The continuing march of the bogus job numbers: unemployment claims drop to lowest since 2008
Just in time for tonight’s debate, let’s give Uncle Joe some talking points, even if he and the “knucklehead vote” are the only ones who believe them. The weekly initial jobless claims dropped to 339,000, the lowest in four years. ZeroHedge reports that, “ironically, not even the Labor Department is defending it: it said that “one large state didn’t report some quarterly figures.”
Last week, we had 25 broad-based economists who avidly follow the U-3 Unemployment Rate, predicting the U-3 coming in at 8% lowest. Instead, we were given a pre-election rate of 7.8%, while the U-6 rate, which counts everyone unemployed, under-employed, discouraged/stopped looking, remained at 14.7%. Jack Welch, roundly criticized for his viral tweet about the numbers, said in a recent Wall Street Journal article,
But I’m not sorry for the heated debate that ensued. I’m not the first person to question government numbers, and hopefully I won’t be the last. Take, for example, one of my chief critics in this go-round, Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of the Obama administration’s Council of Economic Advisers. Back in 2003, Mr. Goolsbee himself, commenting on a Bush-era unemployment figure, wrote in a New York Times op-ed: “the government has cooked the books.”
I worked and lived abroad for three years in Moscow, Russia, during the early ’90’s, just as the former Soviet Union was wrenching itself out of the 70+ year quagmire of Communism. Through my experience, I worked with govt. representatives, bankers, other expats, Russian business people trying out capitalism, everyday shop owners, etc. And what was the one prevalent underlying theme: no one trusted their government. The statistics merited laughter, the pronouncements met with shrugs, their newspapers, Pravda and Tass, were good for coffee grounds. People were living and seeing the truth through their own daily lives.
So America, any of this starting to sound familiar?