Gallup CEO - "5.6% Unemployment is a Big Lie"

  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    Feb 03, 2015 5:36 PM GMT
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/big-lie-56-unemployment-jim-clifton

    everyone know the BLS labor stats are pretty much bullshit

    but it's nice to see someone call it out for what it is for a change
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Feb 03, 2015 6:04 PM GMT
    Well surely you know there are three types of lies:

    Lies, Damn Lies, and statistics.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Feb 03, 2015 6:24 PM GMT
    No, they're not bullshit. They're constructed measurements that approximate unemployment. And they are reliably valid indicators of trend lines that tell you what is going on in the economy. To call them a "Big Lie" is pejorative with a clear political purpose to mislead. And quite stupid. Along the lines of "It's just a theory!!!!!" FOXworthy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 03, 2015 6:30 PM GMT
    Destinharbor saidNo, they're not bullshit. They're constructed measurements that approximate unemployment. And they are reliably valid indicators of trend lines that tell you what is going on in the economy. To call them a "Big Lie" is pejorative with a clear political purpose to mislead. And quite stupid. Along the lines of "It's just a theory!!!!!" FOXworthy.


    When the CEO of one of the most respected polling organizations says the numbers are a lie, then it carries some credibility.

  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Feb 03, 2015 6:43 PM GMT
    rkyjockdn said
    Destinharbor saidNo, they're not bullshit. They're constructed measurements that approximate unemployment. And they are reliably valid indicators of trend lines that tell you what is going on in the economy. To call them a "Big Lie" is pejorative with a clear political purpose to mislead. And quite stupid. Along the lines of "It's just a theory!!!!!" FOXworthy.


    When the CEO of one of the most respected polling organizations says the numbers are a lie, then it carries some credibility.


    No it doesn't. Sure, a different set of measurements can possibly produce a more accurate representation but then unless you then recast all prior numbers according to the same formula, a single stand alone number is pretty useless. And it would still be inaccurate, or should I say A BIG LIE?
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    Feb 03, 2015 6:51 PM GMT
    Destinharbor said
    rkyjockdn said
    Destinharbor saidNo, they're not bullshit. They're constructed measurements that approximate unemployment. And they are reliably valid indicators of trend lines that tell you what is going on in the economy. To call them a "Big Lie" is pejorative with a clear political purpose to mislead. And quite stupid. Along the lines of "It's just a theory!!!!!" FOXworthy.


    When the CEO of one of the most respected polling organizations says the numbers are a lie, then it carries some credibility.


    No it doesn't. Sure, a different set of measurements can possibly produce a more accurate representation but then unless you then recast all prior numbers according to the same formula, a single stand alone number is pretty useless. And it would still be inaccurate, or should I say A BIG LIE?


    Agreed. That formula has been used for decades. Does it accurately represent the unemployed? No. That people are underemployed, part time or quit looking is not represented. But those figures are used by Republicans and Democrats alike. It does show a trend, up or down.
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    Feb 03, 2015 6:56 PM GMT
    Destinharbor said
    rkyjockdn said
    Destinharbor saidNo, they're not bullshit. They're constructed measurements that approximate unemployment. And they are reliably valid indicators of trend lines that tell you what is going on in the economy. To call them a "Big Lie" is pejorative with a clear political purpose to mislead. And quite stupid. Along the lines of "It's just a theory!!!!!" FOXworthy.


    When the CEO of one of the most respected polling organizations says the numbers are a lie, then it carries some credibility.


    No it doesn't. Sure, a different set of measurements can possibly produce a more accurate representation but then unless you then recast all prior numbers according to the same formula, a single stand alone number is pretty useless. And it would still be inaccurate, or should I say A BIG LIE?


    no, they're pretty much bullshit and the way they are reported at the beginning of every month is even more bullshit

    you of all people should know that

    there are millions of people who fall off the survey or statistical parameters every year (and not because of age)
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Feb 03, 2015 7:02 PM GMT
    I do know that. What I know with a major in Economic Theory is that there are certain measurements of the economy that describe what is going on. No measurement is totally accurate but from time to time they're construction is adjusted to be more accurate. So you watch trend lines and try to filter out statistical abnormalities which would misrepresent what you're looking at (like seasonal adjustments). But because no measurement is perfect, it does not mean that the formula is A BIG LIE.

