March 2011 Spokane County MSA Employment; Unemployment at 10.5%

Unemployment continues to rise in Spokane “unexpectedly”. In 9 of the last 11 years, unemployment went down in March – except for 2009 and 2011.

Update: Eyeballing the data, we will likely see a half point or larger drop in April but that data will not be available until nearly the end of May. It is common for there to be a 2 point difference between the high and low for each year, which repeats in a cyclical fashion. The overall change, year over year, will likely be a trend downwards by about 1 percent. That means in roughly the same month next year, the unemployment will probably be about 1 percent less than this year. If you do not follow this, look at the chart from 2003 to 2007 and see how annual unemployment fell by about 1 percent per year.

Total non-farm employed. If we had remained on the job growth trajectory in effect up until 2007, we would have expected about 235,000 non-farm jobs at this time giving us a feel for the depth of this downturn.

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6 Responses to March 2011 Spokane County MSA Employment; Unemployment at 10.56

  1. Ron the Cop says:

    Gee I wonder why? There shouldn’t be any surprise here:-)

  2. inlandnw says:

    Yeah. I think the long term problem is making public investments that benefit the few.

    The $570 million poured in to mostly unused concrete in north Spokane (north corridor freeway) is $570 million that is going unused and won’t be used for another 10 or more years. We do not have the luxury of our continued “cargo cult” – pour concrete and they will come – attitude.

    For that money, we could have had 5 to 8 medical schools built! Or could have created infrastructure that supports industry and jobs throughout the County.

    This has gone on for decades and I no longer believe that this can be changed here.

  3. Ron the Cop says:

    I’m an eternal optimist. The dam has been breached that has up to now has successfully controlled the flow of information in this region. NO LONGER with the advent of the new/alternative/social media. We are living in a communications transformation era as great or greater than Martin Luther’s time with the advent of the printing press.

    No longer can the ruling elite and religious clergy control what goes for the news and thought of the day.

    Your blog is evidence of the new media’s power to directly communicate with the public. Once the public realizes that they have been lied to for many years will rise up in revolt and storm the walls of the Bastille!

  4. Ron the Cop says:

    BTW see my comment in this S-R piece by Prager regarding challenging the economic affect of pouring concrete and plugging this blog for alternative information:

    April 18, 2011 in City
    Support for road and transit fixes wanes at wallet
    Survey finds taxes less popular than projects they’d fund

    *****

    Mr. Prager,

    Gee are we preparing the ground for our trolley system Downtown?

    … Support for taxes went up when community benefits, such as economic growth and job creation, were explained.

    In view of the recent research work of this blog:

    Spokane Economic And Demographic Data
    Raw and Uncensored – Economy, Jobs, Education, Government
    https://inlandnw.wordpress.com/

    This correlation between concrete and jobs has not panned out in other projects. Who’s doing the explaining?

  5. art lande says:

    here’s the follow up on the long overdue over- understatement about MFG jobs created in Spokane County, following demise of Agilent and Itronix companies. As I mentioned before, you probably had your data pre-filtered and were also not disposed to see the “lift” (if that’s the word) in area mfg jobs as people took jobs elsewhere.
    But the numbers are clear, 300 more mfg jobs in Spok County than one year ago.
    You asked, and I did find the number,s though using the STATE job site is painful and difficult for me, because of my eyes.
    http://www.workforceexplorer.com/admin/uploadedPublications/1889_industry_current.xls

    So that’s what I can offer. Have a good day whoever you are…
    Art

  6. inlandnw says:

    Hi Art, and thanks for stopping by (really). I do appreciate your comments and I have always encouraged readers to challenge my data sources because I would prefer to be wrong. I apologize if my past replies were harsh. I was probably too busy at the time and wrote replies too quickly.

    I also agree with the 300+ jobs increase reported this month, for year over year March to March. I did not agree with the report one month ago alluding to unseen data that there was a big increase. There was no publicly available data to conclude that; there may have been secret private data or hunches, but nothing that could be independently verified.

    Since last fall I have written that I believed Spokane’s bottom in this downturn was here but that there would be different sectors turning down/up at various times.

    I have worked to raise important issues on this web site by referencing actual data. What I found as I collected this data are long term problems that have been documented, repeatedly, in every area economic initiative or study done during the past 30 years. The problem is that for what ever reason, the problems get buried. I am hardly alone in spotting these problems (some of the items here have been suggested to me by area contacts).

    Please take a look at what Shaun O.L. Higgins had to say back in the year 2000 here – https://inlandnw.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/economic-strategies-for-spokane-part-3/

    Who is Shaun O.L. Higgins? Until his recent retirement he was the head of marketing for the Spokesman-Review and I think the president of the media division.

    I hope that his comments provide context for the data that I have assembled. This helps to understand where we are and what we now need to do; I’m uncertain, though, that area leadership is making the best decisions.

    My personal feeling (not based on specific data points) is that local leaders have made some unfortunate decisions that left us where we are. We do not today have a healthy economy of the type envisioned by past and recent economic strategies for the area. To some extent, there are many actors that have logically made decisions for rational self interests, but which may not benefit the many.

    Right now we are trying to grow out of a hole – a very deep hole. This is no ordinary recession downturn. The issues here are deeper than just the recession and I hope that can be understood by looking at the data here, and the set of recommendations I offered last fall and last month.

    Thank you for reading and providing feedback.

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