So how did the Department of Labor come up with an unemployment rate that indicates significant improvement in the jobs picture? It found the alleged improvement through its survey of households. As Hassett explains, the Labor Department’s jobs report is always based on two surveys, one of households and one of establishments.
Professional economists and the press usually emphasize the establishment survey because it is considered less volatile. This month, that survey continues to show the usual weakness in the job market. But the household survey purports to show massive improvement.
Hassett says that during the Bush presidency, the MSM discounted the household survey whenever it revealed good news, claiming that the numbers are suspect. I find the latest household survey numbers — coming just before the climax of this election and contradicting more reliable data — to be suspect, indeed.
Charlie Martin thinks we’re all conspiracy freaks, (sorry, Charlie), but this “jobs report” is twice-cooked crap designed to buoy Obama, and nothing more.
And frankly, when push comes to shove, I’ll generally take Jack Welch’s economic opinions over Charlie’s almost all of the time – especially when I find Welch and myself in agreement, heh.
UPDATE: The right-wing conspiracy freaks at The Economist agree with me: Economist: Unemployment drop ‘implausible … a statistical quirk’ | AEIdeas