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Journal Archives

Fox News mistakenly airs parody of Obama offering to personally fund Muslim museum

Source: Yahoo News - (with video of the Fox News segment)

In a story about the monument closure, Fox News host Anna Kooiman fell prey to a false report from a parody site, which claimed that President Obama had offered to keep the International Museum of Muslim Cultures open with cash from his own pocket.

Kooiman was referencing a quote from the National Report, a parody news site that ran the fake story on Obama. The key quote from the story reads:

“The International Museum of Muslim Cultures is sacred. That is why I have taken it upon myself to use my own personal funds to re-open this historic piece of American culture.”

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/fox-news-mistakenly-airs-parody-of-obama-offering-to-personally-fund-muslim-museum-233837793.html

Its a 2:21 m:s video. The first 1:30 m:s of the video is about how war memorials are being shut down, even though it doesn't cost anything to keep them open, just to make the shutdown as painful as possible.

Then at 1:30 it gets more interesting and at 1:58 is when they claim Obama is offering to pay out of pocket to keep the International Musuem of Muslim Cultures open.

Yes, I know Yahoo! News, The Sideshow is not a mainstream source, I did look for something more mainstreamy. (Yahoo News did post it as the 3rd main story on its news.yahoo.com home page). But I trust the video is real, and I trust Media Matters. Media Matters packaged the video segment.

Other sources:
Media Matters http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/10/05/fox-falls-for-fake-story-about-obama-personally/196304

On Edit 10/6 1023 pm Central (after 26 replies) -- there are several comments directed at this OP about how Fox's "mistake" was intentional. I agree. However, one of the rules of Late Breaking News is that we must use the original title of the article. And also any excerpts we use (above the "Read More:" line) must be unaltered. Yes, I think a more apt title is one with quotes and a spelling change: Faux "News" "mistakenly" airs parody of Obama offering to personally fund Muslim museum

On Edit 10/7 939 am Central - On October 6, Kooiman issued the following statement via Twitter: "Just met w producers- I made a mistake yday after receiving flawed research abt a museum possibly closing. My apologies. Won't happen again."
Source: http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/10/05/fox-falls-for-fake-story-about-obama-personally/196304
I know "mistake" "flawed research" "apologies" "again"
"a museum possibly closing"
I heard about this update on the Stephanie Miller show.

Gorgeous Time Lapse Video Reveal a Nighttime Sky Free From Light Pollution. Also Stunning Moonrise

Look up at the nighttime sky and what do you see? If you're like most, the answer is probably not "stars," but the orange wash of streetlights reflected in the sky above.

Light pollution from ambient nighttime lighting is an unrelenting drain on energy reserves worldwide, and a problem that's growing at a rate of four percent annually. The consistent glare of illumination can adversely affect everything around it, including ecosystems and wildlife.

But at the Mount John Observatory in New Zealand, star-gazers can enjoy a crystal-clear view from Earth of the solar system above, due in part to the nearby township of Lake Tekapo, which increasingly powers down its ambient lights at night.

The observatory is part of a territory that was officially named an International Dark Sky Reserve in 2012, allowing guests to enjoy soaring and detailed views of the universe that we often forget our planet is a part of.

A bit more: http://news.yahoo.com/gorgeous-photos-show-nighttime-sky-free-light-pollution-194724490.html

(33 seconds)

Related: Moonrise over New Zealand - presented in real-time
This is not a time lapse. This moonrise, Wellington, New Zealand was recorded and shown in real time is positively spellbinding. The mood music adds a lot to it.

Courtesy of: http://www.democraticunderground.com/122815019 (which got 120 rec's)
3 minutes 36 seconds

What ever happened to David Shove's Progressive Calendar?

Probably most of us, as Minnesota activists, are familiar with David Shove's Progressive Calendar.

See http://justcomm.org/mn-prog-events/ and http://lists.justcomm.org/pipermail/mn-prog-events/ for archives of David Shove's Progressive Calendar and a few other calendar items by others.