    For example, when my bank was bought by a giant Spanish international bank, and they aligned our procedures to reflect the rest of the organization, I cashed out stock options and walked because I didn't enjoy the reduction in authority. So for a while I looked around for another job similar to my old job but was also unwilling to seriously consider anything that wasn't exactly what I wanted, including location. So was I unemployed? Yes. And no. No statistical measurement could have reflected that. So any measurement is an approximation and the trend is what you watch. THAT is valid. Could the formula for unemployment be improved? They adjust it occasionally to better reflect reality but because it isn't exactly perfect does not make it a BIG LIE.
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    Feb 03, 2015 7:17 PM GMT
    no, it is a big lie due to the way it's reported by the media and politicians as absolute fact

    I have an MBA, so I know how the data is used for comparison and seasonally adjusted (what nonsense)

    anyone with a brain knows "unemployment" is not 5.6%, but it is promoted as such, so it's a big lie

    are the household surveys ever reported? no
    is U6 ever reported, rarely
    are non-seasonally adjusted numbers ever reported, no

    could the formulas be improved? hahahahaha, the BLS has been doing this crap for 140 years
  • TheBaise

    Posts: 363

    Feb 03, 2015 7:25 PM GMT
    All those stats are just made up lies designed to embarrass President Obama / who is trying his best to give jobs to everyone. But one thing to remember is what Nancy Pelosi pointed out, which is people who have totally given up looking for work are not unemployed / they're using their time the best way they know how, pursuing a hobby. What else can they do? The repubs are denying jobs to people!
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    Feb 03, 2015 7:34 PM GMT
    TheBaise saidAll those stats are just made up lies designed to embarrass President Obama / who is trying his best to give jobs to everyone. But one thing to remember is what Nancy Pelosi pointed out, which is people who have totally given up looking for work are not unemployed / they're using their time the best way they know how, pursuing a hobby. What else can they do? The repubs are denying jobs to people!


    oh please, President Idiot wants to fast track the TPP which will depress job creation even more

    but hey, ass long as Proctor & Gamble, Apple and Monsanto can sell their crap to Chile and China (which ADD no jobs by the way) both parties are happy

    and people who have giving up looking for work, are, in fact, unemployed
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Feb 03, 2015 9:21 PM GMT
    tj85016 said
    TheBaise saidAll those stats are just made up lies designed to embarrass President Obama / who is trying his best to give jobs to everyone. But one thing to remember is what Nancy Pelosi pointed out, which is people who have totally given up looking for work are not unemployed / they're using their time the best way they know how, pursuing a hobby. What else can they do? The repubs are denying jobs to people!


    oh please, President Idiot wants to fast track the TPP which will depress job creation even more

    but hey, ass long as Proctor & Gamble, Apple and Monsanto can sell their crap to Chile and China (which ADD no jobs by the way) both parties are happy

    and people who have giving up looking for work, are, in fact, unemployed

    I think you just betrayed your argument as nothing more than a political rant. Though I would enjoy a thread arguing whether and/or when free trade is good/bad. It has been conventional wisdom for 50 years that it is a good thing (by both parties and virtually all economists) but now we're seeing an ugly underbelly. Interesting debate starting.
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    Feb 03, 2015 9:51 PM GMT
    ^^

    I agree trade agreements (NAFTA, TPP, whatever) have been good for corporate profits (most of which are held offshore and don't really benefit the overall US economy), but not good for labor, median income, or the middle class (other than being able to buy cheap Malaysian socks).

    all these trade agreements have just evened out the world some, which portends a horrible future for the US middle class

    I'm just a bigger fan of improving lives in the US. I could really care less about living standards in Myanmar or the Philippines.

    It's much more of a zero sum game than people want to admit.
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    Feb 03, 2015 10:00 PM GMT
    Destinharbor saidI do know that. What I know with a major in Economic Theory is that there are certain measurements of the economy that describe what is going on. No measurement is totally accurate but from time to time they're construction is adjusted to be more accurate. So you watch trend lines and try to filter out statistical abnormalities which would misrepresent what you're looking at (like seasonal adjustments). But because no measurement is perfect, it does not mean that the formula is A BIG LIE.

    For example, when my bank was bought by a giant Spanish international bank, and they aligned our procedures to reflect the rest of the organization, I cashed out stock options and walked because I didn't enjoy the reduction in authority. So for a while I looked around for another job similar to my old job but was also unwilling to seriously consider anything that wasn't exactly what I wanted, including location. So was I unemployed? Yes. And no. No statistical measurement could have reflected that. So any measurement is an approximation and the trend is what you watch. THAT is valid. Could the formula for unemployment be improved? They adjust it occasionally to better reflect reality but because it isn't exactly perfect does not make it a BIG LIE.


