Patterico's Pontifications

10/5/2012

Biggest Improvement in Jobs Numbers Comes from Gov’t

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:39 am

The jobs numbers are out, and Big Media is focused on the traditional “unemployment” number — which is noticeably better, but which says very little about the actual state of employment in this country. The benchmark I consider the most important, the civilian participation rate, is still miserable, as Ed Morrissey notes:

Looking at the internals, there were few true bright spots, but at least it wasn’t as bleak as the last couple of months. The U-6 number, which captures unemployment and underemployment as well as the marginally attached, stayed the same as in August at 14.7%. The civilian population participation rate rose a tenth of a point to 63.6%, exactly where it was in the 1982 midterm election, and only missing the 31-year low set last month.

Note that says “civilian” population participation rate. Civilians aren’t doing so well. But you know who’s doing great, as we come into the final month before the election? Why, government workers!

The best news anywhere in the U.S. economy over the past three months has been in the government sector, where unemployment has dropped dramatically from 5.7 percent in July to 5.1 percent in August to 4.3 percent in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Both the federal and state governments increased their employees in July, August and September.

The Obama administration has added 10,000 civilian workers to the federal government’s payroll since July, according to BLS. . . . The Obama administration has been able to accomplish a net increase in federal employees over the past three months even while the U.S. Postal Service–whose employees are considered part of the federal workforce–eliminated jobs and decreased its payroll.

Going a little deeper on the numbers themselves, they are very confusing and seemingly contradictory. Again, Ed Morrissey explains it well: “The number of unemployed dropped 456,000 last month, while only 114,000 jobs got added. That either means that 342,000 people left the US, or they left the work force in one way or another. In the household survey, though, the number of people with jobs rose by 873,000 — a very strange outcome that makes it appear that more than one tweak has been done to previous data.” Also, Morrissey says: “Some 582,000 Americans took part- time positions because of slack business conditions or those jobs were the only work they could find.”

Nevertheless, this not terribly encouraging news will be portrayed as simply wonderful news — and already is. After all, something has to be done to mitigate Obama’s dreadful debate performance.

134 Responses to “Biggest Improvement in Jobs Numbers Comes from Gov’t”

  1. Wait! I was told the private sector was “doing fine”!

    K_P_Brown (88bd1c)

  2. ‘the number of people with jobs rose by 873,000 — “Some 582,000 Americans took part- time positions”‘

    And as zerohedge notices the latter figure divided by the former is precisely 2/3. Try doing that again, Household Survey.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  3. A noun, a verb, and “Bush’s fault.”

    Stillman type dumb (721840)

  4. Anyone had a raise in pay in the last 4 years? My rate has been in steady decline.

    mg (44de53)

  5. It’s kind of a win-win for teh administration, isn’t it?

    Work half the day, spend the other half in the welfare line . . .

    Icy (2b71cb)

  6. ____________________________________________

    they are very confusing and seemingly contradictory.

    I mentioned in another post that there were moments (I thought it lasted for around only a year or so) during the middle of the Great Depression when an observer could have easily assumed that economic trends were so solidly on the way back up, that it was a case of Happy Times Are Here Again. The period of time of upswing actually covered quite a few years:

    shmoop.com: The overall size of the American economy, measured by gross domestic product, sharply declined following the crash on Wall Street—from $103.6 billion in 1929 to $66 billion in 1934. The economic recovery of 1933-1937, among the most dramatic in US history, saw double-digit annual gains, although a tax increase and cutback in government spending in 1937 threw the economy back into recession. Complete recovery from the economic misery of the Great Depression only arrived after 1940, when mobilization for World War II caused a huge increase in industrial production; between 1940 and 1945, GDP more than doubled in current dollars.

    Average rate of unemployment

    in 1929: 3.2%
    in 1930: 8.9%
    in 1931: 16.3%
    in 1932: 24.1%
    in 1933: 24.9%
    in 1934: 21.7%
    in 1935: 20.1%
    in 1936: 16.9%
    in 1937: 14.3%
    in 1938: 19.0%
    in 1939: 17.2%

    ^ Beyond politics, the overall economy has developed so many more layers of activity (based upon new technology and all the “toys” tapped into by the public—some may say the perks of “bread and circuses”) since over 60 years ago, that I believe it’s now inherently more resilient than it was when radio ruled and TV was in its infancy.

    Mark (6d5e0d)

  7. On most balance sheets, one month’s numbers should begin where last month’s left off. Rule of thumb when they don’t: someone is cheating.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  8. Let’s all thank George W. Bush for sending the economy into a tailspin that Obama has been unable to reverse immediately upon entering office!

    Yay for bad news! Yay for unemployment! Yay for Republican Obstructionism!

    P. Tillman (fcbc8b)

  9. anyone dumb or gullible enough to believe these numbers is going to also believe that re-electing our SCOAMF is a good idea.

    the sub-set of those folks that live here in the PRC will also be voting in favor of the various tax hikes on our state ballots.

    personally, i call bull schise.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  10. If it were not for Republican “obstructionism” the economy would be in deep depression, reeling from sky-high tax rates and wild government schemes.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  11. PowerLine talks about the difference between looking at the “household rate” vs “establishment rate” or some such and how different ones are emphasized depending on the meme.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  12. Let’s all thank George W. Bush for sending the economy into a tailspin that Obama has been unable to reverse immediately upon entering office!
    – FOUR YEARS is the new “immediately”? Must have missed that memo.

