Friday, December 2, 2011

Playing with numbers gets you on the 'naughty list'


Ho, Ho, Ho!  Ol' Saint Ridiculous brings season's greetings with his media schola singing, "Unemployment drops to 8.6%! Hallelujah, Hallelujah!"   Hmm, I wonder...let's do some beyond-the-headlines math.

Reuters reports yesterday: "New claims for unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly last week, popping above 400,000 for the first time in just over a month and reinforcing the view that the battered labor market was healing only slowly."

Yet today, we're told that unemployment is actually down?  How does that happen? Here's a few clues.  First from Bloomberg:

Job gains in the U.S. picked up last month and the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to the lowest level since March 2009, a decline augmented by the departure of Americans from the labor force.

Payrolls climbed 120,000, after a revised 100,000 increase in October, with more than half the hiring coming from retailers and temporary help agencies, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington.

Then from CNBC:

Job creation remained weak in the U.S. during November, with just 120,000 new positions created, though the unemployment rate slid to 8.6 percent, a government report showed Friday.

The rate fell from the previous month's 9.0 percent, a move which in part reflected a drop in those looking for jobs. The participation rate dropped to 64 percent, from 64.2 percent in October, representing 315,000 fewer job-seekers.

That's how. As Rush elaborated on this morning:

"It is a corrupt number. Folks, the number of people who have quit looking for work in the last few weeks is 315,000. Those are the people have thrown up their hands after 99 weeks or more of being unemployed; and they've said, "I'm quitting. I'm not looking." So they're not counted. Therefore, the universe of jobs available in the country is down by 315,000. That is the labor force participation rate. The labor force participation rate is a meager 64%. It fell to 64% from 64.2%. So the 0.2% drop equals 315,000 people leaving the workforce.

That means there are 315,000 fewer jobs to have, so the universe of jobs has been steadily shrinking. ... That number of jobs created can lower unemployment rate 0.4%, almost one half of a percent? Creating 120,000 new jobs can do that? That alone tells us how small the labor force participation rate is. That tells us how small the universe of available jobs in the country is, when creating 120,000 -- and we still have, don't forget, over 400,000 applications for unemployment compensation reported yesterday. So just 120,000 new jobs can lower the unemployment rate almost a half a point. That's not possible without that 315,000 figure, the 315,000 people who have just walked away."

So the administration, the media, want us to believe that by some miracle the unemployment rate has gone down when more people have left the workforce than have gotten jobs? Come on, folks. As Rush went on to say, "We're dealing here with a serious form of corruption, manipulation of data; but, we all knew it was coming. After all, we're talking about the regime. We knew this was coming. We know the fact, we know the histoire, that no president's been reelected with an unemployment rate higher than 8%. So here we are 11 months away from the next election, voila! Heading into the Christmas, slash, holiday season, and we're at 8.6%, the 0.6 doesn't matter, we're at 8%. And the media is having orgasms out there, O-gasms."

Where are we really at when it comes to unemployment? Well, an RT article gives us some incite into that stark reality:

November’s figure, 8.6 percent, is actually the proportion of Americans unemployed, “as a percent of the civilian labor force,” as per the official definition from the Labor Department (a figure it refers to as “U-3,” the official unemployment rate). When considering those that fit that definition as well as discouraged workers (U-4), those marginally attached to the work labor force (U-5) and those that are employed part-time and seeking full-time employment but can’t find it, the Labor Department has another statistic, which it refers to as U-6; for the month of November, that figure is at 15.6 percent.

As civilians leave the labor force, obviously the percentage of those participating in the market drops as well. Should the jobless numbers be compared to those participating in the labor force when Obama entered office in 2009, the U-3 unemployment rate would be at around 11 percent now, reports CNBC contributor James Pethokoukis.

Even taking into account the Labor Department’s definition of what counts as employed, 20 of the 50 states in America (plus the District of Columbia) saw jobless figures exceeding 9.0 percent for the month of November. In California and Washington DC, numbers were at or above 11 percent; in Nevada: 13.4 percent.

And those numbers are the ones that the mainstream media don't dare mention among the headlines.  It's pretty apparent who's being naughty...you better watch out, MSM.

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