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Unemployment Likely To Be Lagging Indicator Of Economic Recovery

Historically, unemployment figures tend to lag about six months behind Wall Street performance. And with the trend generally looking better on Wall Street, with stocks still hovering around the 8,000 mark, or up about 20% overall from only weeks ago, as well some improved optimism among consumers, the biggest question is whether this recession has finally bottomed out, and when will unemployment figures rebound to lower levels.

Some economists still argue that this recession has not yet hit bottom level, and a few more weeks or months of decline are still coming. But others see that the corner is turning, and unemployment figures should soon start to decline as more workers find work.

Some small stimulus features might have big impacts on reducing unemployment. For example the small increase in Food Stamps that was included by the federal government in the stimulus bill package will give the average medium size grocery store a $25,000 a month increase in sales. This will likely result in as many as five or more part time workers being hired in each store, creating new employment opportunities that might eventually mean that many of these workers eventually gain full time employment and even become high wage earning union employees. This small increase in food stamps should have a quick impact on improving conditions among many grocery stores. Even grocery stores in poverty stricken neighborhoods should see a big economic effect from this small increase in Food Stamps.

Other economic recovery acts by the states to reduce unemployment are not having as immediate of an effect as the federal Food Stamp increase will. In Oregon, for example, the legislature passed $175 million in stimulus bills to spur employment in construction and other areas such as highway improvements, but so far only 16 jobs have been created because of the slow process of red tape and approvals needed to start many projects. Eventually thousands of jobs should result from this $175 million in projects, but the process is slow to create new work unlike more immediate help such as the Food Stamps increase.highway construction.jpg

Certainly, Friday's report of 8.5% unemployment is a human tragedy. And it is unthinkable that some like Louisiana's Republican governor will refuse to accept the federal funds to extend unemployment benefits while his state has a poverty problem where one out of five persons lives below the poverty line. Good governors need to do all that they can to help to reduce human suffering while the White House and congress search for anything that might work to reduce unemployment figures and to normalize the economy.


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Comments (10)

ke_future:

8.5% unemployment is bad, yes. human tragedy? not so much so. it's been worse before in the US. much worse. and it is currently worse in many parts of the world already. there are places out there with 50% unemployment. that's a tragedy.

i'm curious where you get the amount $25,000 for a store just from expanded food stamps. that's a lot of money. and i have to take exception to the idea that food stamps generate employment. unless you intend for those food stamps to always be occuring, they are not really generating anything.

this is what I really disagree with about your point of view. as far as i am concerned, every dollar that the government taxes is a dollar lost out of the economy. every dollar that the government spends outside of it's core duties is a dollar that could be better spent. what does the government produce? nothing. if it doesn't produce anything, how can it create jobs?

and i would just like to point out that many conservatives and republicans have been pointing out for months that the so called stimpulus package had too much money that wouldn't be spent til after the recession would likely be over. glad to see that you are now seeing that too.

the government can normalize the economy by getting out of it and letting businesses that make mistakes pay the consequences of those decisions. that's what happens in a free market.

and yes, good governors do try to help their citizens. but the money that Jindal, and others are refusing have strings attached that they think are bad for those same citizens in the long term. hey, there's a novel idea, let's look at the long term consequences of our actions. failure to do so is a big part of what has lead us to the point we are today.

Friday's report of 8.5% unemployment is a human tragedy.
Yup, right up there with the Holocaust.
And it is unthinkable that some like Louisiana's Republican governor will refuse to accept the federal funds to extend unemployment benefits while his state has a poverty problem where one out of five persons lives below the poverty line.
Given the state of Lousiana, or any other state, its unconscionable that the US government attach strings, to the aid, that the states would find untenable.
Lee Ward:

Yeah, for Republican governors "feeding the hungry" has waaaaaay too many strings -- and just isn't as important as support Rush Limbaugh's efforts to keep the nation in a recession until the 2010 elections.

Its been known for weeks that some governors were unwilling to accept the stimulus with strings. The Federal government could provide the stimulus for the states to use as they choose, so I guess its really the federal government that is unwilling to feed the hungry. Why paint it so blatantly wrong when the states would accept the funds with the aid without additional infrastructure cost commitments (added emphasis in excerpt below)

State Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Alan Levine said the two federal stimulus program provisions would require additional state funding at a time when the state is facing a $1.3 billion downturn in revenue to fuel the state budget.

"There's a logical argument for not doing expansion while at the same time we are cutting so much and facing an $800 million cliff" when other federal stimulus dollars for health care go away, Levine said.

The two program expansions could cost the state in excess of $20 million in extra health-care funding over the next two years, Levine estimated.

It is the second time the Jindal administration has opted not to take advantage of special federal authority in the stimulus bill. Earlier, Jindal rejected $98 million in federal unemployment funds that would have allowed more people to get benefits.

The governor has said accepting the unemployment money would lock the state into continuing the expanded aid and result in higher costs for businesses.

There's no reason to ascert that Jindal doesn't want to feed his own states hungry, except to blindly follow along with all the socialist Ozombies crying Obam-ho-tep... Obam-ho-tep... Obam-ho-tep.... You shouldn't post or support such propaganda without getting the facts straight.

Next from the Obama Administration... Healthcare will fully fund Liver, Heart, lung, etc... transplants, but only for those that donate a kidney.

It would be easy for the Federal Government to care for feeding these hungry, if Obama really cared more about them than in establishing a socialist agenda.

