Wow, Jack Welch has accused the Obama administration of cooking the employment numbers
. I don't dismiss this as crank theorizing. Government agencies have been campaigning for Obama for years (some even in clear violation of federal law, and then doubling down on violating the law) and the report doesn't jibe with conditions that people who follow the economy understand to prevail.
So let's turn to a well-known numbers guru to see what he has to say. TD's verdict: total farce
Complete preelection "massaging" farce.
The reason: the biggest reported jump in the number of employed people
since January 2003, at +873,000 to 142,974. At least according to the
Household data survey, which just happens to be used in the calculation
of the unemployment rate. Just little bit off from the Establishment
survey of +114,000.
Crawling inside the numbers it looks like the real story is not one of improving employment conditions, the U6 is still dismal. The bump appears to have come from the household survey, which is quite curious. I await more analysis, but this looks very fishy.
UPDATE: Hot Air has some good points
on the report. Fishy indeed.
UPPDATE: I just remembered that many moons ago, I predicted the MSM's shift in focus
from the establishment survey to the household survey as we moved from not just a Republican president to a Democrat president but from ChimpyBushHitler to the Lightworking "Sort of a God". Anyhow, it is the household survey which is the locus of the fishiness in today's numbers. Kevin Hassett
has a good take:
The establishment survey was
terrible. The 114,000 number of jobs created on net in September is well
below the average for this year (146,000) and the average for last year
(153,000). This is wholly consistent with the story that the economy is
decelerating sharply as we head into the fall.
The household survey, on the other hand, portrays a September that
was booming, far more so than could possibly be true given the other
indicators. According to it, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8
percent, with total employment jumping by a whopping 873,000. I wish it
were true, but it will likely be a blip when we have a few more months
To believe today's report you'd have to believe that we have two economies, one of large established businesses that are swimming upstream and barely growing, and another made up of small enterprises that are shooting the lights out. Given what we know about the mood of small business owners from numerous survey data
, this doesn't pass the smell test.
UPPPDATE: So, will this cooked up 7.8% number matter? It'll certainly give the Lightworker campaign a talking point, that's for sure. But, as I have long argued, people know how the economy feels
. If it still feels crappy, I'm not sure a government stat is going to make them disbelieve their own lying eyes.
Also, while the numbers may start to look better, the economy will still feel crappy,
and that matters come election time. If voters don't feel times are
better, they won't vote like it regardless of what the numbers say. Ask
George Herbert Walker Bush about that one.
Paul at Powerline
Will the specious report of a lower unemployment rate help Obama?
Perhaps it will in some very marginal way. But voters have a pretty
clear sense of what the job market looks like in their locale. They know
whether their children, friends, and neighbors are struggling to find
full time work, or have given up the effort. To the extent they witness
or experience such struggles, they aren’t likely to be pacified by a