Mike Shedlock has a good read today on just how unreliable statistics provided by the government are. When it comes to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), it’s becoming quite a joke. No surprise to most anyone as they can’t find where all these jobs are that we keep hearing about. Please take a few minutes and read his column – http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/11/in-search-of-11-million-jobs-claimed-by.html

The month of October showed an increase of 151,000 private sector jobs. That’s disputed in the article. The other issue is the unemployment rate still at ‘only’ 9.6%. I say only because the true rate is much, much higher. Depending on the methodology you use, it may exceed 22%. A lot of the confusion is due to the nature of the questions used to conduct the household survey that the BLS uses to derive the rate. You only need to work one single hour in a month to be considered employed. For October, that’s only one out of 744 hours. Unemployed for 743 hours, employed for one hour and you are not counted. You’re also not counted if you are not out actively seeking work. Like the 99’ers out there. They’re taking full advantage of the entire 99 weeks of unemployment available with federal extensions. I think our intuition is a much more reliable indicator than what some federal agency spews forth.


6 thoughts on “Fantasy job numbers

  1. Why anyone trusts government numbers just blows my mind. When was the last time the government accurately predicted something? Maybe the date.

    My favorite is the common phrase, the “bi-partisan” Congressional Budget Office. Well, isn’t that a rather candid admittance that all the other bureaus are not “bi-partisan” since no one makes sure to assign that moniker to them?

  2. This is one of those areas where it’s equivalent to making the arsonist the friggin Fire Chief. Trust me they say. The truth is people are being told believe what they tell us not what people are actually feeling or experiencing in the job market. Great post.

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