    Yes.
  • Hypertrophile

    Posts: 1021

    Feb 04, 2015 3:07 AM GMT
    There's no secret to how the BLS gets these numbers, so it's not bullshit. If they just put up the numbers without giving the criteria, then it would be.

    Still I wonder, does it matter if someone isn't counted as unemployed because they are no longer interested in working? "Those who have given up working" seems to be a big deal to people who are concerned about unemployment numbers, but why? Should those who have retired, chosen to become a one breadwinner family, become disabled, etc. be counted as "unemployed"? I don't see why they should.

    Never the less, the fact that there is so much unemployment/underemployment should be a clue to why we have such a deficit problem. Without workers adding labor to raw materials to create wealth, we'll never get out of debt.
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    Feb 04, 2015 4:29 AM GMT
    lol dude when 100 million are not even officially in the labor force

    the system used to calculate "unemployment" is bullshit
  • Hypertrophile

    Posts: 1021

    Feb 04, 2015 5:04 AM GMT
    tj85016 saidlol dude when 100 million are not even officially in the labor force

    the system used to calculate "unemployment" is bullshit


    One hundred million out of the work force is more than 2/3's employment including children and the elderly, which would be awesome, so I suspect syntax problems with your statement.

  • Hypertrophile

    Posts: 1021

    Feb 04, 2015 5:10 AM GMT
    So what's the point? We all know that statistics can be interpreted, or misinterpreted, and that those with an agenda will use them and twist them to best suit that agenda.

    What's the answer? Find a better way to measure unemployment, or do something about the lack of manufacturing in this country?
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    Feb 04, 2015 5:11 AM GMT
    TheBaise saidAll those stats are just made up lies designed to embarrass President Obama / who is trying his best to give jobs to everyone. But one thing to remember is what Nancy Pelosi pointed out, which is people who have totally given up looking for work are not unemployed / they're using their time the best way they know how, pursuing a hobby. What else can they do? The repubs are denying jobs to people!



    Caveat

    No matter what Joe public is told, I think this 'employment rate' actually reflects Corporate Payrolls and the Self Employed, not the actual unemployment rate, but reversed. Tracking the number of people who are employed or with UI or SS benefits (more people) is much easier than tracking people who do not have an income (less people). The low number of the labor participation rate is reflected in the % ratio between the eligible working population and what the Corporate Payrolls, UI, SS, disability, retirement and the Self Employed are reporting including on the income tax forms. Break it down again and the true labor participation becomes those in the corporate payrolls and self employed only. (this is the hiring-firing process at a current 62%)

    Say 100 million US people are eligible to work, age 18-55.
    If 5.6% is the 'official unemployment rate', means that 5.6 million US people are not counted in any income bracket yet the US census knows these people exists. I think the real unemployment rate comes from income reporting, wherever the source. What is labor? Income (money) in exchange for services. What is unemployed? No Income

    As the unemployment rate fall or rises means:
    Fell= more people either are back in Labor income or now receiving other incomes
    Rises= more people fell out of Labor income, on or lost other income or now have no income

    Labor Participation Income = Corporate Payrolls & Self Employed (62%)
    Other Income = UI, SS, Disability, Welfare, Pension, Retirement, Lottery (32.4%)
    No Income But Eligible = Not Counted Or "The Real Unemployed" (5.6%)


  • Hypertrophile

    Posts: 1021

    Feb 04, 2015 5:33 AM GMT
    ELNathB said
    TheBaise saidAll those stats are just made up lies designed to embarrass President Obama / who is trying his best to give jobs to everyone. But one thing to remember is what Nancy Pelosi pointed out, which is people who have totally given up looking for work are not unemployed / they're using their time the best way they know how, pursuing a hobby. What else can they do? The repubs are denying jobs to people!



