(Please note: This post dates back to November 2011.)
That's right. NO jobs (net) have been lost in 2011 to date.
I'll repeat that: There has been no net loss of jobs in 2011 to date.
In fact, we have 1,256,000 MORE jobs now, as of mid-October, than we did at the end of 2010.
That doesn't mean that people aren't still getting laid off or fired. But it does mean that there have been more people getting hired throughout 2011 than there are people getting fired or people quitting.
From December 2010 until August 2011 (the latest month for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings, Layoffs, and Turnover numbers are available), 13,333,000 people were laid off or discharged, 14,803,000 people have quit, 3,007,000 have left for other reasons (such as retiring), giving a total of 31,143,00 separations. Since December 2010, 32,000,000, however, have been hired. That means that there have been 857,000 MORE hires than separations through August of this year.
Many people freak out when they hear that 400,000 people are filing for first time unemployment claims every week. They multiply that by 4 and come up with 1,600,000 a month additional unemployed. But even though it is true that about 1,600,000 people are being fired or laid off a month, hiring has continued. In good times and in bad, hiring continues. While 1,600,000 a month or about 400,000 a week are getting laid off or fired, between 3,800,000 and 4,000,000 people have been hired every month this year. That's about 900,000 to 1,000,000 new hires a week. About 2,100,000 a month (or 525,000 a week) have quit or left for other reasons. So we are winding up with net hiring of anywhere from zero to 50,000 a week right now, or about 100,000 to 150,000 new hires a month.
So, no. We aren't losing jobs, but we aren't gaining as many as we need to put the hordes of unemployed people back to work.
Remember that we have 13,897,000 "officially" unemployed, another 6,400,000 who "want a job" but haven't looked lately. We also don't know how many of the "new" jobs are part-time and how many are minimum wage or temp jobs. If you add all of this together, it is clear that, at 100,000 new hires a month in 2011, we aren't going to be making a dent in the misery of the American people very quickly.