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Insight on how unemployment numbers are determined

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Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:03 am, Tue Oct 30, 2012.

With Obama backers celebrating and others crying "foul," the article by Gene Epstein titled "September Unemployment: No U Turn" on Page 5 of the Oct. 8 "Economic Beat" section of the BARRON's (The Dow Jones Business and Financial Weekly Vol. XCII No. 41) explains the Bureau of Labor Statistic's release of the unemployment rate falling from an August 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent.

The three-tenths of a percentage point decline in joblessness was not an unalloyed triumph. The BLS tracks six different measures of "labor underutilization" of which the official unemployment rate, called "U-3," is but one measure. Normally the trend in the other five measures adds very little information that is not already observable in "U-3."

September 2012 was an exception. Another measure, "U-6," includes everything in "U-3" and then some; and it held firm at 14.7 percent. That's because this broader measure of labor underutilization includes people who work part-time but would prefer full-time jobs. The number of these involuntary part-timers jumped by 582,000 in September 2012, about offsetting the decline in "U-3."

No great shakes was the addition of non-farm payroll employment of 114,000 in September with government adding 10,000 and the private sector 104,000; in this sector gains averaged 121,000 in the recent quarter. With respect to employment, we are still climbing out of a valley with more than 4.15 million fewer private sector jobs than in January 2008. At the recent rate of monthly gain of 121,000, it will take until August 2015 to exceed the number of jobs held in January 2008.

Gertie Kandris

Woodbridge

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9 comments:

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:07 pm on Tue, Oct 30, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Just presenting the facts Mr Heuer. I know the truth hurts when liberals realize Obama's hope and change was nothing but a fraud.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:03 pm on Tue, Oct 30, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Ms Bobin jokes...Perhaps, Mr. Baumbach, since the economy was in free-fall when President Obama took office "bleeding 800,000 jobs" per month

    You know very well Ms Bobin that Bush left office with 9 million more people working than when he was first elected.... your liberal talking points of loss of jobs is simply a joke , just like the Obama , a community organizer pretending to be president when he cannot even organize ACORN without breaking the law.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:58 pm on Tue, Oct 30, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Ms Bobin stated...Hey - I didn't write the letter referencing the article that mentioned how crazy Nixon was ...
    Come now Ms Bobin.... course you did not write it, however, you are of talking about it as you know talking about Nixon is like throwing raw red meat to the conditioned liberals who froth at the mouth when his name is mentioned...

    Nixon Ms Bobin? how funny.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 5:10 pm on Tue, Oct 30, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4485

    Mr. Baumbach wrote: "How desperate. Obama is so bad that Ms Bobin must resort to digging out Nixon phobias... "

    Hey - I didn't write the letter referencing the article that mentioned how crazy Nixon was and how HE ACTUALLY DID try to cook the books on unemployment.

    Actually, sounds like you and he would have gotten along famously!!

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 2:53 pm on Tue, Oct 30, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Ms Bobin reminiscent of..."Ahhh, good old Richard Nixon - the Republican gift that keeps on giving!" at 12:31 pm on Tue, Oct 30, 2012.

    How desperate. Obama is so bad that Ms Bobin must resort to digging out Nixon phobias...

    Whats next, talking about dinosaurs? It is just about as ancient... News Flash... President Obama is running against Mitt Romney. The year is 2012...

     
  • Thomas Heuer posted at 2:39 pm on Tue, Oct 30, 2012.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1296

    Applause to Ms Bobin
    Boo to Mr Baumbach

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:40 pm on Tue, Oct 30, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4485

    Perhaps, Mr. Baumbach, since the economy was in free-fall when President Obama took office "bleeding 800,000 jobs" per month, and with the stimulus in place (which included a lot of jobs), the president wanted to fulfill his promise of healthcare reform because he knew that no way would a GOP led congress pass it.

    Little did he know that by the time he introduced his jobs bill and immigration reform bill, two things that he WAS SURE he would have cooperation from Congress on (how could the GOP POSSIBLY want to deliberately SABOTAGE the economy AND one of THEIR big agenda items?), the TEA Party had infiltrated Congress and further obstructed any progress on jobs and immigration - their way or the highway, according to them.

    So the old standby the right likes to use - just as you stated - does not stand up to reality.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:31 pm on Tue, Oct 30, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4485

    First, I have to give Ms. Kandris credit for at least referencing the Barron's article by Gene Epstein - but then she proceeds, without stating so, to "LIFT" selected paragraphs, word-for-word, from the article that seem to substantiate that right's accusation that the unemployment numbers were "cooked."

    The article states:

    "What has struck some doubters was the huge discrepancy between the gains in nonfarm payroll employment (114,000) and employment reported by the household survey, from which the unemployment rate is derived (873,000).

    But such anomalies have happened before. In February '02, for example, the gap was even wider, with household employment up 737,000 and nonfarm payrolls down 146,000—and nobody cried foul."

    "February '02?" Hmmm...I wonder who was president then?

    and finally:

    "Besides, all conspiracies are only as strong as their weakest link. If it really were common for the BLS to succumb to White House pressure to cook up numbers, wouldn't someone have snitched by now?

    In 1971, President Richard Nixon did try to intimidate the BLS into reporting an unemployment rate he preferred. Convinced that a conspiracy of Jews was trying to undermine him, he had a few of them removed. But there's no evidence that the BLS succumbed to this treatment. You can read the full story in a book called Econospinning: How to Read Between the Lines When the Media Manipulate the Numbers, written by me."

    Ahhh, good old Richard Nixon - the Republican gift that keeps on giving!

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:12 am on Tue, Oct 30, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Put more simply, Obama put all his energy, resources, time and effort into gaining power for the democratic party in passing socialist type legislation in Obama"not"care.

    He could have focused on jobs and immigration. Instead, he ignored it even though he had a super majority in both houses and could have done anything he wanted. He spent more and more money funding his union buddies fostering cronyism. The Chicago way is the Obama way.

     

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