    Yay for bad news! Yay for unemployment! Yay for Republican Obstructionism!
    – Hooray for boobies!

    Icy (2b71cb)

  13. Everyone wants to plump up their payrolls before we plummet over the fiscal cliff. It’s like in Texas where you had the pickup truck crammed with two dozen guys slamming into a tree.

    Good news is I think in the end eight survived, which is exactly… ONE THIRD

    happyfeet (4afab7)

  14. Rate the numbers- 7.8 unemployment rate-hotsy totsy
    participation rate 63.6-hotsy notsy

    pdbuttons (3873f5)

  15. Let’s all thank George W. Bush for sending the economy into a tailspin that Obama has been unable to reverse immediately upon entering office!

    Comment by P. Tillman — 10/5/2012 @ 8:43 am

    He just entered office?

    Gerald A (f26857)

  16. The best news anywhere in the U.S. economy over the past three months has been in the government sector, where unemployment has dropped dramatically from 5.7 percent in July to 5.1 percent in August to 4.3 percent in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    I don’t understand this. The government sector (civilkian government employees) has a separate unemployment rate? What exactly is this statistic?

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  17. Mr. Feets – Worst economic recovery since the Great Depression and more of the same if Obama is reelected is the new hotness.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  18. Comment by Mark — 10/5/2012 @ 8:27 am

    I mentioned in another post that there were moments (I thought it lasted for around only a year or so) during the middle of the Great Depression when an observer could have easily assumed that economic trends were so solidly on the way back up,

    They really were back up. Then, in 1937, FDR changed policy, and things started getting worse. Policy was revrsed again and by 1938 things were back to where they were in 1936, and were definitely higher than 1929 in 1940 – really before the World War II military buildup in the United States.

    that it was a case of Happy Times Are Here Again

    Happy Days Are Here Again. This sonmg was actually played at the 1932 Democratic Convention.

    (according to Wikipedia)

    The song was copyrighted in 1929 – before the stick market crash – by Milton Ager (music) and Jack Yellen (lyrics) and published by EMI Robbins Catalog, Inc./Advanced Music Corp.[1] and was recorded by Leo Reisman and His Orchestra, with Lou Levin, vocal (November 1929) and was featured in the 1930 film Chasing Rainbows.

    In the movie it was used to refer to the end of World War I. In 1932, the Democrats were using it to indicate the coming end to Prohibition.

    (the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, John J. Raskob wanted to make Prohibition, and not the depression, the main campaign issue. He was a millionaire who had worked for Du Pont and General Motors but resigned in a dispute with Alfred P. Sloan in 1928. He built the Empire State Building. In 1932, he had supported Alfred E. Smith for the nomination, and he and Al Smith later became big opponents of the New Deal)

    The movie sequence was a “pull-out-all-the-stops Technicolor finale, against a Great War Armistice show-within-a-show backdrop.” in an otherwise black-and-white film, except for one other color sequence in the film, and is believed to have been lost in the 1967 MGM Vault 7 fire. It had been cut from the 1931 re-release.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  19. shmoop.com: The overall size of the American economy, measured by gross domestic product, sharply declined following the crash on Wall Street—from $103.6 billion in 1929 to $66 billion in 1934. The economic recovery of 1933-1937, among the most dramatic in US history, saw double-digit annual gains, although a tax increase and cutback in government spending in 1937 threw the economy back into recession.

    No, no, no, no, no. Monetary policy. What that web site says is Keynesism.

    It’s true that all these different things happened at the same time.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  20. 12. Indeed, the means to misrepresent the data are legion. A fave is to adjust the prior rate up so that the new rate can be cast as ‘lowering the rate’.

    This time a ‘one time’ adjustment enables them to lower U3 a monster step while U6 remains unchanged. Last month another such adjustment allowed them to lower it to 8.1% when the establishment survey was similarly weak.

    We now seem to have multiple birth/death adjustments per year and maybe twice the seasonal adjustments as there are seasons.

    Public servants my butt.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  21. 8. If it is talking down the economy-in hopes that its further tanking will somehow persuade the 2008 52% that they were sh*theads-to properly characterize economic conditions, then I plead guilty.

    And what do you have to say for your self, poot print?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  22. the economy was taking a downturn when Bush 43 took office too. He didn’t whine about inheriting a tough job. Terrorism was also rampant and unchecked at the time. he didn’t whine about it.

    Obama made promises he can’t keep, and we’re worse off than we were four years back.

    Romney Ryan is an improvement over this incompetent administration that produces excuses instead of jobs.

    Dustin (73fead)

  23. “And what do you have to say for your self, poot print?”

    gary – I think Petey should say this is what Obamanomics looks like.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  24. 24. At the very least.

    The Cap’n on the Household Survey:

    “That’s why people who understand data and surveys look skeptically at the result of the household survey. It doesn’t mean a conspiracy is in place; it does strongly suggest that this month’s sample of 60,000 households threw an outlier, especially when compared with the establishment survey and other economic data. If so, it will likely correct itself in the next report. That’s not “trutherism” or denial, but straightforward data analysis.”

