Comments on: Who knew jobs data could be so exciting? Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: Pete_Murphy Wed, 10 Oct 2012 09:24:28 +0000 Many have said that it is impossible for the number to be manipulated – that to do so would require too large a conspiracy involving many statisticians in the BLS.

Bull. All it takes is one hacker. Are we to believe that the same country that was able to destroy Iran’s centrifuges by hacking the computers that control them isn’t also able to hack its own BLS database? Alternatively, isn’t it also conceivable that the federal government simply hired more people from the list of households on the survey? Is it mere coincidence that September marked the first month in a very long time that government jobs rose?

The establishment survey said that, as expected, relatively few jobs were added in September. That figure was corroborated by the ADP employment report a day earlier. Yet, somehow we’re to believe that the employment level (from the household survey, used in the unemployment calculation) rose by 873,000 – the highest since 1983 and the fourth highest since record-keeping began? In this economy? And it just happens to yield an unemployment rate that is exactly 0.1% less than when Obama took office? One month before the election?

You have to be extremely gullible to believe that this isn’t a manipulated number.

By: mikemm Tue, 09 Oct 2012 16:10:25 +0000 Updating the methods for these types of measurements presents a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation.

Using the same flawed methods does allow comparing historical numbers for trending, even allowing for the numbers being less accurate than they could be.

Updating to a new methodology may get better numbers, but then you lose that historical comparison unless you still use the old method for comparison purposes and the new one for going forward, but that adds costs and complexities to an already complex process.

The same is true for all of our economic, productivity, and production measurements.

By: texas100 Tue, 09 Oct 2012 15:15:45 +0000 Very good article explaining the workings of the BLS; the thing you have to wonder about is that the BLS would rely on such an ‘unscientific samplng’ methodology to extrapolate such an important economic metric, and that they wouldn’t themselves be ‘concerned’ with the results..
Don’t you think that they should have questioned the sampling results when it produces such a highly doubtful answer, before they published? I agree that the unemployment rate was probably not purposely skewed, but when the analysis produces an unreasonable answer, you don’t publish; you check and revise.. This has got to be an embarassment for the BLS, especialy if the rate jumps Nov 1st.

By: OneOfTheSheep Tue, 09 Oct 2012 06:49:39 +0000 @Gordon2352,
“The problem is there is no incentive for the government to “clean up its act”, because to do so would put them under enormous pressure to act in a fiscally responsible manner.”
Bravo! Bravo!

The bigger problem is that the government in Washington is like “memory foam” without the memory. It shifts it’s shape constantly to pressure applied here and there, but the size, mass and trajectory towards fiscal chaos never changes.

Most young people don’t know that the United States never paid off the debt it ran up during WW II as the “armory of the free world”. Our politicians just inflated it over the years since to insignificance.

That’s the “good” news. The “bad” news is that they can just as easily do that to your pension, Medicare and savings too!

Remember the “doomsday clock” relentlessly counting down to the moment humanity destroys itself militarily? Well it certainly appears that world governments have created a comparable economic scenario.

As a visual aid we need another ominous clock ticking down to the moment that the combined idiocy of politicians and associated rates of government printing of money without meaningful collateral accelerate the a chart line consistent with the rate of inflation and concurrently accumulating debt to “straight up” infinity!

By: Gordon2352 Mon, 08 Oct 2012 20:13:19 +0000 Well, I was wrong — about Reuters suppressing this article — but that means an even worse scenario, that the American people don’t give a damn about the numbers.

Failure to force the government to reveal the correct data in a timely manner means you deserve what you get.

By: Gordon2352 Mon, 08 Oct 2012 20:10:42 +0000 Given the fact of your “unbiased” background, as well as the other BS buried in the article about “sample size” (no doubt to confuse anyone who knows nothing about statistics), the problem lies not with only this one report, but the whole process.

Your statistical methods belong back in the 1930s, when there might have been some excuse for the incredibly bad data produced on US unemployment.

The problem is there is no incentive for the government to “clean up its act”, because to do so would put them under enormous pressure to act in a fiscally responsible manner.

I notice that there are no other comments to this egregiously self-serving article, so I suppose Reuters is once again suppressing news that should be released.

So much for democracy and free speech.