Thursday, June 24, 2010

Are We Reading the Same Report?

There are lies, damned lies, and statistics. Obviously, statistics are at play here.

From The Daily Reporter:

State statistics show all 12 metropolitan areas of Wisconsin added jobs and reported drops in their unemployment rate in May.

According to the Department of Workforce Development, the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis area added 5,700 jobs in the month while the Madison area added 4,500. The 10 others added jobs, too.

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

...the four-county region that includes Milwaukee and Waukesha lost 800 jobs last month on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to new data Wednesday from the state Department of Workforce Development.

Over the past 12 months, metro Milwaukee lost 14,800 jobs, far more than any of the 12 metropolitan areas tracked by the agency, also after adjustments to smooth out fluctuations from the start of warm weather and school vacations.

Other parts of the state showed pockets of stagnation. Appleton's metro area lost 100 jobs in May from April and 1,000 since May 2009. The metro areas of Racine, La Crosse and Oshkosh-Neenah neither added nor lost jobs. The remaining seven metro areas added jobs.

The difference: "Seasonal Adjustment." The JS article uses adjusted numbers, whereas the Reporter does not.

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