    Caveat

    No matter what Joe public is told, I think this 'employment rate' actually reflects Corporate Payrolls and the Self Employed, not the actual unemployment rate, but reversed. Tracking the number of people who are employed or with UI or SS benefits (more people) is much easier than tracking people who do not have an income (less people). The low number of the labor participation rate is reflected in the % ratio between the eligible working population and what the Corporate Payrolls, UI, SS, disability, retirement and the Self Employed are reporting including on the income tax forms. Break it down again and the true labor participation becomes those in the corporate payrolls and self employed only. (this is the hiring-firing process at a current 62%)

    Say 100 million US people are eligible to work, age 18-55.
    If 5.6% is the 'official unemployment rate', means that 5.6 million US people are not counted in any income bracket yet the US census knows these people exists. I think the real unemployment rate comes from income reporting, wherever the source. What is labor? Income (money) in exchange for services. What is unemployed? No Income

    As the unemployment rate fall or rises means:
    Fell= more people either are back in Labor income or now receiving other incomes
    Rises= more people fell out of Labor income, on or lost other income or now have no income

    Labor Participation Income = Corporate Payrolls & Self Employed (62%)
    Other Income = UI, SS, Disability, Pension, Retirement, Lottery (32.4%)
    No Income But Eligible = Not Counted Or "The Real Unemployed" (5.6%)




    Good post. Definitely helps clarify the process.
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    Feb 04, 2015 5:48 AM GMT
    Physiqueflex said
    ELNathB said
    TheBaise saidAll those stats are just made up lies designed to embarrass President Obama / who is trying his best to give jobs to everyone. But one thing to remember is what Nancy Pelosi pointed out, which is people who have totally given up looking for work are not unemployed / they're using their time the best way they know how, pursuing a hobby. What else can they do? The repubs are denying jobs to people!



    Caveat

    No matter what Joe public is told, I think this 'employment rate' actually reflects Corporate Payrolls and the Self Employed, not the actual unemployment rate, but reversed. Tracking the number of people who are employed or with UI or SS benefits (more people) is much easier than tracking people who do not have an income (less people). The low number of the labor participation rate is reflected in the % ratio between the eligible working population and what the Corporate Payrolls, UI, SS, disability, retirement and the Self Employed are reporting including on the income tax forms. Break it down again and the true labor participation becomes those in the corporate payrolls and self employed only. (this is the hiring-firing process at a current 62%)

    Say 100 million US people are eligible to work, age 18-55.
    If 5.6% is the 'official unemployment rate', means that 5.6 million US people are not counted in any income bracket yet the US census knows these people exists. I think the real unemployment rate comes from income reporting, wherever the source. What is labor? Income (money) in exchange for services. What is unemployed? No Income

    As the unemployment rate fall or rises means:
    Fell= more people either are back in Labor income or now receiving other incomes
    Rises= more people fell out of Labor income, on or lost other income or now have no income

    Labor Participation Income = Corporate Payrolls & Self Employed (62%)
    Other Income = UI, SS, Disability, Pension, Retirement, Lottery (32.4%)
    No Income But Eligible = Not Counted Or "The Real Unemployed" (5.6%)




    Good post. Definitely helps clarify the process.



    We can see, at a constant 62% labor participation rate (since late 70's) corporate or self employment hasn't risen meaning they still are not hiring, above, beyond and layoffs have tapered off otherwise it would keep falling. If the not counted real, no income, unemployed has fallen, we can assume more of these people are now in the "other income" bracket such as retirement, welfare, disability, drawing on 401K, won the lottery..etc and are no longer considered officially unemployed. Otherwise the true unemployed rate (non corporate or self) would be a whopping 38%

    Does this make sense if done by income source?

  • Hypertrophile

    Posts: 1021

    Feb 04, 2015 6:15 AM GMT
    ELNathB said
    Physiqueflex said
    ELNathB said
    TheBaise saidAll those stats are just made up lies designed to embarrass President Obama / who is trying his best to give jobs to everyone. But one thing to remember is what Nancy Pelosi pointed out, which is people who have totally given up looking for work are not unemployed / they're using their time the best way they know how, pursuing a hobby. What else can they do? The repubs are denying jobs to people!



