[FoRK] (no subject)
andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Mon Mar 15 20:13:14 PST 2004
On Mar 15, 2004, at 6:58 PM, jbone at place.org wrote:
> I doubt, James, on the basis of repeated history, that you have even
> looked in depth at the data you referred us to.
You haven't read it, and your defense is that you doubt I have read it?
Yeah, that's a real winner.
If I hadn't read it, I wouldn't have mentioned it. And I don't know
what this "history" is of not looking at data in depth, but whatever.
For someone who is so wrong so often, you are awfully cocky.
To sum up, on the Department of Labor stuff:
The reason you have no clue what is going on is that the employment
analysis you apparently subscribe to makes certain assumptions that
have generally been true, but which are not true right now per the same
sets of statistics, something they conveniently forget to mention. As
was pointed out and is documented in BLS reports, there has been a
demographic shift underneath the employment and labor markets that has
been significant enough that it is substantially modulating employment
statistics to values that would seem unusual on casual inspection i.e.
without looking at the detailed statistical work. Most of the media
"analysis" of why there are these anomalous statistics (e.g. little job
growth but falling unemployment) has been to propose explanations that
are false by definition if they knew anything about the statistics they
All the following points are from household survey data to keep it
simple, unless I state otherwise:
- just under half-million unemployed who aren't looking for work.
- about 1.7 million are marginally employed (e.g. temps) or
- people who are looking for work, are finding good jobs. if the
people in the above group actually started looking for work now, they
would probably find it. This group accounts for about three-quarters
of the 5.6% unemployment rate.
- the total number of jobs is growing modestly, but the employee pool
is *shrinking*, and at a good clip.
- The business survey numbers don't match the household survey numbers
for employment trends.
To point out the obvious, there is a contraction in the pool of
qualified employees, which is sopping up many of the unemployed people
that are looking for work. There are a lot of interesting demographic
reasons for this, but I'm not going to do all the work for you. On the
upside, this should continue for some time. There are additional
shifts in business assumptions which are causing the apparent
divergence between business surveys and household surveys. The overall
pattern is pretty complicated, as there is a lot of movement in a
number dimensions that should make for some interesting analysis if
anyone cared to try and make projections from it.
If you look at all the numbers in aggregate, there are obvious patterns
and reasons why the numbers are currently what they are. Which was
pointed out in the report, but you can go ahead and continue to get
your economic and employment projections from SoundBite.org.
I still can't figure out where the "job debacle" is in all this; the
situation is better than I expected. The unemployment rate is low,
people can find jobs, and it doesn't require magic math to get this
j. andrew rogers
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