Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Friday's Jobs Report Will Look Decent Because the Government is Making Up Numbers of Jobs ... Based on the Weather?

This is from the New York Post:
... This Friday, the Labor Department will announce job growth and the unemployment rate for April and — drum roll, please — it probably won’t look as ugly as the GDP. 
That’s because Labor uses trick statistics when it gives a picture of the springtime job market.

Each spring, Labor starts adding phantom jobs to its count — jobs they guess have been created but can’t prove have been created.

Some of that phantom spirit is tied to the weather. No, really. At Labor, good weather = the birth of companies = more jobs.

And even in this day and age of instantaneous knowledge of everything, Labor still guesses at how many jobs these newly born companies are generating.

When it reports April employment numbers this Friday at 8:30 a.m., Labor will include about 263,000 phantom jobs. 
At least, that is how many phantom jobs it factored in last May.

This May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will add around 204,000 phantom jobs. In June through August, that number falls to 129,000 and then to 122,000 and then 104,000.

And there is no telling if any of those jobs actually exist. In fact, what if companies were quietly dying this spring instead of sprouting up like so many daffodils? Well, Labor would worry about that later on.

Of the 263,000 or so phantom jobs that will be added through guesstimates in April, probably 50,000 or so will — thanks to seasonal adjustments — be added to the “realer” number to produce the total Labor will announce.

Journalists and economists will report whatever Labor puts in the headlines without question.

But now you know better. ...