    But for the consideration that the trend is vaguely normal statistically. I’m not a statistician but let’s say the standard deviation is 50K month to month. This is like a 10 sigma outlier.

    Given the current growth rate of 1.25% it cannot happen. A responsible pollster would toss the survey, wouldn’t they?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  25. Dustin, it just goes to show you. W should have gone on and on about how Clinton left an economic mess. Not to mention al Qaeda. Everyone loves a whiner.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  26. Oh yes, our tax dollars are never wasted… And spending can never be really reduced it must always increase. Government produces poor products that no one would voluntarily purchase which is why taxes must be collected via the force of might/guns. How many people to we pay to produce, massage and reproduce this stuff. Remember the old computer GIGO? That is what we have, Garbage In, Garbage Out. And I believe intentional outcomes.

    TexasMom2012 (cee89f)

  27. A few more months of loosing 300,000+ people from the rolls, and we’ll be at full employment (that’ll be about three people: one guy writing a check, one guy cashing the check, and one guy behind the counter at the bank handing out the cash – which will be worthless thanks to Helicopter-Ben, and there’ll be nowhere to spend it thanks to Teh Won).

    “If we keep ‘winning’ like this, we’re going to be in deep-s..t.”

    Also, there’s this:

    EVERYONE KNOWS THE ECONOMIST IS A RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY SITE! — RIGHT? Economist: unemployment drop “implausible,” a “statistical quirk.”

    Posted at 1:45 pm by Sarah Hoyt @ Instapundit

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  28. Kevin, what I posted about gas prices at the local ARCO yesterday.
    Well, yesterday’s prices settled at $4.399!
    That is an increase of 40-cents since Sunday.
    10-CENTS A DAY!
    Have no idea where it’s going to end, and I need to fill-up.

    This is what Hyper-Inflation looks like.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  29. The “improvement” is deceptive and nonexistent so of course the White House trumpets as a sign of Obama’s great policies. Laughable, but then Jay Carney has been competing with The Onion.

    SPQR (ba4683)

  30. Onion comes in second!

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  31. “the economy was taking a downturn when Bush 43 took office too. He didn’t whine about inheriting a tough job. ”

    I agree, it was tough to blow a huge surplus and then start an unprovoked $1T war and cut taxes for the most successful an wealthy Americans.

    What a laugh.

    But no matter, GWB found PLENTY to complain about when he took office…actually, he blamed nearly every one of his failures on Clinton or the Democrats. If you’d judge him by the same standars as Obama (who has only rarely laid the blame at the feet of the moron you fools elected TWICE who is responsible for this trainwreck of an economy…for the middle class primarily of course) you’d recognize he was a sniveling little lying coward full of blusters and lies and empty tough talk.

    Just the kind of person you all identify with so quickly.

    P. Tillman (fcbc8b)

  32. #32

    You’re a liar.

    Gerald A (f26857)

  33. P. Tillman reminds me of somebody who posted here around 2004-2005. The name is long gone from my brain.

    Gerald A (f26857)

  34. “I agree, it was tough to blow a huge PROJECTED surplus by inheriting a recession and getting hit by 9/11.”

    Petey – FTFY

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  35. Gerald @33, with all due respect the delusional are not liars. Just insane.

    Still, I can’t help but think it cute when Tilly writes his own obituary.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  36. “But no matter, GWB found PLENTY to complain about when he took office…actually, he blamed nearly every one of his failures on Clinton or the Democrats.”

    Petey – Examples please, clown.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  37. 8.Let’s all thank George W. Bush for sending the economy into a tailspin that Obama has been unable to reverse immediately upon entering office!

    Yay for bad news! Yay for unemployment! Yay for Republican Obstructionism!

    Comment by P. Tillman — 10/5/2012 @ 8:43 am

    Wow, it took a whole hour for Dillman to blame Bush after my comment. You’re slacking off. Dude, just copy and paste your inanity. Why bother re-typing the same drivel over and over?

    Stillman type dumb (721840)

  38. If one googles “Obama blames Bush”, about 5,270,000 results (0.18 seconds) show up.

    If one googles “Bush blames Clinton”, about 2,730,000 results (0.20 seconds) show up.

    Dana (292dcf)

  39. Speaking of inheriting, Daley, can someone please, puhlease, let me in on when the Obama admin is going to thank the Bushies for increasing US oil production.

    The math is inescapable. The Obamatons are on record numerous times saying we can’t drill our way out of our energy predicament cuz we wouldn’t see oil hitting the market from a new field for 5 to 10 years.

    Well, oil production in the US is up and they’ve only been in the WH for less than 4 years so…

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  40. I wish this unemployment rate were true. But it’s not. And all the numbers finagling, and spinning, and counting part time jobs, and not counting young college graduates who have not even been able to enter the work force yet, and removing all the new SSI disability people and all the folks who had to retire early and take SS early, is not going to change the fact that America needs jobs.

    elissa (664b23)

  41. I have some questions for some BLS folks that I wish I could ask them under oath, and after I had already collected their relevant backup documents. I have nothing but suspicions and circumstances, but I think that the long-feared overt politicization of the BLS has taken place. I believe that someone’s cooking the books, and more than just a little.

