Ed. note: Above the Law has teamed up with Law Shucks, which has done excellent work translating all of the layoff news into user-friendly charts and graphs: the Layoff Tracker.
If you thought unemployment and underemployment (which does include people who become discouraged and voluntary stop looking for work) were arbitrary and capricious, you’ll really enjoy the latest explanation from the White House.
The White House has abandoned its controversial method of counting jobs under President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus, making it impossible to track the number of jobs saved or created with the $787 billion in recovery money.
Despite mounting a vigorous defense of its earlier count of more than 640,000 jobs credited to the stimulus, even after numerous errors were identified, the Obama administration now is making it easier to give the stimulus credit for hiring. It’s no longer about counting a job as saved or created; now it’s a matter of counting jobs funded by the stimulus.
That means that any stimulus money used to cover payroll will be included in the jobs credited to the program, including pay raises for existing employees and pay for people who never were in jeopardy of losing their positions.
That lede is a little skewed, though – it was always impossible to track the number of jobs saved or created. The administration just finally realized that, and now the Republicans are going to have to find a new angle of attack after coasting for a year on easy cheap shots against the White House’s unsupportable numbers.
However many jobs the plan saved, created, or funded, unemployment ticked up again slightly last week, but the general trend is still flat or slightly improving.
Similarly, law-firm layoffs have slowed down, although there are still no signs of significant hiring. Developments in that little slice of heaven after the jump.