The Truth About Measuring Job Numbers

Posted on February 10, 2010. Filed under: General Info | Tags: , , , , |

There was a really informative editorial in the Washington Times Tuesday regarding job numbers:

Economists measure the number of jobs two different ways: the establishment survey that asks about 370,000 employers how many people they are employing and the household survey that asks about 110,000 people each month whether they are working. The establishment survey is often given more weight because about 40 million Americans work for the companies surveyed, a lot more than the 110,000 people interviewed in the other survey. But 110,000 people still make up a huge sample (a large survey for a presidential election might involve 2,000 to 3,000 people), and it is hard to ignore the results. The household survey is also what is used to calculate the unemployment rate.

The problem is that the two surveys have reached different estimates, with the household survey showing a significantly greater drop in the number of jobs than the establishment survey. It turns out that there might be a simple reason for that. For the survey of firms, the list of firms surveyed doesn’t change very often. Thus, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which puts these numbers together, can only guess at the number of jobs created by new firms because it doesn’t even know how many new firms have been created each month. To get around this gap in the data, the bureau makes an assumption that the jobs created at new companies are about equal to the jobs lost at companies that go out of business.

That assumption hasn’t come close to being right during the current recession. The error in estimating the number of jobs from April 2008 to March 2009 was 10 times greater than the average error over the preceding eight years. Typically, the government error would underestimate the number of new jobs by 80,000, but this time, it overestimated the number of jobs by more than 800,000.

No one will know what the error rate has been with the establishment survey from April to December 2009 until the numbers are revised again in February 2011, three months after the 2010 midterm elections. But a great deal of skepticism seems warranted. The establishment survey assumes that new firms generated almost a million new jobs over those nine months. At the same time, the household survey just happens to show that about a million more jobs were lost than the survey of firms indicates.

Remember also, in a column last week, I shared a heads up provided by my Congressman Dave Camp regarding the actual number of new jobs per state as evidenced by state rolls versus the number the Obama Administration claimed they had produced. The numbers were ASTONISHINGLY different, with only two areas producing jobs – a limited number of new jobs in North Dakota and, of course, a much,much larger number of new jobs in Washington DC.

Remember too, for every trillion dollars our government wastes that equates to over $3000 for every man, woman and child in America… for each and every trillion dollars they spend. They just raised the debt ceiling to over $14,000,000,000,000 or $42,000 for every man, woman and child in America. That does not account for health care, cap and trade, the next stimulus (aka jobs bill) or any other theft of our money going forward.

The so called jobs bill, which is actually just another worthless “stimulus” bill, contains much that won’t take effect for the next several years. Congress is not allowed to call it a stimulus bill, by the way. That is forbidden by the administration. If it’s not going to put America to work NOW in non-governmental jobs, then WHAT IN THE HECK ARE THEY DOING?

Glenn Beck had said late last year to NOT let anything pass, nothing, in Washington, DC. He could not have been more right.

Nothing is truthful. Nothing is sincere. Nothing is worthwhile. Nothing is worthy of the American people.

Until such time as we can get honesty out of our government (don’t hold your breathe), NOTHING CAN BE ALLOWED TO PASS.

Let’s have some common sense solutions of a non-political nature. Our government has shown it is NOT capable of doing that. Everything boils down to foolery, trickery, and pocket stuffing by our politicians in both parties.

CUT TAXES. STOP SPENDING. It’s not hard to figure out, but it’s seems it’s difficult for them to comprehend.

We need REAL JOBS, NON-GOVERNMENT JOBS,  RIGHT NOW. We also need to increase the unemployment rate by a whole lot in our nations capital.

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One Response to “The Truth About Measuring Job Numbers”

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If the Federal Government would go by the Constitution, congress could meet very seldom and be part time. If the FairTax plan were enacted to replace the production tax system left over form before free trade, we would get back to work. The truth of unemployment is not even close to including those who have gave up years ago.


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