says:

    @Ducky62: For most people unemployment insurance doesn’t even cover regular living expenses (actually, not even close), so I really don’t think most are sitting at home happy as a pig in shit about their situation.

  34. Bruce in Tn says:

    Larster:

    You miss the entire point. It is the massiveness of government employment that is the problem. And the fact that once hired, they tend to hang around forever. If you don’t see that, and the fact that 2.4 times more government employees were hired than private sector workers, then you won’t ever get. Government spending is uncontrolled, and Obama is just making it worse, it started before him.

    If you were underwater in your home, you’d cut expenses. But no one is cutting government workers, and it will be paid for by your children.

    Duh…

  35. Mannwich says:

    @larster: When you hear about “states that are doing well”, they usually really mean that the elite are doing well. Who cares about everyone else, right?

  36. Mannwich says:

    @Bruce: I don’t disagree that our gov’t is bloated and spending is out of control (military spending is literally bankrupting this country), but let’s face it, like Calvin points out, the private sector has NOT held up its end of the bargain here. And, no, I don’t think that holding up their end of the bargain means great gains for a few, while everyone else battles for the table scraps.

  37. NOTaREALmerican says:

    Well, this is good news actually. Because once a peasant is unemployed AND has no benefits he’s moved to the offical LOSER (GET A JOB YOU LAZY HIPPY) category. So, eventually, as time moves on, all we’ll have are: the honest hard-working REAL mericans and the LAZY LOSERS (GET A JOB YOU LAZY HIPPY); which is how REAL mericans know the world should be.

  38. KidDynamite says:

    Ahab – if you hope hard enough another job will appear within the 13 weeks. hope. change. extend and pretend…

    /sarcasm

  39. Bruce in Tn says:

    Manny:

    What do you mean, the private sector hasn’t held up its end of the bargain? You aren’t saying that investment banks are typical of the private sector, are you? Government, by massively overspending is making things hard as hell for the private guy. Our fed is manipulating rates, causing massive imbalances or bubbles, and refusing to take responsibility for it. The Governator tries to rein in spending, and is sued for it. Why? Those Cali gov workers aren’t going to feel any of the pain, it is up to the good old private sector.

    No, here we disagree. Government is most of the problem. Obama is just kicking the can down the road, and the solution is less spending by government, but we are traveling down the other fork.

  40. Cursive says:

    This economic mess is only in the first stages and we’re going to have much more misery. Unemployment is going to go up from here and I expect that homelessness will rise as well. That said, why would we look to government to solve the problem? We could have the federal government take over everything, but then we’d just have more Hank Paulsons/Timmy Geithners/Ben Bernankes to mess things up royally. I left out Larry Summers. Do you remember the last days of the Soviet Union when the state run industries literally could not get bread into the stores? Why would anyone want to replicate that experience here?

    Who is the head of the Energy Department anyway? I know that the government could no sooner “run” our energy industry than it could win the war on poverty, but we have an Energy Department, nonetheless. Do you think our country’s energy needs are meet better since Mr. Carter felt it necessary to create the Energy Department? Do you think our children were better or less better educated before Mr. Carter felt it necessary to create the Education Department? BTW, the Energy secretary and the Education secretary are 15th and 16th, respectively, in the line of succession to the presidency. I hate to get all “Alas, Babylon” on anyone, but isn’t that creepy when almost nobody could name either one of the current secretaries and certainly not the last three of each post. Our government is too damn big and we get little in return for what we pay.

  41. Bruce in Tn says:

    Look, here’s the point. Government spending just didn’t get out of control over the last few months since Obama was elected. It is insidious. You create a department of the interior, then you fund it, then it grows, then you need more people, ad infinitum…

    You cannot shrink the public side. That is the point. And the private side, like my buddy who makes rubber mats for big trucks, goes bankrupt. The parasite overcomes the host.

  42. Cursive says:

    I’m voting for more beer parties in the rose garden and less bureaucracy. That was simply the best thing to happen in the White House in a long time. I would really like that to be a new afternoon tradition from this point forward.

