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Posted by on Oct 5, 2012 in At TMV | 4 comments

You Can Wonder About The Unemployment Numbers Without Being Partisan

While I am not going to take the conspiracy route I do think it is reasonable to wonder about the seeming disconnect in the employment figures today

Every month the government does two surveys, one where they ask employers how many people they hired and one where they ask households who is working (it is this latter number they use to calculate the unemployment rate)

As you might imagine these stats usually are close to each other. If employers say they hired 100k people the past month then households usually report around 100k more people working. Obviously not always 100% the same but close.

This past month employers reported adding about 130,000 new jobs, which is about the same as they have been reporting in past months and about the same that households have reported.

But the household figure was over 800,000 in new jobs.

There is something odd there, that the numbers would have matched for literally years then suddenly be so far apart.

Now certainly there could be innocent reasons. If you worked one hour last month then you are considered to be working in the household survey, so it may just be that a lot of temp jobs came up in September.

But I think you can question why the figures are so far off without being called partisan.

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