Join Date: Dec 2010
Re: Unemployment Drops Below 8%, Conservatives Cry Conspiracy
Media Matters has a whole list of folks who questioned these numbers
(as well as all the financial reporters who called this nonsense.
One thing that surprised me, but probably shouldn't is that Joe Scarborough's cast of characters didn't know that the unemployment numbers are determined by two separate surveys, the payroll survey and household survey. The unemployment rate is determined by the household survey. The language that BLS used was
The unemployment rate decreased to 7.8 percent in September, and total nonfarm
payroll employment rose by 114,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported
Scarborough was looking at payroll and kept saying the numbers didn't add up. Only one of his crew was honest enough to say he wasn't qualified to have an opinion.
SCARBOROUGH: You look at the metrics, you look at how it's set up, these numbers don't make any sense.
WILLIE GEIST (co-host): We need more explanation. We're reading through the report in great detail right now, because 114,000 jobs were added, which is below population growth, and a lot of people who projected that number, as Miles said, said if it comes down about 113, 120--
SCARBOROUGH: Anemic growth.
GEIST: You get about 8.1 percent unemployment. And now we've had a major tick down to 7.8 percent unemployment so we're still working through this.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI (co-host): And this is in a time when we're seeing the worst long-term unemployment in recent history.
SCARBOROUGH: And the participation rates are historically low. There is an uptick in .1 percent I'm sorry, that's insignificant. These numbers don't add up.
SCARBOROUGH: Let me tell you something, seriously these numbers don't add up. They just don't. Again, I've got no dog in the fight here as far as the numbers go.
BRZEZINSKI: Cause you want them to be good, we all want them to be good.
SCARBOROUGH: I want them to be good. My dad was unemployed, I always, conservatives always get angry at me when I cheer good economic news, but Mike these numbers don't add up. It doesn't make sense it would drop to 7.8 percent with a weak participation rate and an anemic number of jobs added.
MIKE BARNICLE (co-host): Look, I am totally unqualified to weave my way through these numbers
SCARBOROUGH: Same here. Same with all of us.
BARNICLE: Try to figure it out, I am totally unqualified. I do know this though. That these new unemployment numbers, while offering promise and hope to a lot of people, I'm sure, won't offer promise or hope to an enormous number of people who are still unemployed in this country. There's a lot of unemployed people in this country. I don't know where the number came from, I hope it's accurate, but I just don't know.
GEIST: We should be very clear, I don't think any of us at this table is suggesting the Obama campaign or the White House is manipulating these numbers. We're just digging through the report and want to get it explained.
SCARBOROUGH: We just read Jack Welch's tweet for entertainment value. But I got to tell you though these numbers don't seem to add up. We need the Labor Department to explain. This is, though, every month it comes out, every month, this is such an inexact science. Every month, not just this month, that it's nonsense. They've got to figure out a better way, a more accurate way. [MSNBC, Morning Joe, 10/5/12]
I can't say that I knew how the rate was determined exactly, but then again, I don't work for a news channel.
Last edited by KevinNYC : 10-06-2012 at 04:22 AM.