The Not-Bad, Not-Good Employment News Continues!
We're still in the period of the recession where good trend news is still bad actual news. Economists, for instance, are glad to hear that the economy only lost 345,000 jobs in May. That's quite a bit less than the 600,000 we'd been losing month-after-month earlier this year. But 345,000 lost jobs is still a really bad number. It's like celebrating a hangover because it at least means you're no longer drunk.
Meanwhile, Felix Salmon makes a troubling observation:
Remember the stress tests? The baseline scenario had unemployment in 2009 at 8.4%, rising to 8.9% under the more adverse scenario. Well, we’re only up to May, and already it’s at 9.4%.
Well that's not very good news. On the other hand, you could make an argument that this is all going according to the Treasury Department's plan: The stress tests were insufficient in order to make the banks look stronger. That worked. The banks raised oodles of private capital that they wouldn't otherwise have been able to access. Now they're better positioned to weather the next year or two.
Or, you know, maybe not.
(Graph credit: Washington Post)
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