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« The Deficit Dilemma | Main | Picking the Right Pundit »

August 12, 2009

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Richard3

Thanks Jeff! The clarification makes the whole thing a lot clearer to me.

Now to show this to my buddy who is anti the b/d adjusment...

oldprof

Charlie -- I agree that many of the shifts are negative. The best way to track this in the aggregate is in the hourly wage.

Thanks for highlighting an important point.

Jeff

oldprof

Richard -- Thanks very much for pointing this out. Our original explanation was misleading. The BLS does not show the "actual count" but instead refers to changes from the benchmark.

I have updated the articles to clarify the explanation.

Thanks again for your careful reading and comment.

Jeff

Charlie

You are, of course, correct. I lost my job in '93 and was out of work for 7 mos. The old job paid 48k, the new job, 35k. My boss warned me in May that I would be in the next layoff (any day now). I'll leave this 72k job (now, after the May pay cut, 56k), for a job paying 40k (I hope). There is a massive shift going on....and it is downward.

Richard

Jeff, one thing I had a question about...

In your first blog on the birth/death adj, you show "Chart 1 Impact of B/D Model on..." from the BLS.

You say:

"The blue line is the actual count. Just compare the red line to the green line. The red line shows what the estimate would have reported without any birth/death adjustment. The green line shows the effect of birth/death."

That made sense to me, but then I looked at the chart and the color key says:

RED: "Actual Benchmark Revision"
BLUE: "Birth/Death Adjustment"
GREEN: "Simulated Benchmark Revision Without Birth/Death Adjustment"

As a layman those two things don't sound the same.

It sounds like what you call Blue = Red, Red = Green, and Green = Blue.

Now if I read the chart like that I get really confused.

Any chance you could clarify for me?

Richard

Jeff, I just found your blogs and articles here while looking for information on the birth/death adjustment.

A friend of mine had mentioned it to me and how he it represented the government "fixing the books" on the employment numbers.

I did a quick google search and came away with a ton of angry sites against the birth/death adjustment. But what bothered me was the lack of...well...data or facts to back up the "there's no way 200K jobs were created last month...so the gov is lying" sentiment.

Then I went to the source...the BLS and read about the adjustment and it sounded pretty fact based and data driven and well...scientific.

I took notice that the "estimating" part is essentially checked against the real numbers once they come in...so I wondered how the government could use it if those opposed could so easily point out that is was wrong (which of course they aren't actually doing, but I was still tying to figure that out).

I was puzzled by the lack of any support for the BLS...until I finally found your articles (on Seeking Alpha).

Obviously I still don't understand the underlying math, but I certainly now understand what the birth/death adjustment is...and more so where all of the misconceptions are coming from.

I've been telling my friends for months now that somewhere there has to be...truth might be a strong word...but at least hard data and facts that people should be making decisions by.

This whole Health Care thing is such a mess in the media. I was at Senator Specter's town hall in State College, PA and the misinformation was frightening.

Well I should say misinformation as far as I know. It is so hard to find REAL facts and data to make any sense of anything. Not that it's in anyone's interest to have things be clear and factual, everyone has some agenda I guess.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that you have given me some small bit of hope that there are people out there who know and can actually articulate the facts and data.

I just wish it would get out into the mainstream so we citizens could be informed and not manipulated.

David Merkel

Well said. Maybe the BLS should set up a separate release date for job openings and hires. Then it might get the attention that it deserves.

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