After spending all year boasting about how many jobs it has created, the Biden administration has quietly DELETED 439,000 jobs from its 2023 jobs reports. These revisions mean that almost a quarter of all jobs added in 2023 didn't exist. So, what's going on here? Economic and small business expert Carol Roth believes there are 3 possible explanations: Either this was an oddity, laziness, or the admission of a nefarious lie. Carol joins Glenn to break down what she believes is happening and whether this is a sign that a recession is coming. Plus, she reveals the data that people should be paying much more attention to than jobs reports.
Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: Former investment banker who went legit. Got off Wall Street and started talking about Main Street.
Hi, Carol, how are you?
CAROL: Yeah. Well, Glenn, thank you for legitimizing. I guess that's the right word.
GLENN: Yeah. So I don't understand the job report.
And how you can make a mistake, this massive, over the entire year.
CAROL: Well, as Mark Twain -- it's attributed to him, anyway. Said, there are three types of lies. Lies, damn lies, and statistics. And this goes back to how data is collected.
How it is modeled. How it's manipulated.
How it's revised. And why it makes absolutely no sense.
I have seen the -- the different reports, and, yes. There has been massive downward revisions.
Obviously, we just got the first December number.
So only 11 months of last year have been reported.
And ten out of the 11 months, have been revised downward.
The scope of that, I looked at multiple smart people's analysis, it's anywhere from 14 percent to 24 percent.
There's a piece everyone agrees on. There's another piece that I can't tell if people are possibly double counting.
But either way, it's just a massive shift.
And the strange thing here, you expect data to be revised based on how it's collected. But, you know, usually that averages out over time.
You know, maybe it's not a perfect amount. But like in 2022, the revisions, I think it was revised, you know, downward for maybe five months.
Then upward with no revisions.
When you netted it out, it was only off by 66,000. Having ten out of 11 months being revised downward. Is either -- an oddity.
It's lazy or nefarious. Those are your three choices.
Pick whatever your favorite door is.
STU: Okay. So. So. But what I understand is, if you -- if you have to revise. You take that into account. Especially if it's repeated a couple months in a row. You start to change the algorithm. And it's like, no. It's slowing. Things need to be slowed down.
Because that's what we keep seeing. So it's -- it's not unusual, to miscount for a while.
Because you're not actually counting. It is a projection.
GLENN: But if you're doing it for a year. It shows that like you said, you're either lazy or you're trying to cook the books.
Because you should have made those adjustments. And what would account for this, is that we're going into a recession. Is that true?
CAROL: That's one possible interpretation. I think it's helpful perhaps for people to understand, you know, how this data is collected and massaged. Because we have these different methodologies. We have, what was called the non-farmed payrolls, or the establishment survey, which is that number that everyone focuses on.
What they do, is they only look at the payroll records of -- last time I checked, it was just shy of 150,000 businesses and government agencies.
And then they take that and put it into reducible adjustments. And all these different models that come up with this projection.
Then there's an entirely different survey, called the household survey, or the current population survey, which only goes about to 60,000 households.
And they're getting their employment status and the demographic data.
And it's very different. Because in the household survey, they're saying, are you employed?
But when they employ out to the, they say, how many people are on the payroll?
So, first of all, the household survey captures things like agricultural workers. People who are self-employed, which we know is a huge portion of the population. That don't have corporations.
Some other things. The establishment doesn't even have any of that. And if you have multiple jobs, that you show up on multiple payrolls.
You're counted multiple times in that survey.
So the data is bastardized, and I would argue not even relevant to how our country's economy is growing, given the large amount of self-employment we have.
But with all of that, we've seen, Glenn. A record high, almost 8.7 million people. Who are holding down full jobs.
We are seeing a loss and, again, the time period is disputed. But over recent months, of 1.5 million full-time workers. And adding 796,000 part-time workers. So going back to your question of recessionary trends. See, those are things that will make you scratch your head saying, that's moving in the wrong direction. But who is picking up the slack for that?
Well, that is the government. And the government jobs keep getting -- the last three months, like 50,000 government jobs, on average, for the last few months. Like, that's not sustainable.
And those are -- those don't have the same level of productivity. Because they're paid for by our tax dollars, and/or the printing of money.
GLENN: Right. Correct.
CAROL: So all those scenarios don't look great in terms of the trends for the economy.
So we haven't seen the numbers for December, but 216,000 jobs were added.
This has not been revised yet, and 52,000 of those were government jobs.
Which brought us to an all-time high of 23 million employees for the federal government. It's an astounding -- astounding --
CAROL: But what I want to say on that. Is that -- as I said, in December, we just got the first print. We haven't gotten the revision to it. Same thing with the previous periods.
They keep revising that down. That means, not only is it 52 over, you know, 216,000.
But if they revise that down, it means, it will be even a larger percentage, that is government jobs.
CAROL: And that's what we've been seeing in terms of the trend.
Is that the government, and all of the deficit spending, that we're paying for in terms of inflation in our lives.
You know, is really what's creating the differential.
But what's crazy. Jobs haven't even been the issue.
They keep touting this is jobs. And look how many jobs were created.
Even though, many of them were reclaimed. Not created from when they shut down the economy.
But that really hasn't been the issue for quite some time for people.
It's really been the inflationary pressures. And the cost of living. Which is why so many are even tuned into this. And don't notice. Where we have these massive revisions.
GLENN: I have to tell you, I am in Florida right now.
And specifically, I'm in -- in West Palm.
And it is one of the bigger bubbles, I've seen.
