Saturday, May 07, 2011

Who To Believe?

Who are you going to believe when the claims on the economy differ; the government or, um, the government? The media, of course, believes the government which says that employment is up by 244,000 jobs and that unemployment rose because more people started looking for work.

That latter part means that the work force became larger by because the people who started looking for work rejoined the work force. According to my calculations, an increase of .2% would require that 27,500 people rejoin to work force by starting to look for work, but according to Bureau of Labor Statistics the work force only grew by 15,000.

The BLS also reports that the number of people employed shrank by 190,000 in April and that, while the work force increased by 15,000, the population increased by 146,000. So that doesn’t sound like that 15,000 person increase consisted much of non-working people suddenly going out to start looking for work. (I know, most of that 146,000 are babies, who aren’t looking for work, but if 146,000 babies were born last month, how many were born during April eighteen years ago?)

Don't forget the report last week that new claims for unemployment were 474,000, the third week in a row of new highs. That's followed immediately by a record level of new jobs created during the same month in which those three weeks of record levels of new unemployment claims occurred. That strikes no one as odd?

So. Has employment increased by 244,000 as the government says, or is it down by 190,000 as a different agency of the same government says? I have no real idea, and you are free to decide which is the case based on whether you are an optimist or a pessimist.

Sort of like was Osama bin Laden armed to the teeth and hiding behind his wife’s skirts, or was he unarmed and nowhere near any women when he was shot? Did the helicopter get shot down, did it suffer a “mechanical malfunction,” or did it, maybe, simply run out of gas?

“Government information” is as meaningful as “military intelligence.”

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