    Beldar (d8195e)

  42. Apparently at least two of the BLS economists are Obama donators and not chump change givers, either… that might be a starting point… These days, cynicism is warranted.

    Dana (292dcf)

  43. “I believe that someone’s cooking the books, and more than just a little.”

    Beldar – Please, they’re not just cooking the books, they’re changing the recipe.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  44. Comment by Gerald A — 10/5/2012 @ 12:14 pm

    Could he be that renowned patriot, VietnamEraVet?

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  45. The leftosphere is calling Jack Welch and other conspiracy theorists “Job Truthers.”

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  46. 32. As you can see by the following chart 2000 was not a good year Q1 and Q3 were flat, growth for the year under 2%, stall speed.

    Q2 2012 is currently set at 1.25%. Do you call that a BOOM?

    http://www.data360.org/dataset.aspx?Data_Set_Id=354

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  47. What does an economy look line that is producing 800,000+ jobs?

    JD (ab8eee)

  48. 48. Cap’n didn’t say when just that GDP was growing at 9% the last time it happened. I’d look for such an event around ’47, things got pretty hot around ’65(post-Gulf of Tonkin) and then again end of ’84.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  49. What does an economy look like that is producing 800,000+ jobs?

    Ontario I think.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  50. P.Tillman, nothing that Bush did had anything to do with the financial crisis and recession. However, Obama explicitly claimed he knew what to do. Which was evidently dump a trillion dollars into a sewer and then ignore the economy for the rest of his term.

    Obama is a failure both objectively and by his own terms.

    SPQR (5ea462)

  51. How many people left the workforce this month? How did SSDI track with jobs? What is the current workforce participation percentage?

    JD (ab8eee)

  52. by his own terms.

    Yup. “if I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  53. These numbers don’t include self employed carpenters.

    mg (44de53)

  54. James Sherk, senior policy analyst in labor economics at the Heritage Foundation, says Jack Welch is wrong but that we should not read that much into the numbers released today because when the next household survey (due November 2, four days before the election) will show unemployment jumping back up to 8 percent. He explains this as an anomalous survey, without any intentional tweaking by the administration.

    He explains the survey and numbers,

    That said, it is highly unlikely that today’s unemployment numbers are accurate. BLS conducts two main labor-market surveys: the payroll survey (polling employers) and the household survey (polling individuals). The household survey showed a 0.3 percent drop in unemployment and 873,000 net new jobs — the most since mid-1983. The payroll survey showed one-eighth as many jobs added (+114,000).

    Unfortunately, the payroll survey is probably correct. Of the two, the household survey has a much smaller sample size and thus larger margin of error. Although the two surveys tend to show the same results over time, the household survey jumps around more on a month-to-month basis. Even without fudging, the laws of statistics dictate that some polls will produce results outside the margin of error. One out of every 20 polls is somewhat wrong, and one out of 100 polls is really wrong.

    Today’s household survey looks a lot like that one poll in 100. It reports stronger job creation than any time since the height of the Reagan economic boom. However, nothing else shows anything similar.

    The BLS payroll survey shows continued slow job growth. So does another payroll survey conducted by a private-sector firm. New claims for unemployment insurance remain stuck around 375,000 a week – higher than you see in a strong economy. The government just revised second-quarter economic growth estimates down to an anemic 1.3 percent. No other indicators point to an economic boom.

    Dana (292dcf)

  55. Grand conspiracy involving the BLS (who donated to Obama who is secretly Muslim gay!1!!1!) is much more interesting than statistics, Dana. :)

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  56. carlitos – aren’t you being a tad harsh, calling the BLS Obama-donors ‘boring statist-ticks’ ?

    Alasdair (bec714)

  57. Comment by carlitos — 10/5/2012 @ 2:44 pm

    Ontario North Dakota I think.

    FTFY!

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  58. “What does an economy look like that is producing 800,000+ jobs?”

    carlitos – Last time we booked numbers like that GDP was growing at 9.5%. You see any signs of that happening in any other indicators?

    Didn’t think so.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  59. Are my posts that hard to understand? I quoted the question JD asked using the “quote” tags so it appears indented, and responded “Ontario,” which is a province in Canada and in fact has a nice jobs outlook, adding around 30,000 jobs in September, many of them high-paying full time positions. I’m not sure what you’re getting at.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  60. Here’s Why You Should Be Skeptical About Those Jobs Numbers…

    “A friend who works as a very very high-level consultant writes:

    One of the things my shop does is create forecasting models for clients—major firms like [BIG RETAILER] and [BIG FOOD PRODUCER]—you know, people who have to lay out big money on big decisions. We are a consumer of the data produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the sense that we use it as raw material in models. For example, we use periodic U-1, U-2, etc as predictors of forward sales.

    Now imagine me, telling [BIG RETAILER] to load up several millions in extra inventory in anticipation of a sales spike in three weeks because BLS says 873,000 people got jobs last month. They would laugh me out of the room before canceling our contract.

    If you think there was skepticism about these numbers in the press, you should’ve heard it at my office this morning. We are treating September numbers as an aberration, as, I am sure, is anyone who has to make an actual decision off them.

    If the people who have to predict what consumer spending patterns will be like this month don’t believe the numbers, with tens of millions of dollars in sales on the line, why should the rest of us?”

