Unemployment rose to 8.1%, up from 7.6% in January and from what now seems an unattainably low 4.8% in February of 2008. The other employment survey - of households rather than business establishments - shows a February job decline of 351,000 - or nearly half the payroll figure. Over the last twelve months, however, the two survey are remarkably close - with the payroll survey indicating 4.141 million jobs lost and the household variant reporting a loss of 4.245 million. February saw a continuation of the reverse-displacement trend, with Hispanic jobs shrinking at a far faster clip than non- Hispanic jobs:
In normal times this would signal increased confidence among job seekers. In today's funk it may be seen as a sign of desperation - jobless workers looking for jobs they know aren't there. We are eternal optimists. The ratio of Hispanic to non-Hispanic job growth since the January 2001, expressed as an index that we call VDAWDI (the V-Dare.com American Worker Displacement Index), fell by 0.4% percent in February. Since the job market fell out of bed in September, the Hispanic job growth index is down by 4.2%; the non-Hispanic index is down by 2.0%; and VDAWDI (the ratio of Hispanic to non-Hispanic job growth) is off by 2.2%. The recent collapse is alarmingly apparent in the graphic:
From January 2001 through February 2009 Hispanic employment increased by 3.97 million, or 22.1 percent, while non-Hispanic employment nudged up by 1.31 million, or 0.99 percent. Bottom line: The worst job collapse since the Great Depression hasn't erased eight-years of American worker displacement. Not yet, anyway.