The Art of Unemployment

Five years of zero interest rates has provided us 7.9% unemployment according to today’s announcement. The broader measure–known as U-6–remains stubbornly high at 14.4%. St. Louis Fed head Bullard was just on Bloomberg painting the report of 150,000 new jobs as positive, rounding it up to 200,000. But ZeroHedge reports the positive number was all seasonal adjustments.

And sure enough, a quick update of the jobs by age-group change in January based on Household Survey data, the same data that showed that the unemployment rate actually rose from 7.8% to 7.9% (to give Bernanke more runway for QEternity as we predicted in December) shows that in the past month, 115,000 jobs were…. lost?

The folks at ZH point out that being 55 and older is the sweet spot for employment. “In Total, some 2.8 million jobs in the 26-54 age group have been lost since january 2009, offset by 3.95 million gains in the 55-69 age group.”

Old folks who have a job might want to bid on Andy Warhol’s unemployment chart from 1984 that will be up for auction at Christie’s next month.

It’s expected to bring between $20,000 and $30,000 and would make a great addition to someone’s IRA.