Jack Welch Thinks Obama Might Have Cooked the BLS Books

Hilda Solis

The Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed an astounding increase in part-time jobs which is largely responsible for a .3% decrease in the U-3* unemployment rate.

The economy is on life support so it’s understandable that people would question the data.

The numbers for the increase in part-time jobs came from a small sampling of households, representing a minute fraction of the population. The result could be an anomaly but the timing is so close to the election that it is particularly interesting. Supposedly this process has been used for decades.

An usual blip like this with a thuggish administration makes one wonder. These numbers will probably be adjusted downward like all the BLS numbers. In the very least, their models need some adjusting.

Hilda Solis, an ardent Obama supporter, views insinuations that she cooked the books as conspiratorial and “ludicrous:”

“I’m insulted when I hear that, because we have a very professional civil service organization. These are our best trained and most skilled individuals,” she told CNBC.

“It’s really ludicrous to hear that kind of statement.”

In the end, the U-3 unemployment number of 7.8% doesn’t matter but for the political capital that President Obama gets out of it.  The U-3 numbers improving because of part-time jobs does not represent much of an economic boost.

What really matters is:

  • Job growth has been adjusted downward to 1.3%.
  • Median family income is down almost $5000 since President Obama has been in office.
  • The U-6** number is unchanged at 14.7%.
  • Half of our college kids can’t find jobs.
  • Unemployment among minorities is very high.
  • Manufacturing and housing is not booming.
  • We added only 114,000 jobs in September when we need 220,000 to keep pace and we really need 400,000 to get the needed 5% job growth
  • Factory orders are down 5.2%
  • Construction is down for the 3rd consecutive month
  • Gas is nearing $5 a gallon in California and over $4 in many other states.
  • Our deficit spending is over $1 trillion a year. We have to borrow or print money to pay for the deficit and we see no sign of it letting up – Obama has no plan other than tax & spend.
  • The federal government is spending 23% of GDP, well above the 20% historic average

Those are the important facts.

Jack Welch, former GE CEO, doesn’t believe the numbers:

 

* U-3: The U-3 number is the total of U-1, persons unemployed 15 weeks or longer, as a percent of the civilian labor force, and U-2, job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, as a percent of the civilian labor force.

** U-6: Total unemployed plus marginally attached workers, plus part-time for economic reasons.

Table A-15. Alternative measures of labor underutilization

[Percent]

Measure

Not seasonally adjusted

Seasonally adjusted

Sept.

2011

Aug.

2012

Sept.

2012

Sept.

2011

May

2012

June

2012

July

2012

Aug.

2012

Sept.

2012

U-1 Persons unemployed 15 weeks or longer, as a percent of the civilian labor force

5.2

4.3

4.2

5.3

4.6

4.6

4.5

4.4

4.3

U-2 Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, as a percent of the civilian labor force

5.0

4.4

4.0

5.2

4.5

4.6

4.6

4.5

4.2

U-3 Total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force (official unemployment rate)

8.8

8.2

7.6

9.0

8.2

8.2

8.3

8.1

7.8

U-4 Total unemployed plus discouraged workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus discouraged workers

9.4

8.7

8.0

9.6

8.7

8.7

8.8

8.6

8.3

U-5 Total unemployed, plus discouraged workers, plus all other persons marginally attached to the labor force, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force

10.2

9.7

9.0

10.5

9.6

9.7

9.7

9.6

9.3

U-6 Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force

15.7

14.6

14.2

16.4

14.8

14.9

15.0

14.7

14.7

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