(By the way, one can subscribe to the mn-prog-events list and get emails. You can also send notices to it -- PLEASE DO SO!!!!!! -- see http://justcomm.org/mn-prog-events/#posts and send to mn-prog-events {at} justcomm.org ).

Shove's Progressive Calendar used to be a daily thing listing maybe an average of 5 events. Now it is maybe 3 times a month and lately the only "progressive event" it has been announcing lately is the Midstream Reading Series at the Blue Moon building.

I really miss it (the way it was), in that I have no way of knowing what's going on as far as demonstrations and protests I might attend or other events of the progressive community, except to check say here, AntiWar MN's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/AntiwarMN ), Occupy Homes MN (https://www.facebook.com/OccupyHomesMN ), AM 950 progressive talk radio's page (https://www.facebook.com/AM950Radio ) and that's about it.

Is there some resource I'm not aware of that will keep me notified of progressive events? I'm sick and tired of finding out about some protest only after it has occurred by hearing about it on the news. (By sending notices of progressive events to mn-prog-events {at} justcomm.org , you will help at least those of us that are subscribers to the list.)


No more print magazines, what do I do?

First it was PC Magazine that went from print to digital only. Then Newsweek, and now PC World. And numerous smaller publications have done so, like my city's Crime Watch newsletter.

I'm getting old. I LOVE TO READ IN BED! And it's how I fall asleep. I hate reading long articles and books on my computer screen at a desk.

When PC World recently went all-digital, I signed up for the Zinio subscription service and Zinio Reader for reading downloaded magazines offline on my Windows 7 PC. But that royally sucks:

I cannot underline or highlight, I cannot annotate, I cannot copy and paste anything. What worthless crap.

Whereas in a print magazine I underline and annotate. I underline some really key things darker and harder. I put a star or two in the margin for a really key key thing. Sometimes I use different colors. And I do that all FLAT ON MY BACK IN BED. And though with a print magazine I can't copy and paste electronically either, I do type a few sparse notes on some key articles, and clip the article and file chronologically.

I have not explored any e-book readers or tablets. I know with a Kindle, for example, one can underline and annotate, but don't know if I'd be allowed to do that on my PCWorld subscription from Zinio (probably not)

I have similar issues with books too, but let's make that a separate posting.

Anyone else having trouble coping with the modern world?

Thanks for any insights.

I wonder what the "crazy" ants think of us. 400 ppm CO2 etc. Population video:

The dramatic dot video of population growth. A world map beginning in 1 A.D. with 1 dot = 1 million people

It is about 6 1/2 minutes long but you can skip the first 2 minutes -- the actual dot stuff begins at 2:00 and ends at 5:42. At 5:00 have reached about 1600 A.D. while the population is still quite modest outside of India and China. (So if you are in a time bind, you can start at 5:00 and watch just the last 42 seconds) "As the film neared present day and the dots started flying onto the screen, there were audible gasps, wide staring eyes, and mumblings of "no way" and "I knew we were growing but not THAT much."

Not another head tax - the most regressive tax of all

According to a Pioneer Press article:

“A group of lawmakers will take a second look at a controversial bill to impose a $5 surcharge on homeowners and vehicle insurance policies, raising about $23 million annually for police and fire pensions.”

More at: http://www.twincities.com/politics/ci_22768070/insurance-surcharges-boost-pension-plans-gets-second-look?source=rss


Taxing each household the same amount (similar to a head tax) is far more regressive than even a sales tax. Yes, I know, it's households, not people, but it's close. And yes, I know only homeowners pay the homeowner insurance surcharge, but virtually all economists believe that in the long run in a market economy, homeowner costs and taxes are paid mostly by the renters in the case of rental property. And yes, the poorest of the poor probably don’t have a vehicle. But it is still a VERY regressive tax.

In Golden Valley, we’ve been recently hit with new $24 / year surcharges on our electric bill and another $24/year on our gas bill – another similar head / household tax. (I know that's not the legislature's doing, but its an illustration of how our elected officials are adding and increasing the most regressive taxes).

