Wednesday, February 17, 2010

US Job Losses

There's plenty of political posturing about the current recession and whether the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Obama's stimulus bill) helped. I never rely on conjecture, so I went in search of facts. These were easy enough to find from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Then, instead of staring at raw numbers of unemployment values, I substracted consecutive values to see the differential of the Job Losses (in other words, the rate of change or velocity) from month to month. Out of curiosity, I also gathered the numbers for men and women. I plotted these on a chart, added an annotation for when the stimulus bill was passed, and then added trend lines (using least-squares) to smooth out the jaggedness. Here's the resulting graph, which you can click on to see the code for: