Posted by: SWL | December 5, 2011

Look Carefully at November Unemployment Data

Last Friday the Department of Labor released their jobs report for November. The unemployment rate was 8.6%, down from 9% in October. Good news, right? That is certainly what the White House wants us to believe. But it is important to look at other data in the report.

* Slightly over 300,000 people exhausted their unemployment benefits in November. Since the number of workers receiving unemployment benefits is the only reliable figure by which to measure how many Americans are out of work, when people run out of benefits, the government simply does not counted them anymore. But they are still unemployed.

* President Obama is saying 120,000 jobs were created in November. That choice of words serves his reelection campaign. But all that can be said is that 120,000 people were hired, but not necessarily for newly created jobs. Workers retire, die or otherwise quit working. I know a man who is moving to Canada to take a new job. If an unemployed person is hired for the vacated position, the President would count that as a new job created.

Beware of the quick soundbite, the bold headline. The truth is often hidden deeper in the story.



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