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/10/05/heres-why-you-should-be-skeptical-about-those-jobs-numbers/

    Colonel Haiku (bcadfb)

  61. If you read about the polling methodology these folks use to work up the numbers, you would be amused.

    Colonel Haiku (bcadfb)

  62. Isn’t that the definition of National Socialism where everyone essentially works for the State?

    Where will the taxes to pay everyone come from?

    Guess they’ll have to tax those rich . . .

    Hey! Where did all the people with money go?

    Jcw46 (b4329c)

  63. But…but…but…BOOOOOOOSH!!!!!!

    Pious Agnostic (2c3220)

  64. 55. One out of 100 would be a 3 sigma departure.

    Not an expert but this appears a larger outlier than just 1 in a 100.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  65. 62. Yeah, one fellow surnamed Martin at PJM a week back said they just get a bunch of phone numbers and basically take what they get insuring they call them randomly.

    They use quotas for ethnicity, religion, etc. But if they end up with D+13 thats what they report.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  66. 62. Yeah, one fellow surnamed Martin at PJM a week back said they just get a bunch of phone numbers and basically take what they get insuring they call them randomly.

    They use quotas for ethnicity, religion, etc. But if they end up with D+13 thats what they report.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  67. No, Gary, I’m talking about the “Household Survey” they used to work up that 873K.

    Colonel Haiku (bcadfb)

  68. reading on, perhaps you’re talking about the same thing? the sample is exceeeeeedingly small.

    Colonel Haiku (bcadfb)

  69. 69. Not BLS just polling. Here’s that link:

    http://pjmedia.com/blog/polling-theory-when-polling-is-useless/

    The Household survey samples 60,000 whereas the pollsters are polling 1600 to achieve a 3.5% error margin which is to exclude errors out to 3 sigma, or 99.5% of samples.

    I’m hoping Mr. Sherk is talking off the top of his head because he’s saying they could be routinely off 100 to 200%, say 1 sigma, and yet be reporting an error margin of 0.5% or something like that.

    In this case the employer survey has 114K, where household is 873K.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  70. Aberration or not, the clip of Obama bragging about 7.8 % is laughable. He sounds like an idiot bragging about it. And in the same clip, attacks Romney for “talking down the economy” … oh, no, Romney’s rhetoric might spoil his great economic recovery!

    SPQR (5ea462)

  71. From Cap’n second post on BLS surveys:

    “The BLS conducts two surveys each month to determine employment data. The first is the establishment survey, which polls 410,000 businesses each month. The second is the household survey, which polls 60,000 households each month. As one might expect, the larger survey provides a more stable series and more reliable data. The smaller one is still a very significant sample, but in a nation of around 150 million households, it’s hardly an exact science.”

    I see that all the level heads believe this is no biggie that they’d be off 700% it will all get fixed on revision.

    I’m still confused as to why they calculate the official U3 rate with the less reliable survey when they know it is ‘just a bit outside’.

    If it were really important, like Global Temperature, you’d think they’d at least average the two results. Am I wrong?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  72. From Cap’n second post on BLS surveys:

    “The BLS conducts two surveys each month to determine employment data. The first is the establishment survey, which polls 410,000 businesses each month. The second is the household survey, which polls 60,000 households each month. As one might expect, the larger survey provides a more stable series and more reliable data. The smaller one is still a very significant sample, but in a nation of around 150 million households, it’s hardly an exact science.”

    I see that all the level heads believe this is no biggie that they’d be off 700% it will all get fixed on revision.

    I’m still confused as to why they calculate the official U3 rate with the less reliable survey when they know it is ‘just a bit outside’.

    If it were really important, like Global Temperature, you’d think they’d at least average the two results. Am I wrong?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  73. Sorry about the double posts.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  74. 52. Sorry for the delay, the labor force actually increased:

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.september-jobs-114000-unemployment-rate/

    zerohedge points out a first time ever increase in the 20-24 age group for September of more than 200K. Some surmised kids are sticking with jobs rather than going to school, which zerohedge doubted.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  75. 52. Sorry for the delay, the labor force actually increased:

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.september-jobs-114000-unemployment-rate/

    zerohedge points out a first time ever increase in the 20-24 age group for September of more than 200K. Some surmised kids are sticking with jobs rather than going to school, which zerohedge doubted.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  76. Hmmm:

    http://www.jammiewf.com/2012/surprise-two-economist-at-the-bureau-of-labor-statistics-are-obama-donors/

    and Hmmmmmmm:

    http://www.aei-ideas.org/2012/10/economist-unemployment-drop-implausible-a-statistical-quirk/#.UG8PtSd8xAQ.facebook

    Why do Republicans have to tell us to trust the government. They’re not entrenched like a buried tick are they?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  77. Hey yeah, the economy is just smokin’…we’re talkin’ recovery right here, right now. 7.8% baby.

    Buzzkill on that BS:

    1) Oh, so was QE3 a little premature? A nevermind after the awesomeness of today’s 7.8% unemployment figure?

    2) Food stamps? Since it appears America is getting back to work will the 47 million on food stamps tank to a new low?

    3)What about all those part-time job numbers? Is this the new workaround to skit compliance of Obamacare?

    I hope Ryan pounds Biden into dirt over this next week.

