The Magic Jobs Report

I’ve been convinced that the books were being cooked on unemployment for quite some time now. The bizarre spectacle of the sudden decrease in unemployment by three tenths of a percent with only 114,000 jobs added has made a lot of people notice the weirdness. Ed Morrisey goes for the statistical approach in looking at it:

Keep an eye on the U-6 measure of unemployment and underemployment, as Chris Cuomo insisted on Twitter this morning. That’s not budging from the 14%-15% range in which it has been for the last three-plus years.

It doesn’t really explain the magic numbers though. This morning on NPR – before the numbers got released – they were explaining how the numbers wouldn’t mean anything. That people were already set in their opinions and it wouldn’t change anything regardless of what the number turned out to be. By the afternoon drive, the story had changed. NPR was gushing about the wonderful news and shaking their heads at those who thought the numbers were screwed up. I’m sure there wasn’t a dry seat in the studio.

But my wife and I stopped at a little get-together for one of her coworkers who had just retired. A guy at the table I didn’t know just mentioned – out of the blue – about the suspicious fall in the unemployment rate just 30 days from the election. I never met this guy before.

People are paying attention. And the story the media is spinning isn’t working.

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3 Responses to The Magic Jobs Report

  1. Maggie says:

    Hey, Gaius –

    I’ve been chewing on this magic drop all day, and the fact that a lot of these ‘new jobs’ were part time. Then I suddenly recalled something…

    Just last month the IRS and HHS redefined “full time” jobs from 40hr/wk to 30hr/wk.

    This was to hook employers into providing healthcare coverage on people in what would be part time jobs. But now I am seeing another side to this being ‘purposeful’ today:

    Also, I am always reminded these last few years of a time during the Bush admin. when unemployment was right around 5% or so (usually considered ‘full employment’). People like James Carville were whining “those are low payin’ jobs with no healthcare or retirement, or any upward mobility … burger-flippin’ jobs”. I have been searching for the last few years for a video clip of that CNN appearance. Anyhow, NOW, under the Obama “New Norm” those same jobs are to be cheered. Much like when gas gets near or over $4/gal we are supposed to feel relief when it drops back down to $3.65/gal … except that it was a good bit under $2/gal back when Obama took over our lives and livelihoods. Or like having your body needlessly X-rayed or groped before your trip flight, and on the return flight. POed for awhile but not so much when you have to go through the same invasion at train/bus stations, sporting events, shopping malls, random car stops (like sobriety checks on New Years Eve). And then there it the intimidation of allowing them to do the same to our children and helpless elderly.

    I’m no BIG conspiracy theorist, but I do see and understand the conditioning that is going on. The democrats and liberals/left are always citing the “middle class”, and redefining ‘rich’ whenever it suits their grab. But what people are not realizing is that is a deflection (the rich) while the definition of “middle class” is dragged down.

  2. Gaius says:

    That about sums it up, Maggie. Conditioning.

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