    Caveat

    No matter what Joe public is told, I think this 'employment rate' actually reflects Corporate Payrolls and the Self Employed, not the actual unemployment rate, but reversed. Tracking the number of people who are employed or with UI or SS benefits (more people) is much easier than tracking people who do not have an income (less people). The low number of the labor participation rate is reflected in the % ratio between the eligible working population and what the Corporate Payrolls, UI, SS, disability, retirement and the Self Employed are reporting including on the income tax forms. Break it down again and the true labor participation becomes those in the corporate payrolls and self employed only. (this is the hiring-firing process at a current 62%)

    Say 100 million US people are eligible to work, age 18-55.
    If 5.6% is the 'official unemployment rate', means that 5.6 million US people are not counted in any income bracket yet the US census knows these people exists. I think the real unemployment rate comes from income reporting, wherever the source. What is labor? Income (money) in exchange for services. What is unemployed? No Income

    As the unemployment rate fall or rises means:
    Fell= more people either are back in Labor income or now receiving other incomes
    Rises= more people fell out of Labor income, on or lost other income or now have no income

    Labor Participation Income = Corporate Payrolls & Self Employed (62%)
    Other Income = UI, SS, Disability, Pension, Retirement, Lottery (32.4%)
    No Income But Eligible = Not Counted Or "The Real Unemployed" (5.6%)




    Good post. Definitely helps clarify the process.



    We can see, at a constant 62% labor participation rate (since late 70's) corporate or self employment hasn't risen meaning they still are not hiring and layoffs have tapered off otherwise it would keep falling. If the not counted real, no income, unemployed has fallen, we can assume more of these people are now in the "other income" bracket such as retirement, welfare, disability, drawing on 401K, won the lottery..etc and are no longer considered officially unemployed.

    Does this make sense if done by income?



    A rate may be constant, it isn't in this case but let's say, but the real number the labor participation rate represents increases with the population, so even if the rate is flat, that means we're still creating jobs, if only enough to cover new workers entering the force. With the boomer generation retiring at some 15,000 per day, I'd say we're going to see an increase in people dropping out of the work force, and in this case, that is a very good thing. That can only help the economy by making room for younger workers and putting some of their retirement savings back into circulation.
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    Feb 04, 2015 1:53 PM GMT
    ^^

    here's how the unemployment numbers are nonsense and rigged:

    There are 2 million more people working now than there were when the unemployment rate first went over 6% in 2008.

    However, there are 15 million more working-age people in the country.

    And the unemployment "rate" dropped. hahahaha (wanna buy a bridge?)

    And one of the "big lies" is that the population is getting older and thus not working any more. That's a lie too. Of those who are over 65 want a job and are not disabled the unemployment rate is under 4%.

    If the number aren't rigged, the BLS's 140 year old methodology needs some serious work.
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    Feb 04, 2015 2:35 PM GMT
    tj85016 said^^

    here's how the unemployment numbers are nonsense and rigged:

    There are 2 million more people working now than there were when the unemployment rate first went over 6% in 2008.

    However, there are 15 million more working-age people in the country.

    And the unemployment "rate" dropped. hahahaha (wanna buy a bridge?)

    And one of the "big lies" is that the population is getting older and thus not working any more. That's a lie too. Of those who are over 65 want a job and are not disabled the unemployment rate is under 4%.

    If the number aren't rigged, the BLS's 140 year old methodology needs some serious work.


    And many of us 'old folks' must work given the losses sustained in the 2008-2010 downturn (and in my case, then taking care of two parents, both with Alzheimer's for several more years) so I have no choice but to keep working. And as long as I'm of fit mind and body, I want to keep working.

    In my case as I'm sure is true with many other seniors, it will have to self employment as no one will touch us at this age as employees. I'm sure I'm not alone and I'm not sure how I'm counted in statistics.
  • Hypertrophile

    Posts: 1021

    Feb 04, 2015 2:48 PM GMT
    tj85016 said^^

    here's how the unemployment numbers are nonsense and rigged:

    There are 2 million more people working now than there were when the unemployment rate first went over 6% in 2008.

    However, there are 15 million more working-age people in the country.

    And the unemployment "rate" dropped. hahahaha (wanna buy a bridge?)

    And one of the "big lies" is that the population is getting older and thus not working any more. That's a lie too. Of those who are over 65 want a job and are not disabled the unemployment rate is under 4%.

    If the number aren't rigged, the BLS's 140 year old methodology needs some serious work.


    The numbers aren't rigged. If you add up the total of people who are employed, unemployed, and not in the workforce, it adds up to 100% of the total population. It's only "rigged" if any of the numbers are omitted from the report.

    Agreed that people on both sides of the issue don't usually report all of the numbers in the BLS surveys, so people hearing reporters and pundits commenting on unemployment figures should refer to the BLS website for the full picture.

    I still wonder if we could be better served discussing ways to create jobs and generate real wealth for all Americans rather than arguing over who's stats are rigged.