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Smiley-Face Economics


First, the good news!


The official rate of unemployment fell from 10.2% to 10% in November, and the largest component of this decline was temporary workers.

Meanwhile, real wages continued to decline, and very small wage-increases were wiped out by inflation.

Since reaching a recent high point in December 2008, real average weekly earnings have fallen by 1.7 percent.

For someone who still has a fairly good job at $40,000 per annum, for example, this decline represents a loss of about $680 in real earnings.

Beyond the infinite complications of unemployment statistics, total employment in the United States has declined by about 3,600,000 jobs since January 2009, from 142.1 million to 138.5 million jobs.

total employment copy

Since about 100,000 new job-seekers enter the market every month, or 1,100,000 since January 2009, the mismatch between jobs and job-seekers has accordingly increased by about 4,700,000 this year.

And in other news, the price of oil continued to creep steadily upward.

chart- oil prices


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Jacob Freeze

Jacob Freeze

I'm a painter and photographer who supplements his meager income by hurling rotten fruit and screaming "Welcome to the Bu!" at the Humvees of hedge-fund managers and their nightmare spawn who get stuck in the ridiculously narrow drive-through at McDonald's in Malibu. They inevitably poop their pants and abandon the vehicle, which I subsequently strip and sell for parts, and that is how I can afford to live in Malibu.