Declining jobless rates are being both trumpeted and trashed. Who is right? Both.
Remember, not too long ago, we gave you the news that the feds are taking over the measurements from the states. It happened in IFO’s state (Oregon), so we assume this is a national thing.
Funny that we haven’t seen it anywhere, even by the people who trashed the latest numbers. We suspect that the trashers have no idea how employment and unemployment has been tracked in their areas in the past.
Like so much of our lives, there is much information flowing in on all topics that we never have time to think deeply, or even think at all, about how that information ends up on the news desks of our nation’s radio and television stations and newspapers.
Who comes up with those numbers? Are the statisticians measuring the entire population, or just a sample? Did the news come from a local, state or federal agency? These sources are slightly more trustworthy than special interest groups, like Environmental Working Group, or Greenpeace, or the Cato Institute or the Hoover Institution.
The special interest groups are all funded by people with particular points of view, and the research that goes on in these think tanks is geared to measuring phenomena they understand and think others do not.
So, back to the jobless count. Did you notice a few small news items noting that the feds have quietly assumed away some million positions in the national workforce? That has skewed the numbers in complex ways.
Here is the Sovereign Man’s unvarnished take on the matter: US Department of Labor now reduced to Soviet Propaganda Ministry.
Why did we say the trumpeting is right? Because we do notice some slight signs economic comeback in our area. It’s just that it’s not as great as the media and some politicians tell us it is. But since many believe that perception will create reality (a common fallacy), they tell us emphatically that things are getting better.