Ups and Downs and Ups

The economy gained 236,000 jobs in February, well above what had been expected, while the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, its lowest level since December 2008.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 236,000 in February, with  job gains in professional and business services, construction, and health care.

Professional and business services added 73,000 jobs in February; employment in the industry had changed little (+16,000) in January. In February, employment in administrative and support services, which includes employment services and services to buildings, rose by 44,000. Accounting and bookkeeping services added 11,000 jobs, and growth continued in computer systems design and in management and technical consulting services.

In February, employment in construction increased by 48,000. Since September, construction employment has risen by 151,000. In February, job growth occurred in specialty trade contractors, with this gain about equally split between residential (+17,000) and nonresidential specialty trade contractors (+15,000). Nonresidential building construction also added jobs (+6,000).

The health care industry continued to add jobs in February (+32,000). Within health care, there was a job gain of 14,000 in ambulatory health care services, which includes doctors’ offices and outpatient care centers. Employment also increased over the month in nursing and residential care facilities (+9,000) and hospitals (+9,000).

Employment in the information industry increased over the month (+20,000), lifted by a large job gain in the motion picture and sound recording industry. Employment continued to trend up in retail trade in February (+24,000). Retail trade has added 252,000 jobs over the past 12 months. Employment also continued to trend up over the month in food services and drinking places and in wholesale trade. Employment in other major industries showed little change over the month.

The numbers would have been even better if not for the continuing cuts in public sector jobs.

Public-sector employment continued to shrink, however, as the number of government employees nationwide fell by 10,000.

Unfortunately, something else has gone up at an unprecedented rate, average global temperature. Unlike it’s obsession with business numbers, the main stream media doesn’t seem to be overly concerned with this much scarier statistic.

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According to Tim McDonnell, the real concern is not just that the average global temperature is higher than any time in the last 11,300 years; it is the amazing current rate of change.

Back in 1999, Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann released the climate change movement’s most potent symbol: The “hockey stick,” a line graph of global temperature over the last 1,500 years that shows an unmistakable, massive uptick in the 20th century, when humans began to dump large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It’s among the most compelling bits of proof out there that human beings are behind global warming, and as such has become a target on Mann’s back for climate denialists looking to draw a bead on scientists.

Today, it’s getting a makeover: A study published in Science reconstructs global temperatures further back than ever before—a full 11,300 years. The new analysis finds that the only problem with Mann’s hockey stick was that its handle was about 9,000 years too short. The rate of warming over the last 100 years hasn’t been seen for as far back as the advent of agriculture.

“Under all plausible greenhouse gas emission scenarios,” the world is on track to surpass temperatures not seen since the dawn of civilization, according to the study. In 100 years, we’ve gone from the cold end of the spectrum to the warm end of the spectrum,” said climatologist Shaun Marcott, lead author of the study. “We’ve never seen something this rapid. Even in the ice age the global temperature never changed this quickly.”

Marcott said that current “global temperatures are warmer than about 75 percent of anything we’ve seen over the last 11,000 years or so.” By 2100, he said, global temperatures will be “well above anything we’ve ever seen in the last 11,000 years.”

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