Unemployment numbers were released this morning, and they were actually good.
Or were they?
Last month, unemployment was reported at 8.4%. This month the number has fallen to 7.8%. The questing is: How did it get there?
- Unemployment drops to 44-month low to 7.8%
- However, many are questioning the numbers due to “contradictory data points” such as the total unemployment level soaring but the low net number
- Government says 873K people found work — but reports only 114K new jobs were added
- Former GE CEO alleged fraud, sending a tweet saying “these Chicago guys will do anything”
- Popular finance blog Zero Hedge even called it a “pre-election ‘massaging’ farce”
“We all want Americans to be employed. We all want that. Nobody roots against the economy. Nobody roots against Americans, umm, but it’s just all spin,” Pat told listeners this morning. “What happened was the employment force has gone down so much. If we had the same level of the workforce that we started the year out with, what would the employment rate be today?”
“8.4%,” Stu replied.
Despite the obvious spin of the numbers, Pat pointed out that the administration will trumpet this and use it to slow down the momentum of the Romney campaign following the debate earlier this week.
“It’s going to be agonizing,” Pat said.
Stu, who is not one to jump on the “their manipulating the numbers” bandwagon, pointed out that economists expected to add 115,000 jobs — 114,000 were actually added. The economists also predicted unemployment to rise from 8.1% to 8.2%.
“Instead it went all the way down to 7.8%. Now, they got the jobs number right, but they somehow missed the unemployment rate by .4. I can’t remember that ever happening,” he said. “I’m sure it has in the past, but it’s pretty rare, and it’s shockingly convenient for this administration.”
The fact of the matter is, that if the administration wasn’t worried about unemployment numbers, they wouldn’t be making deals with contractors behind closed doors regarding layoff notices. Stu brought up a story that broke earlier this we regarding defense contractor Lockheed-Martin.
“Lockheed‑Martin heeded a request from the White House ‑‑ this is from a couple of days ago ‑‑ one with political overtones and announced it will not issue layoff notices to thousands of employees just days before the November presidential election.”
“The White House has told defense contractors not to issue layoff notices in November (four days before the election) in preparation for possible budget cuts on Jan 2, which even ABC News calls a move with “political overtones”.
According to the WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) Act, contractors are required to give workers a 60 day notice if they are about to be laid off. The across-the-board budget cuts that could happen in January apparently fall under the requirement. But the White House disagrees, and is begging contractors not to do it. In fact, the administration is even promising to pay legal costs if the cuts happen and the companies are sued for not following the law.
In short, Republicans feel the White House is buying off companies to avoid bad press in the 11th hour before the election.”
“So now, you might say, as Lockheed‑Martin said, ‘Wait a minute, though, because it’s a law. So if we don’t give them these pink slips, they could sue us. They can ‑‑ all these workers can say, hey, you didn’t give us any warning and you have to by law and they could sue us.’ So what does the government say? ‘Don’t worry about that; we’ll cover it if they sue you’,” Stu explained.
Basically, the Obama Administration went to a private company and told them that they could break the law, and if they get sued because of it they’ll cover the fees
“And we don’t think they would manipulate a freakin’ unemployment number?” Stu asked.
It’s hard to imagine why the White House would feel the need to go to such lengths if they were having such “success” at boosting alleged job creation.