I like it !

"One could quibble, of course, by noting that, without a seasonal adjustment, nonfarm payrolls would actually have increased by a whopping 880,000 in May, counting the 203,000-job "net birth/death adjustment" for all the new businesses the government guesses have recently cropped up and old ones it surmises have gone out of business. Or one could be a killjoy and note, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics did, that monthly payroll gains are averaging 133,000 this year, down from 189,000 per month in 2006.

"That’s very consistent with a 1% GDP," says Barry Ritholtz, skeptic-in-chief at Ritholtz Research. "You need a 150,000 jobs a month just to keep up with population growth. In other words, this is essentially no job creation, relative to the population increase.

"With something as big and complicated as the U.S. economy and 143 million employees, you never want to take a single data point. What you want is the trend, the average of the past three months, the past six months. And what we’ve seen so far this year is that job creation is slower than it was last year."

Ritholtz also takes umbrage at the government’s assertion that new construction outfits it doesn’t yet know about added 40,000 jobs in May, net of those lost when builders went out of business. "There is a planet somewhere in the Star Wars/Star Trek solar system that added 40,000 construction jobs this month," he says. "But it’s not the United States on Planet Earth. Look at what the home builders are saying. Look at what the commercial construction companies are saying. They’re not hiring — they’re laying off left and right. It’s basically a statistical fabrication." The BLS, it should be noted, reported an overall gain of just 7,777 construction payrolls for May, indicating job losses at known construction firms."

The full article is here.

Two May Jobs Surveys Show a Rare Coincidence
Igor Greenwald
Smart Money, June 1, 2007

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  1. ECONOMISA NON GRATA commented on Jun 1

    “Skeptic-in-Chief” and Decider…?

    Have a great weekend,


  2. Vega commented on Jun 1

    Awesome comments / press, Barry!

  3. brion commented on Jun 1

    “They’re not hiring — they’re laying off left and right. It’s basically a statistical fabrication.

    Let us know if you begin to be followed by men in dark suits talking into their wrists…..

  4. RP commented on Jun 1

    The article ended with “mission accomplished”.

    I take it they aren’t buying what they just wrote.

  5. Pool Shark commented on Jun 1

    Would that make Uncle Bernanke the “Septic-in-Chief”? ;-)

  6. muckdog commented on Jun 1

    I think it was last week that the article came out about the unemployment rate of folks with college degrees being at 1.8%.

    I know it’s anecdotal, but I don’t know anyone who isn’t employed. Everyone I know has a job. This wasn’t the case back in late 2000 until 2002. I could always name at least one if not more friends or acquaintances who were job hunting. Now the folks I know are job hopping much like in the late 90’s and getting larger salaries and perks.

    I’m not surprised at all at the government stats showing low unemployment, rising wages, and increasing payrolls. That’s what I’m seeing.

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