Saturday, October 6, 2012

This is Not a Recovery

Today's jobless numbers headlines (including a drop to 7.8%) are "too good to be true" according to our friends at Zerohedge.  The key quotes from that piece; first from economist David Rosenberg.
If it's too good to be true, then it probably is. 
But this is why the headline unemployment plunged, and that is what is very likely to make the front pages of the Saturday newspapers. Digging beneath the veneer, the quality of these so-called Household jobs is called into question, seeing as part-time work for 'economic reasons' dominated with a 582k run-up in September. And upon closer inspection of the actual amount of slack in the labour market, the more inclusive U6 unemployment rate that does a much better job at capturing underemployment, remained stubbornly stuck at 14.7%.
In other words, the key reason for the drop is that part-time work is now a full time job in the new survey.  Key measures of employment health that are not as volatile as the "household survey" (and therefore less manipulable, do not show the same rosy picture.  First, the labor force participation rate; a key metric of how many people are in the work force had a slight uptick, but we have seen this before and it constitutes statistical noise in a month on month basis.  Look at the data yourself.

Another measure of employment health is the percent of the population that is working. This is important because ultimately, these are the folks driving the economy, paying taxes and investing.

These numbers also had an uptick, but again, it looks like noise to me, not a trend.  I incorporate the actual data from the Federal government's Bureau of Labor Statistics, so that you can make an informed decision yourself.  On both of these measures, we see that nothing the administration has tried to do has made a difference in actually getting a recovery going.

More succinctly, fellow SLOB sent me this picture, which sums up the current situation.

1 comment:

  1. The BLS "seasonally adjusted" numbers are inaccurate guesses. They admit it, so 7.8% isn't a conspiracy, just a reflection of political influence on people.