    PC14 (87cbf8)

  78. How the heck are government hiring numbers going up? I work for DoD and we can’t hire diddley, even for vital contract management positions.

    Are these the IRS agents to enforce Obamacare?

    Wiener (1fcfe5)

  79. http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2012/10/05/jobs-under-obama/
    Private sector job growth under Bush: -646k. Under Obama: +967k.

    sleeeepy (b5f718)

  80. _______________________________________________

    Are these the IRS agents to enforce Obamacare?

    Obama has funneled $500 million to the IRS over the past year or so, meaning that, hell yes, the level of hiring in that part of the economy has been affected (ie, boosted). After all, when the Secretary of the Treasury and several other folks in Barry’s administration are known to cheat on their taxes, they, more than John and Mary Doe, are fully aware of the need to sic even more IRS agents on the American public.

    Mark (6d5e0d)

  81. Ah, la siesta otra vez. Slurpy, are those “private sector jobs” for everybody?

    nk (875f57)

  82. My favorite part “Sleeeepy” is how he excoriates candidates for lying…and then…lies.

    But what else is new?

    Simon Jester (6a136e)

  83. sleeeepy – Choombaya, butt chugger.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  84. It’s only a guess, but I can think of one possible reason for a large increase in government jobs in the last month or two. Assuming ‘government jobs’ means federal, state, and local, a very high percentage would be teachers. Most school districts are under financial pressure these days, and many find their enrollments quite a bit higher or lower than anticipated when August rolls around. So a lot of teachers who were laid off in June – told they didn’t necessarily have jobs in the fall – were arguably unemployed in July, even if they still had a paycheck or two coming to them, but are now employed again, either in their old districts or in new ones, as increased enrollment justifies last-minute hires.

    To put it another way, districts are probably more likely now to lay people off in June and then rehire some or all of them in August, IF enrollments permit, where in the past they might well have given them all contracts for August jobs long before school let out, on the assumption that they could get away with smaller-than-usual class sizes for a year or two.

    Dr. Weevil (47927d)

  85. Re my comment above (#42 — 10/5/2012 @ 1:43 pm):

    I’ve since read, or read more closely, a series of alternative observations about the significance of the new stats. In addition to Morrisey’s observations, I also found useful and interesting this post by Phil Klein and especially its embedded chart. (Hat-tip Redstate‘s Erick Erickson via InstaPundit Glenn Reynolds.) Klein takes a somewhat closer look at the increases in the number of people who’ve given up seeking full-time employment.

    I’m now less concerned than when I wrote this afternoon that the BLS has been completely politicized. I’m still somewhat suspicious of the strangely non-random pattern of corrections to these reports almost always revealing that our problems were worse than the original reports suggested — 40k here, 80k there, but it adds up. But that’s also speculation based on circumstance, and I have no evidence to cite or link in support of that speculation.

    I don’t particularly share Erickson’s conviction that conservatives should suppress their instincts to wonder aloud whether the BLS is cooking its books. The MSM reporters at the presser where the figures were announced were just as skeptical, because it’s an unexpected shift.

    I do agree, however, that throughout our arguments over the unemployment statistics, we should continue to point to the whole picture, not just the single stat on percentage of those seeking full-time employment who haven’t found it. Closely scrutinized, these statistics are not remotely as positive as Obama and his supporters would like to spin them into being. And at this point, it’s more effective to point that out than to complain about the BLS.

    Beldar (d8195e)

  86. food stamp’s debt n deficit statistics are still way more impressive than his piddly widdly job numbers I think

    I mean if you think about it he’s been a really suck ass president

    happyfeet (795036)

  87. that’s what I been noticing anyway

    happyfeet (795036)

  88. 86. A credible explanation. Along with rank incompetence from the top, e.g., Solis, for not including such important info.

    In my neck of the woods, affrimative action departments by new regulation took over candidate searches. Not only did they produce no qualified candidates among sheaves of interviewees the adjuncts doing the job the year prior were not included.

    And they submitted their ‘work’ within days of the hiring deadline.

    So, indeed, a roughly corresponding number of profs and teachers had no job June to August to the missing links.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  89. If you are unemployed, you are in the private sector, not the government sector.

    Wayne (3ff050)

  90. Greek styro columns…
    perfect set for demise of…
    hubris-filled Zer0?

    Colonel Haiku (e6062f)

  91. ‘Course those jobs in education are mostly replacement positions. When did they disappear? Shouldn’t we have seen May and June revised down?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  92. I’m suspicious about the jobs numbers because they let Obama claim unemployment is under 8%. That’s mighty convenient timing as the candidates head into the October debates.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  93. Meanwhile, linking to this would be “racist”

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  94. It’s alarming when the POTUS makes it readily apparent – as he did in front of more than 70M viewers – that he has no clue on how our economy works and not even a basic understanding of tax policy. If this man is reelected, we are truly hosed.

    Colonel Haiku (e6062f)

  95. that’s some stuff alright, kevin.

