A brief note on polling and unemployment data analysis

posted at 1:51 pm on October 5, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

I’m noticing a couple of odd reactions to today’s jobless data and the analysis it has produced so far today.  On one hand, we have people proclaiming the difference between the household and establishment data as proof of a conspiracy to re-elect Barack Obama at the BLS.  On the other, we have a number of voices calling anyone who applies any kind of critical analysis to these figures as “truthers” or “deniers.” Tom Elia has collected some of the latter at The New Editor, but I’ll focus on explaining what exactly the figures are, and why critical analysis does not amount to “trutherism.”

The BLS conducts two surveys each month to determine employment data.  The first is the establishment survey, which polls 410,000 businesses each month.  The second is the household survey, which polls 60,000 households each month.  As one might expect, the larger survey provides a more stable series and more reliable data.  The smaller one is still a very significant sample, but in a nation of around 150 million households, it’s hardly an exact science.

Any poll series can produce an outlier result.  That’s true even of larger sample surveys, even when the sample is properly balanced, and even without malicious intent to tweak the results.  It’s more likely to happen with smaller samples than larger samples, but can happen any time in surveys.  That’s why it’s important to look at trending more than a single result within polling series, although some applications (jobless rates, elections) are intended more for single-result reporting.

In today’s case, the establishment survey showed a result that corresponds closely to other economic trends and that doesn’t deviate much from the intraseries trend.  The household survey, from which the jobless rate is derived, showed a very large deviation from its own trending and from the growth data in the economy.  The last time we had that many added in the household survey, the GDP growth rate was around 9%, and it’s currently 1.5%.

That’s why people who understand data and surveys look skeptically at the result of the household survey.  It doesn’t mean a conspiracy is in place; it does strongly suggest that this month’s sample of 60,000 households threw an outlier, especially when compared with the establishment survey and other economic data.  If so, it will likely correct itself in the next report.  That’s not “trutherism” or denial, but straightforward data analysis.

Update: Just to remind everyone, the next report comes out before the election — the Friday before, actually.  And if the BLS wanted to cook the numbers, I’m pretty sure they’d have cooked the establishment survey, too, to show more than +114K.

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It doesn’t mean a conspiracy is in place; it does strongly suggest that this month’s sample of 60,000 households threw an outlier, especially when compared with the establishment survey and other economic data.

Nor does it mean that a conspiracy isn’t in place.

davidk on October 5, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Slightly OT.
Has anyone read how Rasmussen and a couple other pollsters are showing that Romney isn’t doing that great with the base. I’ve heard for a couple weeks but it hasn’t gone away which makes me think it isn’t noise. These same polls are showing him doing good with Indies.

Any theories? Why would Republicans bolt to Obama. The only theory I can think of is mormonism, but Obama went to a black liberation theology church. I’m a southern baptist and while we are skeptical of mormonism in general, i haven’t heard any republican say they won’t vote for him because of it. I just cant figure it out. Maybe they are messing with the pollsters?

Donald Draper on October 5, 2012 at 1:55 PM

You’re awfully trusting, Ed.

Is there a reason that the administration has earned your trust on their economic numbers?

And yes, the BLS is part of the administration.

Nessuno on October 5, 2012 at 1:55 PM

reference tweet NumbersMuncher ‏@NumbersMuncher
Same with Ras FL poll. Romney doing way better with indys and dems, but losing base to Obama. Could be noise, but seeing that in many polls.

Donald Draper on October 5, 2012 at 1:55 PM

But the damage has been done. Look at the headlines. It all but knocked Romneys debate victory off the map. That was the intention, and I smell a rat. And no I am not normally a conspiracy theorist…

sandee on October 5, 2012 at 1:55 PM

OT:

We do not believe that anybody is entitled to success in this country. But we do believe in opportunity.

