# News Jobs increase, unemployment lowest in 4 years

1. Oct 5, 2012

### Staff: Mentor

This is wonderful news. There has been an upward trend over the past months and looks very good for Obama.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/05/jobs-report-unemployment-rate_n_1942067.html [Broken]

Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
2. Oct 5, 2012

### Staff: Mentor

I'm having a little trouble understanding what I'm seeing because 114,000 new jobs added is a mediocre/stagnant month and how can 873,000 more people have jobs if only 114,000 were added? In addition, labor force participation rate does not appear to have bottomed-out yet, which helps lower unemployment rate despite a decreasing job market: http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000/

I'm thinking this is going to end up as a statistical blip - fortuitous one for Obama, though because yes, he does need to be below the magic number of 8%.

3. Oct 5, 2012

### Pythagorean

Whenever employment comes up I'm always wondering how different sectors were hit, so I finally looked it up. Plus some other interesting information:

It looks like government, health, and education are the sectors that are doing the best post-recession (for employment).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/05/which-industries-lostgain_n_525504.html

4. Oct 5, 2012

### Staff: Mentor

Interesting, yes, but two years out of date.

5. Oct 5, 2012

6. Oct 5, 2012

### BobG

Being a statistical blip is a given.

The preliminary data always grabs the headlines and the headlines always have a greater impact than they should (even on the stock market, which should be driven by people smarter than the average voter).

The final revised numbers change more often than Tour de France winners and scarcely make the news.

Dropping below the 8% threshhold is big "news-wise", but the only thing you can really say is that the unemployment rate is somewhere in the ballpark of 8% - more likely slightly lower than 8%, but basically somewhere around 8%.

People get overly excited about some things. A four-minute mile is actually only a second faster than a 4:01 mile.

The actual number isn't as important as people's perceptions of the future - will unemployment rise or decrease? The GDP suggests we don't have that strong of an economy (but at least it's positive) and the economy isn't getting better, but that doesn't have as big an impact on people's perceptions as the unemployment rate.

Overall, the Consumer Confidence Index gives a better grasp of people's perceptions of the economy than real measurements of the economy. Present situation rose from around 46 to around 50 (which is horrible on a scale where 100 is neutral). But the expectations index rose from around 70 to over 80 (on a scale where 100 is neutral). The expectations index is getting closer to the "re-electable" range. (Bush 43 had the lowest expectations index rating for a reelected President with a rating in the low 90's. Usually an expectations index from 90 to 110 could go either way for an incumbent up for reelection.)

70 is certainly; absolutely has to be unreelectable. But the race was a toss-up even then. 80 is bad, but it's better than 70. You look at economic numbers and you just wonder how Romney could possibly be losing this race? And then progress to "How in the world does a political party manage to nominate someone capable of losing this race?"

I wonder if Romney could have beaten Jimmy Carter?

Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
7. Oct 5, 2012

8. Oct 5, 2012

### Staff: Mentor

Yeah, he knows how to "cook the books". I remember Jack's debacle quite well since my husband was on the audit staff and his brother that also worked at GE in executive management new Jack.

continued...

http://blogs.bostonmagazine.com/boston_daily/2012/10/05/jack-welch-bring-doctored-numbers/

Of course, Rush Limbaugh is foaming at the mouth.

(IMO to *foaming at the mouth*)

Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
9. Oct 5, 2012

### lisab

Staff Emeritus
In the days leading up to the debate, there was a lot of chattering about the national polls being skewed and unfair. Now there's chattering about jobs data being cooked? Hmm. Lots of complaining!

The Economist has a piece about how jobs are measured:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2012/10/americas-jobs-report

The jobs data are also based on polling. Polls have uncertainty associated with them, they're noisy measurements. Overall the trend is what matters, and the trend looks OK - not great, but OK:

10. Oct 5, 2012

### Staff: Mentor

For the record, I noticed the discrepancy myself and make no claim of malfeasance. Indeed, BLS statistics show similar previous blips, such as May-June of 2010, a 516k gain followed by a 167k loss. In Sept-Oct of 1983, the blip is twice as large, but in the opposite direction.

CNN gives some insight as to the reason for the unexpected unemployment rate drop:
http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/05/news/economy/september-jobs-report/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

So some of this was apparently purposeful manipulation -- just that it is a type of manipulation that is necessary to smooth out seasonal swings. The trouble with such manipulation, though, is that you have to base it on history and since the current situation is fairly unique, that makes the adjustments somewhat of a shot in the dark. Taking it further: September is when kids go back to school and quit their summer jobs. But teenaged-summer jobs have taken a big hit during this recession, so what I suspect happened is the BLS added a standard correction to counteract the effect of a huge number of teenagers quitting jobs they never had to begin with.

Looking at the timestamps, I was probably writing that first post when that article on Jack was posted, but here's something you'll get first from me: I predict that next month either this blip gets corrected away or corrects itself via a -573,000 job creation month (giving a +150,00 average between the two) and unemployment goes back up to 8.1%.

Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
11. Oct 5, 2012

### Jimmy Snyder

Romney was wrong on this point. Everyone is entitled to their own facts.

12. Oct 5, 2012

### Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
One does have to look behind the numbers or curtain.

