"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants" - Albert Camus

Friday, October 5, 2012

An Amateurishly Conceived October Surprise?

Forget bomb shell revelations about candidates.  Forget hidden video or audio recordings of candidates making nebulous and innocuous statements that can be used by the opposition to feather and tar them through misrepresentation.  Sometimes October surprises can come in the form of statistics, as it seems to have this morning.

At 8:30 a.m., the government released its latest unemployment data and boy, was it a doozy!
Let me get this straight, without breaking out in uncontrollable laughter.  Here are the dubious facts as reported by the government:
1) The economy added 114,000 new jobs
2) Unemployment rate (U-3) went down from 8.1% to 7.8%
3) The real unemployment rate (U-6) remained unchanged at 14.7%
4) The drop in the rate was NOT due to a reduction in the labor force participation rate.

Now, I don't know about what others think but the math is as suspect as a three dollar bill.  We know for a fact that the economy needs to create a little over 150,000 jobs per month to break even with the net increase in the labor force.  So what gives?  We get about 25% fewer jobs created than necessary to break even.  According to the government, there is no reduction in the participation rate - meaning no additional discouraged workers or those who exhaust their unemployment benefits.  On top of it all, the U-6 figure remains unchanged. 

The first reason it does not make any sense is because you cannot possibly have the outcome portrayed by the BLS with the facts given - it is a mathematical impossibility.  The second reason is that you cannot possibly have the U-3 go down by three tenths of a percent but have no change in the U-6 figure without reduction in the labor force.  And finally, the contradictions in the slew of data released by the BLS is beyond what might be expected from an outfit that has been doing a reasonably decent job. 

So, what we have here is as apparent as day, folks.  Under the fearless leadership of Secretary Hilda Solis (a committed leftist hack), the Labor Department is doing what it must to salvage the Presidents prospects after his embarassingly poor debate performance in front of the largest TV debate audience in history.  Had we a national media with integrity, this wouldn't fly, but with the exception of some economists and reporters, the media seems to be swallowing the Administration's latest propaganda despite its oviously questionable nature.  That is what lapdogs do.

In the true sense of what passes as serious economic reporting today, many sources applauded the brave new report of this wonderfully rosy employment picture without questioning the impossible math behind it.  And why wouldn't day?  After all, the investment of the media in this Administration is as total as any previous in history.  As one might say in modern day slang...ROFL!


A. Sinan Unur said...

It is a very unexpected report following 1.3% GDP growth in the second quarter.

Particularly curious is the fact that the establishment survey says 100K jobs were added whereas the household survey has 1 million more people are working.

I understand the establishment survey does not cover all work, but these three measures don't fit together.

Neither does the fact that the FED compelled to initiate QE. After all, they had access to pretty much all the raw data even as we, the public, only get the data at specific intervals.

Tel said...

I've been scanning some other articles on this and about 600K previously unemployed people took part-time work, which helps reduce U-3 but these might only be 1 hour per week. Note that the 600K figure is seasonally adjusted, but the real-world number is 400K. Looks like quite a lot of that is government jobs.


The Patriot said...

I get that a ton of part time jobs were created and technically, that reduces the U-3. This is exactly why the U-3 figure should be discontinued. It is meaningless. It is disingenuous at best and deceptive at the worst. In other words, right up the alley of this Administration.

Tel said...

The stats are jigged, but Obama didn't build that. It is a worldwide standard, has been for years, they do the same thing in Australia and Europe. If you work one hour a week, you are not counted in the headline unemployment figure. In the UK they pushed them onto disability pensions or various medical things, in Australia they encouraged them to do some educational courses for a few hours a week and that got the numbers down. Keep the idle hands busy before they make trouble.

By the way, this link is a year old but if you haven't already read it then you probably would like to (a bit shocking in places, but that's the new normal I guess).


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