    Colonel Haiku (e6062f)

  96. Like DRJ, I remain deeply suspicious of the reported numbers as well. Fairly early on in the Obama Administration I got sucked into serving as panel member for the BLS Household Survey and remember well the panicked monthly calls from the DOL personnel trying to complete their reports. The range of questions certainly covered whether somebody was working full or part time or changed jobs, but it became an incredible PITA to participate. Given that the DOL theoretically uses a stable panel, the result appears to be a statistical anomaly or seasonal quirk which should have been smoothed or questioned given conflicting economic indicators elsewhere.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  97. Consider the startling Household Survey numbers in tandem with the news that the Administration has been strong arming defense contractors not to issue required WARN ACT layoff notices to employees for potential cuts caused by sequestration prior to the election and has indeed agreed to indemnify some of the companies against the costs of litigation and severance for the failure to provide such timely notices.

    This Administration will do anything to stay in power.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  98. I think this is much ado about nothing. Americans across the board are very cynical right now (about government, about the media, and about polls, etc). Nobody is buying that the country is back on track. Most people who see this report know that their college grad son/friend is still at home and unemployed–that their middle aged neighbor has been unemployed for over two years and has given up, that soldiers returning from the mid-east as the wars wind down can’t find work, and that the food pantries can’t keep up with demand.

    I don’t think whining about the flaws in this report helps a whole lot. Most voters know they are not better off than they were before Barack Obama started mucking with the already fragile economy, and most remaining undecideds are not going to be influenced by this report. Even if it were valid, 7.8% is still a horrible unemployement rate which does not warrant the re-election of the current president.

    elissa (a3b02b)

  99. Basically this means that unemployment insurance ran out for people, and they took part-time burger-flipping jobs to get by.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  100. “Basically this means that unemployment insurance ran out for people, and they took part-time burger-flipping jobs to get by.”

    Kevin M. – Unemployment insurance has been running out for people for a long time, even with the extension to 99 weeks as part of the Stimulus Act in 2009. That explanation does not account for a sudden blip like this, we would have been seeing them all along. We have in fact been seeing people accept lower paying and part time work as replacement jobs, but not in turd drop amounts such as this.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  101. “I don’t think whining about the flaws in this report helps a whole lot.”

    elissa – I agree. I don’t think the Romney campaign has to spend time on the flaws in the report, but I think others should certainly dissect it. This Administration is composed of a bunch of lying liars from the top down and exposing them does not hurt.

    The EPA and Interior Department have both lied about science to further Obama’s goals and hurt the American public.

    The DOJ has become radically politicized and has lied over the New Black Panther case, Fast and Furious and engaged in racial demagoguery to prevent states from cleaning up their voter rolls of dead people and ineligible voters.

    DHS has lied to Congress over its enforcement of immigration laws.

    DOE has lied to Congress about its Clean Energy Loan Program.

    HHS has lied to Congress and the American public over the implementation of Obamacare.

    The Department of State is currently lying to Congress and the American public about what happened in Libya.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  102. elissa,

    I think it might matter. I agree the new job numbers probably won’t help Obama with most voters, but they may help with voters who are still undecided and with disillusioned base voters who might otherwise have stayed home.

    These numbers help Obama sell his only remaining narrative — that he inherited a bad Bush economy but it’s finally coming around and we’re finally on a path to recovery.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  103. In other words, it helps Obama sell his narrative that voters should just give him a little more time.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  104. daley,

    perhaps. but the authorization for extensions has not itself been extended and folks are falling off as their tier’s benefits end.

    But you are right that it would likely still spread out, although the weekly numbers of no-longer officially unemployed would be increasing.

    Another likely *but arguably benign) explanation is a new formula for when people are deemed to have accepted a part-time job.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  105. @ elissa,

    Most voters know they are not better off than they were before Barack Obama started mucking with the already fragile economy, and most remaining undecideds are not going to be influenced by this report.

    This is exactly why I don’t think Americans are being cynical, but rather realistic as we have the hard evidence right before us with our own living breathing financial realities. Net worth, gains, losses, etc., all prove that we are no better off than when Obama started trying to make things better.

    Reality speaks more loudly than any attempted manipulations of job numbers, assuaging from our betters, and pleas of Just give me four more years.. from our president.

    Dana (292dcf)

  106. “a new formula for when people are deemed to have accepted a part-time job.”

    Kevin M. – An undisclosed change in methodology?

    When I was participating in the survey I was consistently asked whether I worked the entire month for the same employer and how many hours I worked each week. The DOL would have had the data.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  107. Anybody seen a discussion of what unemployment numbers would have been in prior months based on household, and what it would look like for sept if based on establishment? or is that not a good question for a reason I’m not getting.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  108. MD in Philly – My understanding is that custom has evolved to announce the unemployment rate based upon the household survey. I think the data are available to calculate it based on the establishment survey and somebody may have already put it out there. I think ADP, the payroll processor, had their unemployment number ticking up last month.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  109. I’m actually much more concerned about the alleged 180 million in “contributions” the Obama campaign is reporting for September. How much of that is our stimulus money being surreptitiously repurposed back from the unions and 2008 campaign bundlers–those who received taxpayer “help” (car companies, Solyndra, etc. etc. etc.) Where did the money go that “funded” all those plants and companies that are now closed with no employees and with weeds growing in the parking lots?

    elissa (a3b02b)

  110. “I’m actually much more concerned about the alleged 180 million in “contributions” the Obama campaign is reporting for September.”

