Friday, February 4, 2011

Unemployment & Statistical Games

Great news - the Obama Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is reporting that unemployment in January dropped from 9.4% to 9%. Expect to hear Obama beating his chest and singing paeans to himself in the near future.

The extremely bad news - we only added 36,000 jobs - that is about 100,000 shy of the number needed just to keep up with the expanding pool of avaiable workers. Indeed, the labor force participation chart above shows the reality - that the percentage participation of Americans in our work force continues a precipitous decline.

So somewhere, there is a huge disconnect. Our unemployment situation got worse in January. How the BLS got its number was by dropping half a million from the number of available workers. That adjustment makes just no sense, to me at least. Our available workforce is expanding, not contracting - everywhere but in the math Dept. at BLS apparently.

More on this and possible explanations at Bizzy Blog and Hot Air.

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