And then don’t get me started on the sales tax increases – the next most regressive tax after head / household taxes. The sales tax on services, besides being extremely regressive, is mostly a tax on local labor.

In an age when inequality is soaring through the roof, I am shocked and horrified that a Democratic governor and legislature seems to be doing all it possibly can to make the situation worse.

We're half way to replace electoral college with national popular vote, MN may join that effort

This from state Senator Ann Rest, DFL, New Hope

S.F. 585 would add Minnesota to a national compact of states agreeing to elect the President of the United
States by a national popular vote as opposed to the current Electoral College system. If enough states adopt
this compact to account for 270 of the nation’s electoral votes, they would effectively be able to enforce
the new process. Currently, eight states and the District of Columbia have agreed to the compact, accounting
for approximately a quarter of the Electoral College votes.

Source of above (no more info on this topic, the above blurb is the whole thing) : https://www.senate.mn/members/newsletter/1051_Rest_Ann/CapitolUpdate07February232013.pdf

The above says the proposal already has about a quarter of the electoral votes. Once we reach 270 -- half of the total electoral votes, then that will be enough to choose the president no matter what the other states do with their electoral votes (The ones agreeing to this compact will assign all their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote). Anyway, since the proposal has got 1/4 and needs 1/2, that's why my title line says that the proposal is half way there (1/4 is half way to 1/2 -- maths is hard).

So anyway this looks like something that could happen. Compared to what we have now (winner take all in all states except Nebraska and Maine), it might not make much practical difference. But if the RepubliCONs succeed in changing some blue swing states that they control from winner-take-all to allocating electoral votes by congressional district, then it will be a big, big difference. If the RepubliCONs had had their way on this in 2012, Romney would be president by 16 electoral votes, instead of losing by 126 electoral votes and by 3.7% of the national popular vote ( https://www.freespeech.org/text/rigging-democracy )

Great stuff. There's also that at-night lighted version - Overpass Light Brigade

The overpass light brigade http://overpasslightbrigade.org/
Their facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/OverpassLightBrigade
Their tumbler page -- 4 pages of photos: http://overpasslightbrigade.tumblr.com/

This by the way, is the freeway blogger's website for anyone hunting for the URL - lots of great pictures: http://www.freewayblogger.com/

Voting Rights/Voter ID - heartening to see so many "getting it"

I know very few to none who are in the area will see this in time (on edit - the event was Oct 11), I wouldn't have bothered posting except it was nice to see such a widely diverse group of sponsors that are involved. To me, this amendment is the most important constitutional amendment on the ballot because if we have strict voter ID (and that's what the constitutional amendment calls for), then the civil rights of EVERYONE, and ALL progressive causes will be negatively impacted by the disproportionate disenfranchisement of progressives.

Voting rights 10.11 6:30pm

Voices for Voting Rights Red Carpet Event
Public Event • By Organizing Apprenticeship Project
Thursday, October 11, 2012
6:30pm until 8:30pm at PARKWAY THEATER
4814 Chicago Ave. South, Minneapolis

A Red Carpet Event and Film Screening.
...Come hear the voices of multiracial, multicultural leaders in our communities who are standing up for voting rights.
...Eat popcorn and enjoy artistic performances as well as the screening of several short social justice films featuring local celebrities.
...Dress to impress (optional)
...VOTE NO on VOTER ID (mandatory).

Contributing Partners:
African American Leadership Forum
Be the Vote Coalition 2012
Community Action of Minneapolis
Centro Campesino
Color the Vote
Lao Family Community
Main Street Project
Native Vote Alliance of Minnesota
Organizing Apprenticeship Project
Sagrado Corazón de Jesús
Somali Action Alliance

Economy facts with links to official sources, rev 12/6/14

All 9 pages (EF-0 through EF-8) were updated 12/6/14.

