The latest jobs report shows that unemployment dropped from 9.9% to 9.7%. Normally looking at a figure like that would be a good thing, but this time around, there’s proof that figures sometimes don’t tell the whole truth.

It seems that the reason unemployment dropped is because the federal government hired more than 400,000 employees for the census, temporary jobs that will end in a couple of months. The private sector only created 41,000 jobs, way below what the government was hoping for, and there are more people unemployed than ever in recorded history, which began in the 1940’s.

If there’s anything positive to try to latch onto, it’s that the number of new people who have applied for unemployment benefits has dropped by 10,000 over the previous week, but the overall numbers are still higher than usual. Of course, there has to be an acknowledgment that at a certain point there won’t be many new claims because, just like foreclosures, most of the jobs that were cut en masse have been taken care of, which means the rate has to slow down at some point.

As we wrote last year, the biggest question is where new jobs will come from. Factory work in big numbers aren’t coming back, the government isn’t paying enough for new training, and there hasn’t been a big rush of people going back to college or trade schools, mainly because it’s hard to afford when people aren’t employed. We hate being the bearer of bad news, but technology and education are the only things we have left that are going to create newer and better paying jobs. And, until the two wars are over, the government won’t have the money to help fund any of it.

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