Jobs Numbers Have A “Santa Claus On A Unicorn” Feel
That, or Houdini's ghost is in charge of BLS surveys now.
October 5, 2012 - 10:51 am
While it is highly improbable that BLS conspired to cook the books, there is still a huge 756,000 job gap between the number of jobs employers told the Labor Department they created in September (114k), and the number of Americans who told the labor department that they got new jobs (873k). As the chart below shows, these two numbers never match up perfectly, but this month’s gap, particularly the spike in Americans saying they found jobs, is striking:
Most of all, how do you have a 600k jump in part-time employment in just one month before the beginning of retail season with nobody realizing it until the BLS published today’s report? There are times when you see methodological adjustments or population adjustments in the January report, but it is usually accompanied with a footnote. In order to fully understand the employment situation, we would need to know about any adjustments or at least an explanation of how there was such a precipitous swing towards part-time work in a matter of a few weeks. Most likely, this month’s household survey is just one of those surveys that is a casualty of the margin of error in any sample.
There is no good news in this report from any of the numbers that actually make sense, except for the revisions of the July and August numbers. There is clearly a statistical anomaly here – one that is skewing the numbers counter to the current trend of the economy. But somehow, despite the internal numbers of the household survey and the payroll numbers of the establishment survey, the topline U3 number always seems to decline…..
Pay no attention to that 14.7% U6 broader measure of unemployment!
As our fearless leader said so eloquently several times during Wednesday night’s debate, “Uh…”