[FoRK] Behind the jobs debacle...

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Mon Mar 15 13:53:47 PST 2004

It is patently obvious that most of the talking heads either 1.) spin
the employment statistics to look a certain way for purely political
reasons, or 2.) are too innumerate or illiterate to actually read the
Department of Labor statistics.  And everyone else parrots it like the
gospel truth.

If you actually read the BLS reports and numbers, it is fairly apparent
that the "jobs debacle" is largely a concoction of the Democrat spin
machine.  And an effective one, considering that virtually all of their
"what about..." talking points are explicitly covered statistical tables
and lines that go into the calculation.  They make open-ended assertions
or leave hanging questions implying a job market situation that is
clearly not supported in the statistics.  And I can only gather that the
Republicans are equally clueless on the matter, since only in the last
week or so have I seen any prominent Republican bludgeon a Democrat on
these facts which were clearly in the statistics for anyone that
bothered to read them.

For those that don't want to bother to read it, the 5.6% unemployment
statistic is probably the closest thing to a genuine employment gauge. 
The number of people who stopped looking for a job has stayed constant
over the last year, as have the number of people marginally unemployed,
but the other 75% of the under/unemployed who are looking have been
finding good jobs (driving down the overall unemployment rate) and wages
have been increasing steadily.

For a bottomless source of numbers:


j. andrew rogers

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