If you're going to lie, might as well make it a big one. Today is unemployment reporting day, and once again the reported number of new claims is the lowest since 1969. There will be a tweet in due time taking credit for this. Which isn't even true, in the time series sense. But consider the base number for 1969 and 2018: the size of the labor force. The BLS has such data, surprise! Here's the picture.

If you look real close, you can see that the labor force has doubled. Not an apple to apple comparison.

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Comment by koshersalaami on September 13, 2018 at 7:30am

What exactly are we comparing? If the labor force grew, wouldn’t that skew the figures in the opposite direction? The only way I see this working is if we’re comparing number of people employed, not not employed, as in “the number of employed people grew.”

Comment by alsoknownas on September 13, 2018 at 8:31am

That was my confusion also with understanding the implications.

Comment by Robert Young on September 13, 2018 at 8:45am

well.  OK.  two contradictory facts can't both be true.  as claimed, the unemployment rate runs at ~4% at both times, yet the reported number of new claims is the same, but with a larger work force now.  both can't be true.  my guess is that The Manchurian President is using his influence at BLS.  how's that for conspiracy.

Comment by alsoknownas on September 13, 2018 at 10:35am

Are you saying that someone in government might be prevaricating and twisting facts to suit their own agenda?

Comment by Ron Powell on September 13, 2018 at 12:03pm

4% of 100 is 4 =  96 people with jobs...

4% of 200 is 8 = 192 people with jobs...

So what???!!!

What kind of "jobs"?

What kind of pay?

To say nothing at all of "benefits"...

BTW None of this takes into consideration the under employed or individuals who have "dropped out"..., 

How is the adjustment made for people with 2 or 3 jobs?

How does it benefit the economy if more than half of the people who are "employed" are being paid significantly less than a living wage?

Comment by koshersalaami on September 13, 2018 at 12:54pm

Ron, no one here has trouble with the arithmetic. What we have trouble with is the ostensible low number of new claims, and that an increased workforce would somehow offset the actual benefit of that. The opposite is true - if the workforce shrunk and the number of claims was the same, the percentage of the workforce needing help would have grown. I’m trying to figure out what Robert is trying to say with his math. Either I’m missing something or Robert is having a brain fart, because there’s no way he has trouble with these numbers. 

Comment by Ron Powell on September 13, 2018 at 12:58pm

I'm sure that no one has trouble with the numbers...

My problem is that "the numbers" don't address the questions and issues that make a difference in the lives of ordinary common folk....

Comment by Robert Young on September 13, 2018 at 1:14pm

aka:  yes, that would seem to be the case.  BLS has changed it's procedures over the years, but I don't recall one that would explain how these numbers make sense.  will do some more digging.

Comment by Ron Powell on September 13, 2018 at 2:12pm

Has it crossed anyone's mind that the numbers aren't supposed to make sense?

Comment by J.P. Hart on September 14, 2018 at 7:16am

I give thanks that IAM not a current events teacher.

Ontheotherhand maybe that's why I first began electronic scribing on the the Raging Bull.

Today, Mr. Young, please allow the mention that collegiate loan burdens are not multifarious bubbles in Don Ho's champagne.
However I concur that the Commander in Chief is looking a tad light-headed.

Although he's the only president of the last three who grew up (chronologically) without TV-some of which (meTHINKS) is akin to asking if the internet would have been invented without our Rorschach Test.

JPH
(high-steppin-strutter)

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