-dear leader
*shaking the head*

_______________________________

the lsm sure is giddy today…hmmmmmm

cmsinaz on October 5, 2012 at 1:56 PM

On which day is next month’s data scheduled for release?

aunursa on October 5, 2012 at 1:56 PM

If so, it will likely correct itself in the next report

too late imho….

the alphbet network viewers will believe the anchors tonight…

crap….

cmsinaz on October 5, 2012 at 1:57 PM

If anyone sane would believe the numbers the DOW w/b up by 2-300.

All you need to know.

Schadenfreude on October 5, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Right.
4 weeks before the election, and suddenly +800,000 Jobs are “created”…… But there’s nothing fishy going on….

Guffaw……

Chicago politics baby! Yeah!

Just remember this nonsense some shill gets in front of a microphone and talks about how America is a free country, and how America isn’t corrupt and blah blah blah. We are turning into a banana republic faster than Rome fell.

KMC1 on October 5, 2012 at 1:58 PM

I think some of it could be Democrats lying for the household survey to improve the number. The establishment survey is a lot harder to fudge.

blammm on October 5, 2012 at 1:58 PM

That’s why people who understand data and surveys look skeptically at the result of the household survey. It doesn’t mean a conspiracy is in place; it does strongly suggest that this month’s sample of 60,000 households threw an outlier, especially when compared with the establishment survey and other economic data. If so, it will likely correct itself in the next report. That’s not “trutherism” or denial, but straightforward data analysis.

OR….it suggests that the books are being cooked this month to help re-elect Obama. They will be revised upwards in early November…probably after the election. The lie will be exposed, but the election over. More Chicago tactics.

nazo311 on October 5, 2012 at 2:00 PM

I guess someone should explain this concept to that Jack Welch guy. He’s probably not smart enough to follow it though.

CitizenEgg on October 5, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Revised figures show un-emp at 0% as all receiving government assistance are now considered holding a real-job, Barry style.

Limerick on October 5, 2012 at 2:01 PM

It doesn’t mean a conspiracy is in place; it does strongly suggest that this month’s sample of 60,000 households threw an outlier, especially when compared with the establishment survey and other economic data. If so, it will likely correct itself in the next report.

It may not be a conspiracy, but the timing for the outlier is pretty convenient for Obama. The last jobs report to have any lasting meaning before the election.

Bitter Clinger on October 5, 2012 at 2:02 PM

On which day is next month’s data scheduled for release?

aunursa on October 5, 2012 at 1:56 PM

First Friday of the month, innit? So…Nov. 2?

Spannerhead on October 5, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Just for David Rywall. Your boy king is an idiot. If he believes this he is one, and if he believes it and says it, so close to the election he is a triple idiot.

Schadenfreude on October 5, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Ed, the household survey also includes categories of jobs that the establishment survey doesn’t. Home-based jobs, for example, and some types of part-time jobs. It’s really easy to fudge those in a survey. They are certainly not the “real jobs” that liberals most often whine about when there is a Republican President.

rockmom on October 5, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Yes. We have keep our objectivity, right? 1 month before an election, right at the height of early voting after a terrible debate performance, the BLS report says 114,000 jobs were added which should be barely enough to keep the unemployment rate even nut somehow this equals a .3% drop in Unemployment which falls below the ‘psychological’ 8 percent mark. All of this because 400,000 jobs somehow appeared out of thin air from prior ‘revisions.’

Coincidence?

No, this is all too convenient.

I’m no conspiracy theorist, I usually mock those guys, but this report doesn’t pass the smell test. These books have been cooked.

Corporal Tunnel on October 5, 2012 at 2:03 PM

But the damage has been done. Look at the headlines. It all but knocked Romneys debate victory off the map. That was the intention, and I smell a rat. And no I am not normally a conspiracy theorist…

sandee on October 5, 2012 at 1:55 PM

it’s not just “conservatives” who are confused by a full 0.3% drop in unemployment when only 114k jobs were created.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/10/05/Fuzz-Math-CNBC-questions-unemployment-drop

davidk on October 5, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Obama’s lead economist is Rosie Scenario PhD.
She gets a bonus if Obama wins.
I don’t trust these numbers any more than GM annual report numbers.

