I’m posting some incomplete findings in the hopes that someone else might be able to fill in the blanks.
The right-wing blogosphere is on fire right now with claims that Joe Biden “lied” when he said that Louisiana is losing 400 jobs a day. Biden made his remarks in the course of criticizing Gov. Bobby Jindal’s refusal of more than $90 million in additional unemployment funds. A local newscast in Louisiana, citing the state employment agency, claims that the state actually added jobs in December, the last month for which numbers are available.
Well, now. If you take a visit to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, you will see that Louisiana’s unemployment rate rose from 3.8 percent in June to 5.9 percent in December. During that time, 45,065 people in Louisiana lost their jobs. That adds up to approximately 250 per day — not 400, I’ll grant you, but a damned high number, and certainly one that contradicts the notion that the state was actually adding jobs. [Actually, yes. Biden was right. See update, below.]
Now it’s nearly March. We know that the recession and unemployment have accelerated over the past two months. I don’t have January and February numbers of Louisiana, but I may just be looking in the wrong places. But I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if an average of 400 people a day have been losing their jobs in Louisiana since the first of the year.
Yes, I realize that the local report I’m linking to claims that Louisiana’s unemployment filings actually declined through mid-January. But remember, that same report says Louisiana gained jobs in December, which is directly contradicted by the federal numbers.
Anybody know where I can get credible preliminary unemployment estimates for January and February?
Update: The answer was staring me right in the face. Steve points out that Louisiana lost an average of 430 jobs a day in December.