Jobless claims settle down

Take a look at this chart. This alone should provide clear evidence that the Obama stimulus worked to stem job losses and stop a great depression. The jobs market has steadily improved since. It still has a way to go, but the trend line is absolutely clear.


CBO says stimulus package boosted the US economy

Democrats have taken a lot of heat for the stimulus package, and public perception of the package certainly hurt Democrats in the midterm elections.

But we’re getting more evidence that the stimulus worked, as the CBO has come out with a new report about the impact of the package.

The massive U.S. stimulus package, widely panned by voters, injected life into the otherwise-sluggish economy between July and September, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act put between 1.4 million and 3.6 million to work in the third quarter of this year, a time when more than 15 million Americans were unemployed, CBO said.

It also boosted national output by between 1.4 percent and 4.1 percent during that time, the CBO said.

During the third quarter, the economy grew by an annual rate of 2.5 percent. Economists say a rate faster than 3 percent is needed to make any noticeable dent in unemployment.

Here’s even more impressive data.

The unemployment rate, currently 9.6 percent, would have been between 10.4 percent and 11.6 percent without the Recovery Act, the CBO said.

The stimulus created the equivalent of 2 million to 5.8 million jobs during the third quarter as part-time workers shifted to full-time work, or employers offered more overtime work.

The Obama administration made the fateful error of predicting that the stimulus package would prevent unemployment from going over 8%, and that hurt the public perception of the package.

It’s clear, however, that the stimulus package helped to save the US economy.


Christina Romer leaves the Obama administration

Vice President Joe Biden and Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers Christina Romer unveil the Council of Economic Advisers latest quarterly report on the economic impact of the Recovery Act in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House in Washington on July 14, 2010.  UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg Photo via Newscom

Christina Romer is leaving the Obama administration.

Romer, who chairs the Council of Economic Advisers, announced Thursday night that she is returning to her previous job as economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

Her resignation follows that of budget director Peter Orszag.

In a statement, Romer called the her White House service the “honor of a lifetime.”

It will be interesting to see whether we’ll see any policy changes. Romer is an expert in the Great Depression and was instrumental in the stimulus package. In many ways she has served her purpose, and now the administration can shift to sustained growth as opposed to the crisis management of the past 18 months.


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