Paul Craig Roberts: One More Jobs Mirage

(3 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Paul Craig Roberts: One More Jobs Mirage

No surprise here, just more smoke and mirrors.  

The answer is that there were not 192,000 new jobs.  Statistician John Williams estimates the reported gain was overstated by about 230,000 jobs.  In other words, about 38,000 jobs were lost in February.

So, why is this the case?

There are various reasons that job gains are overstated and losses understated.  One is the BLS’s “birth-death model.”  This is a way of estimating the net of non-reported new jobs from business start-ups and  job losses from business shut-downs. During recessions this model doesn’t work, because the model is based on good times when new jobs always exceed lost jobs. On the “death” side, if a company goes out of business because of recession and, therefore, doesn’t report its payroll, the BLS assumes the previously reported employees are still in place. On the “birth” side, the BLS adds 30,000 jobs to the monthly numbers as an estimate of new start-ups.  

Statistcs models that don’t actually go out and count the jobs that are out there.  That’s one way to get the jobs reports to look more rosey.  And just when you think things are getting better!  Roberts gets to the point of the matter here:

Another indication is that despite 10 years of population growth, there are 8 to 9 million fewer Americans employed today than a decade ago.

Don’t expect anything better to happen for quite a while.


  1. Wouldn’t it be interesting to actually have an independent study of the US economy that wasn’t then normalized, including an audit of all segments of the government and economy?

    • TMC on March 7, 2011 at 22:18

    They make the statement that the numbers were adjusted because they were overstated.

    Even if they did create all those jobs, what kind of jobs are they and what do they pay? Are they full time jobs with benefits? None of that is ever mentioned. If it is, it’s buried

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