Conservatives Need to Remain Consistent On Unemployment

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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For a decade or so, we conservatives had been like the town criers. Every time new employment numbers emerged we would cry out that despite what we all see, read and hear from the left wing media, all was not well. Throughout the entirety of the Obama reign, virtually everyone right of center – yes, even those establishment Republicans, would rightly claim that Obama’s unemployment figures were bogus.

And they were. Despite all other dreadful economic indicators, save for the phony Wall Street numbers, the unemployment rate continued to drop throughout Obama’s time. We on the right knew these numbers did not tell the true story, as the government was using the “official” unemployment calculator known as U-3.

This, as many know, does not give an accurate picture of real unemployment in this country. For years we have insisted that the more accurate U-6 data be used, as it takes into account not only short term unemployed, but also long-termed unemployed, discouraged workers who have just given up, and the underemployed, who wish to work full time yet can only find part time employment. This is the number conservatives insisted be reflected during the Obama years.

But then something odd happened after President Trump took office. read more

Which Recovery Summer Is This Anyway?

by: the Common Constitutionalist

So, I think we’re heading into our 4th or 5th recover summer. I’m not sure which. There’s so much recovering going on, it’s hard to keep up.

What?! Don’t tell me you don’t remember the summer of 2010, when Vice President Joe Biden declared, and kicked off his “Summer of Recovery” tour?

Politico proudly wrote in June of 2010: “BREAKING — OBAMA, BIDEN DECLARE “RECOVERY SUMMER”: Vice President Biden today will kick off “Recovery Summer,” a six-week-long push designed to highlight the jobs accompanying a surge in stimulus-funded projects to improve highways, parks, drinking water and other public works.”

Just how well has the recovery gone, you may ask? Well, with every recovery, there must be jobs…and lots of them. Let’s see how that portion of the “Recovery” has gone.

(All of the following italicized quotes are attributed to CNS News)

CNS News reports: “When Obama took office in January 2009, the labor force participation rate was 65.7 percent. By the beginning of 2013, the start of Obama’s second term, it had dropped to 63.6 percent. Since January 2014, when the participation rate was 63.0, it has continued to decline, hitting a 36-year low of 62.8 percent in May.” read more

Won’t Back Down

from:  at The Blaze

After being harshly criticized for questioning the veracity of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest jobs report, former General Electric CEO Jack Welch on Tuesday evening responded to his detractors in a lengthy and unapologetic op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

“Imagine a country where challenging the ruling authorities — questioning, say, a piece of data released by central headquarters — would result in mobs of administration sympathizers claiming you should feel ‘embarrassed’ and labeling you a fool, or worse,” writes Welch.

“Soviet Russia perhaps? Communist China? Nope, that would be the United States right now, when a person (like me, for instance) suggests that a certain government datum (like the September unemployment rate of 7.8%) doesn’t make sense,” he adds.

Welch goes on to reiterate his point, that is, that recent BLS data is not just faulty, but “implausible.”

“Unfortunately for those who would like me to pipe down, the 7.8% unemployment figure released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) last week is downright implausible. And that’s why I made a stink about it,” he writes.

The former CEO continues, reminding readers that a) he is not working for the Romney campaign and b) BLS data is hardly free of error.

“The unemployment data reported each month are gathered over a one-week period by census workers, by phone in 70% of the cases, and the rest through home visits. In sum, they try to contact 60,000 households, asking a list of questions and recording the responses,” he writes, adding that the BLS even has an entire page in its “Handbook of Methods” dedicated to explaining the limitation of its data.

“Bottom line: To suggest that the input to the BLS data-collection system is precise and bias-free is — well, let’s just say, overstated,” he adds.

Later on, Welch directly addresses the tweet that got everyone in a twist:

Now, I realize my tweets about this matter have been somewhat incendiary. In my first tweet, sent the night before the unemployment figure was released, I wrote: “Tomorrow unemployment numbers for Sept. with all the assumptions Labor Department can make..wonder about participation assumption??” The response was a big yawn.

My next tweet, on Oct. 5, the one that got the attention of the Obama campaign and its supporters, read: “Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers.”

And here’s the controversial Oct. 5 tweet:

As he did when attacked by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Welch maintains that he was simply trying to raise a question, adding that, were he to do it all over again, he would definitely add question marks at the end of the Oct. 5 message.

“But I’m not sorry for the heated debate that ensued. I’m not the first person to question government numbers, and hopefully I won’t be the last,” Welch writes.

“The coming election is too important to be decided on a number. Especially when that number seems so wrong.”

