Tag Archives: unemployment rate

Billion Dollar Babies and American Jihad – Intellectual Froglegs

And here is the latest installment of Intellectual Froglegs:

Joe Dan Gorman nails it yet again, with his in-depth analysis of leftist propaganda on Jihadists, phobias, abortion, Planned Parenthood, and Janet Napolitano. In case you’re wondering, Napolitano has no clue how to do her job, except the part where she spews disjointed jargon in Congressional hearings. And the new inconvenient truth – successful terrorist attacks in four years under Obama is FIVE, and in seven years after 9/11 under Bush is ZERO.

Another improving unemployment report that’s not so improved

The second paragraph in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Summary for February says it all:

The unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent in February but has shown 
little movement, on net, since September 2012. The number of unemployed 
persons, at 12.0 million, also edged lower in February.

While the unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percent from January, fewer people are working. As the report goes on to tout 236,000 jobs added one wonders how fewer people could be working and the number of people having jobs could go up?

The easy answer is that two different sets of numbers make up the BLS report: the Household Survey and the Establishment Survey.

The Household survey counts the following in its numbers:

– Agriculture and related employment;
– Uncompensated Workers;
– Part Time Workers;
– Unpaid Family Employees;
– Workers absent without pay from their jobs;
– Self employed, Work-at-home Contractors;

The Establishment survey counts none of that in its numbers.

The additional 236,000 jobs came from the more reliable Establishment survey which is collected from payroll data. The less reliable Household survey showed the number of people having jobs dropping and a stale labor participation rate.

While that explains the self-contradicting report, it does not mean things are getting better. They are just getting less worse. 236,000 new jobs is not near what economist estimate is required to employ new entrants into the workforce – much less those trying to move from part-time to full-time or recover from a lost job.


Unemployment Rate Becomes Political Football

Somewhat unsurprisingly given the intense polarization that exists today, the announcement of the drop in November’s unemployment rate has become a political issue, as both sides of political leadership claim it supports their position in the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that during November, the unemployment rate fell to 7.7% from 7.9%. The labor force added 146,000 new jobs last month, but the number of unemployed individuals remained at 12 million.

The BLS stops counting individuals as unemployed after 27 consecutive weeks of joblessness. Essentially, this means the unemployment rate fell because the labor force shrunk.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, who has been vocal about the need to increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans, stated the number proves the economy is improving, but a tax hike on middle class families could reverse the progress.

“There is no doubt our economy is moving in the right direction. The only question is whether Republicans will jeopardize the progress made so far by forcing a $2,200 tax hike on middle class families,” said Reid in a statement released on Friday.

But Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner believes the economic recovery promised by Democrats is progressing too slowly.

“Any job creation is welcome news, but the jobless rate in this country is still unacceptable. Today marks the 34th consecutive month of unemployment above eight percent,” said Boehner last Friday.

January 1, the so-called fiscal cliff, marks the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. This will trigger a return to the higher income tax rate of the Clinton era. On the same day, automatic spending cuts will also go into affect.

Democrats, led by Reid and President Obama, want to extend the cuts for families making under $250,000, but let them expire for people making above that rate.

Republicans are seeking to extend the tax cuts for all Americans.