Technically there are several handy ways to cheat. If one was “offered” a job last month to work part time for Christmas, they need to be labeled as not looking.
So January we will have them both laid off and also once again looking.

seven on October 5, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Slightly OT.
Has anyone read how Rasmussen and a couple other pollsters are showing that Romney isn’t doing that great with the base. I’ve heard for a couple weeks but it hasn’t gone away which makes me think it isn’t noise. These same polls are showing him doing good with Indies.

Any theories? Why would Republicans bolt to Obama. The only theory I can think of is mormonism, but Obama went to a black liberation theology church. I’m a southern baptist and while we are skeptical of mormonism in general, i haven’t heard any republican say they won’t vote for him because of it. I just cant figure it out. Maybe they are messing with the pollsters?

Donald Draper on October 5, 2012 at 1:55 PM

I go to a Southern Baptist church but I wouldn’t consider myself a specific denomination and I don’t agree with Mormonism at all and as a discerning Christian, I know it’s a Christian cult, however I’m still voting for Romney. I’m not voting for an elder in my church or the pastor, I’m voting for President. I know a lot of Christians are struggling with this and at first I was too, but there really isn’t any other choice.

MobileVideoEngineer on October 5, 2012 at 2:03 PM

The labor force participation rate is also important – if it was the same as it was when Obama became president, the unemployment rate would be 10.6%. Doesn’t that make for a much better comparison?

supernova on October 5, 2012 at 2:04 PM

“Highest one month jump in 39 years.” What a coincidence one month before the general election! Boy these guys are good! (sarc)

trader67 on October 5, 2012 at 2:04 PM

It doesn’t mean a conspiracy is in place; it does strongly suggest that this month’s sample of 60,000 households threw an outlier, especially when compared with the establishment survey and other economic data.
Nor does it mean that a conspiracy isn’t in place.

davidk on October 5, 2012 at 1:53 PM

…good point!

KOOLAID2 on October 5, 2012 at 2:04 PM

I call Shenanigans! This is for you Obama… ╭∩╮(︶︿︶)╭∩╮

Conservalicious on October 5, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Any theories? Why would Republicans bolt to Obama. The only theory I can think of is mormonism, but Obama went to a black liberation theology church. I’m a southern baptist and while we are skeptical of mormonism in general, i haven’t heard any republican say they won’t vote for him because of it. I just cant figure it out. Maybe they are messing with the pollsters?

Donald Draper on October 5, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Must be Democrats playing Jedi mind tricks. When a poll calls, I always answer that I’m a registered Democrat who is hellbent to vote for Romney.

Archivarix on October 5, 2012 at 2:05 PM

“Debate…

… what debate?” – MSM

Seven Percent Solution on October 5, 2012 at 2:06 PM

I expect lies from Communists. The whole, filthy malignancy is based on lies.

I expect lies from The Commie. I expect lies from his apparatchiks.

I expect lies from the same coven of Commies who told the American people, ad nauseum, that the Benghazi murders had nothing to do with al qaeda, or a pre-planned, 9-11 attack

I expect lies.

OhEssYouCowboys on October 5, 2012 at 2:07 PM

I’m still laughing over hankygate to pay this much mind right now.

tdpwells on October 5, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Absence proof of WH pressure on BLS to cook the books, I’m chalking this up to statistical chance. Any poll can throw an unusual result on rare occasions.

hawksruleva on October 5, 2012 at 2:08 PM

It doesn’t mean a conspiracy is in place; it does strongly suggest that this month’s sample of 60,000 households threw an outlier, especially when compared with the establishment survey and other economic data. If so, it will likely correct itself in the next report. That’s not “trutherism” or denial, but straightforward data analysis.

It’s the timing that makes it suspicious. And it comes straight on the heels of Susan Rice’s flat out lies on the Libyan attack, which, given that she went on 5 different Sunday morning talk shows, had to have been coordinated from the White House.

rbj on October 5, 2012 at 2:08 PM

IT was just Roseanne Roseannadanna polling: pollsters asked about unemployment rate, but people thought they heard weight, and since everyone was short of money their weight had been going down.

