Lies, Damned Lies, and (Unemployment) Statistics
December 2nd, 2011
Mainstream media and Wall Street are salivating over the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest job growth numbers, which suggest that unemployment is on its fastest decline since the recession began in 2008:
MSNBC: Employment growth picked up speed in November; jobless rate fell to 8.6 percent
Employment growth picked up speed in November, pushing the nation’s unemployment rate down to 8.6 percent — its lowest level since March 2009.
Private employers added a net gain of 140,000 jobs in November, but governments shed 20,000 jobs, mostly at the local and state level. Governments at all levels have shed nearly a half-million jobs in the past year. The Labor Department revised up its job gains for September and October by 52,000 and 20,000, respectively.
“The labor market is gradually healing. It’s a glacial pace, but we are taking small steps in the right direction,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Penn.
If you stopped reading right there you’d think our government’s stimulus infused, debt ridden interventionist policies have solved the worst crisis since the Great Depression.