Chance That the Unemployment Rate Is Above 9% in November 2012 Is Now 60%
Department of "Huh!?": Can't Anybody in the Obama Administration Play This Game Edition

Depatment of "Huh?!": Is Narayana Kocherlakota Serious? Department

Neal Lipschutz

Sticking to Economic Facts at the Fed: Here’s Kocherlakota again on why he dissented on Aug. 9:

I dissented from this change in language because the evolution of macroeconomic data did not reflect a need to make monetary policy more accommodative than in November 2010. In particular personal consumption expenditure (PCE) inflation rose notably in the first half of 2011, whether or not one includes food and energy. At the same time, while unemployment does remain disturbingly high, it has fallen since November.

The unemployment rate has indeed fallen since November--albeit not since January:

FRED Graph  St Louis Fed 7

However, the employment-to-population ratio looks somewhat worse than it looked in November--not better:

FRED Graph  St Louis Fed 6

A fall in the unemployment rate associated with a fall in the employment-to-population ratio is not a sign of a strengthening but a weakening labor market. Only a cherry-picker could disagree.

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