After the election? Never Mind.

STL_Vet on October 5, 2012 at 2:08 PM

From a survey of 60,000 households, 800,000+ jobs added in ONE month!?
13 per household !!
Either that or one hell of an extrapolation.
No SALE.
And the is no way you could call this an “outlier”

Jabberwock on October 5, 2012 at 2:08 PM

The last time we had that many added in the household survey, the GDP growth rate was around 9%, and it’s currently 1.5%.

Brilliant. Well done, Ed.

John the Libertarian on October 5, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Donald Draper on October 5, 2012 at 1:55 PM

don’t know what noise you’re talking about, I haven’t heard anybody in my Baptist church mention Romney’s religion as a reason not to vote for him. Matter of fact I haen’t heard any pro-Obama talk at all either. Quite a bit of Romney love though. And the congregation is at least 50% black. This won’t be close.

DanMan on October 5, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Just like it wasn’t a terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9-11.

so-notbuyingit on October 5, 2012 at 2:09 PM

I don’t understand why the BLS didn’t at least TRY to offer some explanation of the big discrepancy?…like at least provide a footnote or something.

tkyang99 on October 5, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Yet, this report will hang out there for the majority of the early voting period. I’m just saying……………..

bflat879 on October 5, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Update: Just to remind everyone, the next report comes out before the election — the Friday before, actually. And if the BLS wanted to cook the numbers, I’m pretty sure they’d have cooked the establishment survey, too, to show more than +114K.

Wouldn’t that one be much harder to cook?

ninjapirate on October 5, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Clearly, they changed the way they calculate the rate. Which means that this figure means exactly nothing as a comparison to previous figures.

That is, it may be debatable whether or not 7.8% is a more accurate measure of the current unemployment rate.

What is NOT debatable is this: You can’t claim that unemployment went down this month, because the previous month used different calculations. If you’re going to claim that unemployment is now this amount, then you have to adjust the method used to calculate the previous month, or else you have no point of comparison at all.

And I have to say, the fact that this is done just in time for the next election is highly suspicious. That is such a logical suspicion that it’s not at all fair to label it a conspiracy theory. It’s almost certainly done to be able to claim that unemployment “went down by .3 percent.”

tom on October 5, 2012 at 2:13 PM

DanMan on October 5, 2012 at 2:09 PM

I’m talking about statistical noise. Rasmussen has seen it in some state level data. Its probably nothing, but getting this close to election day it makes me nervous.

Donald Draper on October 5, 2012 at 2:13 PM

The household survey seems like it would be easier to cook and also easier to have some plausible deniability. There would be a lot of bang to your buck mucking with those numbers.

ninjapirate on October 5, 2012 at 2:13 PM

It’s the timing that makes it suspicious.

rbj on October 5, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Exactly. Best report in 30 years? Now? October 2012? With everything else looking just as bad as it was the month before?Sorry, too much coincidence.

jazzmo on October 5, 2012 at 2:14 PM

So, just to keep it real:

7.8= statistical anomaly

Romney kicking Obama’s ass in first presidential debate as witnessed by 70 million people= scientific fact

RepubChica on October 5, 2012 at 2:15 PM

In February 2009, there were 2.647 million Americans, who had been unemployed for a period of longer than 27 weeks, and the percentage of the unemployed who were unemployed for a period of more than 27 weeks was 22.4%.

In September 2012, there were 4.844 million Americans, who had been unemployed for a period of longer than 27 weeks, and the percentage of the unemployed who were unemployed for a period of more than 27 weeks was 40.1%.

In other words, there were 2.197 million more workers suffering long-term unemployment of 27 weeks or more in September 2012, and a 79.018% increase in the percentage of long-term unemployment than when Obama started “working to put the middle class back to work” in February, 2009.

Resist We Much on October 5, 2012 at 2:15 PM

114,000 in Sept
91,000 of the government jobs
Private sector jobs went down 5,000
600,000 part-time jobs were miraculously discovered

effective unemployment rate is still 14.7%

Most people’s eyes glaze over when you spout statistics at them. As long as their family, friends, and neighbors are struggling to find jobs, the unemployment number will be high to them.