NEXT UPDATE OF *ALL* PAGES IS SATURDAY March 7. However, on Saturday January 10 and Saturday Feburary 7, I will do a short summary of the jobs report that comes out on the previous day -- that summary will be at the bottom of this posting (EF-0)

Almost all sections have where to find the official numbers, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Treasury.gov, or widely trusted non-partisan sources.

{#} EF-1. Job Loss and Creation - Payroll Jobs. At the bottom all post-WWII presidents with completed terms are compared

{#} EF-2. Unemployment Rate, Labor Force Participation Rate, Unemployment Insurance Claims

{#} EF-3. Recessions and Expansions - Official (NBER.org). Also GDP (Gross Domestic Product)

{#} EF-4. U.S. Stock Market as measured by the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Avg

{#} EF-5. National Debt. Budget Deficits and Surpluses

{#} EF-6. U.S. Dollar Index (DXY). Oil Prices

{#} EF-7. In Progress (mostly Dem presidencies v. Repub presidencies. Also Inequality)

{#} EF-8. In Progress - Some canned excerpts to use in the message board wars

{#} EF-9. Incomes and Inequality (in progress)

I use facts from these in mixed message boards and in comments on news articles such as at news.yahoo.com. Be aware that I have included a few statistics that are not so pleasant as far as Obama's record, ones that anyone debating with others should be aware of because occasionally you will see these points or they will come back at you with these statistics (forewarned is forearmed).

Here's another major major economy resource: CabCurious' "Factual talking points on the economy" - lots of very interesting graphs - take a "scroll" through them. http://www.democraticunderground.com/125170175

To skip the following lectures and get to the latest month's jobs report -- including changes over the last month, over the last 12 months, and since the beginnings of the job recovery in February 2010 -- please scroll down to near the end of this EF-0 posting, to the "Recent Job Summaries" section.


Beware the tricks of the economic pundits out there, such as right-wingers slamming any gains the economy is making under Obama (that said, I don't deny the economy is wobbling s-l-o-w-l-y forward -- thanks in large part to Republican obstructionism in Congress, and Republican policies in the many states they control). Such tricks of the polemicists include:

(1). Highlighting adverse one-month or other short-term changes in some highly volatile component, and making it seem like it's the story of the whole Obama administration's job record such as, for example, the monthly changes in the civilian labor force, age 16+, seasonally adjusted. Here for example are the monthly changes for 2012 in thousands: (http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11000000?output_view=net_1mth ):

Jan Feb Mar. Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct. Nov Dec
401 498 -15 -246 381 188 -164 -301 349 489 -228 206 (labor force, thousands)

Needless to say, our good friends on the right highlight the drops in the labor force in the months when it drops, and make no mention of the rises when it rises. This is also known as cherry-picking the bad statistic of the month.

As you may know, the righties and the media love to pooh pooh any drop in the unemployment rate when the labor force drops, explaining that the unemployment rate dropped mostly because people gave up looking for work and left the labor force, and so are not counted. But how often have you heard them bring up a rise in the labor force in a month when it rose?

(2). Cleverly mixing seasonally adjusted data with unadjusted data (without making that clear of course) Or using exclusively seasonally unadjusted data if that paints the picture they want to paint

(2a). Implying that a number is not seasonally adjusted -- for example disparaging a November or December payroll jobs report of a good 250,000 increase in payroll jobs by saying that's a paltry gain since there should be a lot of Christmas shopping season hiring going on. (Uh, no, like almost all BLS statistics reported in the media, the payroll jobs numbers are seasonally adjusted)

Another example - saying a big increase of 0.5% in consumer spending in December is not a big deal, and ought to be way higher since December is after all the big Christmas spending month. (Uh, no, again, the numbers are seasonally adjusted)

(3). Cleverly mixing statistics from the household survey (CPS) and the establishment survey (CES) (without making that clear of course). The CPS survey of households ( http://www.bls.gov/cps/ ) produces the unemployment rate, the labor force participation rate, the number employed, and innumerable other statistics. The CES ( http://www.bls.gov/ces/ ), a completely separate survey of businesses, produces a number of statistics, most notably the headline payroll jobs numbers (widely regarded as a better indicator of job changes than the CPS's Employed number because of the larger sample size among other reasons). Because of statistical noise and volatility, these 2 surveys often come up with seemingly incompatible results. Needless to say, right-wing polemicists mix and match statistics from both surveys to produce nonsense.

