I'm thrilled with everyone to see that our economy is finally....generating jobs in a variety of sectors like professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing sectors.
But I'm not sure the numbers add up. I'm an art major so maybe my math is off. Help me out, be kind while you're at it.
243,000 net jobs were created in January 2012. That resulted in a drop of the unemployment rate by .2% or .002, from 8.5% to 8.3%. So, here's what I asked:
243,000 is .002 or .2% of what number?
Here's the formula: 243.000/.002 = 121,500,000.
That result, 121.5 million would be the total number of adult Americans available to work in January 2012. The total American job force.
Here's where I see the math break down. In 2005, the total US Labor Force was 149,000,000. And .002 of 149,000,000 = 298,000. If we were in 2005, see, we'd need to create 298,000 jobs, 55,000 more than we created in January 2012 in order to see a .002 change in the 2005 unemployment rate. See? Or am I missing something.
So, what is the total labor force figures for the US? You'd think you'd find it in the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Maybe. I couldn't. However, the OECD reports the labor force (citizens 15 -64 years old) for the US is equal to 66.7% of the U.S. population in 2010.
According to the US Census Bureau, the total US population in 2010 was 308,000,000.
So, 66.7% of the US population in 2010 is...206,000,000. Here's the formula: .667 x 308,000,000.
And .002 of 206,000,000 = 413,500. Here's that formula: .002 x 206,000,000 = 413,500.
For our unemployment rate to drop by .002 from 8.5% in December 2011 to 8.3% in January 2012, the NET job increase figure must be at least 413,500.
The difference between these numbers is 170,500. That is the difference between the 243,000 jobs, net jobs, created in January 2012, we're told and the real number of net jobs needed to effect a .002 change in unemployment, 413,500. Formula: 413,500 - 243,000 = 170,500.
What did I miss?
Now, this is not a passive, implied screed against this administration or this president. I am not carrying the water for Fox News & Friends who should never ever quibble about accuracy of data, or even just data. Curious and curiouser numbers and terminology, as Alice might call them, have been used to report employment statistics for a long time, certainly from before the previous administration. It's a bi-partisan nod-nod, wink-wink, a nod is as good as wink to a blind horse. We, the voters being the blind horse not in reality but in functionality. We refuse to look at these numbers, think about these numbers. In effect, we chose to not only remain blind, but we put our own blinders on and keep them on, and keep our mouths shut, as we're led...wherever.
You see, the unemployment rate as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report the number of unemployed. No. Unemployment figures reflect those who file for unemployment. And in today's jobless recovery, those whose unemployment benefits have run out, or to put it another way, they remain unemployed for 50 - 60- 99 weeks or more....well their unemployed status does not count towards the unemployment figure. Again, because they are not filing for unemployment benefits, not because they remain unemployed. Note the irony: those unemployed longest, who suffer the effects of this economy the longest, are not included in the figures handed to us, fed us, on the issue of unemployment and job creation or its lack. Again, it's a bi-partisan issue we enable as we snort and stomp in place, chomping on our bit, with the reins around our necks.
The only way we'll have an honest, open, discussion about this challenge even from this administration who touts its transparency is we expect honest data to be shared openly, transparently. And it wouldn't hurt if mainstream media fulfilled its responsibilities as the 4th Estate and looked closer at these numbers in the future. Otherwise, they lose credibility and audience as they continue to merely regurgitate what's fed them.
Again, do the unemployment stats add up? My crayons and math skills say they don't. What do you think?