Reacting to Friday’s employment numbers, Mitt Romney focused on the increasing unemployment rate.
“Today’s increase in the unemployment rate is a hammer blow to struggling middle-class families,” said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in a statement. “President Obama doesn’t have a plan and believes that the private sector is ‘doing fine.’ Obviously, that is not the case.”
Obama noted, however, that the economy had created 4.5 million new jobs in 29 months and 1.1 million so far this year.
We’ve discussed ad nauseum on this blog the manner in which the federal government calculates the unemployment rate. Essentially, the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t include those people who have given up looking for a job, those whose unemployment compensation has expired and such.
It’s important to look at what the numbers mean. Below is a table based the number of people in the employment pool. In the second column we see the number per unemployed at a 8.2% rate. In the third column we see the number unemployed at 8.3%. To have an increase in unemployment and new jobs you have to have an increase in the number of persons in the job pool, providing you’re not counting those who lose one job and find another within one month. As you can see, we have 110 more people unemployed currently at 8.3% than at 8.2% in our hypothetical population, and we have an increase in jobs.
Obviously, most of us find such trending unacceptable. Obama, while pointing out the jobs increase, wisely played the changes soberly. However, he nor his administration continue to fail to show any sign of being capable of leading us out of this economic downturn.
ADDED: Indeed, it seems part of Obama’s current plan includes temporarily hiding and manipulating the numbers more than improving the situation.
An administration that doesn’t want layoff notices required by law going out days before the November election is telling defense contractors they don’t have to send them for the cuts required by sequestration.
As the heads of major defense contractors Lockheed Martin, EADS North America, Pratt & Whitney and Williams-Pyro testified recently before the House Armed Services Committee, they are bound by law to give employees 60 days’ notice if their jobs are going to be terminated as a result of sequestration cuts scheduled for Jan. 2.
To avoid the electoral consequences of these cuts, the Department of Labor (DOL) is informing defense contractors that since sequestration hasn’t actually happened yet, and some in Congress are trying to find ways around it, it might be nice if they didn’t obey federal law and send out the pink slips just this once.
Otherwise, outraged voters might give President Obama a pink slip a few days later.
The DOL has issued guidelines that acknowledge it is “currently known that sequestration may occur, it is also known that efforts are being made to avoid sequestration.” So, Labor argues, the “WARN Act notice to employees of Federal contractors, including in the defense industry, is not required 60 days in advance of January 2, 2013, and would be inappropriate, given the lack of certainty about how the budget cuts will be implemented and the possibility that the sequester will be avoided before January.”
What is “inappropriate” is the Department of Labor playing election year political games to save the boss’ political skin.
Feel free to check my math. I make no claim to have this 100% correct and would like to know if I don’t.