As one who believes only numbers important in the employment report is the rate, which was up from 9.5 to 9.6, because the numerator and denominator have the same faulty seasonal adjustments, I was not overly impressed with the report from a economic activity standpoint especially since I believe that the numbers are vetted heavily by the flexions, as witness the prior afternoonionic moves, and rabbi-ed by …

Kim Zussman adds: 

Here is graphic of monthly unemployment rate, 1948-8/10 (seasonally adjusted, BLS data).

The '81 recession was worse in absolute terms, but the recent recessions rapid climb from 4.5% to 10% in 2 years is unprecedented in the series. It also appears that the rise to peak unemployment in recessions is generally much more rapid than the fall afterwards.


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