Saturday, October 6, 2012

Numbers are just a theory

The Numbers Deniers claim that the unemployment rate dropping below 8% is a vast government conspiracy orchestrated by the Muslim-Keyan-socialist-liberal-anti colonial-fascist in the White House. Their proof, the report was created using Arab 'numerals', we all know that real Americans would use Chinese made 'numerals' bought at Walmart. 

To understand what is really going on requires some background, the initial jobs reports that come out each month are based on surveys, and are revised later as more data comes in. The job creation number is based on an employer sampling survey, and this number can be way off from reality if the growth or decline is concentrated in a particular area.

The un-employment rate is based on the Household Survey that gives a much broader number. The right is claiming the rate only dropped below 8% because millions of people have given up looking for work. They are either lying, or didn't even look at the data (the moral equivalent of lying). The survey shows that 873,000 people found work in the past month, an eight fold difference from the corporate dominated employer survey. Adjusted for past seasonal hiring trends, the BLS put the number at 294,000. This is still nearly 3 times the employer reported number.

You can find support for the bounce in job creation in business news media. Large retailers are engaging in massive hiring for the Christmas season, this would likely also be occurring in small business that wouldn't show up as quickly in the employer survey. Then there is the 'underground' economy that wouldn't show up in the Employer Survey but would in the Household Survey. Housing starts and home sales have ticked up sharply and that would create many 'under reported' jobs.

The Republicans have done everything possible to cripple the economy with local austerity measures, interference in government policy, and with corporate out-sourcing. Lately they simply 'talk it down' for political gain. The fact is that things are getting better and the Numbers Deniers can't stop it.


Anonymous said...

AM STILL WAITING FOR THE MASSIVE BOUNCE IN romneys poll numbers after the debate. 3 full days after and still all quiet.

Anonymous said...

Rick Santelli of CNBC is one of the main media personalities that had fueled this nonsense. After Jack Welch tweeted his “Chicago guys” malarkey, the little weasel Santelli stated he claimed for the last month or so, the Labor Dep. would cook these numbers to benefit Obama’s re-election. CNBC then actually had the nerve to question Labor Sec. Hilda Solis during an interview shortly after the data was released, on its validity. Later on during the day, CNBC continued its goal of being Fox-Lite by having that lunatic Florida Congressman Allen West to "confirm" Santelli's assertions. Only later on would CNBC’s Lawrence Kudlow, another avowed Righty, told Jack Welch it is impossible for the WH to fix the numbers. Of course, Kudlow doesn’t come on until after the markets close, so the damage had already been done.

It was a despicable display by CNBC, whose personalities for years have failed to hide their political allegiances. Remember a few years back, when Anthony Weiner was a respected Congressman, his interview with Maria Bartiromo? Bartiromo was gleefully grilling Weiner about Medicare when she asked him “If it’s so great, how come you aren’t on Medicare?” Bartiromo thought she really go him-only to have egg thrown back on her face when Weiner responded “Because I am only 44 years old.”

A few months back, Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman also received similar treatment from CNBC hosts Joe Kernan and Big Bank apologist Andrew Ross Sorkin. Point is, CNBC is supposed to be a business news network-not politics. But I guess with the fascist takeover of our news media nearly complete, we shouldn’t be surprised that CNBC or any other so-called mainstream media organization would espouse the Conservative political views of their corporate owners.

Anonymous said...

Probably the most accurate number for job growth comes from ADP. If you examine their monthly reports you will find that the government reported numbers often get revised a month or two later to a point where they are very near the ADP number.

prairie2 said...

ADP does their prediction based on their own payroll processing data, but they don't necessarily cover the small business segment of the economy any better.

macnow said...

There are a lot of other reports to listen to; that are private company payroll etc.

But ADP is the biggest, being around 17% of the payroll check processing of the US.

ADP has been on a bit of a uptick, and I knew when I heard the numbers from ADP on Wednesday that the BLS numbers would be a bit better (all things considered).

Check this:

Yeah it's NPR but there are also conservative/libertarian Jim Cramer's website "The Street" and others that are reporting the same thing in different, if slightly buried beneath the right-wing rhetoric.

The point is, ADP numbers are there in the cold light of the day, and the BLS statistics are put together by multiple agencies and accountants and staticians; who I bet a lot of them lean pretty much into the conservative/libertarian mindset... like those guys are going to cook the books (even if it was somehow possible) for the Kenyan usurper.

NOW... if you want to argue that we should start by putting more emphasis on the U5-U6 numbers and other reports... I who-heartily agree!

The reporting/use of the U3 number always seems to short change a lot of the relevant data that I see as being more important (in the bigger numbers), especially during times of economic recession/depression.

Again, in the end almost all of them will track an uptick or downtick in the employment/unemployment percentage of change(lagging indicators accounted for that is); it's just the higher numbers on the U scale seem more apropos.

Ultimately I would like to see a new super number compilation that would watch and track corporate and government number tracking (also lagging as it might be); and allow us also to see this data quickly broken down to reflect spreads between numbers and averages of all, and one final total sum aggregate.

This is done with a lot of private companies who watch the markets; but they tend to weight or bias stuff for a political or financial agenda and don't really report what they put emphasis on in the nitty gritty calculations. Government calculations are, by law, right there to find, private companies don't abide by the same rules.

Seeing a side by side, and total aggregate number generated by the BLS, and showing divergance spreads from each other (as reliable as possible with caveat language explaining so) along with bigger sample sizes, would be a lot more worthwhile to me.

Like the end paragraph to this bloggers site:

"The BLS doesn't cook their books and this isn't an October election surprise. That doesn't mean we shouldn't get our juices going over piss poor monthly labor force statistics. What we need are much better raw data collection methods, much larger survey sizes, additional raw data points, such as immigration status and better correlation to other labor data sources, such as W-2s and IRS tax data."

Yep I agree.

prairie2 said...

Or we could start driving up wages, protect domestic manufacturing, and break up all the monopolies.

macnow said...

Yep...that to.

Side note, I was out canvassing for the "Kenyan Usurper" and I was surprised to find a lot more supporters than I thought existed out here in good old Lost In Middle America.

Gives me some hope. Now if he gets a second chance... I hope he goes all FDR on em... with a little LBJ in his negotations with senators one on one.

Coincendentally the guy with the Sovereign State/Citizen sign (down the road from me) finally took that shit down, or left. Either way a small win.

Anonymous said...

"....and break up all the monopolies." you mean actually enforcing the anti-trust laws we have on the books for more than a century? Why would Eric Holder's Justice Dept. do that? They don't even go after the banksters. Instead they rely on NY DA's to do their dirty work for them. I hope Eric Schneidermen realizes what happened to the last guy who went after them....