Suspect Jobs Report

from: Breitbart

Oct. 5, 2012

Suspicion about the federal government’s September jobs report has fallen on Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, who appeared on CNBC this morning and defended the numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), claiming–falsely–that upward revisions of 86,000 jobs were from the private sector. In fact, the new number is entirely accounted for by upwards revisions to state and federal government payrolls.

The BLS reported that while only 114,000 jobs were created in September–which would have translated into a rise in unemployment from 8.1% to 8.2%–the unemployment rate fell dramatically to 7.8%. That unusual drop is the fastest in nearly three decades, and was unexpected even in the rosiest predictions.

One reason for the rise was an upward revision of 86,000 to the July and August jobs numbers–all of which came from a 91,000 increase in the estimate of public sector jobs. Private sector job estimates were actually revised downward by 5,000.

In addition, the BLS reported a large rise in the number of part-time jobs, adding 600,000 jobs to the total–a dramatic increase of 7.5%, not explained by any other economic indicators–and raising questions about whether the government had changed the way it counted part-time workers.

Solis was adamant today in defending both the revisions and the BLS’s methodology for counting part-time workers–relying largely on the upwards revisions for July and August jobs (emphasis added):

CNBC: We’re getting bombarded by people who do not believe the number. They believe this number was fixed and typed to coincide with Election Day. What do you say to them?…I’ll rephrase the question. A lot of people do not believe the 7.8 number. They believe that somehow BLS fixed this to coincide with the election cycle. What is labor’s response?

Solis: You know, I’m insulted when I hear that because we have a very professional, civil service organization where you have top, top economists that work at the BLS. They’ve been doing these calculations. These are — these are our best trained and best-skilled individuals working in the BLS, and it’s really ludicrous to hear that kind of statement, and I say that because just look at the — we have to look at what happens across the board, not just in one month, but look what happened in the last two months. We also saw revisions there upwards of 86,000 additional jobs added and this brings us now to 5.2 million private sector jobs across the board, we saw 104 private sector jobs created….

CNBC: Before I let you go, you say skepticism over the numbers are ludicrous. You say you’re insulted. Is there a danger, you believe, when large sections was country don’t believe the data. Not that it’s ever been considered gospel, but when you have disbelief how much danger is embedded in that?

Solis: I will tell you that we look at each report differently. We just saw revisions for the last two months and this happens. I mean, these are estimates that obviously, the BLS puts out. They do the best calculation, using the best measurements and tools and we’ve been using them for the past 70 years. We haven’t changed anything and the information that I received is given to me by our professional, civil service staff in the BLS.

Note that Solis describes the 86,000 upward revision as if it were an increase in private sector jobs, though in fact the increase came entirely from revisions to public sector payrolls by cash-strapped federal and state governments. Instead of shedding jobs, as previously claimed, governments have been adding jobs.

Real Unemployment = 11.4%, Don’t be Fooled!

From Zero Hedge: Real Jobless Rate Is 11.4% With Realistic Labor Force Participation Rate

One does not need to be a rocket scientist to grasp the fudging the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) has been doing every month for years now in order to bring the unemployment rate lower: the BLS constantly lowers the labor force participation rate as more and more people “drop out” of the labor force for one reason or another.

[EC (Editorial Comment): The Labor Force Participation Rate is a measure of the active portion of an economy’s labor force. The participation rate refers to the number of people who are either employed or are actively looking for work. The number of people who are no longer actively searching for work are not included in the participation rate. In a poor economy, such as this, many people get discouraged and stop looking for employment and as a result, the participation rate, by percentage, decreases.]

While there are some floating speculation that this is due to early retirement, this is completely counterfactual when one also considers the overall rise in the general civilian non institutional population.

In order to back out this fudge we are redoing an analysis we did first back in August 2010, which shows what the real unemployment rate would be using a realistic labor force participation rate.

To get that we used the average [labor force participation] rate since 1980, or ever since the great moderation began. As it happens, this long-term average is 65.8% (chart 1).

We then apply this participation rate to the civilian noninstitutional population to get what an “implied” labor force number is, and additionally calculate the implied unemployed using this more realistic labor force. We then show the difference between the reported and implied unemployed (chart 2).

Finally, we calculate the jobless rate using this new implied data. It won’t surprise anyone that as of December, the real implied unemployment rate was 11.4% (final chart) – basically where it has been ever since 2009 – and at 2.9% delta to reported, represents the widest divergence to reported data since the early 1980s.

And because we know this will be the next question, extending this lunacy, America will officially have no unemployed, when the Labor Force Participation rate hits 58.5%, which should be just before the presidential election.

[EC: Someone, with more clout than I, must pick up this torch & carry it. Do any of our elected officials or those running for office have the courage to challenge these lies?]