Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Job numbers in; unemployment down to 9.4%; BLS "fudging" numbers

You know the White House will be crowing about this. It does appear that our prediction of unemployment hitting 10% today was a bit off. Don't worry. We will hit that number soon enough. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released it's report today, and the numbers show that the unemployment rate dropped to 9.4%:

The U.S. unemployment rate fell in July for the first time in 15 months as employers cut far fewer jobs than expected, providing the clearest sign yet that the economy was turning around.

Employers shed 247,000 jobs in July, the Labor Department said Friday, the least in any one month since last August, taking the unemployment rate to 9.4 percent, down from 9.5 percent in June.

"It suggests the recession will be ending before the end of the year. There isn't any part of the economy that hasn't shown some slowing in deterioration," said Joe Davis, chief economist at Vanguard in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Recent data ranging from home sales to manufacturing have pointed to an economy starting to dig itself out of one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The fall in the jobless rate will be good news for President Barack Obama, who has seen his standing in public opinion polls slip as Americans fret about the weak economy and high unemployment.

The White House warned it would be "quite some time" before the economy saw sustained job growth, adding it still believed the jobless rate would hit 10 percent this year.

The White House is fooling itself if they think we're even close to the end of this recession. We have a long way to go, and 10% unemployment is right around the corner. But the BLS seems to have only told part of the story. The percentage of working age individuals continued to drop, and Captain Ed notes that the BLS is sort of fudging it's numbers, or so Geraghty the Indispensable discovered:

In June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the civilian labor force was 154,926,000 people.

In July, 796,000 of those were taken out of their definition of the workforce, and thus their unemployment calculations for this month, because they have stopped looking for work “because they believe no jobs are available for them.” Ten percent of the June workforce would be 15.4 million, 1 percent would be 1.5 million, and so 796,000 is roughly one half of one percent.

In other words, BLS took .5 percent of what you and I would consider unemployed and took them out of their total. And with that, unemployment went down one tenth of one percent.

So, the 796,000 are removed because they're the ones BLS believes have stopped looking for a job therefore they're not included in the statistics. That makes zero sense as these people are still quite unemployed. The BLS seems to have tinkered with the numbers, and most likely due to the president needing to have some sort of silver lining as his numbers continue to drop and support for health care continues to crater.

There is no silver lining in his economic policy. He has spent trillions of dollars on an experiment that has always proven to be a failure. No nation has ever spent it's way out of a recession. We will not be the exception to the rule.

Publius II


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