I would like to comment on the September 2012 7.8% unemployment number.
I predicted a number below 8% would be reported at this time several months ago.
Learning the 7.8% number was identical to the number when Obama took office was not a surprise. I would have predicted that also had I bothered to come up with a specific number.
My prediction assumed Obama would need good news prior to Nov. 6 and wanted it released in October to provide a positive influence without leaving time for a legitimate challenge. The October number will be released four days before Election Day and I anticipate the number will remain the same or drop a point or two.
A couple brave men, Jack Welch and Rep. Allen West, were bold enough to point out the numbers don't pass the smell test and they have been accused of being radical conspiracy theorists. The Labor Department issued a news release stating they employ many highly trained non-partisan economists to calculate the job figures and they are not exposed to any political interference or pressure.
I'll be 80 in November and moved to Hotchkissfrom Arlington, Texas, 20 years ago after 40 years working as a production airframe designer engineer for a defense contractor. One gets exposed to a great number of bureaucratic organizations in both industry and government working in that business for 40 years and you learn a few things about them. 1) The government guys are bureaucrats on steroids when compared to defense industry guys. 2) Successful bureaucratic organizations flourish and grow because they create work where none exists. 3) Successful bureaucrats operate with the goal "Blind them with brilliance, and if that fails, baffle them with BS." And 4) All the government departments are bureaucratic organizations and that includes the Labor Department.
The first-time unemployment figures that are released weekly continue to reflect numbers that tend to indicate the unemployment number is actually getting bigger and these figures usually get revised upward later. Government and industry reports are used to calculate unemployment numbers every month. The various reports apparently have some conflicting data that necessitates some human judgment in order to arrive at the final monthly unemployment number. The number has remained consistent at 8.2% or higher for several months.
Two months before the election the number was lowered to 8.1% by using a random phone survey to remove 1⁄2 million people from unemployed to no longer in the labor pool. One may reasonably assume the number would have increased to 8.3% or 8.4% otherwise. They have admittedly done this before to remove several million people from the labor pool or the unemployment number would be somewhere in the 11% to 14.5% range.
The following month the number was lowered to 7.8% by using another random survey to move over 3⁄4 million people from unemployed to employed at some undefined work that doesn't get reported or show up on any payroll lists. Must be like work the president just recently decided will now qualify under the work/welfare law, which apparently includes making your bed. I assume this is the first time they have used this sort of data to adjust a monthly unemployment number. One has to question why they didn't try to obtain this data during the first random survey.
Basic logic and grade school arithmetic shows this had to be a sampling survey statistically adjusted to get the total 1.25 million people. A random phone survey would involve at least six to eight million calls, not including busy signals, that would each consume at least 5 to 10 minutes. Maybe we can't accuse them of manipulating the number, but it is certainly a classic example of the old adage "Figures don't lie, but liars can figure."
One has to wonder just how dumb and gullible these folks think we are?