Posts Tagged ‘unemployment rate’

“Our plan worked” … say, what?

August 7, 2012

A picture is worth a thousand words.

So, here’s a picture.


Source: AEI

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Gallup reports unemployment rate increasing … what’ll the BLS say on Friday?

August 1, 2012

Fully expecting that the BLS will manage this week’s jobs and unemployment rate reports, I thought I’d peek at what Gallup is saying.

Well, the Gallup trend is up sharply since mid-July … up to 8.3%

My bet: BLS will find a way to report that the unemployment rate stayed constant at 8.2% in July.

We’ll see …



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Obama DECIDES to up the unemployment rate … really!

June 20, 2012

I’m ambivalent about Obama’s decision to, in effect, implement the Dream Act despite it’s rejection by Congress.

I’m ok with parts of it — like legalizing those who serve in the military —  but I’m not that keen on presidents completely ignoring the Constitution.

Immigration politics aside, I’m interested in the statistics … specifically, the impact of Obama’s move on the BLS’ reported unemployment rates.

Most sources are estimating that just short of 1 million illegals fall into Obama’s stick-around policy — over 16 years old, younger than 30.

Those people now — by the stroke of Obama’s pen — qualify as “in the American labor force” … the denominator of the unemployment rate calculation.

Let’s do some simple math …

The BLS says that there are currently 155 million people in the labor force … according to the last BLS report, 142.3 million were employed … 12.7 million unemployed … for an 8.2% unemployment rate.

What happens when the 1 million newly minted legals get thrown into the statistical mix?

Worst case: if all are currently unemployed … then the unemployment rate jumps to 8.8% … 13.7 unemployed divided by 156 million in the labor force.

Best case: if only 11% are unemployed — the current UE rate for Hispanics … then the unemployment rate increases slightly to about 8.25% … 12.81 unemployed divided by 156 million in the labor force.

Most like (statistically): somewhere between the best and worst cases … probably a 25% unemployment rate for the new legals … bumping the UE rate by about .1/10th of a percentage point.

Most likely (politically): the BLS will “forget” to add the new legals to the labor force until, say, January 2013.

That’s the case that I’m betting on … watch the labor force numbers to see if I’m right … they should bump up a million when June numbers get reported … but they won’t!

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Cookin’ the books? … 2 numbers to watch when the BLS reports tomorrow.

April 5, 2012

Loyal readers know that I’m a bit skeptical re: the employment numbers that the BLS has been spitting out in recent months.

Two reasons: (1) Unemployment rates are diverging from the Gallup daily surveys, and (2) Seasonal adjustment factors are boosting the employment numbers.

First, the Gallup relationship …

Historically, Gallup’s mid-month unemployment rate has tracked closely to the BLS end-of-month rate.

Not so in February … Gallup reported 8% … BLS reported 8.2%.


Gallup’s mid-month rate for March was 8.9%.

Let’s see what the BLS says tomorrow.


* * * * *

The 2nd number to watch is the the seasonal adjustment adder.

For the prior10 years, the BLS has seasonally adjusted February employment numbers upward by 1.1423%.

Last month, they upped the raw numbers by 1.1688%.

That’s a big difference when floated into the unemployment rate calculation.

The prior 10 year adjustment factor for March has been .6209 %.

If the seasonal adder is higher than that tomorrow … be suspicious.


* * * * *

My bet: the unemployment rate will magically hang at 8.3% … .6% below the Gallup number.

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