Common Sense on October 5, 2012 at 2:15 PM

That’s not “trutherism” or denial, but straightforward data analysis.

Baloney. It’s cherry-picking, using a conveniently optimistic number that has not been used in the past, especially when it is counter to all the other economic indicators.

You can’t use PPP from three weeks ago, Gallup from last week and Rasmussen’s most recent polls, string them together and call it a “trend.” Apples and oranges.

If the “household” survey on Nov. 2 is really crappy again, do you think they will trumpet it like this one? Not likely.

iurockhead on October 5, 2012 at 2:15 PM

+1 7%

cmsinaz on October 5, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Voter from WA State on October 5, 2012 at 2:11 PM

They said it was non-farm. So are they lying? Hmmm. You bet they are.

ConservativePartyNow on October 5, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Exactly. Best report in 30 years? Now? October 2012? With everything else looking just as bad as it was the month before?Sorry, too much coincidence.

jazzmo on October 5, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Ding, ding, ding!!!

Bitter Clinger on October 5, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Assuming the selection is truly random, a sample of 60,000 is more than enough to produce a meaningful result.

The problem with tracking unemployment isn’t related to sample size. The problem is that they keep arbitrarily reducing the size of the work force. That makes 7.8% nothing more than a joke.

The Rogue Tomato on October 5, 2012 at 2:18 PM

I am an evangelical . . . have lived in a community with a high number of Mormons . . . have ZERO problem voting for Romney. He is a brilliant man. We need someone like him in OUR White House.

Voter from WA State on October 5, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Like I have said all along, we are electing a president, not a pastor. Especially after the idiot in there already thinks he is the messiah.

ConservativePartyNow on October 5, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Romney is very good with figures. He will tear it apart if McLiar uses the 7.8% in the next debate.

Oil Can on October 5, 2012 at 2:20 PM

It doesn’t mean a conspiracy is in place; it does strongly suggest that this month’s sample of 60,000 households threw an outlier, especially when compared with the establishment survey and other economic data.

Ed,

Just an outlier you say. Okay, but how many times in the last, oh, fifty years, has this type of stastical outlier happend before? Good question, right? If it’s statistical, then it must of happend before. So lets get that number and then figure the odds on that.

Next, Once we’ve figured out how many times it’s happend in the fifty years, let’s see how many times it’s happend during a recession.

After that, how many times during a recession has it happened when unemployement was above 8%. (You can look at all unemployment ranges for all I care)

And Finally, once we’ve narrowed that number down (and figured out odds on that), how many times has it happened one month before an election which for all intent and purposes is statistical tie.

Trust no one. Especially the Gov’t.

WisRich on October 5, 2012 at 2:20 PM

No wonder the numbers are great today.

Schadenfreude on October 5, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Pardon me, Ed. I’m by no means an expert on polling, or the scientific, mathematical process for putting these kinds of reports together.

That being said, there’s a technical term for this kind of anomaly…it’s called “Bullshit”.

These numbers say exactly what the BLS forces them to today, because Obama got the ass-kicking of his political life two days ago, period.

/hat-tip to Mr. Bernard Goldberg for the “technical term” reference from his “Bias: A CBS Insider…”.

a5minmajor on October 5, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Yet, this report will hang out there for the majority of the early voting period. I’m just saying……………..

bflat879 on October 5, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Yeah, and a lot of those early voters will be sitting on their couches with no job wondering when – if - they’ll be included in that shift to employed. I’m just saying………

tdpwells on October 5, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Sorry for the OT

Via drudge some lib whacko insists that mitt had cheat sheets with him at debate

cmsinaz on October 5, 2012 at 2:23 PM

If they can create that many jobs out of thin air, just think how many votes can be created.
Scary thought.

Jabberwock on October 5, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Reposting from a previous thread…

All it takes (to get to 7.8% from 8.1%) is the pressure of an imminent reelection bid and one or more of the following:

a) a common goal and some compounded bias in massaging and interpreting the data,
b) a little creative cherry picking or discarding of data,
c) a lack of curiosity in investigating and explaining conflicting internal numbers.