(4).Cherry-picking the start and end points of some data series
This is a generalization of item (1.) except that instead of highlighting the latest month of an adverse statistic, they may pick another starting point that is an outlier. For example in October 2013, someone mentioned that the latest U-6 unemployment measure is no better than it was in March 2013, 7 months ealier. True, but March was at a noisy zag low; its clear to see from the graph that there is a downward trend, not a 7-month plateau. U-6: http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS13327709

Here are the 2013 values (the 2012 values are all above 14.4% BTW, it was 15.1% in January 2012)

Jan Feb. March Apr. May. June July Aug. Sept Oct.
14.4 14.3 13.8 13.9 13.8 14.2 13.9 13.6 13.6 13.7 (2013, U-6 in percent)
. . . . . . ^-the cherry-picked low starting point the RW'er chose

(The U-6 unemployment rate (sometimes dubbed the underemployment rate) is now (Nov 2014) 11.4% by the way, down 0.8 percentage points in the last 4 months and down 1.7 percentage points in the last 12 months. It is the broadest measure of unemployment that the BLS produces -- it includes part-time workers wanting full-time positions. It also counts as unemployed any jobless person who wants a job and has looked for work at any time in the past 12 months (whereas the headline U-3 unemployment rate counts those who have looked any time in just the last 4 weeks).

It's like global warming when the righties always pick 1998 -- an anomalously hot year because of a strong El Nino -- as their starting point to argue that there has been very little warming since.

That is why seeing the whole data series is so important, and not just accepting the time period and the statistic that a right-wing polemicist dishes out. However, finding the data series number is often quite a challenge, and something that in my experience involves a large bag of tricks. It is my intent to write more about how to find the data series you need. But for now, if there is one trick to mention, this one is the most helpful: http://data.bls.gov/pdq/querytool.jsp?survey=ln

(5). Comparing the current statistics to 2007's statistics, as if 2007 was a normal economy we should get back to - I see this all the time. Yes, today's economic statistics just about across the board suck compared to 2007's. But keep in mind that 2007 was not a normal economy. It was a very sick bubble economy with a very high fever -- people using their houses as ATMs to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Anybody could get a mortgage, virtually no questions asked. The belief that housing prices never go down, at least not on a national average scale (thus the theory that a geographically diversified bundle of mortgages was a safe bet).

The same for comparisons to 2000 -- that too was a very sick economy -- astronomical price/earnings ratios in the stock market, day trading and momentum investing. The belief that Alan Greenspan had mastered the "Goldilocks" economy (not too cool, not too warm) and that, now that we understood how to use the Fed's powers to control the economy, we will never have a recession again. That tech companies with huge negative earnings and no business plan were great investments. That we were all going to the moon, and we were all going to the stars (speaking of the economy and the stock market).

Well, I'm extremely very sorry to have to tell you -- we don't want to get back to the very sick high-fever bubble economies of 2000 or 2007. So quit the whining about how things now are so much worse than back then -- no they aren't when you consider the sickness and unsustainability of those economies back then.

(6). Talking about inflation-adjusted numbers as if they were not, e.g. "wages have been flat (or dropped) for the last 20 (or whatever) years while we all know that prices just keep going up" -- leaving off the word "real" or "inflation-adjusted" qualifier on wages (which takes into account rising prices).

