Friday, October 05, 2012

How Obama Fudged The Jobs Numbers After His Lousy Debate Performance

Obama and his people really will do or say anything to get re-elected.Even the ObamaBots at MSNBC had trouble swallowing this.

What they're puzzled over is this. Today, the Wall Street Journal reported the following:

"U.S. payrolls, obtained in a separate survey of employers, increased by a seasonally adjusted 114,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expected a gain of 118,000 in payrolls and an 8.1% jobless rate."

So, let me see...a gain of 118,000 would have resulted in an 8.1% rate but a gain of 114,000 resulted in a 7.8% rate? How do fewer jobs actually result in a lower unemployment rate?

Let's dig a bit deeper.

President Obama turns in the worst debate performance of any candidate,let alone a sitting president in modern history and lo and behold!

Just like magic, the Labor Department announces the new jobs report and there's suddenly 114,000 new jobs out of nowhere and a new official unemployment rate of 7.8%, a major drop.

Former GE CEO Jack Welch was just one of the observers who called this totally bogus and tweeted,“Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers.”

Let's look at what the Labor Department actually had to say. According to them, job growth rose by 114,000, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.8%. For the sake of argument, let's take those figures as a given, remembering that they're frequently 're-adjusted' later to reflect reality.

But here's the funny thing. The rate the Labor Department is trumpeting is the bogus U-3 rate, which deals strictly with unemployment claims. The more realistic U-6 rate, which takes into account part-time workers who want full-time work,people who are unemployed but not covered by unemployment insurance, like independent contractors or the business person who owned the little store on the main street of your town who just went belly up and closed their doors and lots of discouraged workers who’ve given up looking for work remained exactly the 14.7%.

If the U-3 rate went down, shouldn't the U-6?

Ah, but when you look at the internals you find that the 'job growth' is due to a mysterious surge of 582,000 part-time jobs...and that those numbers were obtained by a phone survey rather than actual payroll data. Now, if the economy was at, say, a 5% growth rate,that would be understandable. In September, people go back to school, some jobs open up. But at a 1.2 growth rate? Something smells.

Even if the numbers are accurate as far as they go, they're obviously being manipulated for the president's political benefit. Even by artificially shrinking the labor force, there are still about 23 million Americans out of work, growth is stagnant, real income is declining and the economy is worsening, not getting better.

Here's a number to chew over.The employment-population ratio shows how many people have jobs as a share of the civilian population. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that number is now 58.7%. In June 2009, when the recession officially ended, it was 59.4%. Before the downturn it was 63%.

This is a recovery only in the unicorn world of President Obama...even using his own Labor Department's numbers.


Anonymous said...

Your post was entitled "How" fudged the numbers, but your article just cast suspicion. There wasn't any theories about "how" he did it!

Rob said...

I wouldn't exactly call hard numbers 'suspicion', but you're certainly entitled.

As to 'how' the president managed to do this with a federal bureau staffed by federal employees he controls via the head of the Labor Department who's a partisan Democrat he appointed? I'll let you continue guessing on that one, but I'll give you a's probably the same way he got the Labor Department to keep artificially reducing the labor force to make the U-3 unemployment numbers look better than they actually are.