Employment Numbers Demystified

It's good that a little bit of the defict-pumping tax cut is trickling down to working people. What's surprising is not that employment is up, but how little. What's even more surprising is how ineptly the numbers are being reported in the newspapers.

Comes now MaxSpeak to draw a picture and set us all straight. “OH PROMISE ME … has a nice simple picture we can all understand, comparing the jobs the Administration promised its economic plans would create to the jobs actually produced. Worth more than a thousand words, easy.

Reproduced with permission from Max Sawicky.

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2 Responses to Employment Numbers Demystified

  1. Ralph E. Patsfall says:

    The Media continues to talk about the loss of 2.3M jobs. It is my contention, however, that employment has actually increased since President Bush took office and it was the increasing number of people entering the labor market that pushed the unemployment rate up.

    It is true that we would all like the unemployment rate to go down to 3%, but if my figures are right employment has gone up over 2.6M in the last 3 years. It is just that we haven’t kept pace with the new people entering the job market.

    I sent the following note to the Associated Press. What do you think about the employment question I raised?

    In your article You mentioned that 2.3 million jobs had been lost since President Bush took office. I think you should print a correction to this statement. You can check this information with the U.S. Dept. of Labor-Bureau of Labor Statistics. When President Bush took over an economy, already in recession, in January, 2001 the United States had an employment of 136.0M and an unemployment rate of 3.6% and in November, 2003 an employment of 138.6M and an unemployment rate of 5.9%. That is an increase of 2.6M jobs – a great deal of jobs. The increase in jobs, up to now, however, has not kept pace with the increase in the number of people entering the job market. This has currently turned around and the unemployment rate is trending downward. If I’m wrong, please let me know”.
    Ralph E. Patsfall

  2. Michael says:

    Are you quoting Robert Barro? If you actually did a calculation, did you happen to notice footnote 3 to the employment tables? Brad DeLong noticed, and upon seeing Barro’s article predicted, “Oh God! Another piece of misinformation introduced into the stream of popular economic discourse!”.

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