We’ve already seen ‘c’ in polls that have D+10 samples.

It can be as simple as stopping the analysis once someone has a number they like and thinks they can reasonably defend in a preelection court of public opinion for at least a month. If errors are found after the election, will it matter? Will any heads roll? I doubt it.

In this case that only 114,000 jobs were created seems out of sync with a 0.3% drop. Doing just a rough analysis, 114,000 is 0.3% of 38,000,000. The work force is much larger than that. But that 7.8% number looked so good to some people, why bother investigating further.

farsighted on October 5, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Donald Draper on October 5, 2012 at 1:55 PM

I’ve not seen Romney “losing the base” in other surveys. For example, the National Journal poll the other day showed both Obama and Romney winning over 90% of their respective bases: http://nationaljournal.com/daily/obama-romney-tied-among-likely-voters-20121002

changer1701 on October 5, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Job growth from June through November of 1984:

June +379k
July +312k
August +241k
September +311k
October +286k
November+349k

That’s what a healthy economy looks like.

adurb44 on October 5, 2012 at 2:28 PM

WisRich on October 5, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Think he mentioned 39 years ago.
Economy was then growing at 9.0%
Not the 1.5% we presently see.

Nothing, absolutely nothing supports that job number.
Best we can get is ” Because, I say so” from govt.

Jabberwock on October 5, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Donald Draper on October 5, 2012 at 1:55 PM

I’ve seen other very recent polls with Romney playing just as well among his base as Obama, in fact I’ve seen a lot more of those than any polls suggesting he’s losing his base to Obama.

I think this is mainly a statistical aberration on Rasmussens part.

WolvenOne on October 5, 2012 at 2:29 PM

From the Free Beacon: Meet the Obama Donors at the BLS…sigh, I can’t imagine what lengths a seasoned bureaucrat would go to get say, a nice czar job triple his salary in a second Obama admin.

RepubChica on October 5, 2012 at 2:31 PM

This is the same government that will be in charge of our health care is Dear Leader is reelected…good times!

d1carter on October 5, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Let’s have an “outlier” one month before the election – when Obozo was coming off the worst debate performance in political history, and Romney was gaining in poll. And no other economic indicators offered even the slightest hint of good economic data, i.e.manufacturing down, GDP own, etc.

It does not require a birther mentality to be suspect.

kevinkristy on October 5, 2012 at 2:35 PM

I don’t think the BLS intentionally cooked the numbers, but I do believe the numbers are cooked. I do know that Owe supporters will LIE at the drop of a hat and it’s possible people lied during the survey. It’s also possible that the survey caught an anomaly as Ed suggests. One way or another, unemployment didn’t drop .3% in the month of September with 114k jobs added.

katablog.com on October 5, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I’m pretty sure they’d have cooked the establishment survey, too, to show more than +114K.

Unless it was a trial balloon. Like good ol’ Gov. Bev Purdue’s talk about stopping elections.

LoganSix on October 5, 2012 at 2:37 PM

If it looks like a duck, and acts like a duck…

null on October 5, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Just to remind everyone, the next report comes out before the election

Let me put on my Nostradamus cap and predict it will show huge economic gains.

There is actually reason that certain numbers should improve: businesses make decisions based on what the future looks like and potential downsizers would be waiting for election results before they do anything and some might upsize on the gamble that Romney will win, ramp things up to have a head start on the competition once the nightmare ends, hire the cream of the available job seekers before their competition gets going, etc.

I’d go look for these people and report it in the media, if I was a journalist. Obama wouldn’t be able to benefit by any late term improvement and it should actually hurt him.

Buddahpundit on October 5, 2012 at 2:39 PM

If anyone sane would believe the numbers the DOW w/b up by 2-300.

All you need to know.

Schadenfreude on October 5, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Its the first thing I checked upon seeing the numbers. Dow easily points to an OBVIOUS LIE by the Admin.

