Friday, October 5, 2012

@jack_welch and @allenwest - Truthers. Birthers. We're going to need a name for the latest conspiracy-mongers: on job statistics #p2 #tcot

Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers
— @jack_welch via Twitterrific

Jack Welch's secretary says the former chairman and CEO of General Electric is in meetings for the rest of the day and unavailable to discuss his Tweets.

In regards to today's Jobs report---I agree with former GE CEO Jack Welch, Chicago style politics is at work here...
— @AllenWest via web

I don't think BLS cooked numbers. I think a bunch of Dems lied about getting jobs. That would have same effect.
— @conncarroll via web

The extremely bad news is that I don't believe a word of the unemployment rate. Sad. The numbers are too illogical and don't make sense.
— @stevelemois via TweetDeck

umm anyone else thing the jobs numbers are rigged? A .3% drop while only adding 114K jobs? Something smells rotten.
— @Jakeninety8 via TweetDeck

And apparently somebody has been making a few phone calls:

Jim Cramer: "I have people calling for my job" because I said I believe the BLS numbers.
— @edshow via Twitter for iPhone

Knowing how the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates its numbers, including the fact that a survey of business establishments and of households are done each month, can go a long way toward understanding how there can be seeming anomalies in the results, especially in one month. Understanding math can help, too. Of course, some people don't care about how the numbers are actually derived.

Ezra Klein gets it exactly right:

Let's get one thing out of the way: The data was not, as Jack Welch suggested in a now-infamous tweet, manipulated. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is set up to ensure the White House has no ability to influence it. As labor economist Betsey Stevenson wrote, "anyone who thinks that political folks can manipulate the unemployment data are completely ignorant of how the BLS works and how the data are compiled." Plus, if the White House somehow was manipulating the data, don't you think they would have made the payroll number look a bit better than 114,000? No one would have batted an eye at 160,000. [...]

The number could, of course, be wrong. The household survey is, well, a survey, which means it's open to error. But the internals back it up. The number saying they had jobs increased by about 800,000. That seems high, but it's counting 582,000 who say they got part-time jobs.

There are plenty of issues to discuss in terms of jobs. Everybody agrees we need a lot more of them. We need to generate them faster. They need to pay better than many of them do. We need to convert millions of part-time jobs into full-time jobs because those part-timers NEED full-time jobs. The data behind those needs can be found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, uncooked, and not tied to partisan motivation. Just because a report that is mostly positive comes out before an election doesn't change that.

But the wackos and the Obama haters are always looking for handholds from which they can spew their nonsense and lies. So, expect this latest conspiracy bullshit to take hold and be amplified by the usual media suspects.

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