Nominal wages, i.e. raw wage numbers unadjusted for inflation have definitely been rising for years and decades, whereas real wages (meaning adjusted for inflation) have indeed been roughly flat. For example:

(nominal, i.e not inflation adjusted) Average Hourly Earnings Of Production And Nonsupervisory Employees, total private, seasonally adjusted: http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES0500000008

(real, i.e. inflation adjusted) http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES0500000032 -- to get the long view, set the time period's beginning point from the default value a decade ago to 1964 - the earliest one can set it. The pull-down boxes for setting the time period is near the top, where it sets "Change Output Options". Be sure to check the "include graphs" checkbox, and then click the little dark blue "go" button

(7). Using government statistics and trickery (see above techniques) to make some point, and when you call them on the trickery, and give them the correct information, they tell you they don't trust government statistics! In other words, they are fine with government statistics if they can twist them to fit their viewpoint, otherwise, they don't trust them

As for postings by DU members, always check the source of the article they posted, for example one perhaps unintentionally posted a bunch of crap from a right-wing polemicist (Peter Morici) http://www.democraticunderground.com/1251259885#post3 (that's post #3 -- interestingly the poster was PPR'd about 4 months later). Note that sometimes the publication might be an OK mainstream source, but you should still check out the author.

END of "Beware the tricks" lecture

General notes from previous deleted job summaries - to be reorganized and refiled

I'm working on the wages things brought up in earlier DU posts -- for now, See: Real (i.e. inflation-adjusted) average weekly earnings, all employees (total private), 1982-1984 dollars, Seas Adj: http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES0500000012
And of production and non-supervisory workers: http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES0500000031

Note on statistical noise: As an example: payroll jobs increased by 113,000 in January 2014 in the establishment survey. But according to the household survey, employment that month increased by 638,000. Just goes to show how wild the statistical noise is, and not to get excited one way or another with any one month's particular numbers.

On statistical noise, I found this BLS technical note on sampling error -- http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.tn.htm . Based on what it says, there is a 90% probability that the payroll jobs increase is within +/- 90,000 jobs of the stated number. And a 10% chance that it is off by more than 90,000.

And in the Household Survey, there is a 90% chance that the monthly unemployment change is +/- 300,000 of the stated number, and that there is a 90% chance that the unemployment rate is about +/- 0.2% of the stated number.

The above only covers sampling error. There are also many other sources of error (search the above link for "non-sampling error")

The individual components that go into these numbers have an even larger sampling error. As explained above, right-wingers love to find the aberrant statistic or two of the month and make it out to be the story of the Obama administration, rather than what it really is -- just one month's number in a very statistically volatile data series.

Recent topic updates

4/6/13: There has been a recent decline in the federal workforce. This has brought the total federal workforce to below where it was when Obama took office. So if some rightie is telling you that Obama has been expanding the federal workforce, point them to EF-1 below.

4/6/13: Note much new material has been added on the national debt, such as which percentage is foreign owned, the increase in the national debt / GDP ratio since 2000, the interest on the national debt, and the average maturity of the interest on the marketable portion of the national debt (only 4.5 years in Dec 2011). See EF-5 below.

8/3/13: Added section to EF-5: Deficit Projections - FY 2013 deficit projected to be less than half what Obama inherited

11/9/13: Notice extensive revisions to EF-5 National Debt, Budget Deficits and Surpluses. Besides the usual monthly updates, the Fiscal Year 2013 results are in (Fiscal Year 2013 ended September 30, 2013). Anyway, federal spending in FY 2013 was 64 B$ LESS (1.8% LESS) than in FY 2009 (the last Bush budgeted year). Federal spending as a percentage of GDP dropped substantially during those 4 years -- from 24.46% of GDP to 20.49% of GDP (calculations below). Something to keep in mind when some rightie rants and raves about the socialist Obama spending us into the poor house. Oh, and the FY 2013 deficit at 680 B$ is less than half the FY 2009 deficit of 1,413 B$.

1/11/14 - I've added some discussion of the impact of the boomer retirements on the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) in EF-2. Yes, lately, older Americans have a higher LFPR than in the recent past (its been on a general rising trend since 1985), but still their LFPR is much lower than that of the age 16+ population overall. Since the elderly share of the 16+ population is rapidly rising, this exerts downward pressure on the overall 16+ population LFPR. The net effect is that the latter effect (the very-low-LFPR elderly as rising share of the 16+ population) overwhelms the effect of the rising elderly LFPR, with the net result that the overall LFPR goes down.

