Understanding Today’s Employment Numbers
October 5, 2012 - 8:07 am
It’s always tempting to fall for conspiracy theories, because they explain everything in a nice neat package. So, naturally enough, a lot of people — including Jack Welch, who should know better — are suggesting that today’s unemployment numbers have been manipulated down.
In fact, if you look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, it’s unlikely that anything has been manipulated — which would be hard to do without being caught anyway — because you can see exactly how the change happened. Here’s the net-net:
- net 114,000 new full-time jobs
- net 456,000 people who left the unemployed list — discouraged or whatever
- net 600,000 people added to part-time workers.
What distinguishes part-time workers from full-time? In general, part-time workers don’t get benefits — like health insurance.
What these numbers seem to be telling us is that it’s too expensive to pay for benefits.