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Tracking Unemployment Statistics: The Movie

Actually, it is just a 2 min 30 sec video bringing the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to the little screen. Washington Post Federal Eye blogger Ed O’Keefe posted his video story Tracking Unemployment Statistics on September 4. It features footage of real BLS employees talking about how the stats are compiled for the monthly Employment Situation release. For action shots, the video captures real BLS employees (or extras?) walking between their office and the Union Station metro stop.

BLS has a less visual but much more detailed webpage on the topic, Monthly Employment Situation Report: Quick Guide to Methods and Measurement Issues.

The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2009 to 2019 from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)

The Congressional Budget Office has released the Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2009 to 2019. The CBO expects that the current economic recession will “last until the second half of 2009, making it the longest recession since World War II.” The recession began in December 2007. Some of the main predictions are:

1) This year, the deficit will be $1.2 trillion (8.3% of the GDP)

2) Unemployment rate will increase more than 9 percent at the beginning of 2010

3) Federal revenues will decrease by $166 billion from the amount it was in 2008

4) A further decline of 14 percent in the national average price of a home between 2008 and 2010

5) In 2010, there will be a slow economic revival and a growth of 1.5 percent in the real GDP

Employment Situation – Commissioner’s Statement from BLS

Keith Hall, the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, issued a statement on the current employment situation. The total number of job losses in 2008 was 2.6 million and the rate of unemployment increased from 6.8 % to 7.2 %. He states that it is “the highest rate since January 1993.” Although employment declined in several major industrial sectors, it increased in healthcare. In the last year, 372,000 jobs were added in the healthcare sector.

Details of the depressing employment situation are readily available for access.

1) Employment Situation
2) Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment (Monthly)
3) Mass Layoffs (Monthly)
4) Regional and State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly)