Unemployment: Tinkering with the Numbers?
Did you watch the news last week? A miracle fell into the lap of the president. Three precious weeks before the hotly contested presidential election the ‘newly unemployed’ claims dropped to an unexpected low.
Coupled with the surprising unemployment decline these numbers were heralded by the left as a sure sign this was truly the beginning of the recovery and there were high-fives all around the MSNBC offices. To get unemployed numbers 40,000 less than expected was truly manna from the heavens and fed into the Democratic narrative of an improving economy. These good numbers quickly were incorporated into stump speeches by the left.
But…hold the applause… within a few hours it was reported that one ‘large’ state had not reported all its information. The large state soon revealed as California, a state with critically high unemployment. No, it wasn’t a holiday that interfered but perhaps one government worker was on vacation and didn’t get all the paperwork done. Additionally, multiple economists questioned how the unemployment percentage could be real. Businesses reported only 114,000 real jobs created while an extrapolated 800,000 people found work.
No matter. Democrats across the country gleefully reported these flawed statistics touting their candidate as ‘the one’ who could get us through this trouble he had inherited.
Job numbers released this morning took a sharp swing on the pendulum back the other direction. As CNBC sadly headlined, “Weekly Jobless Claims Drop Proves to be Short-lived.” The timing for those errant numbers last week are suspicious in the least. But those who watch these unemployment claims each week point to an alarming trend of underreporting. The released figures have been revised upward each week for more than 40 weeks in a row.
Of course, it’s anticipated that President Obama will choose to ignore this week’s numbers. He’ll continue to spin that with more time and more tax payers’ money he will figure out how to fix this mess our country is in.
Still we are left with a significant question: Is it possible for this data to be tinkered with? It will be interesting to see how the numbers are reported once our new administration takes over in 2013.