Just a week ago 12 states reported higher unemployment numbers. In August factory orders have shrunk, A LOT, by far the largest drop in years. GDP is dead, by any measure, sub 1.5%.

And yet, so many morons out there cannot the dots.

riddick on October 5, 2012 at 2:41 PM

but the timing for the outlier is pretty convenient for Obama

Totally agree with those that perceive this anomaly just happened to rear it’s ugly head at a very convenient time. It’s very hard not the smell something.

katablog.com on October 5, 2012 at 2:41 PM

So at this rate in 5 years the unemployment rate will be 1% and everyone will have given up looking for work.

Fred 2 on October 5, 2012 at 2:43 PM

And there was no “actionable intelligence” about an attack on the Benghazi consulate prior to 9/11/12…?

d1carter on October 5, 2012 at 2:43 PM

El Rushbo just reported that 2 of the Economists on the BLS are BIG Obie donors and supporters..:)

PS..Nothing to see here folks..Move along..:)

Dire Straits on October 5, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Sorry for the OT

Via drudge some lib whacko insists that mitt had cheat sheets with him at debate

cmsinaz on October 5, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Remember the bulge in the back of President George W. Bush’s suit jacket that just had to be a secret transmitter over which Karl Rove was transmitting him lines to use in the debate against John F’n Kerry?

slickwillie2001 on October 5, 2012 at 2:48 PM

This is not going to sway any voters. The fact that unemployment has been consistently at or above 8% for 43 consecutive months during Obama’s presidency cannot be negated by a .2% drop in the number five weeks before election day. EVEN if that number turned out to be accurate.

There seems to be a near hysteria over these reports and polling data. Its because we are near the election, and its an indicator of how invested in the result of this election the electorate is at this point.

Its necessary to keep these reports and polls in perspective.

thatsafactjack on October 5, 2012 at 2:49 PM

It was a cooked number Ed.

There is no sense in denying becaue the math simply doesn’t work.

It is okay to say that.

Bluray on October 5, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Breaking: Mitt not only has “magic underwear”…he has a magic handkerchief…LOL.

d1carter on October 5, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Totally agree with Ed here.

This changes NOTHING. The media was going to find something to be positive about no matter what. If people really believe the economy is that much better…were they really going to vote for Romney?

The race is on, and this probably won’t matter much.

neoavatara on October 5, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Breitbart says the numbers were fudged by counting public sector jobs as private sector jobs, among other things.

The Rogue Tomato on October 5, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Since 1994, even the ‘adjusted’ data has been no where near that number.

According to the BLS,

Over-the-month changes in household survey employment are therefore subject to larger sampling error, about four times that of the payroll survey on a monthly basis.

It looks like the error is almost 8 times that of the payroll.

Patriot Vet on October 5, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Are the household numbers easier to fudge without drawing attention?

All they needed was to drop the unemployment number below 8% as that’s all most people look at and they did that. Things MIGHT correct in the next report but that’s only after taking Romney’s debate win off the radar and giving Obama the whole last month before the election to point to success.

Correlation does not equal causation but something’s mighty fishy in Denmark. To wholesale cook the books would leave them open to discovery. This way, they can hide behind the “well the household numbers are traditionally screwy” defense. Even their opponents are making it for them. Meanwhile, they laugh all the way to the election bank. Pretty sweet trick!

jnelchef on October 5, 2012 at 2:56 PM

I think it was that damn anti-Muhammad video!!!!11111!!!!

Strike Hornet on October 5, 2012 at 2:58 PM

It was a cooked number Ed.

There is no sense in denying becaue the math simply doesn’t work.

It is okay to say that.

Bluray on October 5, 2012 at 2:50 PM

+1
No tinfoil required, math plus historical data, GDP required to get this number = not possible.

MontanaMmmm on October 5, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Why couldn’t have Bush cooked the numbers in the same way? Why does only the other side get to use dirty tricks and get away with it? =(

It’s not fair…

tkyang99 on October 5, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Thank you (Ed) for explaining what exactly these numbers mean and why everyone is all over the map about it. I don’t understand how these numbers are arrived at, so it was good to get some sort of clarity on the whole process and WHY exactly, our side is calling “shenanegans!” Whether there’s an actual conspiracy afoot, who knows, but no one is “going crazy” in saying that the numbers look a bit…”off”.

