Skewed Numbers?

Associated Press: Unemployment Falls to 9.0 pct, Only 36k New Jobs

The unemployment rate dropped sharply last month to 9 percent, based on a government survey that found that more than a half-million people found work.

A separate survey of company payrolls showed a scant increase of 36,000 net jobs as snowstorms likely hampered hiring. That survey doesn’t count the self-employed.

Harsh snowstorms last month cut into construction employment, which fell by 32,000, the most since May. Transportation and warehousing was also likely affected and fell by 38,000 — the most in a year.

“The thumbprints of the weather were all over this report,” said Neil Dutta, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Hiring was suppressed last month and will likely rebound in February, he said.

In one bright spot, manufacturing added 49,000 jobs, the most since August 1998. And retailers added 28,000 jobs, the largest number in a year.

The unemployment rate has fallen by eight-tenths of a percentage point in the past two months. That’s the steepest two-month drop in nearly 53 years.

But part of that drop has occurred as many of those out of work gave up on their job searches. When unemployed people stop looking for jobs, the government no longer counts them as unemployed.

These numbers just reek of skew and spin to me.  I’m no expert, but I would imagine that the last paragraph up there is the most accurate.  How the unemployment rate could drop from 9.4 to 9.0 percent with the addition of only 36,000 new jobs is beyond me.  My guess is that many of the people on the unemployment rolls either stopped looking, as the last paragraph suggests, or reached the 99-week limit and could no longer receive benefits and be counted in the percentage.

This administration has a habit of releasing skewed numbers, remember, most notably the GDP numbers which always seemed to be modified downward in subsequent months as less people paid attention.

UPDATE:

CNBC’s Rick Santelli agrees … the numbers are off:

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    They apparently are running the employment numbers thru the climate change modeling software.

  2. cali says:

    Of course these numbers are fudged, andone not mathematically challenged can figure it out.
    I can’t remember which site I saw it yesterday, but the unemployment rate is closer to 10.8%, and the other number more at 16.8%.

    That sounds more plausible.

  3. Anonymous says:

    SEIU and ACORN folks may fall for this, but not me. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for raising a genius.

  4. Randy Wills says:

    Gallup shows the numbers to be 10% unemployed and 19.2% unemployed/underemployed. I suspect that these numbers are a more accurate reflection of the actual employment situation.

    As with any number/statistic that the government publishes, whether it be employment, GDP, trade balance, productivity, etc, etc, without the supporting detail the information is nigh unto useless, other than as misinformation or propaganda.

    For a good case in point, you might want to check Erickson’s “Redstate” coverage of the missing abortion information in the annual CDC report.

    Randy

  5. Gail B. says:

    You’re not the only person who did a double-take on those numbers. I did, but I’m no statistician. I’ve run across a couple of stories about it in different places, and an eyebrow was raised by each author.

  6. Possibly skewed. But the effect desired by the Progressive statists will not be achieved. The public will get its true impression from daily reality. It’s the same basic dynamic that dragged down the Iron Curtain era Soviet bloc.

    http://libertyatstake.blogspot.com
    “Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”

  7. Anonymous says:

    Speaking of ‘skewed’ ……we are ‘screwed’.

    WikiLeaks: Saudis running out of oil
    By Brett Michael Dykes

    The latest startling revelation to come via documents leaked to Julian Assange’s muckraking website and published by The Guardian is should give pause to every suburban SUV-driver: U.S. officials think Saudi Arabia is overpromising on its capacity to supply oil to a fuel-thirsty world. That sets up a scenario, the documents show, whereby the Saudis could dramatically underdeliver on output by as soon as next year, sending fuel prices soaring.

  8. Anonymous says:

    12:23

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110209/ap_on_re_us/us_shale_oil

    will the greenies quash this? probably

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