Monday, May 09, 2011

The Best Use For Government Payroll Numbers . . .

When I heard that American employers hired 244,000 new employees last month, I pictured employees going back to work in manufacturing plants and maybe some new computer programmers coming out of college finding work at some new high-tech startups.

But when I pulled back the curtain I found . . .

The Bureau of Labor Statistics added 175,000 of those 244,000 jobs through their "hedonic adjustment birth/death model." In short, that means there is no evidence that a single one of these jobs was actually created. Rather, through "modeling" they were assumed into existence.

Another 65,000 of those jobs were what I call "sort of real," created via the McDonald's road show -- the hamburger king ran simultaneous job fairs in April all over the country to show what a good corporate citizen it is. It would only be fair to mention that fast food turns over more than a hundred percent of its restaurant employees each year, meaning a very high percentage of these newly hired low wage workers will be back on the street soon. Most are part-time students and those unfortunates who can't find work that will support a family.

Which leaves about 4,000 "other" jobs that, if we can assume the wizard behind the curtain isn't pulling another fast one, might, just might be what we'll call "real jobs."

Reality: No new jobs are being created. None. Not on a net basis.

Which brings us back to the question . . . What do we do with these numbers?

Step 1: Carefully print them out

Step 2: Lay paper on which they are printed in the floor

Step 3: Show dog the paper

Step 4: Wait

Step 5: Pick up both dog and government crap and put in trash can

That is the highest and best use for the US government numbers on employment.


Blogger John Gallagher said...


That is insulting to the dog. Just burn the paper!


7:36 PM  

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