Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Case of the Missing Jobless

On Friday the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the nation's unemployment rate dropped below 8% in September.  This would appear to be, if not the best of news, at least not so bad--and a tonic for President Obama's campaign for re-election.  At last, progress!  Naturally, skeptics immediately claimed that government bureaucrats had cooked the books to make the Prez look good.  Nonsense, say the Big O's apologists, who insist that the statistical downtick, coming just one month before Election Day, was but a coinky-dink.

Yes or no?  Were the data manipulated?  On that topic John Mauldin's discussion is as careful and nuanced as any.  But whichever numbers you use, three things are clear:

1.  Fewer than half the jobs lost since December 2007 have been recovered.

2.  The new jobs do not pay as much.

3.  Earners are down, dependents are up.

All of which mean that government revenues will not be catching up to expenditures anytime soon.

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