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# What, exactly is the claim that the September unemployment numbers are falsified about, anyway?

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So it has been repeatedly stated in threads on this board that the report is somehow false, or misleading in some way.  What is behind this claim?  Do people really think that the numbers are false?  Do they think that the number is only down because of people who have dropped out of the workforce?   Are there really people who think Obama can influence the BLS to put out false numbers?

It seems to be the latest Republican talking point.

ETA Here is the link to the Sept report.  You can also read past reports and look up stats, even for the "real" unemployment number.  They will explain what each number means and who it will include, it is an interesting site. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 5:49 PM
Replies (21-30):
by Silver Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 6:28 PM
1 mom liked this

I edited my original response with additional information on how the numbers are collected.

Quoting FromAtoZ:

Quoting GotSomeKids:

I don't think it really matters.  Both parties do this.  The Dems said this about Bush's numbers too.  As for the numbers, they are derived not statistics from unemployment offices, but household surveys.

Now that is interesting.

So, if these surveys are being completed by actual individuals instead of computer generated, they can't be quite as skewed as otherwise.  Well, then again, people are known to lie.  ;)

by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 6:28 PM
2 moms liked this
Do you have any math skills?

A group has 100 people of those 90 people are working, 10 are looking for work. With 9 out of 10 working the unemployment rate is 10 %. Remember 90 people are working.
Same group a year later, the 10 unemployed have exhausted their unemployment compensation, they are taken out of the equation totally. In addition 5 more have lost their job. Now 85 of the 90 in the group are working, 5 are unemployed, the unemployment rate is now 6%. Unemployment has officially gone down although now only 85 of the original 100 actually have a job.
(note numbers are examples only)
Catch on?

Quoting stacymomof2:

I was in a post talking about it but didn't get a response to my posting the actual numbers.  People just kept repeating that "they aren't including the people who have dropped out of the workforce."  That is specifically why I posted this question.

So, I am doing it again to get a clear answer as to why people are ignoring that this report shows that the unemployment situation is looking better.

Quoting grandmab125:

This was already hashed over on another post.  So, why are you doing it again?

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by AllieCat on Oct. 7, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Quoting GotSomeKids:

I don't think it really matters.  Both parties do this.  The Dems said this about Bush's numbers too.  As for the numbers, they are derived not statistics from unemployment offices, but household surveys.

Edit:  They change who they survey by 25% each time they conduct the survey.  So, if they continued to survey the "same" households, it would be a truer number.  So, in fact they could or could not be accurate.  I think though, the gist of the numbers are probably pretty close, but then this could be true regardless of who is in office.

Thanks for that addition.

I have no problem admitting you saved me a time as I was going to look in to this. :)

I was out for a bit last night, celebrating my oldest daughter's 21st birthday.  I am exhausted.   lol

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." ~ Maya Angelou

by Ruby Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 6:32 PM
1 mom liked this

by Silver Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 6:35 PM
1 mom liked this

The Burueau of Labor Statistics has a great FAQ section on this topic.

Quoting FromAtoZ:

Quoting GotSomeKids:

I don't think it really matters.  Both parties do this.  The Dems said this about Bush's numbers too.  As for the numbers, they are derived not statistics from unemployment offices, but household surveys.

Edit:  They change who they survey by 25% each time they conduct the survey.  So, if they continued to survey the "same" households, it would be a truer number.  So, in fact they could or could not be accurate.  I think though, the gist of the numbers are probably pretty close, but then this could be true regardless of who is in office.

Thanks for that addition.

I have no problem admitting you saved me a time as I was going to look in to this. :)

I was out for a bit last night, celebrating my oldest daughter's 21st birthday.  I am exhausted.   lol

by AllieCat on Oct. 7, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Quoting toomanypoodles:

Can you not have any input in these discussion other than your one liners or your pictures?

I'm not being snarky.  If you feel so strongly about things, why not actually participate in the discussion?

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." ~ Maya Angelou

by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 6:48 PM

There are household surveys, business surveys, etc.  There are several surveys the BLS uses to compile the Employment situation summary.

People are acting like somehow the unemployment rate has been figured differently from last month to this one, or from 4 years ago until now, or that the numbers can be "faked" or influenced by the administration.  This is the BLS, they are reliable and their methodology is posted online.  They are thorough and accurate.

Quoting FromAtoZ:

Quoting GotSomeKids:

I don't think it really matters.  Both parties do this.  The Dems said this about Bush's numbers too.  As for the numbers, they are derived not statistics from unemployment offices, but household surveys.

Now that is interesting.

So, if these surveys are being completed by actual individuals instead of computer generated, they can't be quite as skewed as otherwise.  Well, then again, people are known to lie.  ;)

by Silver Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 6:48 PM

To make it even harder to follow the numbers, by the time a year goes by, they aren't survey the same people.

Quoting asfriend:

Do you have any math skills?

A group has 100 people of those 90 people are working, 10 are looking for work. With 9 out of 10 working the unemployment rate is 10 %. Remember 90 people are working.
Same group a year later, the 10 unemployed have exhausted their unemployment compensation, they are taken out of the equation totally. In addition 5 more have lost their job. Now 85 of the 90 in the group are working, 5 are unemployed, the unemployment rate is now 6%. Unemployment has officially gone down although now only 85 of the original 100 actually have a job.
(note numbers are examples only)
Catch on?

Quoting stacymomof2:

I was in a post talking about it but didn't get a response to my posting the actual numbers.  People just kept repeating that "they aren't including the people who have dropped out of the workforce."  That is specifically why I posted this question.

So, I am doing it again to get a clear answer as to why people are ignoring that this report shows that the unemployment situation is looking better.

Quoting grandmab125:

This was already hashed over on another post.  So, why are you doing it again?

by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 6:50 PM

So how are the numbers "false?"  The entire report is posted for everyone to see, monthly.  The Admin is repeating those numbers.  So where's the false?

Quoting toomanypoodles:

Quoting stacymomof2:

Tell me what numbers were "falsified."  This is what I am trying to figure out.

Quoting toomanypoodles:

Falsified numbers!?!?  GASP!  Say it isn't so!

They are not counting the people that have just given up trying to find a job---not actively looking any longer.

The unemployment record has not really improved enough to give Obama the swing he's wishing for.

by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Do you think the BLS report is false?

Quoting toomanypoodles:

Quoting FromAtoZ:

Quoting toomanypoodles:

Falsified numbers!?!?  GASP!  Say it isn't so!

Exactly how are the numbers falsified?  You do have an opinion on this, yes?

Nah...I'm waiting for FACTS.

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