Some perspectives:

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/could-jobs-statistics-be-rigged

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/employers-behind-septembers-job-numbers

An imbalanced economy
http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/ohio-staring-face-change

I heard some discussion this morning of people coming off unemployment and taking whatever they could find, even if they can't pay rent or mortgage, or food. College graduates are accepting underemployment in jobs not even related to their degrees. That is clearly unsustainable.

The Federal Budget is a huge chunk of the GDP, and the chronic deficit is as well.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_United_States_federal_budget

So 7.3% of the GDP (and those jobs it supports) are financed with debt.

This next year the deficit may shrink to about $900 billion, but the debt will approach$17 trillion, unless revenues increase significantly and/or expenses are cut substantially.

0.2% decrease in unemployment is not a tumble. It's barely improving.

13. Oct 5, 2012

### Staff: Mentor

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-05/welch-conspiracy-theory-on-jobs-data-not-tied-to-reality.html [Broken]

Fact is this the BLS is how the president has been rated, to suddenly say it's an unfair rating by those that oppose the president because it favors the President is ludicrous. So, should we toss the BLS out and stop using it?

Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
14. Oct 5, 2012

### OmCheeto

I say we find some mathematical autistic savant, have him look at the numbers, and tell us the answer:

Day 1: 800,000 jobs per month flying out the purple monkeys butt
Day now: 100,000 jobs flying back into the purple monkeys butt

conclusion: we are gaining 900,000 jobs per month.

Ok. Maybe that's the opinion of an idiot-savant....

But it's Friday. Slava bogu.

Do zaftra.

:zzz:

ok to perma ban. I need to work on my windmill poly-hybrid uber-bearings.

Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
15. Oct 5, 2012

### Staff: Mentor

It's obvious, the data is correct when it fits your agenda. So, if they're going to blame Obama when the numbers are bad, based on this information, they can't kneejerk when it's in his favor and say it's unreliable. It's the same process every month. Top finanacial analysts have recently predicted that the unemployment numbers would start dropping to below 8% in the next 2 months and continue to the end of 2013, it just dropped a month sooner than their predictions. So the continued drop we've been seeing has been expected. Will it go up and down a bit although with a continued decline over time? Probably. Still means there is expected to be a continued decline.

Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
16. Oct 5, 2012

### Staff: Mentor

Who are you arguing against, Evo? Jack Welch's conspiracy theory?? We should not be entertaining conspiracy theory here, even for the purpose of using it as a strawman.
Except, of course, when the numbers are actually bad. Do you deny the existence of the past "blips" I pointed out? Do you deny the existence of a factual discrepancy in the data from this month?

Please focus, Evo. We have actual facts and data to discuss here. The data does not make sense, which means it is probably wrong.

Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
17. Oct 6, 2012

### SixNein

The republican party is a faith based party, and it's running a straight up anti-science campaign. If you think facts matter to them, please get real. They will not be dictated by facts.

Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
18. Oct 6, 2012

### SixNein

Or maybe the labor market has improved a little bit.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2012/10/americas-jobs-report

19. Oct 6, 2012

### Staff: Mentor

Greg posted it.

20. Oct 6, 2012

### JonDE

But the question is, which data? While I will agree that a .3% dropin the UE rate seems unlikely, I will note that I believe that the monthly jobs report will be revised upwards next month. Lately the trend has been for the previous months numbers to be revised upwards, then there was the ADP report, release the day prior, that said the actual number was around 160k. They do payroll for many companies, and base their numbers on actually having to do more payroll.

Also lets not forget that the previous two months numbers were revised upwards by 60k+. So friday, we believe to have 170k jobs more then we thought we had on thursday, which would be more then enough to compensate for workforce growth.

Then there is the secrecy that the BLS refuses to say how they seasonally adjust numbers, they don't even match year to year. Last september the labor force grew by 400k they called it a 103k gain. This year it goes up almost 900k, they call in a 140k gain. So compared to the same time last year the economy adds nearly 500k more jobs and they say it only amounts to 40k more jobs. It seems they used a massively different seasonally adjusting tool last year.

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/empsit_10072011.pdf

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

21. Oct 6, 2012

### Staff: Mentor

Please stop the condescending tone of your posts, it's really inappropriate. If you have any "facts and data" you're welcome to post them.

22. Oct 6, 2012

Staff Emeritus
Here's a "fact and data".

The reported unemployment rate fell by 0.3%.
The number of jobs increased by 118,000.

Therefore, the total number of jobs in the US = 114,000/0.3% = 38 million. Except that the real number is ~5x larger than that. So both numbers cannot simultaneously be right.

I'm not going to speculate on if our how this helps or harms Team-R or Team-D. Just reporting that both numbers cannot simultaneously be right, and that normally such reporting comes with the disclaimer that last months numbers are always highly preliminary and one needs to go back a minimum of 3 or 4 months to get numbers which are reasonably stable.

23. Oct 6, 2012

### Maui

It could be that 0.25% fewer people were looking for work(which doesn't say what happened to them, but the government is no longer considering them unemployed). It's a trick to twist the statistics practiced all over the world.

24. Oct 6, 2012

### SixNein

Maybe your measuring two different things.

One is a survey of employers.
The other is a survey of households.

They also measure different things. For example, one includes self employment while the other doesn't.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2012/10/americas-jobs-report

25. Oct 6, 2012

### Jimmy Snyder

The number of working age people increased by x%.