The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

Posts Tagged ‘unemployment

Campaign Magic 2012

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Remember when President Obama said employment numbers were getting better and then right before the election in 2012 they did?  A LOT better!

Some called it a miraculous drop in the unemployment rate from 8.1% in August 2012 to 7.8% in September, causing others, like GE CEO Jack Welch to say those numbers were too good to be true questioning their validity.

More skeptics followed questioning such a large drop at such an opportune time for the President. Of course they were attacked and vilified in the media and basically shrugged off as Obama haters or racists.

Here’s just one example

Well, now the truth is bubbling to the surface (as it always does sooner or later).

Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy.

And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee — that it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.

The Census employee caught faking the results is Julius Buckmon, according to confidential Census documents obtained by The Post. Buckmon said he was told to make up information by higher-ups at Census.

Here’s the full exclusive report from the New York Post’s John Crudele.

More is surely to come and more “higher-ups” implicated as the crap in Washington always flows up before it flows out.

 

The 8.3% Unemployment Mirage

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Wall Street and Major Media were doing high fives and feeling warm and fuzzy after news that 243,000 jobs were added to the economy in January lowering the unemployment rate to 8.3% down from 9.1% in August 2012.

But there’s a fundamental problem with that 8.3 number.  It’s a mirage or at best it paints a very fuzzy picture.

I’m not suggesting the number isn’t real.  It just doesn’t tell the whole story, because that story isn’t politically appetizing.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the real indicator as to how many Americans are working or not is the Labor Force Participation Rate.   The labor force participation rate is the percentage of working-age persons in an economy who are employed or are unemployed but looking for a job.  Typically “working-age persons” is defined as people between the ages of 16-64. People in those age groups who are not counted as participating in the labor force are typically students, homemakers, and persons under the age of 64 who are retired. In the United States the labor force participation rate is usually around 67-68%.  This figure can dramatically affect the “Unemployment Rate” often touted by media and politicians as the leading indicator of the health of the economy.

Well, the number of people no longer in the workforce just launched upward like a rocket.

It appears that the people no longer in the labor force exploded by an unprecedented record1.2 million in January.   These are people who have stopped looking for work.  The labor force increased from 153.9 million to 154.4 million, the non institutional population increased by 242.3 million meaning, the number of people not in the labor force surged from 86.7 million to 87.9 million. The bottom line?  The civilian labor force just took a nose dive to a new 30 year low of 63.7% and the BLS is planning on eliminating nearly half of the available labor pool from the unemployment calculation.

When you don’t count 1.2 million people to get to your 8.3% unemployment rate…well, you see what I mean?

Now some of the drop off is due to baby boomers retiring and younger workers going back to school, but that can’t account for 1.2 million people.  Many are just people who’ve become discouraged after months or even years of looking and quit.   Since they’re no longer receiving unemployment benefits they simply aren’t counted in the unemployment figures.

It’s an election year.  Don’t expect this mirage to dissipate any time soon.