Your Place for Job Numbers Commentary
12:08 PM, Dec 4, 2009 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
For more commentary, here's Megan McArdle: "It's very solidly good news: the labor force participation rate was basically unchanged, which means we're seeing an actual decline in the unemployment rate, not a spike in the number of people leaving the labor force because they can't find a job. The very large number of people working part time for economic reasons didn't fall significantly--but it didn't get much bigger, either."
And David Leonhardt: "Today's jobs report is by far the best one since 2007."
And Keith Hennessy:
And Paul Krugman: "Today's unemployment report was good news. But in a real sense good news is bad news, because this month's not-too-bad number deflates the sense of urgency." Meaning: it's good that the unemployment number is down, but bad because it may lessen the chances that the government will spend even more debt-financed money on New Deal: The Sequel.
I'll take Hennessy over Krugman and raise you an Arnold Kling: "Cut the employer contribution to the payroll tax. In the short run, this will reduce labor costs and increase profits. This will lead firms to expand and to raise employment. In the long run, it will lead to higher wages. When recovery comes, you can either bring back the payroll tax or replace it with a less regressive tax."
Exit quote comes from today's Rich Lowry column: "The ultimate source of jobs is the vast, chaotic entrepreneurial churn that has always characterized the American economy at its best. No recovery is sustainable without it, yet the White House remains fixated on the gewgaws of new government programs and quick gimmicks." Exhibits A and B.