This weekly regular posting highlights Facts that shape our world and conversations at the Water Cooler.
1. Unemployment rate falls in November to 8.6%, the lowest level since March 2009. Jobs created amounted to 120,000, but 315,000 stopped looking for work. Again private sector jobs grew, but government jobs declined.
2. From January to March 2009 the unemployment rate shot up from 7.8% to 8.6%, as the USA hurtled toward depression, with unemployment peaking at 10.1% in the third quarter of 2009.
3. Private sector jobs have been created for the last 21 months, with 2.5 million total new jobs. The total new jobs would be over 3 million but for the more than 600,000 lost government jobs. Yet, more than 8 million jobs were lost from 2007, when the Great Recession began, to January 2010, when the job massacre stopped.
4. Speaker Gingrich rockets to the top of the GOP race leading nationally 38% to 17%, 26% to 18% in Iowa and 50% to 19% in Florida, according to new polls. Gingrich, however, trails Romney by double digits in New Hampshire, where Romney has one of his several homes.
5. Democrats cheer Gingrich's rise but should remember 1980, when many Democrats cheered Reagan beating George Bush, the man who called Reaganomics "Voodo Economics," thinking that then Governor Reagan would be easier to beat in the national election. A Rasmussen Poll last week had Gingrich beating President Obama 45-43.