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Red States Prop Up Obama’s Weak Economy

Job growth is far weaker than advertised in many blue states.

Tom Blumer


April 26, 2013 - 12:26 am
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The Obama administration continues to pretend that the U.S. economy is making a meaningful recovery.

Its establishment press acolytes are predictably and dutifully playing along. Government data releases with objectively mediocre results are treated as objects of wonder, while tangible signs of decay get waved off. Tuesday’s report from the Census Bureau on new-home sales showed a seasonally adjusted 1.5% increase in March, a level which was still 6% below January. At the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, that was seen as “evidence of a sustained housing recovery.” Meanwhile, the self-described essential global news network “cautioned against reading too much into” Wednesday’s steep 5.7% drop in durable goods orders.

No amount of whitewashing will change the fact that this has been and continues to be the worst economic and employment recovery from a downturn since Franklin Delano Roosevelt extended the Great Depression by more than eight years with his statist New Deal policies and hyper-regulatory, business-intimidating agenda.

What has occurred in the job market hasn’t been a “recovery” by any reasonable definition. Forty-five months after the recession officially ended in June 2009, and 37 months after the February 2010 trough in seasonally adjusted employment, the number of Americans working has yet to return to its pre-recession high. Since World War II, full recoveries from employment lows have never taken longer than 21 months. As of March, a stunning gap of 2.86 million jobs remained from the January 2008 peak of 138.06 million — and that’s before considering workforce growth. An interactive chart available at The Hamilton Project informs us that if the economy continues to add the average of 159,000 jobs per month seen since employment growth finally began going positive, the true jobs gap won’t be filled until late 2024.

It gets worse if you take a broader look at the government’s available data on job additions.

Uncle Sam’s Bureau of Labor Statistics uses two surveys to compile its monthly reports on jobs and unemployment. One of those surveys asks employers how many people are working at their establishments, and is the basis for the bureau’s official monthly estimates of total employment and jobs added or lost. At the state level, the establishment survey tells us how many people are working at employers located there.

The other survey is of households. The bureau identifies the number of working-age household members who are and aren’t working, and uses those results to estimate the various reported unemployment rates.

In the process of compiling the household survey, the government comes up with a different estimate of total employment which rarely receives much attention. The household survey’s total employment estimate is higher than the establishment survey’s, primarily because it includes the self-employed. (Secondarily, but to an unfortunately unknown extent, it also includes illegal immigrants who tell the bureau they are employed while working at establishments on a contract or off-the-books basis.)

While it can be very volatile from month to month, long-term changes in the household survey’s reported total employment figures deserve greater scrutiny and visibility than they have been receiving.

Here is what I found in comparing the two surveys’ employment growth results from March 2010 through March 2013 for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia:

  • First, while the establishment survey’s total, arrived at by adding all individual state changes, shows that 5.92 million jobs were added during that time, the household survey arrived at similarly shows an increase of only 4.22 million — a stunning 1.7 million job difference.
  • Second, job growth per the household survey in states which voted for Obama in 2012, at 2.56%, was over one-third lower than the 3.89% job growth seen in states which gave their electoral votes to GOP challenger Mitt Romney. That variance is significantly greater than the 1.04-point or less than 20% difference (+4.21% Obama, +5.25% Romney) found in the establishment survey during the same time period

For those who believe that the just-mentioned difference is insignificant, if Obama-supporting states had added household survey jobs at the same rate as those that backed Romney, just over 1.2 million additional Americans would be employed today.

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All Comments   (8)
All Comments   (8)
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I consider myself as Sean Hannity says a conservative(not just a Republican)
.We have people in our own party,who are trying to change us.
Haven't been the party of Ronald Reagan in years&why the Tea Party began,too!
Must kick out the Rino's&go back to who it once was previously.Nobody should bow to Obama,or his ways that truly are corrupt/warped.Liz
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As soon as the gurus of the Left who have done so much to CHANGE the social structure of the nation read of this they'll do what they do.

Spend their "hard-earned money" from clean hands "employment" in non-productive jobs in TV, journalism, advertising, politics, academia and social service and government to colonise the can-do, do-do communities.

They being the "best and brightest - proof in the various communities that applied their ideas of how to live and are now derelict. Move in if close enough to a city with all amenities for "civilised sophisticated" elites and an easy commute.

Their money driving out the natives making it that much easier to colonise and take what they want then move on to fresh fields to plunder, sorry plow. "The Way Of The World" n'est-ce pas?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hey, it's now the Pyrite State. I know. I used to be a Kalifornian, but I've since repented of that.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When we let thieves and liars create the stats that they want to see, what do you expect.
Unemployment is now only those who are actively looking for a job. Those who have given up looking, because there are no jobs, do not count anymore in the stats. Yeah right, some more Obama math to go along with the rest of his ideocy. Take a look at every state with democratic control and you wll see a complete mess and nothing but crooked politics.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The base data is compiled by state departments of labor or whatever the government calls its agency that manages unemployment insurance, state collected payroll taxes, and which compiles "prevailing wage" data for Davis-Bacon compliance. These agencies are chattel property of the AFL-CIO in union states even in Republican administrations. My state's current Commissioner of Labor is one of only two since statehood who didn't come directly from an AFL-CIO union, and we've had Republican governors for over half of that time and Republican control of one or both bodies of the Legislature since the early '80s.

The wage and employment data can be and often is easily manipulated and all it takes is one call from a union or influential union-owned Democrat to have it manipulated. Long ago when I was young and relatively naive, I called on the economists from our Labor Department's shop responsible for wage and cost data to provide testimony in an interest arbitration with one of our larger unions. Back then, a couple hundred million was actual money, so the difference of a percent or two in bargaining unit wage cost was meaningful. We had no wage increase on the table because the BLS' CPI-U said we actually had deflation in our economy. Our position was that it was a stable bargaining relationship in which wages represented relative market position and we had good comparables to support our position and a bargaining pattern for many years that had predicated wage increases on CPI-U for Anchorage. Lo, and behold, when MY WITNESS takes the stand the SOB starts parrotting the union line about how the BLS statistic didn't accurately reflect the economy because the drop in housing value was masking inflation in other parts of the BLS market basket. Now, that was actually true, as it is today in much of the Country, but the BLS' CPI-U didn't include data on CPI - Less Shelter and the whole bargaining relationship had traditionally been based on CPI-U. I had the Devil's own time refuting his testimony using previous publications from his own agency and testimony from other management witnesses. I wish I could say that it cost the SOB his job but it didn't though I made damn sure he never got promoted by any administration in which I had any influence, and my agency never used or supported Department of Labor data again.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I hate these survey methods of determining the unemployment rate. The U.S. government should have a fixed estimate of the size of the workforce, defined as all men and women of working age (18-65), and the size of the full and part-time workforce based on W-4 tax submissions, adding in all those in full time military service. That is the basic employment ratio. Then cruder estimates can be made to add or subtract for the population of prisons, workforce dropouts, early retirement, and underground, barter-based, and illegal immigrant workers. If we did it this way, the unemployment numbers would be far more accurate, stable, and illuminating, and would be far less prone to political manipulation.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"...and would be far less prone to political manipulation." But that, of course, is its raisson de etre. It is a meaningless data set. You either have a job/ income or you don't. Nothing else matters. Government 'Jobs' actions, at any level, are consistently counter productive.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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