Florida is a bubble in and of itself.
Here in West Palm.
I mean, there's a guy. I found out at dinner last night. There's a guy who bought a bunch of houses right on the ocean.
He bought $500 million in land. And he's building a 500 million dollar house. And he's not a seller. And, you know, he probably has -- you know, he probably has two or three children. So you can understand this.
GLENN: You're in Florida. Especially in places like this. Boy, it doesn't feel like anything is wrong.
With the economy.
CAROL: Right. So this is the have and the have-nots. And it's part of what makes it so difficult, when you talk about the economy.
Because what we've witnessed over the last decade and a half, is the massive fed and government policy and youth wealth transfer from Main Street America, to the wealthy and well-connected.
So when you go to the West Palm beaches, when you go to the -- you know, these little bubble areas, in Southern California, and what not, you know, the prices of real estate are going through the roof. People are driving McLarens.
You know, it's this crazy display of wealth, that they have want to be through the inflation of the asset. Because there were these massive asset holders. At the same time, that the people, who are on Main Street America, didn't have the opportunity to participate in that upside are seeing their cost of living go through the roof. And not being able to keep up.
So it's really a tale of two different economies. When you average that amount, with this massive wealth. At the top. It looks like things are -- you know, kind of moving along.
And that's why, I don't think that the way that we portray data, is fair or gives us really a great sense of what's happening for most of the country.
And why some people in the Democratic parties seem to be scratching their heads. And going, I don't understand.
This is a fantastic economy. Bidenomics works great, when we know that the middle class is getting crushed.
GLENN: Well, if you're living in the Washington, DC, area, of course, there's lots of employment.
Because the government is employing lots of people.
CAROL: Yes, they are. And they are doing it on the backs of adding more at the time and more inflationary pressure.
That is, you know, been -- really, what we've been paying for quite literally. Particularly over the past couple of years.
So there is this delusion, and it's happening on Wall Street. It's happening in these different bubble areas. That people who are in these areas that have created this tipping of the playing field. That has tilted things in their direction. They're going, this is working great. I don't understand why everybody is complaining. When they have been doing it, at the expense of free true -- fair and true capitalism, that has been impacting the lives of the people who are working and who are the back bone of our economy.
GLENN: So I'm driving in some of these neighborhoods. I was driving by Mar-a-Lago yesterday. And that was from the 1920s. A lot of these homes, that are huge like this, were from the 1920s. And those were the Jay Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald days. And I started thinking.
When did the Newport, Rhode Island, thing fall apart? Was that during the Depression, when people started out like not living like that anymore? Do you know?
CAROL: I don't think so.
Because just being a Jackie Kennedy researcher, and if you think about all the time that -- that their family and the Kennedys spent out.
And the Hammer Smith Farm, where she got married, that whole area.
That was pretty extravagant, and their marriage was in the -- in the early '50s, '53-ish. So I don't think it was at that point in time.
GLENN: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.
All right. Well, there was something else that I want to get to. Can we take a quick break?
And then we'll come right back in just a minute. Stand by.
We're talking to Carol Roth about the economy. So I don't know if you saw the Wall Street Journal today. But the headline. Do you have that headline by any chance, Stu.
STU: Don't have it handy, no.
GLENN: Yeah. The headline was, the latest dirty word in corporate America.
GLENN: It says, following the year of simmering backlash. Political pressure. And legal threats over environmental, social, and governance.
A number of businesses, corporate have shed ESG.
Now they're just calling it corporate responsibility. Is this a win, Carol?
Or is this just a shell game?
CAROL: So I would -- can I answer both? Can I give all of the above?
CAROL: I definitely think that there is some win. And I think the part that we need to take to heart is that by the noise that you've made, Glenn. And the others have made. And the action that your listeners and others have taken.
And talking about this, and really putting it under a microscope.
Has -- it's given pushback to corporate America. And they're seeing, that it's not only not working. That it's detracting from their businesses.
Even BlackRock. Which we know has been sort of patient this year in the US.
They're laying off a bunch of employees.
Something around 600 employees, mainly in their ESG division because of the pushback.
So I do think, that piece is a victory. But it's kind of like the ant problem, that many of us have in our house.
That, you know, you can spray them. Kill them. In one season.
But they will come back the next season.
So you still have to bring the exterminate out again.
And unfortunately, that's the case with ESG.
It's something that you and I had begun to talk about.
You actually brought to my attention. Were these natural asset companies. That are looking to, you know -- same kind of went.
Use corporate money.
Use pension money, to buy control, or management of land.
Whether those be public or private, to try to take them out of productive use. Threatening our food and our land and our water.
GLENN: That's insanity.
They decided to wait on that, right?
They didn't say, no. They're not going to do it.
They decided to wait. The SECC decided. Correct?
CAROL: So they were due with the rule January 2nd, and they have extended the comment period to January 18th. I sent comments. I actually posted them on my Twitter feed.
If anyone wants to, they are welcome to copy and paste and send them in to the SECC.
Or to anyone, whether it be their representatives, whether it be their state treasurers, whether it be their governors.
I know that Marla Oaks, from Utah, who you've had -- one of the key voices against it.
You know, we need more people like that.
Because not only do we need the SECC to say, no. The New York Stock Exchange can't list them. That's just one way that these groups connect.
It doesn't mean that they don't exist. It doesn't mean that they can't go to the private market. Or sovereign wealth fund, you know, privately to try to do this.
So we really do need legislation that says, this is something that needs to go away.
So a little bit of a celebration, Glenn.
But the job isn't done yet.