    elissa – As DRJ will recall, there are a lot of Doodad Pro’s out there.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  111. Thanks, daley. So I guess discussion of how critics of Bush ignored the household in favor of the establishment was reversed at some point in the past and is a historical issue, as opposed to putting out establishment numbers previously then household numbers last month.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  112. elissa,

    I’ve seen murmurings about the web about somebody preparing a major expose’ on how much the one is getting from untraceable credit card donations. In one way it’s an old issue, but apparently an ongoing issue that someone has taken notice of.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  113. Shipwreckedcrew addressed Obama’s 2008 fundraising here. It sounds the same as what the Obama campaign is doing now, only the totals are even bigger.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  114. Obama got away with it last time and he’ll get away with it this time, but if Romney is elected he needs to correct this for the future.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  115. 115..saw that story online. A newspaper and website said to be preparing expose. Of course Choom’s minions are trying to block story. And what’s with movie about obama’s heroics killing Osama being released on the 4th of November? Like sentient beings will buy into the propaganda? Tried watching SNL but too sucky. Did kind of diss Urkel debate performance. Latest dnc meme is Lurch sKerry at fault for pussy barry poor performance.

    calypso louis farrakhan (e1062d)

  116. It is interesting to watch sites similar to this one try to explain away good news because it is indicative of the excellent job our president has done. It does not fit with your ‘worst president ever’ narrative.

    Mr. Sean (db27ab)

  117. Sorry, no sale Mr. Sean. Americans just have to look at their own situations… those of their family and friends… i.e., the reality all around them. That’s what will inform their decisions, not some ginned-up numbers that don’t appear to support the picture the 0bama campaign is trying to paint.

    in other words, go sell crazy elsewhere…

    Colonel Haiku (e71c74)

  118. I’m better off than I was four years ago. Because of that, I am going to reward my president with my vote.

    Mr. Sean (db27ab)

  119. Good for you, selfless liberal.

    Colonel Haiku (e71c74)

  120. “I’m better off than I was four years ago.”

    Mr. Sean – Congratulations, you’re clearly an exception.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  121. 119. Sell that on the South Side white boy.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  122. 25. Comment by gary gulrud — 10/5/2012 @ 11:08

    The Captain:

    This is like a 10 sigma outlier.

    Given the current growth rate of 1.25% it cannot happen. A responsible pollster would toss the survey, wouldn’t they?

    Joe Nocera had an interesting sentence in the middle of his column for Saturday October 6, 2012 in the New York Times:


    For some unexplained reason, there is always an uptick in September.

    This happens every September!

    There is no conspiracy, except maybe by President Clinton, or whoever created this bias in the survey.

    Sammy Finkelman (4a78ae)

  123. Comment by SPQR — 10/5/2012 @ 5:48 pm

    And in the same clip, attacks Romney for “talking down the economy” … oh, no, Romney’s rhetoric might spoil his great economic recovery

    Sounds like what? The old theory of the National Bureau of Economic Research, that Herbert Hoover believed in, in 1930 – that’s it is all confidence, and not some objective fact? (Romney may be guilty of that too. It’s a convenient theory)

    In the year 2000, Al Gore accused George W. Bush of talking down the economy, and maybe causing a recession, when he predicted a recession.

    Sammy Finkelman (4a78ae)

  124. 126. As zerohedge pointed out(link above) the report for the first time ever added 20-24 year olds to the job market as employed, and 240K to boot.

    Historically the exit in larger numbers.

    Another polling outfit takes exception to the jobs report:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-10-07/gallup-goes-town-bls-massagery

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  125. Mr. Sean, an unemployment rate of 7.8 % is not good news. It is more than two percent higher than Obama promised by now. You are “rewarding” a man with your vote who is a failure by the standards he set. He broke every single promise he made.

    SPQR (b948c8)

  126. He broke every single promise he made.

    Like Hinderocker said, he’s consistent.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  127. 127. “In the year 2000, Al Gore accused George W. Bush of talking down the economy, and maybe causing a recession, when he predicted a recession.”

    We’ve already put that one to bed, this thread. Q1 and Q3 were flat or negative.

    The economy in a nutshell, ‘Consumers are taking what little disposable income they have to maintain their homes or retire debt’.

    All economists now say the market has peaked and $600 Billion in new taxes, much of it on the middle class, means contraction. Another flight down in depression.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  128. Comment by gary gulrud — 10/5/2012 @ 6:57 pm

    zerohedge points out a first time ever increase in the 20-24 age group for September of more than 200K. Some surmised kids are sticking with jobs rather than going to school, which zerohedge doubted.

    Some speculation has attributed an increase in employment among 20-24 year olds to the election.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  129. Comment by gary gulrud — 10/8/2012 @ 4:43 am

    All economists now say the market has peaked and $600 Billion in new taxes, much of it on the middle class, means contraction. Another flight down in depression.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, expects an economic decline as a result of a decline in Europe, and called new elections because of it (Israel has not yet been affected, and the other coalition parties didn’t want to cut the budget in anticipation.)

    The United States is also affected by a European recession, and actually signs are showing up already,

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  130. “Only a wingnut would suggest the unemployment numbers have been cooked.”

    http://dailycaller.com/2012/10/18/calif-official-whose-agency-under-reported-unemployment-stats-was-obama-campaign-donor/

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)


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