[FoRK] Jobs picture redux, or, when the ugly truth slips out

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Mon Mar 15 17:45:33 PST 2004

> > Make an authoritative sounding assertion, point to an enormous stack 
> > of deadly boring government documents as your "proof", and walk away.
> Sounds about right.  (Ahem.)
> Wouldn't have expected such pointed self-assessment, James.

What do you want me to do, give my own personal analysis?  Go to the
website and fetch your own numbers and kill some time -- bls.gov.  My
only point was that, after reading the actual statistical work, it was
obvious that none of the talking heads (or you) actually had read it or
attempted to grok it, nor has any non-political analysis of the numbers
been made as far as I can tell.

The job situation and economy isn't dire.  Pretty boring actually, in a
vaguely uptrending sort of way.  The number of people who removed
themselves from the employment pool because they couldn't find work has
stayed constant over the last year, and to clear up a matter, these
people are included as "unemployed" persons long after their
government/unemployment benefits run out regardless of whether or not
they are looking for a job.  People looking for work are actually
finding it now.  If you want to know about the various sources and
statistical models that are used, read the reports.  A perverse waste of
time, but vaguely interesting.  The unemployment figure that is normally
published comes from surveying individuals, but the same data for most
of the figures are also derived from other indirect sources in parallel.
 You can make a lot of hay by choosing which statistical source you want
to use for which particular statistical data point.

So I am to take your third-hand regurgitated media propaganda as gospel
truth, but when I point out that there are significant discrepancies
between that position and the underlying documents of authority upon
which your dubious source is nominally based, that's just handwaving or
*shrug*.  I just thought it was an interesting discrepancy; I don't have
anything else to say on the matter.

j. andrew rogers

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