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Cooking the Books?

February 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Summary

The reported 8.3% unemployment figure for January 2012 could be as high as 15.4%, based on the Government’s own numbers.

The source data used to calculate unemployment is subjectively derived, although it is clothed in a veneer of objectivity.  As such the data collection process could be easily manipulated for political purposes without notice.  There is no indication it was manipulated, however.

Total workforce estimates are not verifiable and in fact disagree by about 12% depending on methodology; the inconsistencies are not readily reconciled.

Published BLS analytical results are internally inconsistent between tables and sometimes within tables themselves, indicating a lack of rigor in analysis and/or presentation.  As such the results could be easily manipulated for political purposes without notice.  There is no indication it was manipulated, however. Read more…