The Real Data vs. What We Have Been Told

On Monday, The Washington Examiner posted the following headline:

If economic growth seems too good to be true, that’s because it is

I would revise that headline slightly to “If economic growth is so good, why do people seem to be struggling financially?”

The article reports:

Perhaps the most notorious example this year has been the jobs numbers published by the Biden administration. Consider the newly released August jobs report. While the economy added 187,000 jobs last month, previous months were revised down by 110,000 jobs. That means 59% of the employment growth last month was jobs we thought we already had.

In fact, every monthly employment report this year has been revised down, meaning the economy has been adding fewer jobs than initially believed. Worse, the Bureau of Labor Statistics published its semiannual benchmark revisions showing jobs were overestimated by more than 300,000.

Between the downward adjustments for the monthly data and the semiannual benchmark, the number of jobs has been revised down by almost 700,000. That’s 30% of the jobs initially estimated to have been added this year. Adding insult to injury, government jobs were revised upward with the semiannual benchmark.

To be clear, jobs data are normally revised, and occasionally, several months in a row will be revised in the same direction, sometimes heavily. But this year stands out because so many of the statistics have consistently turned out to be worse than initially estimated.

Other labor market indicators have followed this pattern. The number of job openings, a proxy for labor demand, has not only fallen over the last several months but previous levels were also revised down. The latest estimate shows job openings are now 2 million below the initial figure for the start of the year.

And the problem goes beyond the labor sector to the general economy. The revised estimate for gross domestic product in the second quarter of the year removed an eighth of the previously estimated growth, falling from 2.4% to 2.1%. Investment and business income, in particular, are in bad shape.

The media in America has brought us to the point where we have a choice either to believe what we see or what we are being told. We are told that Bidenomics is working and that we are all better off under President Biden. What we see tells a different story. It is our choice as to whether or not we believe our eyes or what we are being told.