Using all of this statistical trickery to convert a weak job market into an imminent recession has become a bipartisan political strategy. Robert Reich and other big government Democrats play the "double dip" card to peddle more deficit spending on refundable tax credits and transfer payments. Conservative Republicans often become double-dippy for very different reasons—to argue (quite plausibly) that hundreds of billions in "stimulus spending" has proven counterproductive so far, contributed to the debt, and will eventually lead to higher taxes.Reynolds does an excellent job describing various measures of unemployment (U2, U4, and U6) and the "Job Opening and Turnover Survey." His interpretation is well worth the read.
In addition to interpreting the employment data, he describes the general economic outlook. If it were a weather forecast, he would report that the sky is not falling, but the dawn is overcast.
Those who want to know what is going on must sift through all of this bipartisan gloom to distinguish between (1) agenda-driven dire warnings and (2) the boring reality of a sluggish recovery being partially paralyzed by ominous threats of punitive taxes and onerous regulation.