December Unemployment Vs. Expectations: A Let-Down

By Chris Good

In politics, expectations play a big role in the impact of economic news, and today's news, while not terribly bad (the unemployment percent didn't change, and the good news was an unexpected, revised increase of 4,000 jobs in November), wasn't particularly great for Democrats, either, when compared to the predictions of economists. The new unemployment data, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics--85,000 jobs lost, an unchanged unemployment rate of 10.0%--was worse than what economists had expected, and The Atlantic Wire's Max Fisher jogs through some of those forecasts, with more than a few predictions that the economy would actually gain jobs: forecasts ranged from 40,000 jobs added to 23,000 lost. Daniel Indiviglio, meanwhile, reports that economists had predicted a loss of 35,000 jobs in today's figures.

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http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/01/december-unemployment-vs-expectations-a-let-down/33183/