March 7, 2010

Media Plays Along With WH Employment Report Whitewash; No One Wants to Recognize That Reality Differs

JobSearchNewspaperIt’s bad enough that the Obama administration (“Obama administration encouraged by steady unemployment rate”) and Harry Reid (see video snippet at link) both tried to pretend that February’s Employment Situation Report issued by Uncle Sam’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, which showed that the official unemployment rate was the same as January’s 9.7% and that 36,000 seasonally adjusted jobs had been lost, was somehow a reason to be upbeat.

As many have pointed out for months, the expanded version of the unemployment rate has been well above 15% for quite a long time, and it at least occasionally gets referenced in media reports and political pronouncements.

But on the jobs added/lost front, what the press, pundits, and even opposition politicians are continuing to ignore is the key information that leads to the “seasonally adjusted” figure on which everyone seems to fixate — to the point where it’s not unreasonable to believe that almost everyone in America believes that 36,000 jobs lost is what really occurred during the month.

It isn’t. Acknowledging that, and seeing what really did happen, is key to understanding that February’s result really reflected a significant deterioration in the employment situation, not an improvement.

Here are the charts for 2004 through February 2010, first for not seasonally adjusted (NSA) jobs, followed by seasonally adjusted jobs:

BLSjobsSAandNSA0210

The NSA table tells us that the government’s best estimate of what really happened in February is that the economy added 473,000 jobs. Absent any other data, that would seem to be acceptable. But when you look at data for previous years, you can quickly tell that it’s not.

Excluding February 2009, when the economy was in free-fall, February 2010′s +473,000 is the worst performance listed above. The average for 2004-2008 is +714,000, or 241,000 jobs better. In February 2008, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the country was supposedly in the third month of a recession (even though economic growth overall was positive). Why should we be impressed that February 2010′s economy couldn’t even match that?

Beyond that, February’s performance represented a decay from January’s. January is a month when many Christmas seasonal employees get let go. The average job loss for January 2004-2008 of 2,770,000 was only 72,000 better than January revised 2010 number of -2,842,000. Thus, February 2010 was 169,000 jobs worse than January (241,000 vs. 72,000).

This is something to get excited about?

That leaves one mystery, which is this: Why was February 2010′s SA loss of 36,000 an improvement over 2008′s SA loss of 50,000? One would think that February 2010 should have come in worse. The answer is that 2009 was so bad, that it’s distorting the SA calculation — to the point where it’s really not as reliable an indicator of what is going on as it normally would be in a more predictable situation. Additionally, BLS tells me that while it takes the previous five years into account, the more recent years carry more weight in the calculation of the final SA number than the least recent years.

These are things that establishment media business reporters should know. If they don’t, they should either get a quick catch-up course or find another line of work. Media outlets, especially the wire services, should be adjusting their routine jobs reports to tell us the kinds of things this post has revealed.

It’s not that tough. Why won’t they?

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

‘Name That Party’ Roundup

The first week of March has seen several variations on the theme, and can be seen at the NewsBusters posts, from which I have also excerpted key sentences to indicate that what is involved in each case is far from trifling:

  • March 1“AP Fails to ID White Plains Mayor Accused in DV Case as a Dem, Gives Impression He May Be GOP”

    White Plains, New York Mayor Adam Bradley “turned himself in to police headquarters … (Sunday) morning after his wife filed a complaint with police that he jammed her finger in a door around 9:30 a.m. Bradley was then arraigned on a third-degree misdemeanor assault charge at White Plains City Court.”

  • March 4“Over 100 Media Outlets Fail to Tag Racine, Wis. Mayor As a Democrat Upon Sentencing”

    Former Racine, Wisconsin mayor Gary Becker, a Democrat, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for child enticement and attempted sexual assault of a child.

    Money quote from the AP article — “Judge Stephen Simanek said he was prepared to sentence Becker to probation but was alarmed to discover Becker purchased girls’ underwear two weeks ago.”

  • March 7“In Birmingham, Ala. Democratic Mayor’s Sentencing for 60 Felonies, Reuters Gets It Right, AP Avoids”

    Former Birmingham, Alabama mayor Larry Langford, who is a Democrat, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Friday for bribery.

    The county in which Birmingham is located may have to declare bankruptcy largely as a result of Langford’s actions.

And the crime and corruption beat goes on ….. ’round and ’round and ’round we go:

Positivity: Unique pro-life video demonstrates potential of the unborn

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:55 am

From Madrid, Spain:

Mar 3, 2010 / 03:07 pm

What is the potential of an unborn child who is given a chance at life? One Spanish pro-life organization has answered this question in a television commercial featuring both Mother Teresa and Jamaican Olympian Usain Bolt.

The commercial also promotes the upcoming pro-life rallies in Spain which will be held March 7 to give citizens the opportunity to voice their opposition to the government’s new abortion law.

“At 3,312 weeks she will help those most in need,” the spot says, showing an image of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. “At 1,056 he will be the fastest,” it continues, with a photo of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.

Titled, “Give Life Potential,” the video was produced by Francisco Javier Jimenez Rivero, media director for the pro-life website HazteOir.org. …

Go here for the rest of the story. Here’s the video, with English subtitles (direct YouTube link):