John Crudele at the New York Post has posted a few articles raising questions about how the Obama Administration is calculating unemployment numbers. He posted one yesterday. Mr. Crudele has pointed out that unemployment numbers are coming from the Census Bureau and that in 2010 one of its enumerators was caught fabricating interviews.
The article reports:
The Census Department surveys that went into the November jobless rate actually took place during the week that included Nov. 5 instead of the normal Nov. 12 week.
The Labor Department did put in a note about the survey week change in its November report.
But it should also have included another line that said: “The data for the unemployment rate may have been compromised. Lots of people are looking into the matter right now. We’ll get back to you on whether you should believe these numbers or not.”
The article at Power Line includes the following chart:
The chart shows what has happened to the labor participation rate since 2008–it dropped like a rock and stayed there.
The article at Power Line quotes James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute:
1. There are still 1.1 million fewer employed Americans today than right before the recession started, despite a potential labor force that’s 14 million larger. And there are 3.6 million fewer full-time workers than back in 2007.
2. The employment rate, the share of Americans with a job, is 58.6% — exactly where it was in November 2009.
3. If the labor force participation rate were where it was a year ago, the jobless rate would be 7.9%, not 7% (and 11.3% if the LFPR were at prerecession levels, though closer to 9% if demographics-adjusted).
The article at Power Line concludes:
Back in the heady days of 2008 and 2009, the Democrats were universally confident that the economy would improve dramatically, as it always does after a recession, regardless of the policies the Democrats followed. All they would need to do was take credit when the time came. The bitter lesson of the last five years is that federal policies do matter. The American economy is diverse and resilient, but if our government’s policies are stupid enough, they can blight the prospects of an entire generation.
If you were planning to break out the champagne because of the 7 per cent unemployment rate, you might want to hold off for a little bit. If you want to turn this around, think before you vote.