  43. willid3 says:

    i think Mannwichs point is that if the private sector had kept up its end of the bargain, that instead of 132 million jobs is should be more like 144+ million. thats because with just accounting for population growth, over 10 years, would equate to about 14 million jobs. instead we went from 128993 to 132609 (with the highest being 137066. and that wasn’t enough ) . so did the private sector fail to hold up end of teh bargain???? i think that a yes.
    and is government bloated? maybe. but that seems as much to be in the eye of the beholder as any thing else. a lot of folks think their entire ‘war’ in Iraq was a waste of money started with the first penny spent to get it started. others think that any thing spent on energy is also a waste of money.

    and can government do things right? yup. seems to do wonders with the military, maybe not perfect, but nothing is. also seems to do a really good job with roads. usually better than the private roads i have been on. while education could certainly be better, compared to when the private sector ran that, its light years better based on the number of kids graduating from high school. (compare the early 1900s/1800s to today)

  44. Bruce in Tn says:

    Oh, fart. This isn’t tin hat demogogishness…it is just a recapitulation of the way life is….

    had a great weekend though. Night all…

  45. Cursive says:

    @willid3

    The private sector has no end to uphold vis-a-vis its relationship with government. The private sector is made up of many small, medium and large companies who attempt to maximize profit. If any of these entities is unsuccessful in its pursuit of the profit motive, then that is the end of the entity and any prospects for employment of others. Look at GM as a case study. Two years ago, government was concerned with GM’s CAFE standards. Now that GM is bankrupt and shedding jobs, government is rolling out the cash for clunkers program. Government is like the bitchy aunt that drives everybody away and then tries desperately to have everyone attend the family Christmas party at her house.

    As Bruce has so painstakingly made clear, government has a way of making life very difficult for business operators. Payroll reporting is, itself, a giant headache. Throw in a benefits package and the administrative burden becomes very overwhelming for most people who just wanted to start a business because they enjoyed their chosen industry or profession. The business needs employees, but there is a lack of qualified employees (education is one factor, but the piss test is an even bigger hurdle these days) and of those qualified, many are not interested in doing their assignments. I have not even mentioned the extra cost, via payroll matching taxes, that employees bring to a business. If we lowered the cost of employment, we’d probably have plenty more of it.

    BTW, graduation rates have been steadily falling since the Department of Education was established. Furthermore, a high school diploma today isn’t what it was forty years ago.

  46. Bob the unemployed says:

    Here in Connecticut, one has to send out at least three resumes to prospective employers each week in order to continue to qualify for unemployment. I had to drop off unemployment insurance because I could not find three suitable prospective postions each week since last September.

  47. Andy T says:

    “It is insidious. You create a department of the interior, then you fund it, then it grows, then you need more people, ad infinitum…”

    Exactly B in T. People get used to the idea there “should” be a department of interior without ever asking what the hell they really do or why it’s needed. Most of the government agencies are like that. Congress won’t get rid of them because it’s the gov’t agencies that have discretion over how certain dollars are spent. Also, there would be far less “oversight” committees…how could congressman mug for the cameras?

    It’s all rather disgusting. There should only be a few Departments in Government: DoJ, DoD….and um….let me see here…..Can’t really think of any others at the moment….

    If you’re going to make up a bunch of silly departments that squander tax dollars, they should at least set up those departments in other parts of the country…spread the taxpayer largesse around a bit….Dept of Interior in Colorado…Agriculture out in the Midwest somewhere….etc….

    The unfortunate thing is when you get some Libertarian candidate up there talking about such things, people become a little “uncomfortable,” like he’s some kind of “kook”…. Maybe “we” are the problem?

  48. Onlooker from Troy says:

    There are indeed people out there who abuse UE compensation (e.g. the FunEmployment set of youngsters who think it’s cool). They bring out the cynic in the best of us about extended UE. And the question about how long UE pay should last in tough times like these brings out some very good arguments on both sides. Where do we draw the line? It has to be somewhere, doesn’t it? Clearly it can’t be indefinite.

  49. Bob the unemployed says:

    Agreed. However, what about a lot of us people who have worked sincerely and earnestly for well over 25 years, and now find ourselves unwanted by any employers? Those of us who have paid into the unemployment insurance program for over 25 years faithfully and without complaint.

    I know there is a company out there that needs me, I just have to find it. The CT Dept of Labor has been exceptional in their assistance, the networking of my friends has surfaced many leads; but all for naught. I have “too much experience”.

  50. Jojo says:

    Bob the unemployed said “Here in Connecticut, one has to send out at least three resumes to prospective employers each week in order to continue to qualify for unemployment. I had to drop off unemployment insurance because I could not find three suitable prospective positions each week since last September.

    I hope you’re not being serious Bob!

    First, the three contact requirement (not necessarily resumes sent, could be you made a telephone call to HR) are federal rules for the last 13/20 week (depending on state) extension. Nothing special for Conn.

