The January job estimates just released suggest the unemployment rate dipped to 9 percent in January. Don’t believe it . . . yet.
This number is likely the result of a statistical anomaly created by bad weather, which kept people from looking for work (and thus from being counted as “unemployed”). We need to wait for the revised estimates as well as data from February and March before we can say with any degree of confidence that this is a trend.
My bet is the February unemployment rate will pop up again. The key is the trend; 9 percent is still unacceptably high unemployment by anyone’s measure.
— Samuel R. Staley is Robert W. Galvin Fellow and Director of Urban & Land Use Policy at the Reason Foundation.