Who Do I Believe?

If one is to believe the Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment is not a problem. I reviewed the BLS website pages to decide for myself what to believe. I couldn’t discern what is happening. There are no clear figures to tell me exactly what is going on. What I do know is what I see going on around me, many people I know cannot find a job to replace the one they lost.

Recently, I had occasion to visit the Will County Land Use Bureau to get a permit to put a new roof on a house. I asked the permit man if  he has seen an increase in permit requests. He had time to talk to me because I was his only customer. The answer is NO. When I visit a business I ask how their business is doing. Many are honest enough to tell me how far down they are from 2009. Recently, I ran into a former colleague who is still working at my former place of employment. I know their business dropped by forty percent when the recession hit. He told me they were nearly back to where they were five years ago, that is a good thing. Currently I am traveling across country. I stay in a chain of hotels that I am comfortable with, and they give a breakfast as a draw. In past years, cars, trucks, and trailers crowded the hotel parking lot and breakfast was standing room only. Last night I parked right next to the lobby door. This morning, I had a premium table right in front of the TV.  The fact remains that businesses doing poorly outnumber those that are doing well. My survey is anecdotal and not scientific, but it is a seat-of-the-pants look at the business around the country.

Today, I spent time reading blogs that I follow. One of them is “Rat Nation.” I lifted a book review from the blog which I have included below. There are no words to describe this book titled “Everything Obama Knows About Creating Jobs.”

Definition of ‘Unemployment Rate’

The percentage of the total labor force that is unemployed but actively seeking employment and willing to work.

Where Did 342,693 Jobs Go?

Unemployment Rates

Unemployment Rates (Photo credit: GDS Infographics)

My math skills are fundamental, and as such I shouldn’t refute the government of the United States unemployment numbers, but I must. The level of trickery in the 7.8% unemployment number released today is astronomical.

Here is my math:

1.) From the Department of Labor Statistics the total work force in 2012 is extrapolated to be 152,230,880. (zero unemployed)

2.) Announced unemployment number today is 7.8%.  My math .078(152,230,880) = 11,874,008 people without jobs

3.) Announced unemployment last month was 8.1%. My math .11(152230880) = 12,330,701 people without jobs

4.) The number of jobs picked up in September  is (12,330,701-11,874,008) = 456,693

5.) The number of non farm jobs reported for September is 114,000.

6.) Excuse me but where did the rest of the jobs come from? My math (456,693-114,000) = 342,693 jobs unresolved. Is it a coincidence that the jobless claims for this week were at 367,000?

7.) Subtract 114,000 from last months unemployed and the real unemployment number should be reported as 8.0% not 7.8%.

Granted my logic is simple, but this smacks of a fresh dead skunk on the road. No doubt, the Bureau of Labor Statistics website and the reports are real gems. They are extremely hard to understand and so filled with confusing numbers and statistics that anyone who tries to decipher them can come up with any number he wants.

My conclusion: The number of new jobs required to get a .3% difference does not jive with the number of new jobs reported.

Even if we accept the bright side of 7.8% unemployment there are still 11,874,008 workers who are searching for a meal. Spread that to the fifty states and each state has 237,480 workers twiddling their thumbs while waiting patiently for our bigger, better, problem solving, progressive government to raise taxes some more to improve the job outlook.

There is an old adage, “Liars figure, and figures lie.

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