10/4/14 - The Council of Economic Advisers' study of the decline in the Labor Force Participation Rate.

11/8/14 - Added a new page: EF-9. Incomes and Inequality (in progress)

Recent job summaries, in chronological order

I've deleted all but the latest as it probably leads to confusion (it confused me more than once). I might stick the old ones, the previous 2 or 3 or so, somewhere in this thread out of the way in its own post so they are still accessible, without getting in the way.

12/5/14 - Great jobs report this month 321,000 net new payroll jobs in November. And September and October were revised upward by a combined 44,000. So we have 365,000 more payroll jobs than we did in last month's report (321+44=365).

Total employment has risen by 2.65 million in the eleven months this year, already totaling more jobs than in any full calendar year since the late 1990s. The pace of job growth has increased, averaging 241,000 per month so far in 2014, up from 194,000 per month last year. On a percentage basis, the economy is adding jobs at a rate of about 2 percent per year, also on pace for the largest percentage increase in any calendar year since the late 1990s. As discussed in greater detail below (see http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/12/05/employment-situation-november ), this pickup in the average monthly rate of job growth from 2013 to 2014 has been seen in many sectors, including construction, manufacturing, health care and social assistance, and State and local government.

The pickup in the pace of job growth in 2014 has been in industries with higher wages. -- see http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/12/05/employment-situation-november for more on that.

Over the past year, payroll jobs has increased by 2,734,000. And since the jobs recovery began in March 2010, payroll jobs has increased by 10,390,000.

The numbers in the below paragraphs come from the Household Survey, which is different from the Establishment Survey that produces the payroll jobs number.

The other good news is that the U-6 unemployment rate -- which counts as unemployed every jobless person who has looked for work sometime, anytime, even just once in the past YEAR, plus part-timers who want a full-time job -- dropped 0.1% to 11.4%, the lowest since September 2008, 6 years and 2 months ago. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.8% -- the lowest level since July 2008, 6 years and 4 months ago.

Part-Time Workers increased by 77,000, while full-time workers decreased by 150,000, according to Table A-9 figures. This certainly fits with the right-wing meme that part-time jobs are replacing full-time jobs. However, this is a very volatile data series.

Over the past year, there were 309,000 more part-time workers and 2,531,000 more full-time workers, while the number of part-time workers who wanted full-time jobs decreased by 873,000. All very healthy changes, and contrary to the right-wing meme of most new jobs being part-time.

But over the past month, total Employed increased by a mere 4,000 (note how much smaller this number is from the 321,000 net new payroll jobs in the Establishment Survey -- yet another example of how crazily volatile the Household Survey numbers are). This resulted in no change in the Employment-to-Population ratio.

The much-maligned labor force numbers had a decent month too: 119,000 more people joined (or rejoined) the labor force in November, but that was not enough to change the labor force participation rate, which held steady at 62.8% (unfortunately this is only 0.1 percentage points above the lowest level since February 1978, more than 36 years ago)

Boomer retirements are responsible for about half of the decline we've seen the last few years in that number. A still weak economy and poorly understood demographic shifts account for the other half ).

Some key numbers from the Household Survey (note the Household Survey is different from the Establishment Survey that produces the payroll jobs of the first paragraph). See below, and see Table A-1 for the main Household Survey numbers - http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t01.htm

Exception: the inflation-adjusted weekly earnings come from the Establishment Survey. I don't include the over-the-last-month figure for this, because the CPI data needed for the inflation adjustment is not available until later in the month.

