Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Job Numbers Lose Cred

The usual yappers bloviate about "Job Creation" in the Bush era.

But a growing number of observers think that the numbers put out by BLS are suspect. (Like Goldman, Sachs, and Merrill...)

If Housing is in such a horrid slump, and Manfucturing has been slowing, why on Earth does BLS think small businesses created the most jobs ever for a single month in April? How did an unfathomable 49,000 construction jobs get created (via B/D), when the Net Construction jobs actually measured by BLS -- not merely hypothesized -- fell 11,000?

Or see this:

The Labor Department’s ”birth/death model”—which imputes net job creation by new firms in the monthly nonfarm payroll figures—may currently be causing a significant overstatement of employment growth. (1) Conceptually, the danger of overstatement is greatest when the economy is slowing, as it has in recent quarters. (2) On a seasonally adjusted basis, employment birth/death adjustments have been unusually large recently, perhaps because the model “concluded” from the large upward 2006 benchmark revision that new firms were being created at a faster rate. (3) The quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) suggests that true employment growth had already started to trail the official estimates as of Q3 2006. (4) The household survey of employment has weakened considerably in recent months.

It's one thing to err. It's another thing entirely to re-write numbers to "sunny up" the landscape.

THAT is called "NewSpeak."

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