“This new report from the Congressional Budget Office is further evidence of what private forecasters and government economists have been saying: the Recovery Act is already responsible for more than 1 million jobs nationwide. From independent economists to Congress’s own nonpartisan research body, the experts have spoken and the debate is no longer whether the Recovery Act is creating and saving jobs, but how we provide even more opportunities to drive growth and support American workers.”
– Vice President Joe Biden, 12/1/09
Today, the Department of Labor released the unemployment report for November, which shows that job losses are continuing to decrease. While this news is encouraging, unemployment is still far too high. That is why Congress is continuing our efforts to spur economic growth and get Americans back to work.
• Today, the Department of Labor announced that a “relatively few 11,000 American jobs were lost in November, compared to 111,000 jobs that vanished in October. Analysts had expected a much higher jobs-lost number in November -- as many as 130,000.” This is the fewest number of jobs lost in a single month since the beginning of the recession in December 2007. In addition, job losses for September and October were revised to show improvements of 150,000 better than previously reported. Finally, the unemployment rate fell from 10.2% in October to 10% in November, all positive indications that the economy is seeing signs of improvement. [Washington Post, 12/4/09
• The Labor Department announced that for the fifth straight week, the four-week average of new claims for unemployment benefits dropped by 14,250 to 481,250, the lowest in 13 months and a sign that labor markets are improving. [MarketWatch, 12/3/09
• The National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced that in October, the number of signed contracts increased for the ninth consecutive month, an indication that the housing market is headed in a good direction and that the homebuyers tax credit put in place is working. “Between September and October NAR's Pending Home Sales Index rose 3.7% to 114.1 from 110 in October. But the index is 31.8% higher than a year ago, when it was 86.6. That's the biggest year-over-year gain in the history of the index…. NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, gives much of the credit for increased sales to the homebuyer's tax credit, which first-time homebuyers could claim to reduce their taxes by up to $8,000.” [CNNMoney.com, 12/1/09
• The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is having the intended effect of creating jobs and growing the economy. The report “estimates that in the third quarter of calendar year 2009, an additional 600,000 to 1.6 million people were employed in the United States and real (inflation adjusted) GDP was 1.2 to 3.2 percent higher, than would have been the case in the absence of ARRA. Those ranges…..encompass most economists’ views on the effects of fiscal stimulus.” [Congressional Budget Office (CBO), 11/30/09