How’s 345,000 people losing jobs good news?


by Joe Sheeran | June 5th, 2009 • “Good news on jobs” reads’s morning headline. “The U.S. economy shed 345,000 jobs in May, far fewer than expected; unemployment hit 9.4%.”

Hindsight is the official blog of Minnesota 2020. Hindsight gives the run down on the news that jumps out at us on the issues that matter. Often times these stories show us how much further we need to go to have the progressive policy realized in Minnesota.


Ask the 345,000 people who lost those jobs if that’s good news. Ask the shops on Main Street who will lose hundreds or thousands in business because of these layoffs if that’s good news. Ask any economist if having the highest unemployment rate in a quarter century if that’s good news. Yes, there are slim glimmers of progress in some of the recent unemployment numbers, but in no way should any media outlet call this good news or classify it as encouraging.

When you listen to or read news reports over the next few days, look out for these rosy pictures some economists and business leaders will try to spin. You’ll find out the worth of your favorite reporters in how they temper the rhetoric with reality.

Don’t forget, real people with mortgages, health care costs, tuition payments and other bills make up these grim numbers. Just ask folks in the Duluth region, Minnesota’s hardest hit area with an unemployment rate above nine percent how good the economy is — or if it’s any consolation that four out of ten of their friends, instead of five out of ten are filing for unemployment Monday.

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