Lee Ward:

The facts are that Democratic governors are finding ways ot accept the aid and put hat money to work for working Americans but Jindal the Jerk is only intersted in furthering his political career.

And that's a fact.

He apparently cares more about the national GOP future than he does the Louisiana voters who put him into office.

That's a fact.

And it's now hurting him:

Jindal-backed candidate loses state Senate race

BATON ROUGE - Businessman Lee Domingue had Gov. Bobby Jindal's first endorsement in a state legislative contest but lost his Senate race by a wide margin, leading some to question the length of Jindal's political coattails.

Although he had the governor's backing, Domingue took a drubbing, getting handily defeated by Republican lawyer Dan Claitor in the weekend runoff for the Baton Rouge-based state Senate seat. Claitor received 66 percent of the vote while Domingue got only 34 percent, according to complete but unofficial returns from the Secretary of State's Office.

It was the first legislative race in which the Republican Jindal endorsed one GOP candidate over another. Some observers questioned why Jindal got involved in a race between members of his own party.

Jeffrey Sadow, an associate professor of political science at Louisiana State University-Shreveport, called the election "an embarrassing political setback" for Jindal.

"Jindal had little to gain politically by favoring one Republican over another and, with Claitor's victory, now has created a legislator who will be somewhat less than gung-ho about his agenda even if they largely share policy preferences," Sadow wrote in his conservative political blog.

Jindal recorded automated phone calls in support of Domingue that blanketed the district in the days before Saturday's election. The governor also attended a Domingue fundraiser to support him. Jindal should know the district well: He grew up there.

"Lee Domingue is a friend, and I was happy to support him in his campaign for state Senate," Jindal said in a statement Monday, when asked about Domingue's loss.

After the results rolled in, political analysts said Domingue's overwhelming defeat wasted Jindal's political capital and raised questions about his judgment. The endorsement attracted attention well outside Baton Rouge.

Clancy DuBos, a New Orleans political analyst and editor of the newspaper Gambit Weekly, said the support was a blow to Jindal's reputation.

"The governor's political foes are crowing at this development, saying it exposes a major chink in his armor. At a minimum, it shows Jindal to have limited coattails and flawed political judgment," DuBos wrote.

But the FACT is that Jindal doesn't give a damn about his place in Louisiana politics. He's gone rogue and is only interested in his national career at this stage.

Too bad - he may not even make it to the national stage at this rate - he just hates working Americans too much - he's happy to steal food from their mouths in order to make the GOP Politik like him more.

Palin did the same thing - just wrote off the State of Alaska as she set her sights higher, and has paid a similarly dear price for it.

These Republicans only think of themselves...

Lee Ward:

sorry - here's the link to the blockquote above

http://www.theadvertiser.com/article/20090407/NEWS01/904070322/1002/NEWS01

The facts are that Democratic governors are finding ways ot accept the aid and put hat money to work for working Americans
The democrats are just drinking the socialist kool-aid. They aren't finding ways to to accept the money, they're accepting it whole-heartedly, and damn the consequences. Granholm, MI, even wants to accept other states monies that has been rejected. These governors and states will be even more dependent on the Federal nanny state in the future.

Your blockquote is not Germaine to the topic of the post, and doesn't show that Jindal is uncaring for his constituents in his actions concerning the stimulus. The facts still support my ascertions, that Jindal has legitimate reasons to deny the stimulus, and that the Federal gov't and the Obama administrations is insensitive to the needs of the people of Lousiana and other states.

I really don't give a rats ass whether Jindals actions hurt him politically or not, the stands up for doing the right thing even when it hurts. Too bad that we don't have a President capable of doing the same.

Lee Ward:

The blockquote is germaine in that it shows that Jindal has abandoned his political power platform in Louisiana. His motive is clear - national prominence. He's Sarah Palin in trousers - a political animal who seeks not to serve his constituency, but to serve himself by serving the national party.

...the stands up for doing the right thing even when it hurts

If you believe returning he GOP to power is "the right thing" and feeding your state's poor is the "wrong thing" you have a point.

The portion of the post I addressed that referred to Jindal is as follows:

And it is unthinkable that some like Louisiana's Republican governor will refuse to accept the federal funds to extend unemployment benefits while his state has a poverty problem where one out of five persons lives below the poverty line.

Speaks to his decisions on the stimulus. Your views on Jindal, his motives, or his being a cross dresser,

He's Sarah Palin in trousers

(as you outline above), are still not Germaine to this discussion, at least not in any rational sense.

If you believe returning he GOP to power is "the right thing" and feeding your state's poor is the "wrong thing" you have a point.
Again another 'new' specious thought you are trying to introduce to divert the discusssion from the truth of this topic. Please provide the link that shows that Jindal doesn't want to care for the poor and hungry in Lousiana. The link I provided shows he is concerned in that he won't accept stimulus with strings that will 'hurt' all of the people of Lousiana, the poor included. Jindal's just rejecting this stimulus money doesn't support your arguments.

On the other hand by providing the money without strings, Obama could help the "hungry" instead he is truly hurting the poor in Lousiana. Pres'ent 'Bama, as I affectionately like to call him, is the jerk in this instance.

a political animal who seeks not to serve his constituency, but to serve himself by serving the national party.
Just as an aside, someone who voted 180 votes of 'Present' instead of taking a stand in support of his local constituents, in favor of improving personal political aspirations, must've really set your head spinning.

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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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