Over the last month:
+119,000 Labor Force (employed + jobless people who have looked for work sometime in the last 4 weeks)
+4,000 Employed
+115,000 Unemployed (jobless people who have looked for work sometime in the last 4 weeks)
+0.0% Employment-To-Population Ratio aka Employment Rate (it's at 59.2%)
+0.0% LFPR (Labor Force Participation rate) (at 62.8%, it is just 0.1% above the lowest level since February 1978, 36 1/2 years ago)
-0.0% Unemployment rate (at 5.8%). Is Unemployed (as defined above) / Labor Force . Lowest since July 2008.
-0.1% U-6 unemployment rate (to 11.4%, lowest since Sep 2008) http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS13327709
-177,000 Part-Time Workers who want Full-Time Jobs (Table A-8's Part-Time For Economic Reasons)
+77,000 Part-Time Workers (Table A-9)
-150,000 Full-Time Workers (Table A-9)

Over the last year:
+1,113,000 Labor Force
+2,844,000 Employed (yeah!)
-1,731,000 Unemployed
+0.6% Employment-To-Population Ratio aka Employment Rate (woo hoo!)
-0.2% LFPR (Labor Force Participation rate) (ughh)
-1.2% Unemployment rate
-1.7% U-6 unemployment rate
-873,000 Part-Time Workers who want Full-Time Jobs (Table A-8's Part-Time For Economic Reasons)
+309,000 Part-Time Workers (Table A-9)
+2,531,000 Full-Time Workers (Table A-9)
+0.84% INFLATION ADJUSTED Weekly Earnings of Production and Non-Supervisory Workers ( CES0500000031 )
......... the weekly earnings percentage is 11 months thru October because no CPI data for Nov. yet

The reason there's no data for November yet for the weekly earnings is because the CPI inflation adjustment number for November is not yet available. By the way, this is the only number in the table above that comes from the Establishment Survey rather than the Household Survey.

All the "over the last year" numbers are really good numbers except the flat Labor Force Participation Rate. Interesting though that there was a 0.6% percentage point increase in the Employment To Population Ratio. The Population being talked about is the civilian non-institutional population age 16 and over, yes, including centenarians.

Seems to me that there is too much discussion in the media of the Labor Force Participation Rate (the employed plus the jobless people who have looked for work in the last 4 weeks, all divided by the population) and not enough attention to what seemingly matters more -- the Employment to Population Ratio. Why aren't we celebrating the increase in the percentage of the population that is employed -- a figure that has been slowly moving up since the job market bottom?

Part-Time Workers Who Want Full Time Jobs, as % of All Employed
Nov'13 Aug'14 Oct'14 Nov'14

5.3% 5.0% 4.8% 4.7%

Since the Payroll Job Recovery Began -- Last 57 months thru Nov 30, 2014: 11'14 - 2'10:
(This is the period from when continuous growth of payroll employment began, thru November 30, 2014)
+2,677,000 Labor Force
+8,688,000 Employed (yeah!)
-6,011,000 Unemployed (ditto!)
+0.7% Employment-To-Population Ratio aka Employment Rate (woo hoo!)
-2.1% LFPR (Labor Force Participation rate) (ughh)
-4.0% Unemployment rate
-5.6% U-6 unemployment rate
-2,054,000 Part-Time Workers who want Full-Time Jobs (Table A-8's Part-Time For Economic Reasons)
+142,000 Part-Time Workers (Table A-9)
+8,695,000 Full-Time Workers (Table A-9)
+1.65% INFLATION ADJUSTED Weekly Earnings of Production and Non-Supervisory Workers ( CES0500000031 )
......... the weekly earnings percentage is thru October 2014 because no CPI data for Nov. yet

FFI on the most recent jobs report, straight from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

Table A-1. Employment status of the civilian population by sex and age (household survey) http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t01.htm

Several graphs of the key economic stats -- http://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cps_charts.pdf

The whole enchilada -- including all 16 "A" tables (the household survey) and all 9 "B" tables (the establishment survey) http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

The Council of Economic Advisors' Take on the Jobs Report http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/12/05/employment-situation-november (find this at http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/cea and look for the last "The Employment Situation in" post)

Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner's Corner: http://beta.bls.gov/labs/blogs/ Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/BLS_gov
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