Wednesday, September 14, 2016

And So It Continues

Giving us information which, while it may not be entirely false, is misleading and distorts reality.

The New York Times blares in a headline that "Household Income Grew
5.2 Percent in 2015,"
which sounds like quite an accomplishment for our economy. Our local bird cage liner went even further, headlining the same article, "Americans Register Big Economic Gains."  Read the details, however, and we see that income for men grew by 1.5% while income for women grew by 2.5% in the same period.

There is one aspect of the latter that is actually good news, because it indicates progress toward gender pay equality, but if household income has grown by an amount so much greater than either component of that household it means that there are more workers per household than the prior year, and that is anything but good news, and it certainly isn't "big economic gains."

The same article says that "unemployment dropped to 5%," but doesn't remind us that the number does not represent 5% of the workforce, but rather is 5% of those who are participating in the workforce. That percentage is only 63% of those who are in the workforce, and is a historically low number which is not improving significantly.

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