Saturday, May 03, 2014

Funky Numbers Again

We created 288,000 new jobs in April the media crows with great glee, but what they don't say is that the same agency reporting those 288,000 new jobs also tells us that 73,000 fewer people are employed. Why do we regard a report with any degree of seriousness, when it tells us that 73,000 fewer people are holding 288,000 more jobs? A difference of 361,000 jobs.

They also tell us gleefully that "unemployment dropped four tenths of a point, to 6.3%," but they don't tell us that number is from the same report that indicates 73,000 fewer employed; that it is based on zero increase in employment and is caused entirely by the fact that 806,000 people have given up looking for work and are no longer counted as unemployed.

So if consumer spending has recovered as well as we are being told that it has, if corporate profits are at all time highs, and if the stock market is at record levels, and if all these things are signs of a recovery gainging steam as we are told they are, then why are people giving up looking for work in such astounding numbers? Maybe because the pathetic 0.1% growth in GDP in the first quarter was not entirely due to weather, as economists are claiming it was.

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