LiquidH2O on October 5, 2012 at 2:59 PM

No matter how you account for the change, here’s the biggest problem: If ANY numbers get Obama re-elected, then we have Taxmageddon straight ahead. By the time the economy blows, it’ll be too late to prevent the election from lighting the fuse.

The Rogue Tomato on October 5, 2012 at 2:59 PM

..firstly, Ed, thank you for your analysis here on HG. It has made us here all think a lot about the BLS numbers and poll numbers. Gotta believe that we are a lot less shallow in that regards that the average mirror-fogging mouth-breather because of your efforts.

Secondly, the ONLY number that matters to Obama is the 7.8% and he and VPOTUS FLAT-LINE will be hard-pressed to use it in a subsequent debate because it invites discussion and begs for analysis and rebuttal by Romney and Ryan.

And we all know how well that worked out for Obama when last they met.

The War Planner on October 5, 2012 at 3:00 PM

I don’t think this has much of an effect one way or another. Despite dreary reports for months, Obama was ahead in the polls. Yes he has an adoring media, but I don’t think most people pay attention to the BLS data. If 8.2% wasn’t enough to sway voters, why should they suddenly be mesmerized by 7.8%?

Oh, and at the moment, the DOW is up 12.00 and the NASDAQ is down 12.00. A legitimately terrific report would have the DOW up 200 right now. So, we aren’t the only ones not buying this nonsense.

Erich66 on October 5, 2012 at 3:04 PM

I have to agree that there’s very little chance this is any kind of a conspiracy. First off, large scale data manipulation would be required which means LOTS of people would have to be involved. Anyone who’s watched even one episode of 24 knows that anytime more than a few people are involved, there’s no way to keep a secret.

Also, given we’re talking about a government agency here, there are probably layers and layers of people involved in collating the data, analyzing it, drafting a report and then publishing it (what, you think the BLS is going to be a streamlined organization??). Thus, more than one person is responsible for the reporting and, knowingly publishing false data is, I’m sure, a felony somewhere in the federal code of justice (not that Eric Holder would prosecute anyone for it!). I can’t imagine some low-level career bureaucrat who sits on his ass all day just widdling away his time with Excel spreadsheets would knowingly risk his cush job by approving BS data (not that his pension would ever be clawed back even if he was found to be a serial killer).

I’m with Ed, this is a statistical outlier….oh, and all you conspiracy theorists give Hilda Solis waaaaaaaaaaayy too much credit for having the intellect or skill to pull it off….

powerpickle on October 5, 2012 at 3:09 PM

But this statistical “outlier” just so happens to occur 30 days before the election and right when Obama needed it the most.

So either Obama really is “the One”, or the election Gods have a wicked sense of humor.

tkyang99 on October 5, 2012 at 3:13 PM

well, isn’t this interesting….

zh may have just stumbled on to one of the drivers of today’s numbers

part time young people between 20-24..hmmm nudest types

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-10-05/strangest-number-todays-jobs-number

there’s a lot of ways to skin that cat, esp. when you have $$$$$$$$$$$$ to burn…everywhere….leftists are money machines, and oba is no different

r keller on October 5, 2012 at 3:13 PM

The only thing I’m curious about… Was it Jarret or Axelrod that made them adjust it downward from the 8.2% that was released / leaked yesterday?

LegendHasIt on October 5, 2012 at 3:20 PM

LOL!!! Obama’s plan is working perfectly

October unemployment number will also include these new jobs:

Chicago Teachers Union (30,000)
NFL Officials (120)
Halloween Pimp Suit Manufacturing (100)
Dallas Cowboy Fans Crying Towels Production (3000)
Kiss Army called to active duty (100,000)

October unemployment rate goes down to 1.9%!

ZippyZ on October 5, 2012 at 3:21 PM

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