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Look through the spin to see the devil in the detail of US government empl

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Turley Donating Member (585 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:13 AM
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Look through the spin to see the devil in the detail of US government empl
Pleading for mercy from the mods; I realize this is an opinion piece from the FT. But since it is not being covered in the "regular news" I thought it would be a good topic for discussion. Delete if you must. If not, any economists out there who can give us some background on the claims?

snip

Sir, Christopher Swann, Andrew Balls, Alex Skorecki and Steve Johnson ("Bush boosted by strongest jobs growth in four years", April 3) merely parrot the government figure of 308,000 new jobs said to have been created by the US economy while inserting the caveat that "economists say it will take time to judge whether there has been a sustained improvement in job creation". On the contrary, it would take a brief visit to the US Department of Labour website, www.bls.gov, to settle the issue.

Your article missed three main problems with the employment report.

First, the US government cherrypicks the available figures, reporting to the media either the seasonally adjusted or the raw figures, depending on which give the best picture. In February the raw figures went down but the mildly positive seasonally adjusted one was reported. For March, the raw figure of 308,000 was reported but not the seasonally adjusted loss of 3,000 jobs.

Second, the government reports usually avoid detailed figures. The March detailed figures paint a dramatically different picture from the official report. Two sectors had large gains in employment. Agriculture went from 1.956m to 2.025m for a better-than-seasonal gain of 69,000. The number of government employees gained was 346,000 jobs while private industry produced only 127,000.

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http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.co...
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Jane Austin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:07 AM
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1. Kick!
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