    Second, just look at any job board (Craigslist, etc.), pick out 3 company names and write them down. No one is checking. There isn’t enough manpower to check and how would they check anyway? Companies get 100′s if not 1000′s of resumes for each open position. Some companies actually log them in or have a service that does so (typically larger ones). Most do not. They just toss the ones they don’t like in the trash.

    Anyway, with “official” unemployment likely to exceed 10% in the next one-two months, IMO, the government has to keep funding extensions until unemployment turns around and continues to head down for some months.

    BTW: According to the BLS only about 36% of the unemployed are covered by UI (2008 numbers). This is why UI claim numbers are not really a valid metric for unemployment trends in the USA (as opposed to say Europe, where everyone gets UI if they lose their job).

  51. going broke says:

    Bob, this company is hiring 1000′s of people each year… give them a try.

    http://www.parsons.com/pages/default.aspx

  52. Bob the unemployed says:

    Yes, I was serious. It was explained to me quite clearly by the DoL office during the required informational classes I had to attend in order to receive the unemployment insurance I paid premiums for — the courts have determined that three contacts per week are required. Without those three contacts per week, no benefits. Quote, “you must contact a minimum of three employers per week”.

    I had no choice but to stop applying for unemployment insurance benefits because I could not meet that requirement.

  53. alfred e says:

    @Bruce in TN 5:21 : Very cool.

    WOW. I was out enjoying the Summer and this thread went off. How could I have missed it. Pooh.

    But it gave me a chance to recalibrate.

    “The water boy for Goldman-Sachs”.

    Completely and totally perfect. The less said the better. Let’s lock onto that phrase. But we need an acronym.

    WBFGS?

    Too long.

    How about WBGS? Ummmmm. How about WB. And leave it at that.

  54. After up to 79 weeks of sending out resumes and not finding jobs I definitely don’t think we should be helping people to send out more resumes.

    The next step if we have to pour money down that hole would be to require training in needed skills or allow for relocation funds. But just giving people more money to wait out the recession seems pretty dumb.

    There won’t be a perfect answer and a lot of mal-investment but at some point the funds for just sending out resumes have to end.

  55. Pat G. says:

    I mentioned those numbers days ago in a post. Thanks for confirming them…

  56. Mike in Nola says:

    How bout the unemployed migrate to China and work in those booming factories making stuff no one wants?

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/32264596

    Or maybe they can operate the landfills to put it in.

  57. dougc says:

    Old Indian saying “No matter how long you travel on the wrong path you won’t get where you want to be .” We are so concerned with solving our immediate problems that we have ignored the bigger picture, what is our role in the world economy going to be? Are we going to print more money and be the world’s buyer? Will they want our depreciating currency? Will we accept “free trade” or demand fair trade? Will we subsidise farmers and then give away the excess? Will our workers taxes fund research and accept the job losses when the resulting products are made in China? Will we be the world”s policeman, if not who will be?
    Our political process use to be a debate between ideas, it now resembles Iraq’s; a tribal feud that the result is not important, only who wins and controls how much money their tribe gets.

    I am retired and the outcome will not significantly affect my life style, how about your’s?

  58. jc says:

    The green shoots crowd has missed the cumulative impact of job losses and most of the jobs lost have been men which traditionally were the main wage earner in a two job couple. People who have lost their jobs have lost them for a long time and they’re starting to run out of extended benefits. Maybe for government accounting purposes these people cease being unemployed when they’re out of benefits but laid off, furloughed, reduced hours, underemployed etc all add up to much less disposable income.

    OK we know there are a lot of construction trades, auto workers and real estate service people laid off and they won’t be coming back any time soon. The US auto industry is changed forever, there’s no going back. There is still a huge overhang of vacant homes so despite the excitement on CNBC about miniscule month to month increases in new home built and homes sold there won’t be large scale hiring in construction/real estate for a LONG time.

    What new industries will develop to create new jobs? This country needs to rediscover real value-added jobs, not just flipping burgers and bonds. Smart grid/alternate energy is the only major opportunity I see on the horizon.

    These stories about record bankers bonuses paid with government bailout funds at the same time that real people run out of unemployment insurance is political dynomite like we haven’t seen in decades. I don’t know how it will manifest itself but if these big banks find themselves in another bid that requires bailout bucks they won’t get it.

  59. jc says:

    The green shoots crowd has missed the cumulative impact of job losses and most of the jobs lost have been men which traditionally were the main wage earner in a two job couple. People who have lost their jobs have lost them for a long time and they’re starting to run out of extended benefits. Maybe for government accounting purposes these people cease being unemployed when they’re out of benefits but laid off, furloughed, reduced hours, underemployed etc all add up to much less disposable income.

