When are 335,000 jobs, not really 335,000 jobs? When Washington invents them and the media reports them with all due awe.
You’ll find the usual suspects: “Another shockingly positive jobs report proves America’s economic boom” from CNN; “Blockbuster Jobs Report Supports Fed’s Patience As It Waits To Cut Rates,” by the NYT; and this hilarious bit from NBC News, “The great American job machine keeps on revving in an electoral year.”
Why are Americans so downbeat about Bidenomics despite all the new jobs? Newsmax reported on Sunday that the latest NBC News survey showed President Joe Biden’s approval rating at an eye-popping 37%. The poll was conducted by NBC’s Democrat pollster Jeff Horwitt, a Hart Research Associates member. He called the results “damning,” and said that Biden’s presidency was “in peril.”
Horwitt said, “Biden has dropped in every category compared to the 2020 election.” The belief that Biden was more capable of doing the job, which was the underlying tenet of the Biden campaign, has now evaporated.
Ouch. All those jobs?
You know, those jobs…
Robert Barone, Ph.D. in economics (and portfolio manager at Forbes) will explain the numbers that lie behind the headlines.
As an aside, be selective before you read anything written by Forbes contributors. The two words “Forbes Contributor” can be used to describe anything, from “sharp analyses” to “totally randomly crap produced by two hyperactive spider monkeys using two typewriters”, and everything in between. Robert Barone’s writing is always sharp, but this particular piece is perfect.
Barone wrote: “The workweek itself contracted to 34.1 from 34.3 hours in December and 34.4 hours in November. This is the lowest since November 2008, when the Great Recession ended, and March 2020, which was the pandemic.
“Rosenberg Research calculated, that despite job gains, the total hours worked contracted.” Barone said that the Household Survey, “the one the press ignores”, “showed a headline number of -31K jobs and a decline of -63K full-time employment.” The labor participation rate is also down. Americans are taking on more part-time work because there are fewer full-time positions available. Many of the jobs last month went to people who took on a second and third job.
How did the BLS arrive at 335,000 new positions when the Household Survey indicated a net loss of 31,000 jobs? Let’s visit Seeking Alpha for that:
The BLS publishes data that supports their assumptions about Birth/Death. The drop in January is always significant, but it was less than the previous year (-144k vs.-121k). Birth/death refers specifically to assumptions about the formation of new businesses.
The term “birth/death assumptions” is just that. The BLS makes an assumption that a certain number of jobs was created or lost and fixes (sort of) the imaginary numbers once the actual data is in. You now know why the numbers for jobs are always revised down. Seeking Alpha says that “many people believe that the Household Survey is a better measure of employment than the headline number.”