Sunday, October 7, 2012

Some breakdown of those jobs numbers


That jobs report from Friday was awfully curious, wasn't it? From 8.1% to below that mythic 8% mythical presidential-reelect Mendoza line all the way to 7.8%. Weird.

Here's James Pethokoukis writing for the American Enterprise Institute, explaining why Friday's jobs numbers were, despite the White House spine, anything but good news:

Is this the Obama October Surprise?

Only in an era of depressingly diminished expectations could the September jobs report be called a good one. It really isn’t. Not at all.

1. Yes, the U-3 unemployment rate fell to 7.8%, the first time it has been below 8% since January 2009. But that’s only due to a flood of 582,000 part-time jobs. As the Labor Department noted:

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose from 8.0 million in August to 8.6 million in September. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

2. And take-home pay? Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by just 1.8 percent. When you take inflation into account, wages are flat to down.

3. The broader U-6 rate — which takes into account part-time workers who want full-time work and lots of discouraged workers who’ve given up looking — stayed unchanged at 14.7%. That’s a better gauge of the true unemployment rate and state of the American labor market.

4. The shrunken workforce remains shrunken. If the labor force participation rate was the same as when President Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 10.7%. If the participation rate had just stayed steady since the start of the year, the unemployment rate would be 8.4% vs. 8.3%.

Read the rest of Pethokoukis' breakdown at the link above.

But it's also important to remember that in this era of the new normal and lowered expectations where people are cheering dropping below 8% unemployment, what it is we were promised when the gang of economic illiterates took office. It was this chart produced by that very gang of economic illiterates:

(click to enlarge)

That $800 billion to public employee unions and to keep afloat state and municipal governments didn't necessarily produce the desired results, now did it?

Faulty sampling and statistical anomalies aside, we know there are some numbers out there that don't need explanation or qualifications from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and which we are all feeling:

1 comment:

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