    OK we know there are a lot of construction trades, auto workers and real estate service people laid off and they won’t be coming back any time soon. The US auto industry is changed forever, there’s no going back. There is still a huge overhang of vacant homes so despite the excitement on CNBC about miniscule month to month increases in new home built and homes sold there won’t be large scale hiring in construction/real estate for a LONG time.

    What new industries will develop to create new jobs? This country needs to rediscover real value-added jobs, not just flipping burgers and bonds. Smart grid/alternate energy is the only major opportunity I see on the horizon.

    These stories about record bankers bonuses paid with government bailout funds at the same time that real people run out of unemployment insurance is political dynomite like we haven’t seen in decades. I don’t know how it will manifest itself but if these big banks find themselves in another bind that requires bailout bucks they won’t get it.

  60. FrancoisT says:

    While the argument about the govermin jobs versus private ones evolves, inquiring minds on Mark Thoma’s blog were asking: “What jobs”?

    Well, if we wait for the private sector to do all the heavy lifting, it ain’t going to do us any good at all. Their prime (some would say “the only”) directive is to increase shareholder value, after the “mandatory” cut for the higher ups, which skimp an unprecedented fraction of total earnings in quite a few cases.

    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/learn-how-to-invest/how-ceos-steal-from-your-401k.aspx

    The thesis put forth by Jon Markman this week end (international growth will push us out of the recession)

    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/SuperModels/the-recovery-puzzles-missing-piece.aspx?page=2

    will be true mainlyfor those US corporations that have significant global operations. Unless this worldwide demand has a significant spillover effect at home, I can’t see how this is going to help the US workers as a whole.

    With credit still tight, consumers drowning in debt, the lack of natural (as opposed to those born of policies with vision) catalyst for business investment, and the unbelievable laggardship coming from Washington and partners in crime, it is hard to see how we’re going to get out of this pickle. Creating govermin jobs “for the hell of it” isn’t going to help over the long term, that’s for sure.

    So…what jobs?

    What jobs?
    For starters, check the last annual report of the American Society of Civil Engineers. It is definitely not pretty. Sewers, water processing plants, roads, bridges, airports…all these have been woefully neglected as the financial sector grew way beyond any useful measure, while converting Congress into the banksters’ whoredom. Their estimate is 10 trillions needed for the next decade. That is mucho dinero and plenty of non-outsourceable jobs. Now, we can wait and wait, and wait more until we get more bridge collapses, or do today, the things that must be done eventually .

    Alternative energy: The portentous stupidity of our non-policy on energy can be summarized as: “If the price does not affect the mob too much, no need to do Jack.”

    The tail (price) wag the dog (policy) instead of the reverse. Yet, there is an imperative reason why switching to alternative energy is the thing to do REGARDLESS of the price of oil.

    The fact is that thousands of daily use objects that surrounds us cannot be made without petroleum. Moreover, 2/3rd of our petroleum consumption goes to agriculture.

    Take a look at:
    http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse/chapter-17a-peak-oil
    at 12:47 minutes into the video to look at everything that goes into a house that needs petroleum for its fabrication. The image is truly and eye-opener.

    How will we replace these when oil become scarce? I don’t know when it’ll happen, but are we going to WAIT and then try to do something? How long does it take to retool entire sectors of any economy? How about the tremendous potential disruptions? One way to avoid such a painful scenario is to replace oil where its use is not indispensable. Driving on oil is NOT indispensable…might be more comfortable, give more autonomy, but it is not inevitable.

    Yet, we seem to think that since the price of oil drop significantly, everything is honky-dory. Is it really the case? Why not use this economic crisis to switch commercial and residential heating and cooling to renewables as a first step? Talk about tons of jobs, carbon footprint reduction and a decrease in non-essential oil uses. BTW, note that there are multiple projects going on now that tap into the renewable energy technology. There is only one good reason for that; it makes business sense. How about kicking it up a notch with some decently crafted policies to help what is beginning to look like a trend anyway?

    Our basic problem with jobs is laggardship in DC. No vision, nothing that would upset special interest groups and mobs of anti-climate change believers which stupidity put the birthers to shame. Just go with the flow, create more “jobs” at Govermin Inc., spew all the BS and spin necessary to stupefy the populace and everything shall be fine…until it isn’t…which is right now.

  61. [...] off the hog collecting money for nothing then we should see them all flock back to work very soon, The details on exhaustees Tens of thousands of workers have already used up their benefits, and the numbers are expected to [...]