back to article Another 36,000 US jobs lost in February

The magic of numbers continued in the United States today, as the Department of Labor said the workforce in America shrank by 36,000 jobs in February, and yet the unemployment rate held steady at 9.7 per cent. In January, thanks to the denominator used in the unemployment rate calculation getting smaller as more Americans gave …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward


    On an unrelated topic, we are seeking 2,600 voluntary redundancies this month, as well as requiring a freeze on travel expenses and a 20% voluntary pay cut. Please ignore the 1,700 new H1B applications or the new $5M we just sunk into renovating our Indian offices.

    What’s this? Complaints? There are plenty of jobs out there. People who are unemployed are just a bunch of lazy jackoffs who are too lazy to start their own consultancy, or try to work for a living. Useless people who mooch my tax dollars and cry about wanting health care. Only copyright holders have the god-given right to a job! Anyone else who wants one is just suffering from an overinflated sense of entitlement and laziness.

    Now get out there and buy my product damn you! Economic failure is all your fault for not spending enough.

  2. Eduard Coli
    Gates Horns

    And so the band played on

    If President Obama and Congress were serious about "job creation" they should take a close look at worker Visas and outsourcing. The State Department alone reported that in 2009 visa holders took over 5 MM jobs from US citizens. The Dept. of Labor projects job losses to offshore outsourcing to be around 1.5 MM for 2010.

    I suppose Mr. Gates will be in Washington again this year anyway so that he can inform the hill that they need to remove any kind of visa caps.

    1. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge

      You cost too much.

      Western folks ask too much in wages for the same jobs performed as their counterparts from other countries. Mr Gates, as well as many other important businesspeople have every intention of equalising this wage disparity.

      I do, however, see little intention on anyone's part to equalise the price of goods with those countries. (Many things that people consume on a daily basis, from bread to software, are cheaper in these countries. This is how those individuals mange to survive on wages so much lower.)

      Of course, even if wages and good were equalised across the world...we're all going to have to get used to a much lower level of luxury than we enjoy now. Globalisation, it has its benefits and its drawbacks. Which of those two you will personally experience depends entirely on which rung of the social ladder you currently occupy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        the expertise is not the same

        "Western folks ask too much in wages for the same jobs performed as their counterparts from other countries."

        And having customers bringing in offshore workers and seeing how much lower level of expertise they have just blows that statement to smithereens. Most of these offshore IT folks are not capable of doing the same job at the same level. And those who are, guess what...command comparable wages to their Western counterparts.

        Offshore companies are selling a lesser product for a lesser price and claiming it's the same quality. And it mostly just is not the same quality.

        It's ludicrous to offer, for example, a Solaris System admin who is unaware of how to send a break on a T5X20 server. Just one real life example from last week.

        1. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge

          the expertise is not the same

          I happen to agree. I'm not the one who runs the companies, so sadly I'm not the one that needs convincing.

          It's common enough for those high enough up to see anyone without a Masters or PHD as completely interchangeable.

  3. Steven Knox


    "In January, thanks to the denominator used in the unemployment rate calculation getting smaller as more Americans gave up on looking for a new job and therefore removed themselves from the math, the fact that the numerator in the calculation - the number of people looking for jobs but who can't find work - grew by 20,000, and yet the unemployment rate dropped by three-tenths of a per cent."

    1. This paragraph does not parse. The single sentence contains no predicate clause.

    2. It is factually incorrect. In January, the number of people removing themselves from the workforce decreased by approximately 200,000. In February this decreased by another ~180,000. The number of people looking but still unemployed shrunk by ~400,000 in January and grew by ~36,000 in February. Your 20,000 figure does not show up in any relevant field in the report or the accompanying tables.

    3. The underlying math principle is the opposite of what is implied. If a numerator grows and a denominator shrinks, then the overall value of a fraction grows (compare, e.g, 1/2 to 2/1).

    The reason more people are unemployed in February and yet the unemployment rate is unchanged is because the number of unemployed (36,000) is not significant to one decimal place to a percentage of the labor force (153,512,000) - hence the one decimal rounding of the rate (9.7%) leaves it apparently unchanged.

    The reason the rate went down in January is because the net move from unemployed or not in the labor force to employed was approximately 500,000 people -- roughly 0.3% of the labor force.

  4. Forename Surname

    This is all correct correction.

    Globalisation is in action, our lives become slightly less luxurious, and it allows other countries to do the more mediocre jobs initially (important word, initially) and build up from there. With the previous American and English imperialism that arguably still goes on, we owe it to other countries from a human point of view.

    If Americans are moaning now, just want until the potential of African nations are realised. Most Americans I know aren't for human-equality if it means they can't drive 50 yards in a big 4litre-4x4 from one supermarket located on one side of the highway to the other side where another supermarket is placed.

    Not easy to build up hatred for such a nation really. We all know it's not the fault of all Americans, but I think we could fairly say most of the country is easily lead.

    China is the next America, so look forward to the population behaving the same, but just under a different regime. Should be interesting, to say the least.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Count me as 1 of those 36,000

    Laid off in 2008 and now this past Saturday in 2010...But the US Government will be able to fudge it's numbers some more as it takes into account the temporary hiring of census workers over the next few months. From

    For 2010, the Census Bureau is hiring hundreds of thousands of temporary workers to fill a variety of census positions across the country. Area residents can apply to earn good weekly pay, enjoy flexible hours and be part of a historic opportunity to serve their communities.

    So was I even counted as one of those 36,000? Doubtful...

    By laying off less than 50 people every 2 weeks over a 6 week period AT&T was able to skirt these reporting requirements and bypass the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act at the facility I was working at.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020